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A&P Recency/Recurrency

Old 01-09-2024, 08:34 PM
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Default A&P Recency/Recurrency

Hi all,

I'm a veteran and A&P holder. Approximately 10 years ago, I worked on helicopters in the military and R22/R44s, and have experience in general aviation (GA). Since then, I received my Bachelors and pursued a path that wasn't related to aviation. I've been missing the aviation as of late, and confirmed with the local FSDO I need to work supervised at a shop for at least 6 months to regain currency with my A&P. I'm totally fine with all of this, but I'm curious if there are any paths anyone knows of that could help me get my A&P current again - albeit with a major airline or general aviation outfit (full time or part time)?
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Old 01-10-2024, 06:21 AM
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I would certainly hope so, there's a big technician shortage right now. Especially if you can remember to re-install all of the bolts.
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Old 01-10-2024, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777
I would certainly hope so, there's a big technician shortage right now. Especially if you can remember to re-install all of the bolts.
For sure! That stuff is pretty easy as I work on my truck and wife's car all the time. One issue I have found is that some airlines want you to have the recency. I'd like to get involved in GA again becasue there is the opportunity to work on more diverse aircraft, but I see pros in the Commercial side as well.
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Old 01-13-2024, 08:37 PM
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14 CFR 65.83 covers recency of experience for mechanics:

§ 65.83 Recent experience requirements.

A certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges of his certificate and rating unless, within the preceding 24 months—

(a) The Administrator has found that he is able to do that work; or

(b) He has, for at least 6 months—

(1) Served as a mechanic under his certificate and rating;

(2) Technically supervised other mechanics;

(3) Supervised, in an executive capacity, the maintenance or alteration of aircraft; or

(4) Been engaged in any combination of paragraph (b) (1), (2), or (3) of this section.

As above, there are two basic requirements for currenty, either of which can be met (but need not be both): be found competent by the Administrator (eg, certification test, such as practical test for a rating like airframe, or powerplant), or recent experience.

A finding of competency by the Administrator need only be within the past 24 months.

Recent experience must be for at least six months, within the past 24 months. That can be one of three things, or any combination of them: working as a mechanic, supervising other mechanics, or serving as an executive in an operation involving maintenance or alteration of aircraft.

You don't necessarily have to work for a repair station or shop to do this, but certainly working under a repair station certificate, or something along those lines will be one way to do it.

Consider what your goals are. If it's maintenance in any capacity, then you can start about anywhere, and you'll be well into what you want to do. If instead you want to work for a repair station, or an airline, or a small shop, or have specific targets like ag aircraft, helicopters, etc, then you might consider directly targeting those operations.

Military experience on helicopters is something that operations like Boeing and other defense contractors hire into for repair, basic construction, and other things such as modification, upgrading, and so forth. Boeing has a busy facility in Mesa, Arizona, that handles a lot of work on Apache helicopters. Boeing has operation around the world on all types of aircraft such as repairing the Osprey, or doing upgrades and mainteance at Mirimar, California, and so on, that favor those with military experience on type: your prior expertise is worth something in that environment because not only do you know the aircraft, but the manufacturer and the military environment, which is decidedly not the same as the civil environment.

Because aviation maintenance encompasses an extremely broad set of skills and aircraft types, one can be very skilled on one particular area, and have no experience in another. Some skills are much more valuable. Welding, non-destructive testing, and other skills and abilities and certifications, or avionics training and experience, tend to pay more and are more sought after.

Having your own tools is crucial in many, but not all operations. Some shops insist on only shop tools used, for control. Others won't hire you unless you bring everything.

Look to coming back into the fold by seeking work oriented toward your goals. Experience maintaining turbojet engines isn't the same as troubleshooting and maintaining a radial engine, and composite radome repair is a far cry from fabric work, wood, and dope. Metalwork is it's own skillset, and electrical skills and abilities are not something well understood by many mechanics. A good aircraft electrician is a valuable asset.

Some operations will hire you if you have a pulse; they tend to pay much less and often have lower standards; begger vs. chooser syndrome. A skydiving operation, for example, is often thrilled if they can pay you in jumps and if you'll sign off anything as airworthy.

Mechanics are generally in demand almost anywhere. Some places like Bombardier in Tucson are always looking for mechanics; most larger repair stations, shops and production facilities are. Alaska is an aviation state. Mechanics are always in demand, and there are plenty of operators looking. It's a place you can find work on anything from radials to fabric to metal tubing and welding, sheetmetal, etc. Always work. Flight schools are constantly looking for mechanics. I've had places where I put in a pilot application, and as soon as the operator found out I was a mechanic, the job offer became all about maintenance. Pilots, they could get all day long. What they really wanted was a mechanic, or inspector, or director of maintenance.

You won't have to look long to find something local, and if you want to move on or up from there, you can be looking while you're working. It's always easier to get a job when you have a job. Be cautioned; many employers don't like pilots or mechanics who job hop; generally a year at an employer is a respectable time to show that you were valued and desired, and didn't take any training and run. If you get with an employer who wants to send you to a maintenance course such as a manufacturers course, or to Flight Safety or some other professional development or type-specific course, stick with them for a time after; the employer expects a return on their investment, and you always want to leave on good terms, with a recommendation (get letters). A good employment history lends to a good future. Good luck.
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Old 02-15-2024, 02:28 PM
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Try just applying and being honest, most outfits aren't going to cut you loose without training on their airframes anyway. I recently applied for a job working on Bell 407 medavacs with only fixed wing experience, and it's been a couple years since full time wrenching, and they were willing to train me. I ended up getting a flying job instead since I wanted to exercise my comm pilot rating so I didn't take it. There is a DIRE need for mechanics right now so I'd just apply, be honest and see where it goes. I don't think you'll have a problem getting a job very quickly.
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