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Good A&P School In AZ Or SW US?

Tue May 19, 2009 2:36 am

So I'm still working on my CFII (probably wont be done till July) and as you all know there ain't crap for flying jobs out there. So I was thinking about possibly getting my A&P certificate. I'm a huge gear-head and don't mind getting my hands greasy and oily (I've done MAJOR repairs/upgrades on cars several times). A week ago on a slow day at work I was sent down to our MX hangar and they let me help out on performing an MX "event" on one of our PA-44's. I changed the spark-plugs, re-rigged some cables, and did some other basic stuff. I really enjoyed it and I definitely could see myself doing that for a job while the whole pilot hiring mess sorts itself out, heck maybe even as a carrier.

I graduated last semester with a BS in Aeronautical Science (yes yes, roll your eyes, I'm still glad I did it regardless  talktothehand  ). I'm pretty sure I could transfer a lot of my credits that I've already taken. I'm really hoping I can avoid having to take math and physics again, because I'm TERRIBLE with numbers. If I have to take calculus or advanced physics again that would pretty much be a deal breaker for me.

Anyways, the mechanic I was talking to said I'd be an idiot to not get my A&P and that it's a good back up, not too mention relatively inexpensive especially if taken at some community college (then again, anything is dirt cheap compared to riddle  faint  ) . He's a CFI at my school too but he only has one student and he gets paid much more by working on our planes. So I've been looking into it.

I'm currently at PRC and I know there's several A&P schools down in the PHX valley. I was wondering which would be a good one to go to, I'd also consider going to somewhere in CA, NM, UT or CO.

Any suggestions for this amateur wrench bender?  blush 

Thx in advance!  wave 
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RE: Good A&P School In AZ Or SW US?

Tue May 19, 2009 1:54 pm

I havn't had a lot of contact with western schools, I've know a few that went to Colorado Aero Tech. They were good mechanics, so it might be worth looking into. If you already have an Aero Sci (Riddle?) you don't need to get another degree with your A&P. All you really need is the AMT classes. Nobody is going to care if you have an Assoc degree in aircraft maint. I've noticed the programs attached to a degree take at least 18 months, while ones that just get you a A&P are about 15 months.
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RE: Good A&P School In AZ Or SW US?

Tue May 19, 2009 7:02 pm

Relatively inexpensive? Relative to fighting cancer without insurance, maybe. . . Count on spending at least twice what your PPL cost. It is a minimum of 13 months (FAA rules. . .) after all. You certainly don't need riddle or any other name school, or a degree to get a job. But do not make the mistake of assuming it will be cheap.

As a back-up to a piloting career? Let me just say this. Stuff always looks greener on the other side. A day hanging out with your buds, putting in some new plugs or timing mags is not the same as dealing with a**hole leads trying to bully you into signing off questionable work day in, day out, or getting stuck out in a WX condtion trying to troublshoot, comntinuity test, etc, all manner of crap on a bird that needed to leave three hours ago.

So just don't work for an airline then, you're probably thinking. Fine, but that's where most of the money is when you're starting out. GA and corporate generally won't pay much over minimum wage unless you have some real experience to bring to the table, and like being a pilot, job security is a total farce. Hell it's probably worse for us since our unions do not have the same teeth that groups like APA do (Not that they should... experience has taught me that labor is often a root of a company's problem, not a symptom, but that's another story. . .)

Bottom line, do it if you really think that's what you might like to do for a career. But if you're just "hanging out" until the weather gets better for pilots, think about something else. It's not as much fun as you think, it's expensive as hell to get into, and we can smell pilots and wannabe piltos a mile away. Life in the hangar is not often fun for those guys. Sorry to piss in your cereal, but I think you should have the whole picture before you throw real money at this.
Base not your happiness on the deeds of others, for what is given can be taken away. No Hope = No Fear
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RE: Good A&P School In AZ Or SW US?

Tue May 19, 2009 7:05 pm

Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Mesa, Arizona has an EXCELLENT AMT program there. Passing requirement is 77% or higher and has a very high standard in the country! I graduated from there and I really do recommend it. It is on the campus of the ASU PolyTechnic. Plus, it is on an airport setting at IWA!  Smile

Again, it is a great, great school. The Dean of Aviation is actually a MX inspector at US Airways.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.

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