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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Where do I begin? Click here for information.

Q. What aviation mechanic certificates and ratings are issued by FAA?
A: The FAA issues a mechanic certificate with an Airframe rating (A), or a Powerplant rating (P), or both (A&P) ratings to qualified applicants and also an Inspection Authorization (I A) which qualifies mechanics the privilege of performing certain inspections on aircraft.

Q. Can I obtain the necessary experience and skill to qualify for a mechanic certificate and rating(s) without attending an FAA certificated aviation maintenance technician (mechanic) school?
A: Yes. You can obtain the necessary experience and skill by obtaining employment with any facility engaged in the construction, maintenance, and/or alteration of aircraft, powerplants, and/or appliances.

Q. Will my experience as a non-certificated mechanic or repairman in a repair station be qualifying
experience toward a mechanic certificate?

A: Yes, providing the experience was on United States registered airframes, powerplants, or both.

Q. What are the requirements for a mechanic certificate (license)?
A: The requirements are prescribed by Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 65, Certification: Airmen Other Than Flight Crewmembers. An applicant must be:
At least 18 years old;
Able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language (with certain exceptions permitted);
Able to meet the experience, knowledge, and skill requirements for at least one rating; and
Able to pass all the prescribed tests within a 24-month period.

Q. Are there any general educational prerequisites for obtaining the mechanic certificate?
A: No; however, some employers may require a minimum of a high school education.

Q. I wish to prepare for the FAA mechanic tests by taking an online or correspondence courses during my spare time.
Which courses do your recommend?

A: The FAA does not recognize any online or correspondence course in lieu of practical experience or graduation from an FAA approved aviation maintenance technician school.

Q: How long does this process take?
A: If you have your qualification documentation, your visit to the FAA will take usually less than 30 minutes.
To study for the written tests depends on your own study habits but generally two weeks per section.
If you attend a training/prep school, usually it will take 7-14 days for all three written tests. The final step is taking your oral and practical exam. This is an all day test (8 hours +).

Q: How much does it cost?
A: A and P Prep Course -- $900-$3,500
Written tests -- $60-175 each
Oral and Practical Examination -- $300-$800

Q. What is the difference between an FAA certificate and a license?
A: No difference. The FAA mechanic certificate is frequently referred to as a license.

Q: Can more than one person take the oral and practical examination at the same time?
A: No. Only one person may take the examination at a time.

Q: What do I bring for an Oral and Practical exam?
A: 1. Drivers License or other form of ID.
2. 2 Copies of FAA Form 8610-2.
3. Graduation certificate if a graduate of a Part 147 school.
4. Written test results (make a copy for yourself).
5. Airframe or powerplant certificate if you are testing for an additional rating.
6. Payment for the examiner.

Q: What happens if I fail the oral and practical examination?
A: If you attended a training school, usually they will re-examine you for free. If you fail, it is up to the mechanic examiner. Some charge full fee, some have reduced rates. Clear this question up when scheduling your oral and practical examination.

Q. If an applicant fails any part of the written or oral and practical test(s), how soon may he/she apply for a retesting?
A: An applicant who fails any part of the written or oral and practical test(s) may apply for retesting 30 days after the date he/she failed the test. Or, before the 30 days have expired, an applicant may present a statement signed by an appropriately certificated mechanic or an appropriately certificated repairman indicating that the applicant has received additional instruction in each of the subjects failed, and the airman now considers that the applicant is ready for retesting.

Q: What happens if I fail one of the written tests?
A: You must get a mechanic to sign your failing written test results that you have received additional instruction. Each testing center has different prices for retaking a written test. If you attend a training school, usually they will do this for free. Clear this question up when scheduling your written tests.

Q: Do I have to go to the FAA? Can I call and mail my documents to the FAA?
A: No. You must personally appear with your documents and positive identification.

Q: Why are there three (3) written tests and only two (2) ratings, Airframe and Powerplant?
A: The General written test must be taken with either Airframe or Powerplant. You only have to take the General test one time. If you get your Airframe now and later add your Powerplant, you do not have to retake the General written test.

Q: I have a foreign mechanics license. Can I get a U.S. A&P license?
A: Sometimes, if you can show the need for a U.S. license. Are there U.S. registered aircraft in your country that you would be required to work on? If so, chances are good. Click on question to mechanic examiner, tell your country and what type of airplanes you will be working on. He will give you more details. Please Note: Please Note: To test for a airframe and powerplant license, the FAA requires that you speak, read and write english and that courses and test will be given in the english language.

Q. What must a foreign national show to the FAA in order to take the airframe and powerplant mechanic examination?
A: A foreign applicant who graduated from an FAA approved aviation maintenance technician (mechanic) school must present an appropriate graduation certificate or certificate of completion.

The ability to read, write, speak and understand the English language.

Positive identification (i.e., passport).

A signed and detailed original statement from their employer substantiating the specific type of maintenance performed and duration of each.

A detailed statement obtained from the foreign airworthiness authority of the country in which the experience was gained or from an advisor of the International Civil Aviation Organization that will validate the applicant's experience.

All documents presented to the inspector or advisor must be signed, dated originals, and traceable to the initiator.

If located outside the United States, a foreign applicant (without a certificate of graduation or completion) must show the following at the time of the application.

Proof that he worked on U.S. registered aircraft or for a U.S. carrier.

Positive identification.

A signed and detailed statement from their employer substantiating the specific type of maintenance performed and duration of each.

A detailed statement obtained from a foreign airworthiness authority of the country in which the experience was gained or from an advisor of the International Civil Aviation Organization that will validate the applicant's experience.

All documents presented to the inspector or advisor must be signed, dated originals, and traceable to the initiator.

NOTE: Applicants are not required to read, write, speak, and understand the English language if employed outside the United States by a U.S. carrier; however, mechanic certificates issued to foreign applicants who are not fluent in the English language shall be endorsed "Valid Only Outside the United States.

 

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Page Updated October 08, 2014