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Military experience to A&P

Low&Slow

Well-Known Member
#1
I had an interview this morning with the FSDO maintenance inspector about using my military experience to qualify for A&P testing. I'm an Army airframe mechanic (15G), but I also help out everywhere else (engines, hydraulics, electrical, etc) when they need a hand. I satisfied his inquiries enough that he signed my 1086-2 for both Airframe and Powerplant.
I'm going to work on getting more powerplant and transmission experience before I go down to Baker School of Aeronautics though. Maybe next year?
Anyone have any experience with the program at Baker? What to expect, what I need to know before going down, etc. I've heard it's like drinking from a fire hose, so anything I can do to give myself a little educational or experience boost before going there would be good.
What are the A&P o&p tests like? I've heard they're really tough.
Thanks.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
#2
I know some people that have done almost exactly what you're planning. They told me that schools like Baker are specifically focused on the tests and nothing else, which is fine. If a person has been working in the field for a few years they certainly don't any kind of "Intro to Aviation" class anyway. I've been told it is exceedingly boring, just repetitive memorization of the questions and answers (although I'm not sure if the questions/answers are available these days). I know a couple of years ago the standards for the DME conducting oral and practicals were changed as well. A guy that works at a place I used to work took his O/P for his airframe after the new rules took effect and he was able to pass. I considered it a minor miracle.
 

Low&Slow

Well-Known Member
#3
Thanks @knot4u . Yeah, the FSDO mx inspector I interviewed with said that the orals are 50 questions of the DME's choosing, but the practical tasks are randomly generated by a computer now. They could be something as simple as how to torque a screw to 70 in-lbs, or something more complicated like timing a magneto. The DME doesn't have any control over the task selection anymore.
I'm guessing that Baker's will probably have the written study plan set up similar to Sheppard Air's study plan. I think it's going to be a tough, painful two weeks or whatever, but I think that I'll be okay and come out as a licensed AMT. I'm just trying to be proactive and prepare for it. I probably won't go until 2019 though, so I still have some time to get ready for it, just not sure how to get ready for it.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
#4
Thanks @knot4u . Yeah, the FSDO mx inspector I interviewed with said that the orals are 50 questions of the DME's choosing, but the practical tasks are randomly generated by a computer now. They could be something as simple as how to torque a screw to 70 in-lbs, or something more complicated like timing a magneto. The DME doesn't have any control over the task selection anymore.
I'm guessing that Baker's will probably have the written study plan set up similar to Sheppard Air's study plan. I think it's going to be a tough, painful two weeks or whatever, but I think that I'll be okay and come out as a licensed AMT. I'm just trying to be proactive and prepare for it. I probably won't go until 2019 though, so I still have some time to get ready for it, just not sure how to get ready for it.
Given the fact that the practical tasks are random I doubt they're going to throw an AFU fault on a Falcon 50 at you, that would require a pitot/static test set, hydraulic mule, and at the very least a Simpson meter (I like Simpson VOMs, I have a digital VOM but sometimes analog is better), and an airplane. If you feel weak in any of the areas outside of sheet metal study those. Basic DC is a lot like plumbing, and hydraulics is plumbing. They don't give the cert away but if your not a complete idiot you'll probably be fine, just like pilot certs. If you can try to hang out with the avionics guys and anyone who successfully troubleshoots problems, these are likely the least approachable people in the shop, buying donuts won't help.
 
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Low&Slow

Well-Known Member
#5
I think my weakest point is Powerplant. Our facility is all turbines, no recips. I'm going to rebuild the start valve for a GE T700 this morning, but I need to figure out how to get more reciprocating engine experience.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
#6
I think my weakest point is Powerplant. Our facility is all turbines, no recips. I'm going to rebuild the start valve for a GE T700 this morning, but I need to figure out how to get more reciprocating engine experience.
Just rebuild a few lawnmowers, it’s about the same level of tech.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
#8
Just rebuild a few lawnmowers, it’s about the same level of tech.
I used to be able to tell you the firing order for a few different radials off of the top my head, I wonder if the test is still as piston heavy as it used to be. In my opinion questions about pressure carburators shouldn't be on the test, no one is going to tear into one in the field, they'll remove it and replace it.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
#9
I used to be able to tell you the firing order for a few different radials off of the top my head, I wonder if the test is still as piston heavy as it used to be. In my opinion questions about pressure carburators shouldn't be on the test, no one is going to tear into one in the field, they'll remove it and replace it.
Even then, 99%+ of mechanics will go their whole career without even seeing one let alone R&R.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
#10
Even then, 99%+ of mechanics will go their whole career without even seeing one let alone R&R.
I've changed a couple of 3350 carbs. But my career trajectory is not typical and I agree 100% with you. Our opinions don't mean squat to someone prepping for the tests. Just have to study for the test as it is when you go to take it. I had enough exposure to the real world to know that even after I got the certs I knew I didn't know much.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
#11
I used to be able to tell you the firing order for a few different radials off of the top my head, I wonder if the test is still as piston heavy as it used to be. In my opinion questions about pressure carburators shouldn't be on the test, no one is going to tear into one in the field, they'll remove it and replace it.
The problem with putting turbine stuff on the test is even the “standard practices” let alone terminology and troubleshooting is sooo different between manufacturers that where do you start? Which is why every turbine manufacturer has schools for their equipment.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
#12
The problem with putting turbine stuff on the test is even the “standard practices” let alone terminology and troubleshooting is sooo different between manufacturers that where do you start? Which is why every turbine manufacturer has schools for their equipment.
I think the basics should be on the test regarding turbines. Questions like "Where does bleed air come from?". I've heard some odd responses to questions like that from experienced, certified mechanics. SMH.