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cancidas
Topic Author
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:03 pm

recently i have been thinking a lot about getting my A&P rating while i'm studying at a school that offers such a course. right now i'm in a bachelors program for airport managment. woudl this be a wise choice? one of my nucles was an A&P for panam and loved his job. i'm thinking that this would be a backup for my airport managment goal, which is a backup for my flying career.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
air2gxs
Posts: 1443
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 1:29 pm

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:10 pm

A & P is a 2-3 year commitment depending on where you study and if you get a degree to go along with it. Kind of a big commitment for a back-up to a back-up. If you want a career in flying the time is probably better spent actually flying.
 
dl757md
Posts: 1483
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 9:32 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:47 am

I have to agree with Air2gxs. I'm not sure I'd encourage someone to get their A&P right now even if it was their primary goal. They'd have to understand the prospects of some combination of low pay, bad hours, job insecurity, high responsibility, likelihood of having to relocate...It's not for everybody. Right now there aren't very many good jobs available and there's not much to indicate that that is going to change anytime soon. Stick with the flying route. Your chances of needing a backup are decreased if you singlemindedly pursue your primary goal.

Dl757md
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
 
ordflyer
Posts: 498
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:08 pm

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:08 am

I'll also agree with the two above comments. I was seriously considering going for my A&P to be my backup to flying, in addition to the business degree that I am working on. In the end however, it just didn't make sense to spend the extra time and money to invest in something that I might never use. Granted I think the coursework would have been interesting, and the knowledge is great to have, but after hearing so much about long hours with low pay and loads of responsibility it didn't seem so appealing.
 
n801dm
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:50 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 7:10 am

I will also agree with ORD and Dl757. With the amount of laid-off airline mechanics right now the A&P career has a large amount of people on the steets. When a company is looking for technicians they can pick the most experienced guys and not have to pay them higher wages. I would stick with your management degree and enjoy the flying while you can.

Safe Flying!

 
cancidas
Topic Author
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:01 am

actually, another reason for me to get one is my family's desire to get an airplane. whatever we get it's not going to be new. i figured that if i had the A&P i'd be able to do all mx on our airplane on my own.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
n801dm
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:50 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:20 am

That will definitely help keep the mx costs down on your aircraft. There is nothing better than having an airplane that you take pride in ownership in. I am extremely lucky that I only work on the same aircraft everyday.

Safe flying!
 
dl757md
Posts: 1483
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 9:32 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:47 am

Having an A&P will definitely help you maintain your plane more economically. But would the return on your investment be positive? The thousands that you spend on the A&P would take a while to recover. Remember you're only saving labor costs. Another thing is liability. If you do become a pilot and make a good living at it. Let's say one day you're flying your plane and have a mechanical problem and someone gets hurt. You could be liable since you performed the mx. You could lose everything!
Another consideration is that if you go through A&P training while still in school for flying/management you could delay the completion of those curriculum and possibly miss out on hiring opportunities in those fields. There will be time to acquire an A&P after you have established your career in aviation if you still desire.

Dl757md
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
 
Buzz
Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:44 pm

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:52 pm

Hi Cancidas, Buzz here. I'd advise you to get the A+P ticket only if you're in love with airplanes, want to get both hands dirty working inside one, and have an urge to tinker on anything that doesn't work right wherever you are.

If you want it for the glory, or money... those are the wrong reasons.As a back-up if other jobs don't work out... you need to stay current in maintenance.

3 nights ago i was working on an Airbus, 767, and 757 for UAL. Yes, i work nights. 2 days ago i was replacing brake cables on a 1946 Aeronca Champ and looking at the sky trying to decide if i should fly or not (the correct answer was 'no' - get home for dinner) Today i was washing a 1943 DC-3 (OK, an R4D) and fixing a couple gripes from the check i did last week. I prefer playing with classic airplanes.

Some people simply want to fly aircraft. Some people can fix and fly. They tend to understand more, are "real" airplane people.

I could send you a humorous comparison of the differences between "Sky-God" airline pilots and the Mechanics who give them the ability to fly. One night at work we started making a list of the differences between "them" and "us" (grin)

g'nite
Buzz Fuselsausage: Line Mechanic by night, DC-3 Crew Chief by choice, taildragger pilot for fun.
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9865
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:11 pm

Im going for my A&P right now regardless of how the industry is doing currently. Alot changes between now and 2 years from now so you never know whats gonna happen. I just want to get my A&P ticket and get it over with.

Also I would work for anyone regardless of how much I would be paid, I just love airplanes way too much. Big thumbs up
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2844
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:44 am

"They'd have to understand the prospects of some combination of low pay, bad hours, job insecurity, high responsibility, likelihood of having to relocate..."

Sounds just like being a pilot! Big thumbs up

Just proves my theory. Aviation is the best and most addictive drug in the world. AirframeAS echoed my sentiments exactly. I didn't know how much money the pilots at the top made until I started school. A lot has changed since then but I decided I enjoy flying way too much to stop now. I'd say do it if you want to. If you have the means to pay for it, and can afford to be without work for a little while(many of the programs here in the US are very intensive, 8 hour per day, 5 day per week types) the reward of knowing more about the subject you love could be great. A friend of mine owns his own aircraft and the money he saves doing his own work allows him to own it.
DMI
 
G4Doc2004
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:49 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:43 am

"I'd advise you to get the A+P ticket only if you're in love with airplanes, want to get both hands dirty working inside one, and have an urge to tinker on anything that doesn't work right wherever you are."

Buzz has the key here.

Maintaining the family airplane is a good reason as well, but an A&P with IA authorization will still have to sign off the annual inspections, which is usually the highest cost on the maintenence of a small aircraft, due to labor time and parts costs.
"Failure to prepare is preparing to fail"--Benjamin Franklin
 
avioniker
Posts: 1100
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:38 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:30 am

Please let me throw my hat in the ring with Buzz and G4doc and I'd like to add one more thing.
If you have an A&P you must continue to document 6 of the previous 24 months doing maintenance to satisfy the currency requirements or that card is just an extra thickener in your wallet. I have to deal with a number of desk jockies who've never worked on a plane or haven't had any association with maintenance outside of a class and the first thing they invariably tell me when introduced is "I'm an A&P too". No they're not.
If you don't need it don't waste your time getting an extra merit badge.
Airport management has its own set of problems. Be proud doing a good job there.
 Smile/happy/getting dizzy
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
LMP737
Posts: 6156
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Tue Sep 21, 2004 7:11 am

Avioniker:

Very well put. I've actually known a maintenance supervisor or two that has never turned a wrench on a live aircraft before. Funny how things work in the aircraft maintenance field.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
cancidas
Topic Author
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:56 am

what i'm gathering from you all is that i ought to start working asap and then worrying about my A&P once we have our airplane. very good idea everyone, especially as i'm having trouble even covering tuition for my APM degree.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
LineMechQX
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 6:02 pm

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:35 am

For me getting an A&P was fun, and I enjoy having it, and I enjoy using it at my job. If I had to do it over again though, I would not have done it as my career.

Late
PC
 
dl1011
Posts: 315
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 6:42 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:15 am

I would not recommend an A&P career to anyone. Wages and benefits are in free fall. Working nights with tuesday/wed off gets old after a few years. The airline that I work for used to be a GREAT place to work but now I dislike it. It has been a great experience and I'm glad I had the opportunity but it's really not worth it anymore. If someone wants an A&P to work on the family plane or as a hobby then I would say go ahead. I have 3 buddies that are auto mechanics and all 3 earn more then me, are home at night and on the weekends.

That's my 2 cents worth!

Cheers!
 
Guest

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:03 am

Keep in mind that one day you will be 35-40 y.o.

Looking at yet another layoff............only this time with a mortgage and a family.

Looking at starting over again at yet another airline (ie. bottom of the pay scale..........if you are lucky enough to find another position...............oh, and having to move your family yet again).

Looking at any pension/retirement benefits accrued at your previous employer evaporate.

This is reality..............not any "pie-in-the-sky-I-just-luv-aviation" dreams of youth.

Be smart.............move on...........become a lawyer, civil engineer, anything.............make some coin and buy your own airplane. If you like working with tools..........learn to repair BMWs or fix hospital equipment (both very lucrative).

I'm sure that there are a few Braniff, PanAm, Eastern, USAir, United, Continental, Hawaiian,.......... etc. etc. A&P mechanics whom have had so many "Life Alternating Events" that they wish they had never considered aviation as a career.

Let's just name the three large 121 operators whom have never had a lay off and/or bankrupcy...FedEx, UPS, Southwest.........it's a much shorter list. And, in case you are counting, that is less than 10,000 A&P mechanics that are "relatively" safe from bankrupcy and getting laid off.

Don't do it.........don't do it.........don't do it.........don't do it.




 
JetMechMD80
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 2:27 pm

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:51 pm

I have to throw my 2 cents worth in,

The Benifits,

1. You will meet and work with some of the finest people you will encounter anywhere.

2. Depending on what part of the field you end up in, it can be a new challange every day.
A. Line Maintenance, something old, and something new every day.

3. If you follow the right path, and get lucky along the way, the pay can be very good.

4. I can not put into words, the feeling of satisfaction I get, from fixing a problem, and seeing the "wheels go into the hole", that feeling has never gone away.

5. The first time you Taxi, something like a 757, is quite a rush, and after doing it for years, bringing it to the gate is still enjoyable.

6. The travel benifits.


Now the drawbacks,

1. Pay, if you are not at the right place, at the right time, you can, and most likely will spend many years earning a sub-standard wage.

2. Working nights, expect to spend years doing this.

3. Working Holidays, see above.

4. The grind, when you start out, you will most likely start working in Heavy Check. They hand you a card, and you go at it, most of it is removal, cleaning, etc...They are not going to let a newbie rig flight controls. As you progress and show them you are compitent, expect bigger and more complecated jobs.

5. The hazards Chenical reactions, Hearing loss, Carpel-tunnel, busted knuckles, and sore backs. The older you get the worse it gets.

6. Fuel tanks, working in them sucks.

7. Pressure, too many people who do not have any clue, as to what you do, or how you do it, trying to get you to move faster, or calling to ask "how Long", when a aircraft is AOG.

8. Unstable job. If you can make it with the same airline for 5+ years, consider yourself lucky.

9. Relocation, if you like moving, no problem, if not, don't be a A&P.

Well, that about sums it up for me, if I had more time, I am sure I could think of some more Pro's and Con's. I will leave you with this, my son wanted to follow in my footsteps, I talked him out of it. He still wanted to be a mechainic. So I sent him to Automotive school. He got his ASE. It has worked out great for both of us, unlike me, if he is unhappy with where he works, there are a couple of hundred places for him to work, without having to move. He is paid well. He does not work nights, or holidays, and If I need something done to my car, I give it to him and he does it. I save bigtime on this.  Smile
"I get along great with nobody"~ Billy Idol
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Considering Getting My A&P, Should I?

Mon Sep 27, 2004 10:49 pm

Also don´t forget AIDS, the Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome (BTW, this also applies to pilots and F/As). All the odd hours we work often cause breakups of relations.
I´ve got to say that my pay is good (I wouldn´t complain if I could get more though  Wink/being sarcastic ), but the continous night shifts and the weekend work suck.
Every time I want to see my friends (who are working regularly during the week) I´ve gort to use a few days of my annual leave (most work for our station obn weekends, when the planes based here are parked and get their scheduled maintenance, A-checks, lube jobs, repairs of deferred items, done and the boss wants to have as many people around on friday, saturday and sunday.
Plus the work outside in all kinds of weather (I positively hate winter!).
In maybe another 15-20 years I will try to become an instructor, teaching aircraft.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi

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