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Question for aircraft mechanics

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by bigjbear, May 8, 2004.

  1. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    This question doesn’t really apply to you guys in the military, no offense but you don’t need a license for what you do. How did you get your A&P? Did you go through a school or was it OJT? I’ve been an avionics technician for about a dozen years, but the way things are currently going it looks like I need to get an A&P if I want to stay in this line of work and get paid a decent wage. After I got laid off I started going to an A&P school and so far I haven’t learned much that I couldn’t have gotten by reading a book. OTOH, I’ve only be at it for just over a month so I’m hopeful that this will improve shortly. We have begun doing more practical work already, but it seems we have some people in the class that are more interested in being disruptive or sleeping than in learning. The sleepers wouldn’t bother me but when they wake up they want everything retaught. I am wondering if I would be better off doing volunteer work at a small air field and then studying on my own and taking the test. The school is expensive but I consider it an investment in my future. Also, My G.I. Bill pays a good part of the tuition. Right now I plan on continuing w/ the school because I haven’t been impressed by some work I’ve seen in general aviation hangers that allow guys to OJT. I really want to get this right because I plan to say in aviation for a long time. Thanks guys.
     
  2. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    I'm not an A&P but I have a lot of friends who are and one who is an instructor at a school. Anyhow, from what they say all classes are like that because of all the job retraining going on for lowlife scumbags who have sued thier employers for phony workers comp claims and are just going through the hoops to get the settlement when they will drop out of the business for the most part anyways. These scumbags are just taking up space and yes... when they wake up they want it all retaught. Been there done that in a technical trade school that I attended. I wanted to learn it all but the class could only go as fast as the slowest dumbass.

    Thing is, you will make it through and get your ticket and then find a good job working for someone with some class that will allow you to learn with hands on experience. If you really want to do it right, work for a Drop Zone for a while when you first get out. Our jump planes are under constant service because of the tough climate they operate in. Our planes are constantly in a climbing situation. Something that most aircraft don't go through. Most climb for a short time then level out and cruise. Ours climp to 13,000 feet, drop the load and then circle down for the next round. They do that all day long day in and day out. So it's really hard on the planes and they have to be kept in super great condition to keep them flying....

    I know people who have gone to school and people who have worked thier way up to it in an OJT situation. It's a lot faster getting your ticket in a class than it is working for someone. You see, they don't want to have to pay you higher wages for that ticket any earlier than they have to, so they hold you back on your training and it could take 3 years to get your ticket.
     
  3. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the inspration /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    I guess I should have kind of expected it "These scumbags are just taking up space and yes..." & "I wanted to learn it all but the class could only go as fast as the slowest dumbass." I've seen the same thing in other places as well, I just didn't believe it would be here as well. Most guys I have met out in the feild w/ their licences act very profesional. Maybe I just expected them to start out that way too. Back to school tomorrow and I'm feeling good again.

    (The FAA say OJT will take at least three years so this will definatly be faster. It's an 18 month course and I have completed one month already. I'm working w/ the school to test out of all the electronics classes since I can prove experience for those segements. That would knock off another month.)

    BTW, avation is a great field to work in (when you're working) for those of you looking for a job. If you arn't a hack and you have your A&P there is always work to be had. If I had gotten mine when I first got out of the military I wouldn't be laid off right now!
     
  4. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    I'm trying to get mine right now. I've got the Airframe permission slip, due to my military MOS and the amount of time I was in it (10 years). The Phila. FSDO absolutely REFUSED to give me the Powerplant slip though, even though I've got plenty of documentation of Powerplant experience. I later found out that he's notorious for making things difficult for former military guys using their experience to get permission slips for the tests. I'm gonna have to try another FSDO, or possibly even go to a school and sit through classes on stuff I taught to younger Marines when I was in... GRRRRRRR... /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  5. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    It amazes me how little Military experience counts in the civilian world. You can have 600 military jumps and when you get out, not one of them count in sport skydiving. Go figure...
     
  6. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I was told I would be given authorization to take the Airframe portion based on my experience. Funny thing is I felt more confident on the powerplants portion /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif The "A" definatly seems easier to get. Monday we started a new module w/ a different instructor. That has made a difference. A couple people are gone already and the class seems more focused. I think I'll be a more well rounded AMT going the school route. Now I just need to get a job to pay the bills while I'm in school.
     
  7. mogas

    mogas 1/2 ton status

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    I was an airframe mech in the Navy and I documented all the work I did and had appropriate sign offs from cross training. Since I was low power turn qualified (allowed to run an aircraft engine up to 75 percent) I spent alot of time in the engine shop. When I went to the FAA I had all my certifications, a letter from my maintenance officer, but the most important thing to the feds was my OJT log showing a minimum of 30 months combined airframe and powerplant training, and at the time I had a little over five years experience. They gave me my General, Airframes, add Powerplants "Airman's authorization for written test" slips and then I bought the study guides and when the testers came to our base I paid the fees and took the tests.
    I had to schedule my practical tests on my own with a tester and go to Seattle for that,but I was in Oak Harbor WA at the timeso it wasn't too far.

    I kind of did it the hard way and this was in '92 before the internet and all that so it was alot of legwork, I used to work at the FBO in Flagstaff but he didn't pay well and I haven't used it since. I am thinking of doing some freelance work at the private hangars here though, inspections and easy money stuff /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif to suppliment my regular income.

    That's one of the cool things about the A&P is that you don't have to re-cert. So I can jump back into it. It's mine until suspended, surrendered or revoked.
     
  8. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Yep, it’s more of a direct cross over someone in your line of work. Most of my practical experience is electrical/avionics. I was able to add up all my stints in sheet metal and count "systems" work as time, that's why they gave me authorization to test for the "A" (& of course the general, too). I could have gone that way but honestly my sheet metal skill are lacking. I've seen guys get hired for one job and end up being needed for another and the employer says "Well we hired you as an A&P, if you can't do it then we don't need you. (One place actually tried to do this to me as well but when I mentioned the fact I didn't have either they found something else for me to do. That was the only time not having a license was a plus.) I don't want to get fired or have my license suspended, so I decided my best bet was to go though school for both. The school I chose has three options; 1) "A" only, 2) "P" only, or 3) the full course. I didn't really need the general stuff, other than the test guide, but since "A" only and "P" only's total cost were the same as the whole course I went that route. It will make a good refresher.

    If I realized that I would have wanted to keep doing this after I got out of the Marine Corps I would have worked at getting cross trained while I was still in. I decided I want to make a career of airplanes after I quit working on them. So now I get to pay for it. At least the G.I.Bill picks up most of the cost.
     

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