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.
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
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
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,
Edit for typo
[Edited 2004-10-21 19:24:03]