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I am looking for an A&P that would be willing to "take me under his wing". I want to learn how to work on old taildraggers and learn what I need to so I can get my A&P. As I understand it, one need not waste several years in school but can work under someone with a license for two years as an equivalent. I have no interest in working on jets or helicopters, only the fun planes. Anyone on here have any advice or ideas? Anyone looking for some help? Anything would be appreciated. Oh yeah, I am willing to relocate.
And before anyone tells me that I'm not gonna get rich doing that, I know that already. Right now, I work with computers and am so burned out on them in general. I want to do something more fulfilling.
It takes a minimum of 3 years apprenticeship to get your A&P. Several type 147 schools will have you out in 18 months. Plus, you can get a part-time job working at an airport, like I did.
My experience is that the 3 years apprenticeship doesn't do the best job in producing a "well-rounded" A&P candidate who knows theory as well as the other diverse stuff you have to know, like turbines and the general subjects.
Look seriously into a community college based program. They are cheaper than the dedicated A&P schools, on the whole.
10-26-2003, 07:50 AM
I thought it was two years but I could be wrong. I was on the community college waiting list for two years. Finally went to the dedicated school. Still paying back student loans. It's a pain to go to school full time and make a living. If I had it to do over again and could find a decent place to work I would get my A&P on the job. School teaches you basic theory yadayadayada. If I wanted to be a more well rounded person I would have stayed in college and taken those art appreciation courses and all that stuff. I worked for the Confederate Air Force on Sat and Sun while in A&P school. I learned more from the old timers than the $15,000 school ever thought of teaching. To me all an A&P school does is give you an A&P license to learn.
10-26-2003, 08:22 AM
I agree Steve. If you want to spend time and learn about theory go to school and get your AP. The time requirements for on the job training is 18 months for airframe or 18 months powerplant or a combined 30 months to be eligible to write the test and take the oral and practical. The time requirements are at 40 hours a week. The quality of your education will always depend on how much you put into it and the quality of the instructors. The problem that I see is the FAA is pushing more theory and less practical experience at school. There is no substitute for time spent working on aircraft and learning from someone with experience.
10-26-2003, 08:57 AM
My first job out of school was working for a guy rebuilding wrecks. He got mad when I had to look at the Cessna 210 cowling for a minute before removing it. Hell the school I went to didn't have any cowlings. The engines were either on worn out airframes with none or run up stands. Another good reason to learn in the field.
I've looked into this to. Here in KC, the school is 5pm - midnight 4 days a week for 18 months with some Saturday's I think. It is the minimum time, that is all I know, but it is more time than I can commit - that is for sure!
I started working on my own planes a year or two ago and started keeping a mechanic log book. I have learned a lot about the planes I want to work on, but at this rate it will take me 15 years. If I was retired, I would probably take the classes (since I like that kind of thing anyway), and THEN I would go get all the experience.
Just like the pilot's license, the A&P license is just the ticket to get in the door and learn something. If you can find a mentor to help you through the other route, GREAT!
Aside from the old question " are you really sure you want to do this?" The absolute worst thing you can do when asking if someone will take you under their wing is to state " Cause I want to start my own business. " kinda like all the crop duster wannabe's getting on the ag sites and asking for somebody to take them under their wing and teach them everything and then state "cause I wanna start my own business". ( in other words teach me how to be your competition)
having said all that, Send me a PM if you are serious.
10-26-2003, 06:11 PM
One of the folks at my old airport enrolled in the A&P program at Guilford Technical College in Greensboro, NC. She stuck it out for about a year, but eventually dropped out. Her chief concern was that she wasn't learning as much as she knew she should be, and she felt this was because too many of the other students were young and unfocused. She made frequent comments about the instructors having to babysit the students. Based on her remarks, it would be best to visit several classrooms, perhaps for several hours at a time, to gauage the level of instruction.
10-26-2003, 06:24 PM
I went to school with a bunch of losers. There were a few good people but most were more concerned with partying and such. Their plan was to get their A&P and get hired by the majors making big bucks. Made for a not so good learning experience. I was really frowned upon when I asked questions, especially about radial engines.
10-26-2003, 07:37 PM
[quote="Steve Pierce"]There were a few good people but most were more concerned with partying and such.
I resemble that remark :drinking:
One of the positive by-products of going the community college route is that it makes you accustomed to being poor. One of the greatest job-skill attributes of becoming a "good" A&P, imho.
The skill of divorcing yourself from the "need" to make money will pay off in the long run, however you choose to become a "craftsman" of flying machines.
I hear you on that one. I've been poor pretty much all my life so it won't be too much of a shock!
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