VC-10
Topic Author
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Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:39 am

Over the years I have been picked up by our US members for calling myself an Engineer, being told I was a Mechanic.

During the last couple of years I have been involved with the Maintenance Departments of some of large US operators and now can understand the difference.

In MY experience US Mech's do not do any troubleshooting they just throw componants at a defect until it fixes the problem. Once every possible black box in a system has been replaced they they will start looking at the wiring. They do not take full advantage of any on board BITE facility.

I have worked for several airlines in the UK and in every one when you have a defect BITE is always used if available, if not the sytem is analysed for the most likely culprit and a componant is changed based on that study.

This situation maybe the result of the level of type training received on either side of the pond. In the US a type course will last two weeks and cover Airframe/Engine and Electrics while in the UK a course will last at least 4 weeks and cover Airframe/Engine and some avionics. Even differences courses between, say, a 747 Classic and a -400 will take three weeks.

I don't post this to in anyway demean the US Mechanic but just my observations from being exposed to the differences on either side of the Atlantic.
 
777236ER
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:04 am

An engineer uses maths, a mechanic fixes things.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
airplay
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:44 am

This topic has always been a bit of a pet peeve of mine....

First of all, in my experience, the average British aircraft maintainers seems to be much more capable than the average American maintainer. The British types go through much more comprehensive training. This is reflected in many trades in the UK.

Taxi drivers in London for example, go through a great deal of preparation and training but you can be you won't have to give one directions to your destination. Here in North America, I am generally tempted to tell the Taxi driver to sit in the back and let MEA Middle East Airlines (Lebanon)">ME drive....

The "British" way is often detrimental however, because if anything, it is overdone. In my opinion, that’s why the British aircraft makers have trouble being competitive. Even design and engineering is over-done.

As for the "engineer" moniker, although here in Canada, we use the “Engineer” word in “Aircraft Maintenance Engineer” in my opinion, using the word “engineer” without the accompanying “maintenance” takes it completely out of context.

In the most simplistic explanation, an engineer designs airplanes. A maintenance engineer maintains airplanes. An engineer is a member of a professional (classical “profession” definition) association and designs things using accepted standards and analytical processes. Once an aeronautical product is designed, developed and approved, a maintenance engineer ensures the product conforms to the approved type design defined in the Type Certificate.

Engineering is a profession. Aircraft maintenance is a trade whether you use the word “technician” or “engineer” at the end. Very different roles indeed.

I think the word engineer is really outdated in the context of maintenance and should be replaced with technician as the Americans have done. It’s really a hold over from the days when someone who maintained a device driven by an engine was called an “engineer”. Like a train engineer. Aircraft maintenance personnel really don’t fit the old definition and never really did.
 
miamiair
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:56 am

The term nowadays is AMT, Aircraft Maintenance Technician. I do believe that the AMTs in the UK are most definitely better trained due to the CAA Regs. I think a type rating is required on UK licenses as here in the US there are 3 types: Airframe, Powerplant (hence the term A&P mechanic) and avionics (FCC license).

Over on my side of the pond, the engineer is the one who uses regs, load calculations, stress analysis to develop, repairs, mods, new designs etc.
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
FredT
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:40 am

VC-10,
now you've gone and done it. Found your asbestos underwear yet?

Having had some insight in the world of training, I figure I might as well stick my neck out there along with yours and second your observations regarding training though. Also compare the required background to even be eligible for training. Two years in school here... Don't forget that in the US system, the exams are typically open-book with lower levels required to pass either. How this works out when it comes to actually getting work signed off and who can do it, I don't know.

On the other hand, in my experience the tendency to actually troubleshoot components rather than swap boxes is largely down to the availability of spare parts (management and beancounters breathing down the neck of swappers being considered part of availability in this context). This seems to hold true regardless of part of the world and level of training.

If you have a PEP-program where you pay almost the same regardless of how much you send in, boxes will be pulled and sent off until even the lunch boxes in the fridge have been sent twice before any real troubleshooting is done.

Cheers,
Fred

(Written before prior replies, posted now due to network problems)
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
avioniker
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:42 am

VC-10

I wish very deeply that I could disagree with you...but I can't.
The single biggest problem in the US is that those entering Aircraft Maintenance since the demise of PanAm, Braniff, Eastern and the rest...
Don't know what they don't know. Those that know have retired or just gotten sick of being told to shut up in this era of kill the messenger (Throw me under the bus, please, before they find out I'm only the messenger...). The Bean Counters don't want to hear about fixing it right the first time, JUST GET IT OFF THE GATE!

The state of education in this country has degraded to the point where it's virtually irrelevant to the need. The kids counting the beans have come into power and a mechanic is relegated to the title of AMT because he thinks it makes him sound more important or the title is more prestigious. An Engineer with a four year Petrolium Systems degree and no aircraft experience writes EO's for 30 year mechanics and can't understand why the "gray hair" is jumping up and down in front of his desk.

People don't understand that a Technician (AMT) is specialised in one set of skills where a Mechanic or Engineer has had to earn stewardship in many skills and all the theory and basic knowledge applying to the aircraft at hand.

AMT's in the US are encouraged to use "swaptronics" rather than basic troubleshooting theory and principle (our 30 or 40 something managers believe it's quicker or cheaper or who knows what). I am proud to have the title of "Mechanic" on my certificate. I am also a technician and certified to design auto flight systems making me an engineer for US purposes, but I worked long and hard to earn the title of Mechanic and I'll never take that lightly. Maybe we should abolish the opportunity to take the A&P exams after school and only allow people completing a three year apprenticeship to test.

I fight the battle daily. Standing in front of a class trying to teach an Aircraft SystemsGen Fam or an Avionics Gen Fam I find myself regularly stopping to introduce the students to information and knowledge that should be basic and before 1985 was.

This month's edition of AVIATION MAINTENANCE Magazine has an excellent editorial by Matt Thurber that starts to touch on the problem.

Until we get back to basics and start requiring excellence over adequacy it'll continue to go downhill.

VC-10
Be careful, it's beginning to sound like you're agreeing with my 2002 tirade against "simplified English" and Human Factors training.
I have to agree with the over generalization that the UK maintenance people take things to extreme but there are lessons there that we no longer follow on this side of the pond.


Okay kiddies, slam away Smile/happy/getting dizzy
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
FredT
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:45 am

"AMT", good point.

As for maintenance engineer, I am one. But not in any way a mechanic/technician, but rather the academical kind of aerospace engineer (the kind with slide rules, tables, geeky clothes and equations) who specialized in maintenance.

Figured I should throw that in just to muddy the waters, now that you made them seem somewhat clearer.  Big grin

Cheers,
Fred
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
gkirk
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:50 am

The "British" way is often detrimental however, because if anything, it is overdone. In my opinion, that’s why the British aircraft makers have trouble being competitive. Even design and engineering is over-done.

Surely it's better overdone, than underdone?  Confused
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FDXmech
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:42 am

>>>Don't forget that in the US system, the exams are typically open-book with lower levels required to pass either. How this works out when it comes to actually getting work signed off and who can do it, I don't know.<<<

Unless things have changed, going for your licenses is NOT open book.
For each license you took:
A written exam
An oral exam
A practical exam

Engineer is a nice job description. I prefer it over technician (which I despise). Until then I like mechanic, no shame in that.

The job title doesn't equal ability, that's up to the individual.

What math does an "engineer" use that a mechanic doesn't? I'm talking about engineers in the aircraft mx field?

>>>People don't understand that a Technician (AMT) is specialised in one set of skills where a Mechanic or Engineer has had to earn stewardship in many skills and all the theory and basic knowledge applying to the aircraft at hand.<<<

I think you've got it backwards. While I don't know what an aircraft mx engineer job entails, the AMT is not specialized. He does everything (though not usually structures. He works all aircraft types in the fleet, mechanical and avionics, run/taxi work. I was under the impressiuon that an mx engineer (British)
as limited in scope of aircraft he's licensed for.

Many of the other points brought up is the result that the airlines themselves encouraged. Standout mechanics aren't a product that the airlines (including training) had striven for rather products that are self made in spite of the system.

[Edited 2004-10-20 23:44:00]
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
n685fe
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:01 am


I will second that FDXmech, I have spend so much more time in self training than others I know. You can always spot them, they need help with their sign offs, let alone do any work on their own. People like this can get by hiding in a hangar environment, but once they get to the line they stand out like a sore thumb. It doesn't make it pleasant for the other mechanics since they have to pick up the work load for an inexperienced/unknowledgable/unmotivated mechanic.


psp. lead by example
 
avioniker
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:50 am

What I'm saying about the title is that Mechanic means generally demonstrably qualified while Technician is specific. And we don't need to confuse the issue with the European monikers. That's their turf. I will not in any way demean any US Certificated Mechanic. It's just that since 1985 the level of prerequisite qualification has diminished so far that VC-10 has a valid point.

On this side of the pond it took me three hard working years to qualify to sit for the written and O&P exams to become an Airframe and Engine Mechanic (now Airframe and Powerplant). Under the current standards you need only attend a school for 14 or more months to qualify for the tests. In all fairness I must say that the national average is actually 22 months in school but I hope my point is made.

Once upon a time a Technician could aspire to become a Mechanic (although I don't know too many Avionics Techs in their right mind who would want to).
Now that we have "simplified English" and Ebonics nobody seems to remember the basic definitions of anything anymore. (Simplified English has a 1000 word vocabulary. A three year old has a 600 word vocabulary. Who picks the words?) If AMT makes you feel better than "Mechanic" then have at it. Just remember that a lot of us gray hairs are wondering what made you feel that the title of Mechanic was so inferior that you needed more words to feel adequate. I do have to say that Woody on Wings didn't do much for the image, though. (To Woody BITE is something to do to a sandwich or at the local bar brawl.)

Here's another example:
Stewardess vs. Flight Attendant
Stewardess: One who has demonstrated stewardship and skills, as in a shop steward.
Flight Attendant: One who stands in attendance as in...well you fill in the blanks.

In leaner times I taught English at the secondary level. Nothing like employment security is there? So I get petty sometimes. Simplified English indeed!
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:57 am

I can't comment on Line mtx at a US major I've only worked in the Hangar enviroment at DL. Yes, the less competent can hide here but we all know who they are. They tend to get job assingnments that fit them. I also do a lot of structral work as an AMT. All of us sheetmetal mechanics are AMT's at DL.

Wehn I worked at a small commuter airline before DL we rarely just swapped boxes to troubleshoot. We didn't have the spares. We also didn't have Avionics guys unless it required an FCC signoff. We all had multimeters and knew how to use them. We always looked for a wiring problem first and hoped to find one. The last thing you wanted to say it must be this box that needs replacement. If they were going to spend money on it you had better be sure.
 
kaddyuk
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:09 am

From my perspective, I am training to become an Aeronautical or Aerospace Engineer, pick from that what you see fit.

There are Technicians and Certifyers who both fall under the banner of Aerospace Engineer. The aircraft that we work on (we like to think) are finly tuned pieces of engineering therefore engineers maintain the engineering...

I gotta disagree with 777236ER, an engineer is not someone who uses just maths... I am an engineer, what it says on my contract, and I hardly ever use maths that would be called "real maths" like using complex equations or anything else similar...
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
avt007
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:00 am

My licence says Aircraft Maintenance Engineer- a title I like, but the point is I`m comfortable and confident in my trade and qualifications, and don`t need the job title to feel good about it. I have a comment sorta related to this thread-why do the British and US have separate airframe and powerplant licences? From a line mtce point of view, where I work is in under the British system, and an "engineer" with his "A" but not "C" (engine) is is not a lot of use. Is it for overhaul licence purposes? Or is it a bureaucracy run amuck?
 
320tech
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:27 pm

I am an aircraft maintenance engineer - says so on my licence. In the air force, I was an aviation technician. What's the diff? In practice, not much at all. But I dislike the title "mechanic", because I work on many things that are not strictly mechanical.

When someone asks me what I do, I say "aircraft maintenance engineer", because in North America, we seem to have the idea that an engineer is someone who went to university and would still be using a slide rule if Bill Gates hadn't invented computers.

But when you think about it, there are many engineers out there besides train engineers - Microsoft Certified System Engineers, among others. There's also the famous "Sanitation Engineer", aka garbage man.

In Canada and the rest of the Commonwealth, I assume, AME or aircraft engineer mean the same thing. An aeronautical engineer is the guy who wears the tie. No aeronautical engineer I know would describe himself as an aircraft engineer.
The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:28 pm

I'm a Software "Sales Engineer", which is probably the worst kind  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:51 pm

On one of my licenses (JAR 66 B1 issued by the Irish Aviation Authority) it says "Aircraft Maintenance Engineer", while on the other one (FAA A&P) it says "Mechanic".
I do the same work under both (except that under the JAA licence I´m restricted to aircraft types I´ve got a 7 week theoretical and 2 weeks practictal training on and done a special type rating exam, additional to a series of basic exams just to get the basic licence. Also, unless I´ve got the additional B2 qualifications, concerning avionics I´m only allowed to do BITE checks and change LRUs, no external testing equipment permitted). IMO the Engineer thing is limited to commonwealth countries, in Germany I´m an aircraft mechanic, or as a B1 a "Prüfer Klasse 2", this means an inspector class 2 (with certifying privileges, which obviously brings more money than being just a grease monkey).
In Britain or other commonwealtth countries I would only apply for a job stating that I´m a licenced engineer, if I say I´m a mechanic, I´ll be considered a grease monkey.
Applying for an American job I would apply as an A&P mechanic.

BTW, I still got through the old pre JAA Irish licence system, very similar to the old British CAA LWTR exams, and I found them to be much more difficult than the multiple choice A&P exams. The Irish exams consisted of both written essay type exams and one hour oral grillings by two examiners, which left me completely wrung out.

Esp. the A&P oral and practical exam was a joke.

Concerning troubleshooting, working on the line, we´ve got a problem that the bean counters are foremost interested in us providing shipping space for express parcels and every delay over 5 minutes means a series of reports have to be written justifying the delay. Even then ANY delay counts against the department. Often we get orders by our superiors to change boxes in a shotgun approach, just to get the plane out. Checking wiring is usually done last, because it takes time. They consider boxes replaced unnecessarily cheaper than having a plane full of next day before 10 am delivery or money back guarantee parcels delayed.

I also know some guys (who by the way, came from the USAF), who absolutely suck in troubleshooting. You can give them jobs like lubricating or changing wheels, but don´t expect them to use their heads. Concerning type courses, they complained about having to learn the systems, instead they want the instructor to give them step by step rundowns on how to do different checks, or list like "if I´ve got these fault syndroms, I´ve got to change this box and it will cure it" without actually knowing WHAT they are doing.

Jan


Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Buzz
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Not All Mechanics Are Created Equal

Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:35 pm

Hi MD11 Engineer, Buzz here. I think you've got a valid point, there are some people who fix airplanes that aren't worth the paper their "tickets" are printed on. And there are some who are called in to fix thing after all the cheap and easy "fixes" have not worked out. The good ones have taken time to learn how the systems work.

Box-swapping: I think this comes from people who don't know the systems, It's a "black box" and mysterious things happen inside. All the magic inside could have "leaked out", let's try another box. And our bosses are under pressure to eliminate small delays. One night i asked my young energetic boss how long a delay he needed to avoid getting his a** chewed (grin).

Do i recall hearing that the UK aircraft mechanics are certified in type, sort of a type rating for mechanics?
g'day
Buzz Fuselsausage: Line Mechanic by night, DC-3 Crew Chief by choice, taildragger pilot for fun
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:48 pm

"The magic has leaked out of the Box" That's a great line. Just remember electricity works because there is smoke in the wires, don't let it out and everything will be fine.
 
airplay
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:16 pm

I am also a technician and certified to design auto flight systems making me an engineer for US purposes....

Are you a DER Avioniker?

Microsoft Certified System Engineers, among others. There's also the famous "Sanitation Engineer", aka garbage man.

I would think that most would understand that the use of "engineer" in titles such as "sanitation" or "household" is meant to be satirical. With respect to the Mircrosoft Systems Engineer, it is much closer in meeting the definition.

The dictionary defines "engineer" as:

1 One who is trained or professionally engaged in a branch of engineering.
2 One who operates an engine.
3 One who skillfully or shrewdly manages an enterprise.


None of those describe an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

There are Technicians and Certifyers who both fall under the banner of Aerospace Engineer.

That definition doesn't do it here. Techs and certifiers don't constitute Aerospace Engineering. Under most legislation that governs professional engineering in various countries, it is not legal to use the term "engineering" outside the context of members of professional engineering associations. The use in some instances are grandfathered. Which brings me to another point. Maintenance personell are typically "licensed" to work under the respective airworthiness authority. Engineers are typically "delegated" as extensions of the airworthiness authorities.

Engineers are authorized to establish compliance with airworthiness standards on behalf of the civil airworthiness authority. Maintainers are "allowed" to return the aircraft to its approved configuration on their own (or company's) behalf. That is a huge difference.

I also know some guys (who by the way, came from the USAF), who absolutely suck in troubleshooting.

This goes for the vast majority of ex-military people from the US and Canada. Not only do they lack knowledge, but they have rather pathetic work ethics. Resumes that contain any military service history go right into the "circular" file...
 
avioniker
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:27 am

Airplay

Well put!
I was certified in 1979 by Sperry, Motorola, and Smiths as a Design Engineer after taking part in the FMS/DFCS Microwave Landing System Integration Design Team. DER is for independant individuals with a fixed operating location. Sort of like an IA but with a pencil instead of a wrench.
I'm getting my satisfaction and gratification teaching maintenance now days.
It used to be in the US that you couldn't publish any directive type documents like EO's, ECO's, or Installation Modifications unless you had two years of post degree experience and a certification from a state licensing board or a manufacturer.
Now an engineer in the US only need have a four year degree "in an engineering discipline" and a job with a company doing airplane work.
The USAF people used to get very in-depth training but in 1985 that all changed when they combined career fields in the interest of shortening training times and getting people in the field faster. My personal favorite was when the AFCS, INS, and Instrument fields were combined. If a person were to have gone to all three schools he would have spent almost two years in tech school. After the integration was completed and the schools relocated to Mississippi in 1988 the school was only from 12 to 22 weeks long.
Gee I wonder what was left out???  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


[Edited 2004-10-21 17:28:50]
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
airplay
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:44 am

DER is for independant individuals with a fixed operating location. Sort of like an IA but with a pencil instead of a wrench.

Actually, A DER is "an individual, appointed in accordance with 14 CFR § 183.29, who holds an engineering degree or equivalent, possesses technical knowledge and experience, and meets the qualification requirements of FAA Order 8100.8."

http://www.faa.gov/certification/aircraft/

An IA is basically an AMT that has inspection sign off authority. Not the same thing at all.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Fri Oct 22, 2004 2:22 am

Working in the field, I have my own problems with college graduated "engineers" in airline engineering, who´ve never actually touched an airplane. These guys give me desktop trouble shooting orders I´ve got to comply with and often enough send me orders for doing repairs, which are absolutely impossible to follow.

Buzz,

Under the JAA system, the old German British and Irish systems (the systems I´m familar with) you require a type rating for certifying MX on aircraft.
Under JAA the lowest licence is a Cat A licence which permits you to do servicing (ATA 100 Chapter 12), wheel and brake changes, light bulb changes and R+R of galley equipment (coffee makers, ovens). You´ll have to pass a basic general knowledge test, prove a minimum years of experience (or an apprenticeship) and a ATA 104 level 1 gen fam type course (2 weeks with exam).
The next step is a B1 or B2 licence, B1 for mechanical systems, engines and electrics, avionics limited to bite checks and LRU changes, B2 for in depth avionics and electrics, but no mechanical systems.
You´ll need at least 3 years experience (certified), a very tough basic knowledge test and a ATA 104 level 3 type course on an aircraft. The type rating takes 7 weeks theory plus 2 weeks OJT. Each engine type needs a one week course.
A B1 or B2 can perform all work in his related field on the aircraft he is type rated for, inspection, T/S, repair, modifications iaw approved data.
Typically a B1 or B2 would either work on the line or in heavy maintenance, be in charge of a team working in one area of the plane (hydraulics, flight controls, LDG, engines, avionics for a B2). There exists a B3 licence as well, but this one is strictly for the shop boys, those who take the boxes and other LRUs apart and fix them. A B1 or B2 can release an aircraft to service, but not after a heavy check (C- or D-check). Under the German system a B licenced person would be a "Prüfer Klasse 2", an inspector second class.

A C licence permits a release to service after a heavy check. To get a C-licence you´ll need either a college degree in engineering plus a level 3 type course or 3 years experience on the type as a B licenced AME.
Typically the C licenced person checks the work package after the check to make sure all task cards have been completed and signed by the respective B licenced staff and all discrepancies worked on. Then he puts his stamp into the log book for a final release to service. Under the German system a C licenced AME would be a "Prüfer Klasse 1", Inspector, first class.

Hope this helps,

Jan

Edit for typo


[Edited 2004-10-21 19:24:03]
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
IFIXCF6
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Fri Oct 22, 2004 4:11 am

I believe the European system is better, GKirk's quote "Surely it's better overdone, than underdone?" is correct, at least to me. BUT...if we are mechanics (engineers, technicians, fixers-of-things-with-wings, whatever you call yourself), the real learning occurs in the environment you work in.

There are several instances in my career when I did not know the solution until I had solved the problem. System knowlege is critical to this. BITE checks are what you have to do...with the knowlege of the system.

I personally believe supervised work for a few months, coupled with intensive classroom training works best. The student is then able to connect the theory with the practical.

BTW as ex-USAF maintenance, I take offense at the anti-USAF posts. As an F100 powerplant mech (F16's from 20 years ago), I'll match my training/work ethics with anyone.

A&P tests in the US are geared towards the GA population. That is why we should separate the tests and classes. Allright, enough from me.

Mike
 
dl1011
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:50 am

I would LOVE to see a JAA type system in place here. Too bad we are swinging towards cheaper and cheaper maintenance with heavy checks being outsourced to the low bidder.

For you JAA folks, what are your staffing levels/work loads like? A typical night at out station includes 8 of our a/c requiring a transit or layover check and looking at any deferred items. Added to this is our contract workload. It varies but on a busy night can include a couple of 767-300ER's, a 747 transit check and a A340 transit check. If we have 9 people, we are over staffed! 7 or 8 is typical.
 
MaerskMech
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:45 pm

We have the same issues with the JAA. everything is about money. it seems like safety sometimes comes after the echnomics. We are also been cut down. Also we have to compete with the former eastern europe on prices ( which is quite tough). So all in all I don't think that there that big difference between the U.S and us on the other side of the pond. that's just my own opinion maybe someone else have another.
 
Buzz
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Thanks For The Explaination MD11Engineer

Fri Oct 22, 2004 9:09 pm

Hi MD11Engineer, Buzz here. Thanks for the explaination of the tickets required on the other side of the pond.
I fix airliners for a living (and generally enjoy it), fix and fly classic airplanes for fun.
Either way i do a fair amount of troubleshooting. Swapping boxes isn't a factor is some flying machines.
g'nite
 
cdfmxtech
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engin

Sat Oct 23, 2004 2:17 am

Standout mechanics aren't a product that the airlines (including training) had striven for rather products that are self made in spite of the system.

Good line.
 
320tech
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Sun Oct 24, 2004 2:56 pm

Airplay:

The dictionary defines "engineer" as:

1 One who is trained or professionally engaged in a branch of engineering.
2 One who operates an engine.
3 One who skillfully or shrewdly manages an enterprise.


Well, that's one dictionary definition. Whether you like it or not, though, in Canada, the correct term is aircraft maintenance engineer. When you run Transport Canada, you can change it.  Big grin

Notwithstanding my slightly defensive snottiness about this, no one is suggesting that an aircraft maintenance engineer has the same duties or skills as a professional engineer does. I am very skilled in my job (I'd like to think so, anyway), but I cannot perform stress analysis, design modifications, etc, etc. And I never claimed that I could.

This goes for the vast majority of ex-military people from the US and Canada. Not only do they lack knowledge, but they have rather pathetic work ethics. Resumes that contain any military service history go right into the "circular" file...

Then you are missing out on some excellent potential employees. Not everyone who has military service is lazy and under-educated. If you said that about (fill in your chosen visible minority here), you'd be electronically flayed. And rightly so.
The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
 
airplay
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:05 am

A320Tech, forgive my long dragged out reply to an issue that I don't really think is all that important, but.....

Check out my earlier post. I stated that AMEs are not "engineers". They are "maintenance engineers". You can't remove the word "engineer" out of context here.

If you go one step further, and find the definition of "engineering" you get:

Engineering:

The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems. The profession of or the work performed by an engineer.


The more modern accepted definition is:

engineering

n The discipline dealing with the art or science of applying scientific knowledge to practical problems;


Most AMEs I know (and I was one for many years) use their tools to maintain airplanes. Not scientific and mathematical principles to design them.

Dictionay.com also offers this historical definition of engineering that I allude to in an earlier post:

En`gi*neer"ing, n. Originally, the art of managing engines; in its modern and extended sense, the art and science by which the mechanical properties of matter are made useful to man in structures and machines; the occupation and work of an engineer.

So, the AME term is more closely associated with a train engineer than the modern definition.

By the way, professional engineering organizations have unofficially allowed Transport Canada to use the engineering term in “AME” in all provinces except Quebec. It is only a matter of time before Transport Canada will bow to pressures from the various organizations and change it to AMT in the rest of the provinces. If you look closely, Transport Canada has already started. When you go to the main TC site, you will find that there is a heading that says “information for maintenance technicians”. The site originally stated “information for engineers” but it was changed under request from engineering organizations.

If you check out websites of Provincial engineering organizations, (APEGM is the one in Manitoba) http://www.apegm.mb.ca/ you will find that the term “engineer” has been grandfathered for some trades such as train “engineers” and “power engineers” but not for AMEs. http://www.apegm.mb.ca/keydocs/act/except.html

Therefore, the use of AME in the province of Manitoba is contrary to the Provincial Engineering And Geoscientific Professions Act
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:17 am

Concerning ex military people, I see the same deficiencies with ex Luftwaffe personell. The problem is that, since the military want to them to start working as fast as possible, they only get limited tasks to do, e.g. on the flight line, they will only do walk around inspections, fuel the planes and change wheels and tires, plus limited servicing. If they find something wrong, they will call a specialist, who only knows the tasks related to his field (engines, hydraulics, landing gear, ejection seat electrics etc.). The only exemption I´ve seen were mechanics who came from the US navy and those from the RAF. Concerning the US Navy, since space and manpower on an aircraft carrier is limited, all mechanics need to have a broader skill base. And the British RAF simply offers great and thorough apprenticeships.

Civilian mechanics in Germany have to undergo a 3 1/2 year systematic apprenticeship under the old guild system, where they have to work several months each in different areas (minimum: flight controls, hydraulics, engine, electrics, structures, but most do more) plus one year basic metal work and machine shop before they are permitted to do their journeyman´s exams (both theoretical and practical). This exam is just the entry ticket as a non licenced mechanic, from then on the years count as experience towards the JAA licence.
For myself I also expect a mechanic to keep himself current in his profession and to read books and to study his whole professional life (one thing that attracted me to this profession, the continous learning process). Think of it as something as the samurai code of aircraft maintenance.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
airplay
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:47 am

Yes...I echo what MD11Engineer says. Military techs do exactly what they are trained and expected to do in the military.

Unfortunately their skill base is not ver broad. I once hired a guy who showed me several diplomas that verified his training in aircraft flight director systems in the military.

In the civilian world, flight director systems are often the sort of thing you cover later in your career rather than earlier. I figured anyone with that sort of training would certainly have a great deal of knowledge about general avionics.

I was wrong. This guy knew how to replace flight director components in various military aircraft. He was a total zero at actually troubleshooting the system and even worse at anything that was not part of the flight director system.

This is just one example. I won't bother going into all the negative experiences I've had with ex-military people. I've learned my lesson and now avoid these particular "excellent potential employees" alltogether.....
 
MYT332
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:17 am

Well im studying Aeronautical Engineering at Uni. Im in my fifth week and what we have done so far is about tensile testing, material properties, elastic/plastic and the likes.

However, every single thing we do relates to maths. We'll test a material then we'll use some equation to work out different values for it. Engineers, over here anyway, do use maths, very much so. So you can say im with 777236ER in that respect.

Im not a grease monkey, not a techie. I'm an aspiring British Engineer.
One Life, Live it.
 
A/c train
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:08 am

I work for an aircraft engineering company, we fix airplanes and keep them conforming to reqd standards !!, who works for an aircraft engineering company ???, engineers, end of  Smile/happy/getting dizzy, who really cares anyway ??, theres no doubting from my experience, that if you got a guy from university to come and inspect a crack in primary structure and a licenced engineer whos been through the good old days and done it for 25 years inspecting it, you would go with the licenced aircraft engineers opinion, and BTW ive done the physics units in a diploma and passed the JAR-66 physics exam, piece of duff mate !!, an office chair designing hydraulic pumps is for people who cant be trusted on the tools, or just dont wanna get dirty. !!!!
regards a/c
 
320tech
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:12 am

Airplay:

Well, we agree on one thing, anyway - it's not that important as to what an AME is called. The job is the same no matter what the person is called.

However, you are incorrect when you say that by calling myself an AME, I am somehow in violation of provincial law. As you must know, provincial law cannot override federal law. Electricians, power engineers, and train engineers are all provincially regulated trades. Aviation is federally regulated. Therefore, "grandfathering" as you call it is not required, because a provincial law can't override the federal Aeronautics Act.

As far as it concerns excellent or lousy ex-military technicians, I never said that all ex-military techs were good. In my experience, collectively, military techs aren't very good because of limited training, limited experience (because of all the other things they do besides maintenance, amongst other reasons), and in many cases, low motivation because - hey, guaranteed job for twenty years. I have learned far more in five years at the big dog than I did in ten years in the air force.

I'm just saying that not all ex-military techs share those characteristics.
The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
 
MYT332
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:36 am

A/c train, I must have rattled your cage  Big grin

If you got a guy from university to come and inspect a crack in primary structure and a licenced engineer
Well most guys from University are licensed so....

Anyway, experience is most important I agree....Just you have to admit you need the brains to design this stuff not just people to build and maintain it eh.

Kudos on passing your JAR-66 physics exam
One Life, Live it.
 
kaddyuk
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:49 am

MYT332,

Aerospace Engineering @ University is basic mate... I know a number of our undergrads and one of the post grads. Every single one of them said the same...

"That university is too general. It isnt necceserily specific to jets and there is alot of useless information".

I have spoken to tech's who say that a university student is useless round an aircraft. They know all about "Gas Turbine Theory" but if you ask them to explain what goes where and why on an engine, They dont have a clue. Thats why most uni students end up in development. Granted, they earn more in the early part of their career when compared to a tech. They have massive loans to pay off and dont ever really spend time "Fixing" aircraft...

They offer a service that without, us engineers would be lost... Almost.
If you want to spend your life getting your hands dirty, going to uni isnt helpful. This game is about experience...



[Edited 2004-10-25 00:08:52]
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
airplay
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:10 am

However, you are incorrect when you say that by calling myself an AME, I am somehow in violation of provincial law. As you must know, provincial law cannot override federal law.

Sorry...but I wasn't wrong.

DARs, DAOs, MDMs and any other personnel delegated by Transport Canada (a FEDERAL entity) is obligated to ensure they are not in violation of provincial law when engaged in engineering.

This guidance is contained in Transport Canada’s Delegations Handbook http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/certification/delegations/Handbook10June2003.pdf which states:

2.1.3.2 Provincial Licensing Laws

Appoint of an individual as a Delegate (either DAR or within a DAO/AEO) does not relieve the Delegate from meeting those requirements imposed by provincial engineering licensing laws. It is within the regulatory power of a provincial engineering association to restrict the right to engage in the practice of engineering within that province to persons who satisfactorily qualify under its laws, e.g., registered professional engineers. Provincial law may require a Delegate to be a registered professional engineer when selling engineering services for a fee. Each delegation applicant should determine whether the province, or provinces in which the Delegate intends to offer engineering services, requires registration as a professional engineer. Appointment as a Delegate does not absolve an individual of ensuring that provincial requirements are met when providing a professional service.


The reason this isn’t written in black and white for AMEs is because of the issues I have raised. AMEs didn’t conceive the name, Transport Canada did and they are the ones under pressure by the Provincial associations to change.

You know there are a lot of laws that are in the provincial jurisdiction that we must abide by no matter who we work for or under what jurisdiction our career is regulated.

You aren’t exempt from speeding laws because you work on airplanes….

I have spoken to tech's who say that a university student is useless round an aircraft.

Is that really surprising? Engineers aren’t trained to maintain airplanes. I could easily say than an AMT/AME is useless in a design office. Or you could say that a doctor is useless around airplanes too. This sort of comments really illustrates that maintainers don’t understand what an engineer does.
 
f86sabre
Posts: 87
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:22 pm

I’m an aerospace engineer in the boffin sense of the word. I do something similar to what FredT mentioned above. I use my Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering degree (structures major, fluid dynamics minor) to design repairs for airliners. I come up with the work steps and have to do a static stress analysis for my repairs (beam bending, pressure or ultimate loading, crippling, inter-rivet buckling and that kind of stuff). While designing an airframe repair I have to take into account strength, durability (fatigue), regulatory requirements, ease of accomplishment, time of accomplishment and part availability in basically that order. For a major repair the technician (no disrespect meant, this is just what these people are called at my company) may be presented with 2-10 pages of documentation from us detailing the work steps and any required repair figures. Behind that there may be 3-20 pages of analysis and justification for the repair decisions. I present this information as a bit of background.

Like most people who are posting here, I’m proud of my profession and have a passion for the work. I don’t pretend that I can go down and buck rivets and find a short in miles of wiring with my current schooling. Do I think I could do it with some training? I sure do. Do I think that some of the technicians I work with could do my job with some more time in school? I sure do. I’m lucky enough to work with some good people on both sides. I’ve seen the technicians do some really nice work and I’ve seen engineers come up with some really clever solutions. On the flip side of that, we do sometimes make things tough on the techs. We have them buck “D” rivets in 0.032” 737 skins and have them repair things that they think “are no big deal”. I have also seen enough mis-drilled fastener holes and repairs that had to come off because someone didn’t read the paper work to last me a life time.

So what am I trying to say in this rambling 2:00 AM rant? In a modern commercial aviation environment you need skilled people on both sides of the white collar / blue collar fence. Do I care that some people get to call themselves engineers when they did not have to suffer through differential equations and computational fluid dynamics? Maybe a little. Do I respect these people any less because they use a bucking bar to solve their problems? Nope.

So, what are the boffin type engineers called in Europe?

Best wishes,
F86sabre
 
MYT332
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:48 pm

Hey Kev it's alright, I dont actually wont to be an Engineer crazy as it sounds.

I was recommended to do this course by the head of school at uni because as of 2008 airlines will want pilots to actually know about the aircraft and it's limits etc not just be able to drive it. I mean if I don't get there then I always have a back up career in aero eng don't I? I trust the doctor who told me, he's reputable and our uni has close ties with Airbus. We have near enough guaranteed places there in 2006 if we want them. So I take it I would get my 'hands dirty' if I went there eh?

I don't have much of an ambition to get my hands dirty though and i'm wishing I just kept my original post simple like 777236ER's cos he is right. Engineers use maths.

One Life, Live it.
 
320tech
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:42 pm

Airplay:

Sorry...but I wasn't wrong.

I beg to differ. The Delegation Handbook from which you quote refers to DAR's etc, who are ***professional engineers***. Any professional engineer must meet the requirements of the province. Therefore, even though a professional engineer works in aviation, he/she must still meet the requirements of provincial law.

You aren’t exempt from speeding laws because you work on airplanes….

Very amusing, and totally irrelevant.

An AME is licensed by Transport Canada. Regardless of what your opinion is, I am perfectly within my rights to call myself an aircraft maintenance engineer. As long as I am not claiming to be a professional engineer, I am not violating provincial law. This, I might add, applies to every other person in Manitoba who isn't a P.Eng. Gas station attendants and McDonald's burger flippers are under the same legal constraint. (And I might add, they can't call themselves AME's and sign out aircraft, either.)

Now, at some point in the past, I'm sure that this thread was about the differences in skill and knowledge between American and European (do I dare say it?) engineers (oh, okay) technicians. Maybe we could get back to that.
The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
 
airplay
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:12 pm

320tech...I beg to differ.

Let's make it simple. Go ahead and open your own business and call it "320's Engineering" and incorporate it in the provinced of Manitoba. Feel free to call it "320's Aircraft Maintenance Engineering" if you wish.

Then place a nice advertisment in the telephone book under "engineers" or "engineering".

You will very quickly find out that you are in contradiction with provincial statutes just by using the words "engineer" or "engineering". Believe it or not, they also control the use of the word "consultant".

Any professional engineer must meet the requirements of the province.

Yes. That statement speaks volumes. If Transport Delegation doesn't preclude you from your provincial professional obligations, then why would being an AME preclude you from complying with the provincial law that regulates the use of the word "engineer"?

Yes...I fully understand that your license says "Aircraft Maintenance Engineer" and that you haven't (and won't) have any personal contact from APEGM telling you to cease and desist. They have however been actively campaigning for change at Transport Canada since it is them who use the term, and not you...unless of course you open your own business like I mentioned earlier.

The engineering association in the province of Quebec has successfully caused AMEs there to change their monikers. They are not allowed to officially use "ingénieur", the french version of the word "engineer". They are known as "TEA" which stands for "techniciens d’entretien d’aéronefs".

Its only a matter of time before TC changes AME to AMT across the board.
 
A/c train
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:20 am

Myt332, first things first, quit with the patronising ''eh'', doesnt do you any favours.
Secondly, im not into downgrading others professions or exaggerating the importance of one compared to another.
There is no difference in ''intelligence'' levels, or IQ levels between the designer and the time served AME, the qualifications I have, led me to being offered university places on honours degrees in Aerospace engineering courses.
This is were were different, I like to change fuel flow governors, engine run them and leak check them, under time constraints making sure all seals, unions and clamps are in place and torque tightened, you, design the clamp that holds it on, or design the temperature sensor on it, or maybe the pump if your extra special, hats off to you, bloody clever bits of kit hydromechanical fuel governors !!
There seems to be an assumption that the designer, worked harder, or, is a better mathmetician, therefore he earns the right to be called an ''engineer'', but the reality is, anyone who works on aircraft had the basic intelligence and 'o' levels/GCSE's to go the uni route anyway.
Ive seen many graduate engineers who gained a licence through exams and equivalent qualifications held, who have been talked under the table about aircraft, you know why? seeing is believing, aswell as experience.
Guys in the maintenance field, had the chance of being called the ''brains'' to design the stuff, but they decided to be the brains that kept the designs going and in some cases, saving the designs arses !!
Its a personal choice to what you wanna do, nobody, no matter if the sun shines from your arse, can say that its not all just pieces of the big puzzle down to the last check in agent. LAE's qualifications are the equivalent to a degree anyway, it has been recognised. just not enforced !! LOL
regards a/c

 
airplay
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:31 am

There seems to be an assumption that the designer, worked harder, or, is a better mathmetician, therefore he earns the right to be called an ''engineer'', but the reality is, anyone who works on aircraft had the basic intelligence and 'o' levels/GCSE's to go the uni route anyway.


I don't think that is the reality at all but I agree that maintenance persons consider this engineer/technician issue an attack on their esteem. It is not.

The designer/certifier has a much different job then the maintainer. They call on very different skill sets and neither is more important than the other mainly because they perform different roles.

 
kaddyuk
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:01 am

"Ive seen many graduate engineers who gained a licence through exams and equivalent qualifications held"

The grandfather rights have been removed... To get a licence, you HAVE to sit the CAA exams, no exemptions for previous qualifications...

 Smile
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
A/c train
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:34 am

Kaddyuk, thats not really what im getting at, some university degrees exempt you from sitting certain licence modules, you still have to sit all those that they dont exempt you from to gain a licence, when I say ''through exams'' I meant EASA part-66 exams. On the CAA website you'll find the exemptions for other qualifications held, you and me being from the same field, im sure they will piss you off aswell  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
regards a/c
 
kaddyuk
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:50 am

Hmmm... Yay, I can have a go at my lecturer now lol...

So has the EASA Part-66 come into effect yet? We are still sat around wondering if the JAA still exists...
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
A/c train
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Tue Oct 26, 2004 5:15 am

There is no more JAR-66, its all Part-66 exams, you also get told your percentage now aswell, I dont really wanna know it, as long as I pass I dont care if it was bang on 75% !!
 
kaddyuk
Posts: 3697
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Tue Oct 26, 2004 5:22 am

Yeah i noticed that on my last 2 exams...

Luckily for me they are in-house as well because virgin is Jar... Ooops sorry, PART-147 approved @ Catagory A.

I got 97.1% on my last one...

Again, I dont care what I get as long as I get over 75% hehe
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
wingscrubber
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RE: Maintenance Personell - US = Mechs, EU = Engineers

Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:12 am

I'm an aero. engineering student, in the design sense rather than maintenance. A whole number of different professions seem to get away with calling themselves 'engineers' these days, what we're told at uni is very distinct. An engineer (in the UK at least) is somebody with IEng (Incorporated) or CEng (Chartered) engineering status. Anybody without who claims to be is a mechanic/technician/electrician.

-Pete
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