Tag Archives: A&P School


Again with the long time between posts…

Stearman wing rib jigSchool has been quite the load this year. 21 units a semester is keeping me very busy. On May 25 I finished my second semester of A&P school which means I can take my FAA tests for my Airframe Mechanic Certificate. I am scheduled to take my first two knowledge tests on June 4th and my two practical tests on June 12th. I will post more about them after I take the tests.

My finals went very well. I got 99% in General and 98% in Airframe. Results that I am not at all unhappy with. I have been busting ass studying for exams; school really has taken over my life, in a good way.

Plans for the summer break are to build a wing rib jig for a Stearman. I borrowed a repaired rib from one of my instructors and started work on the jig Tuesday (Stearman Photo Album on Google+). I picked up some nails for the jig and for making a rib on Wednesday. I should have the jig finished in the next few days but it will be a while before I can do the ribs.

I need to source some 1/16″ mahogany plywood for the rib gussets; this stuff is a bugger to find locally and I don’t want to have to get it from Aircraft Spruce. The shipping costs are really high and it would almost be cheaper to organize a will-call run down to Corona and split the fuel costs with some fellow pilots, mechanics, & builders. I need to get some Alodine and Alumiprep anyway and I could save about $40 in shipping and hazmat costs on those alone.

Building a rib jig and wing ribs are fun distractions to relax with when I need a break from studying. Another allowed distraction is catching up on my aviation magazines, with lots of maintenance and restoration articles. Less the two distractions above, the blinders stay on and my focus is on finishing my Airframe Mechanic Certificate before next term starts. I don’t want to have anything hanging over my head when I start Powerplant.

Time to get back to the studying and practice tests…

☮ ♥ ✈

A month into AMT School

AMT classes started on August 10th at Gavilan College so it has now been a month since I started the program. For those who are not familiar with what an Aviation Maintenance Technology program is, it is a course for people who want to become an FAA certified Airframe & Powerplant mechanic often referred to as an A&P.

As one might assume, there are two primary mechanic certificates, airframe and powerplant. You can earn one or the other if you wanted to, but most people do both, hence the general reference to aircraft mechanics as A&Ps. The program is broken down into three segments General, Airframe, and Powerplant and it is completed over a two year period. Since this is through a community college they break it down into 4 semesters, sounds logical to me. Because this is an FAA recognized program (Part 147) the students have a slightly lower requirement in hours to complete for each segment, it really is a great deal.

Anyway, first year students do General which covers math, physics, aerodynamics, tools & equipment, regulations, basically all of the fundamentals and administrative stuff. The rest of time for first years is spent on Airframe where we cover material, processes, metallurgy, structures, and pretty much everything aft of the firewall. Second year students focus on the Powerplant side, or firewall forward.

I spend seven and a half hours at Gavilan Monday through Friday, 08:00-10:30 in General and 10:30-15:30 (less 0:30 for lunch) in Airframe. The first two semesters follow the same schedule and are a whopping 42 units for the two terms; next year it will be a little lighter, 08:30-15:00 (less 0:30 for lunch) Tuesday through Friday for 28 units, the whole program is 70 units, now in case this sounds a little like complaining, that couldn’t be further from the truth, I am having a great time.

Another exam on Monday so I better get back to the books.

Til next time, blue skies and tailwinds,