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Thread: "Owner Maintenance" in the US?

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    "Owner Maintenance" in the US?

    News revealed by the the Administrator at Oshkosh

    Elwell announced a very exciting prospect for the legacy fleet. For older aircraft not being used for commercial purposes, owners will be able to exchange the standard airworthiness certificate for a special airworthiness certificate ó similar to certificates held by experimental aircraft. "That means the owner will be able to install lower-cost, safety-enhancing equipment ó the kind that is widely available for the experimental market ó without an STC or 337." Such a change would also have the potential to expand the ability to substitute for parts that are no longer available, and perhaps even the ability for owners to perform additional maintenance on their aircraft.
    For this category, Elwell noted that there would likely be "tradeoffs," such as not flying for compensation or hire and not flying in Canada. EAA is working to understand this last point better, as Canada has a program for its legacy fleet that eases maintenance and equipment burdens as well.
    Elwell did not announce a date for the proposed rule to be released, but promised that it would be "worth the wait." He went on to say that as always, the FAA's priority is safety, and the GA community needs to be focused on this yearís higher-than-usual accident rate. Nevertheless, his remarks were received as exciting news for the future of GA certification and aircraft ownership.


    https://eaa.org/eaa/news-and-publica...BFaU0ifQ%3D%3D

    He also mentioned a weight increase as well an increase to four seats for LSAís

    Got me thinking about the trade offs on my own airplane.
    Steve Pierce

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    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Wow. Didnít see that coming. I bet the FAA would love to unload the burden of a percentage of GA.


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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    An "owner maintenance" category IMHO would be a mixed blessing.
    On one hand-- wow! I can put those BF Goodrich monster mudders on my factory airplane without a field approval.
    One the other hand, it might change buying a factory airplane like a SC or 180 into the same situation as buying an experimental airplane,
    designed by who knows who, and built by who knows who, using who knows what materials or parts.
    At the least, I think putting a factory airplane into any sort of owner maintenance category is gonna affect it's resale value, and not in a good way.
    Anyone with experience with OM airplanes in Canada wanna chime in?
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Wow. Didn’t see that coming. I bet the FAA would love to unload the burden of a percentage of GA.
    They have essentially de-emphasized GA and now focus on 121 and 135 here. Without approval action mods and alterations have become history and are valuable. For some we now search for 337's prior to 10/1/55 as approved data.

    Gary

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    There is no NPRM out yet, so at least 5 years to go through rulemaking. Donít hold your breath.


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    Ok, I won't hold my breath but I will begin fostering a ray of hope. I sell many non-standard parts to customers in Canada. I often envy what they can do to their planes without the hassle. Yes it can effect the selling price but guess what, they are out doing what we all love to do with there planes. And in my opinion, doing it safer and more efficiently. JM2C
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    brown bear's Avatar
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    This makes it sound like the light spot change has to be done by 2023 ??
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY1PttWHEqc
    Last edited by brown bear; 08-09-2019 at 06:14 PM.
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    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kustatan View Post
    .... And in my opinion, doing it safer and more efficiently. JM2C
    Each to owns opinion, but I donít see how this would make if any safer.

    A owner maintained experimental by nature of the build or the purchase assumes some degree of willingness by the owner to want to maintain it.

    A owner maintained previously-certified aircraft may very well lend itself to owners that are just looking for a cheap annual... and may not maintain it at all....

    Just another viewpoint .


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    Yeah, but the ability to put LED strobes, GPS and attitude instruments, and maybe less expensive ADS-B on a Cub is an exciting prospect. It is clear that the FSDO is not delighted to be fooling with us - I have been three months trying to get a meeting to discuss a few field approvals. And these guys seem to like me!

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    Increasing the gross weight for LSA aircraft would be a huge plus.

    aircraft like the J-5 would increase in value overnight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Each to owns opinion, but I don’t see how this would make if any safer.

    A owner maintained experimental by nature of the build or the purchase assumes some degree of willingness by the owner to want to maintain it.

    A owner maintained previously-certified aircraft may very well lend itself to owners that are just looking for a cheap annual... and may not maintain it at all....

    Just another viewpoint .


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    There you go assuming that everyone with an IA does a thorough job and finds/repairs all the problems.

    Seen many a plane with multiple issues come out of 'good' mechanic's shops. Know your mechanic, with or without the A&P it is a crap shoot- pun intended.
    (No disrespect to those that do a good job, but there are bozos in all professions)
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    fwSAR's Avatar
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    Agree that this sort of thing would definitely be at least a consideration at resale... but I don't think it significantly changes the game. Talk to anyone and they'll recommend a thorough prebuy over trusting the "complete logs" and "fresh annual" on a certified plane. A seller can get a pencil whipped annual under the current rules and try to sell a plane that is airworthy in name only.

    I think this change would just underscore the point of getting a thorough prebuy done by an A&P who really knows the aircraft and knows what to look for... if you do that, hopefully they would be able to tell if the owner maintenance/mods have been done well and what condition the plane is in regardless!

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    [QUOTE=Farmboy;752319]Each to owns opinion, but I donít see how this would make if any safer.

    Yeah, but the ability to put LED strobes, GPS and attitude instruments, and maybe less expensive ADS-B on a Cub.

    So those items do not make us safer?

    I remember the issues we had with adding shoulder harnesses. We had to pull them before the annual because they were not TSO'd.

    I do not seem to read much about non-certified parts killing people. I for one would like to see the FAA concentrate it's efforts on the true causes of accidents. Flying into MOC, low time pilots trying to do high time flying, ect.
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    C-FIJK's Avatar
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    Hey there I don't know a whole lot about it , but if your plane is on the eligible list and has a valid c of a you can deregister it to owner maintenance, from that time on your airframe gets a BIG X stamped on the data tag , so does the engine and prop , it can never go back to being certified and id say loose half the value of your aircraft ! after that you have many restrictions and I believe can carry one passenger and no trans boarder flights into Canada or USA.


    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    An "owner maintenance" category IMHO would be a mixed blessing.
    On one hand-- wow! I can put those BF Goodrich monster mudders on my factory airplane without a field approval.
    One the other hand, it might change buying a factory airplane like a SC or 180 into the same situation as buying an experimental airplane,
    designed by who knows who, and built by who knows who, using who knows what materials or parts.
    At the least, I think putting a factory airplane into any sort of owner maintenance category is gonna affect it's resale value, and not in a good way.
    Anyone with experience with OM airplanes in Canada wanna chime in?
    Gerry Marcil

    Every day spent flying is a great day !

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    [QUOTE=Kustatan;752355]
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Each to owns opinion, but I donít see how this would make if any safer.

    I do not seem to read much about non-certified parts killing people. I for one would like to see the FAA concentrate it's efforts on the true causes of accidents. Flying into MOC, low time pilots trying to do high time flying, ect.
    Not to mention how many cotterpins have been left out of the throttle arm. There have been way to many internal engine oil related issues and part failures that trace directly to a rebuild, many times factory work.
    Way to many licensed mechanics making little mistakes with big consequences.

    I also would like to see the numbers up in Canada before and after their rules changed. I have sure not heard it is more dangerous than before.

    And yes there is a possibility the market value may be lower on an owner maintained plane. But it could well be just the opposite since the yearly cost of maintaining a plane will be considerably less money.

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    txpacer's Avatar
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    In those few instances where you can do a direct comparison between experimental and factory built (Cubs and Pitts, for example), the homebuilts always have a lower sales price. Insurance companies don't like experimental so much, either.
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    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    There you go assuming that everyone with an IA does a thorough job and finds/repairs all the problems.
    Actually I was referring more to the attitude of the customer/owner than that of an A&P. I know many many customers....


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    this would be a title NimpoCub's Avatar
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    COPA thought the resale value would be lower, but they found that not to be the case.
    Insurance is the same for OM as cert.
    Nimpo Lake Logan... boonie SuperCubber
    200mi (300km) from nearest stoplight... just right! - "Que hesitatus fornicatus est"
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Some owner assisted maintenance is good experience for pilots. But I still like having someone that does it most every day inspect and maintain mine. I've also seen more than a few A&P owned airplanes with deferred maintenance...the painter's house and plumber's pipes are sometimes the last to be dealt with.

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by txpacer View Post
    In those few instances where you can do a direct comparison between experimental and factory built (Cubs and Pitts, for example), the homebuilts always have a lower sales price. Insurance companies don't like experimental so much, either.
    Quite true but this has many more factors than to do with maintenance procedures. I have known many homebuilts that have been solely maintained by an A&P, but I doubt that did anything for the aircraft's value. There has long been the mystique that an experimental aircraft is inferior.
    Is it fair today to say an RV or Lancair is inferior to a production plane with a similar engine? Not to me, but that is a personal opinion.

    Is it fair to say any of Jay Javron's products are inferior to a Piper produced part or aircraft? I do not think so. Yes the timeframe is not equal but the product can be pretty close to a pair of apples off different trees.

    I personally would pay more for Jay's product, I doubt I am alone.

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    supercrow's Avatar
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    I certainly can see the A to Z angles of this topic and some good points are being made. I think for the most part the exp. parts manufacturers are building as good and in many cases better than original materials. I think the value of the exp, will continue to rise ( more so for cub type planes than some others) and agree that they are only as good as the builders. On that note, we have all seen rebuilt cubs that don't meet the quality of the original maker. We all have to find good people to examine out work and inspect if possible before major purchases are made. I am an A&P/IA and I fly my own exp. cub type craft for many reasons; but the main one is not being restricted to TC's and STC's to create the airplane I want to fly. I try to do good work no matter what I am working on and I know people who are not certified mechanics who I would rank right up there in ability to do safe work. Some of the unknowns in aircraft, unfortunately, are a crap shoot unless you really do your homework seriously. Just my 2 cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by txpacer View Post
    In those few instances where you can do a direct comparison between experimental and factory built (Cubs and Pitts, for example), the homebuilts always have a lower sales price. Insurance companies don't like experimental so much, either.
    My opinion is that your comments are incorrect. The Cubs fetching the highest prices are experimental. And as the owner of one of that category airplane? My insurer has no issue with it. It's just a matter of aircraft value and number of seats.

    Most private owner-operators have been doing owner maintenance for a long time. The feds may as well decriminalize it because there's no compelling reason to prosecute it.
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    txpacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    My opinion is that your comments are incorrect. The Cubs fetching the highest prices are experimental. And as the owner of one of that category airplane? My insurer has no issue with it. It's just a matter of aircraft value and number of seats.

    Most private owner-operators have been doing owner maintenance for a long time. The feds may as well decriminalize it because there's no compelling reason to prosecute it.
    My statement holds if you're comparing planes with similar times, equipment and condition. Of course, a new Javron with all the goodies will fetch more than a ratty old factory Super Cub. Show me a Wag Aero Cub built identically to a nice J-3 that will bring more money. For better or worse, there is a value penalty for being experimental.

    As far as insurance goes, we're insuring two Cubs, one factory, one experimental, for the same coverage with the same pilots. The factory plane has open coverage. The experimental is named only and $300 more.
    Last edited by txpacer; 08-11-2019 at 11:33 AM.
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    15 years ago I would have agreed with you. 10 years ago when I finished my -12 my attitude was changing. 5 years ago when I decided to build an exp? I was convinced exp wasn't just the future, it was the present for Cub types. Today I'm more convinced than ever. I just saw a post on Facebook that Mike Sasser sold a CC FX3 for $330K. Not many standard category Cubs fetch $300K.
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    txpacer's Avatar
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    Attitudes are definitely changing. Builder assist programs have an influence, as do very complete kits. Compare the resale value of an RV built from scratch versus one assembled from a quick build kit with prepunched skins. The greater the factory involvement, the less uncertainty in the final product, the better the price. There are a lot of variables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by txpacer View Post
    Attitudes are definitely changing. Builder assist programs have an influence, as do very complete kits. Compare the resale value of an RV built from scratch versus one assembled from a quick build kit with prepunched skins. The greater the factory involvement, the less uncertainty in the final product, the better the price. There are a lot of variables.
    RV spars buckle whether they were made at the factory or in someone's home.
    But those issues should not be in new planes anymore. Out at OSH when the owner maintenance was unveiled the FAA also stated some kit planes will now be able to essentially go into production, RVs being the lead on that.
    That to some of us is a bigger deal that someone just being able to reduce their operating cost on a simple airplane.

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    Wow! RV spars are buckling? Glad I did not know that when I rolled an RV7 with inverted systems. Tell us more.

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Big difference in 'built' and 'maintained'. The most well built and equipped aircraft will diminish in value with crappy maintenance. So don't confuse new price with resale price. And no matter how proud you might be with aircraft, the bank or insurance company may always have issues with the idea of past and future maintenance being performed by an 'owner' vs a 'licensed mechanic'. Perception can trump reality at times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Wow! RV spars are buckling? Glad I did not know that when I rolled an RV7 with inverted systems. Tell us more.
    RV-7 is one with the least issues.
    Early on the spars were built up with 1/8 thick lamination. They were not forgiving under high loads, the upper spar cap buckling, popping the rivets and one might say, nothing good came from this. Showed up in the RV4 at first. Then in some 6. Research showed thicker material with fewer laminations in the caps was working but there were other causes from failure due to fasteners not in place and other build errors.
    When it was thought all was fixed with the redesign the RV8 demo plane with a factory pilot, 2 on board folded a wing. That one bored a deep hole.
    I stumbled upon this as I am working to finalize my wing design for my plane and my plane will utilize laminated caps. I am not ready to lock in my wing design yet.
    From what I read some of the RVs are not tolerant of even slight overspeed when maneuvering. Many wing failures were just tight turns at speed, not aerobatics. More than likely just exceeding design limit when there just was not as much reserve as the calculations claimed there would be.

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    Oh well, I had a rather long on subject post but due to the one important reference link it crashed and apparently was not recoverable and I had not saved it.

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    There's a long way to go on this, so don't start holding your breath or planning parties yet. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle and "a long, long road with many a winding turn" to navigate before this becomes a reality. So stay tuned!
    Joe

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    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    I don't think the proposal is the correct way to go about this.

    1. Just because you own a plane doesn't mean you are qualified to work on it.
    2. I don't want others making parts for a plane I fly my family in. Most people are not qualified and do not have the correct tools and materials knowledge to do so.

    Here are some solutions:

    1. Make a new A&P rating that is good for part 23 airplanes only. Same test as the rating today but reduce the requirements to take the test. Same accountability as the A&P we have today.

    2. The norsee approach could be implemented for parts production for non-critical components. This would reduce the workload of mido offices and still have some accountability.

    Tim

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post

    1. Make a new A&P rating that is good for part 23 airplanes only. Same test as the rating today but reduce the requirements to take the test. Same accountability as the A&P we have today.

    Tim
    Explain?

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    So far as written the owner will be eligible to do "more than they could" previously. This is not saying they can do all maintenance.
    There there will be the part where STCs and such will be less intensive paper wise.

    Easing up on parts requirements plays it's hand for the planes that came originally with automotive master cylinders and such. Other examples as well.

    Making a simpler A&P rating does little good when there is a fare share of them that barely do a quality job now.
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    Just have anyone wanting to do this do the repairman's course...it's already set up....all they have to do is add the category and tweak the content. seems simple enough to me....if it's good enough for ELSA then it should be good enough for this.
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    Well since a A&P cant sign off on an annual anyway , but a builder of an experimental can get a repairmen's cert to do his her own condition inspection. Why do we need a A&P cert? I know several that I would not ever let touch my lawn mower let alone an airplane. I seriously doubt that any one pilot out there has a death wish to do something wrong or so bad that they would have a failure. I know quite a few mechanics plumbers painters body-shop airplane people that do a great job on others stuff, but there own suffers greatly. You will never get them all to conform and be perfect. I think we need to step back We can ? what might be coming. We can make suggestions and hopefully in the end we get a viable product. As it is now i do all my work under the eye of my IA, and Pay them for their time and knowledge and signature
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    I don't think the proposal is the correct way to go about this.

    1. Just because you own a plane doesn't mean you are qualified to work on it.
    2. I don't want others making parts for a plane I fly my family in. Most people are not qualified and do not have the correct tools and materials knowledge to do so.

    Here are some solutions:

    1. Make a new A&P rating that is good for part 23 airplanes only. Same test as the rating today but reduce the requirements to take the test. Same accountability as the A&P we have today.

    2. The norsee approach could be implemented for parts production for non-critical components. This would reduce the workload of mido offices and still have some accountability.

    Tim
    Much of the issue today is that A&P schools donít teach what is required to maintain small aircraft. The push has been large aircraft systems, turban engines, and ďadvanced avionicsĒ while dropping or significantly reducing dope and fabric, welding, sheet metal, reciprocating engines. It actually takes more skill and knowledge to maintain little airplanes than to work for an airline as a mechanic. Many of them are simply parts changers!


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    It's been 'some time' since I've had to sit in class, but if my memory serves me there were some sketchy 'schools' back then too. One chain, that all ended with the same label, seems to have faded out, no doubt due to the low quality of education they imparted. The school I attended (Winona Tech) put us through the proverbial wringer. Two year course with only a month long summer break between first and second year, separate classes for piston and turbine engines, very little on avionics as that isn't an A&P function usually, dope and fabric classes, NDI, sheet metal, etc.

    Point is, if there is a school problem, it needs to be fixed at the school level. I don't believe that making multiple A&P ratings is going to solve the issue. Lets face it, the school should be teaching systems not aircraft. If I learn how to troubleshoot a hydraulic pump on an Aztec, I can also troubleshoot a hydraulic pump on an MD-11, even if some one has to help me find it, lol.

    If I have a knock on the present day system for A&Ps/IAs it's that there isn't some sort of peer review. As has been stated above, some bad apples out there got through the system. Talk to a Special Forces guy. They have it set up so that they run their own qualification courses, and even if you pass the course, they can still decide they don't want you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Explain?

    Web
    I know several people who would like to get their A&P. They would be great candidates. Probably more qualified than the person who just went through a 2 year school and have never touched an airplane.

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post

    Easing up on parts requirements plays it's hand for the planes that came originally with automotive master cylinders and such. Other examples as well.

    Making a simpler A&P rating does little good when there is a fare share of them that barely do a quality job now.
    How so? I know plenty of people without an A&P cert who do quality work. They can't get signed off to take the test because of the requirements set forth to take the test.

    Your example of parts is a good one. Look at bearings.....now you need a bearing with a PMA stamp on it. Nuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by eskflyer View Post
    I seriously doubt that any one pilot out there has a death wish to do something wrong or so bad that they would have a failure.
    No. But there are plenty of mechanics out there who half ass a job and when it breaks down the road it takes 10X the time and money to fix.


    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    Much of the issue today is that A&P schools don’t teach what is required to maintain small aircraft. The push has been large aircraft systems, turban engines, and “advanced avionics” while dropping or significantly reducing dope and fabric, welding, sheet metal, reciprocating engines. It actually takes more skill and knowledge to maintain little airplanes than to work for an airline as a mechanic. Many of them are simply parts changers!


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    True....but it is a license to learn...right? But if getting an A&P rating is tougher than climbing mount everest, nobody will do it. My only point is to make the requirements to take the test more practical.


    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    It's been 'some time' since I've had to sit in class, but if my memory serves me there were some sketchy 'schools' back then too. One chain, that all ended with the same label, seems to have faded out, no doubt due to the low quality of education they imparted. The school I attended (Winona Tech) put us through the proverbial wringer. Two year course with only a month long summer break between first and second year, separate classes for piston and turbine engines, very little on avionics as that isn't an A&P function usually, dope and fabric classes, NDI, sheet metal, etc.

    Point is, if there is a school problem, it needs to be fixed at the school level. I don't believe that making multiple A&P ratings is going to solve the issue. Lets face it, the school should be teaching systems not aircraft. If I learn how to troubleshoot a hydraulic pump on an Aztec, I can also troubleshoot a hydraulic pump on an MD-11, even if some one has to help me find it, lol.

    If I have a knock on the present day system for A&Ps/IAs it's that there isn't some sort of peer review. As has been stated above, some bad apples out there got through the system. Talk to a Special Forces guy. They have it set up so that they run their own qualification courses, and even if you pass the course, they can still decide they don't want you.

    Web
    Of course bad apples will get through the system. But does the current system keep out the good apples?

    Tim
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  40. #40

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    There is nothing particularly hard about getting an A&P certificate, two choices, go to an A&P school (Part 147), minimum hours is 1900 for the curriculum but most are about 2200, or work for someone that has an A&P for a minimum of 30 months. Likely easier than many apprenticeship programs.

    Once done with that, you are allowed to take the tests. Of course like so much today, they dumbed down the tests compared to say about 40 years ago.


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