How to gain an Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Licence

Posted by Neil Fortune on Jun 15, 2018 1:44 PM

There are two different course options available to those who are looking to become a Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and these are known as the Self-Improver Route and the Approved Course Route.

The Self-Improver

For those who have pre-existing aircraft maintenance experience the recommended route to licensing would be the Self-Improver, this route allows the individual to enrol on short intensive theory training courses or if they wish, they can sit the EASA Examination(s) as a stand-alone item.

The Approved Course

The route which is recommended for beginners to the Aviation Industry is known as the Approved Course Route and this course is designed to provide you with the Practical Skills and Theoretical Knowledge required to work as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

The EASA Part 66 Approved Courses have a duration of 25 training weeks for Category ‘A’ and 89 weeks for the Category ‘B’ Licences. Once the individual has successfully completed an Approved Course and has met both the knowledge (EASA Exam passes) and minimum attendance requirements they would then need to meet the maintenance logbook requirements showing their work experience. Further information on the work experience requirements is detailed in the below.

Extract from the EASA Part 66 Regulations.

The EASA Licence itself is made up of a number of different licensing categories and these are shown below.

Licence Categories

Ramp or Line Maintenance Certifying Mechanic
  • A1 – Fixed Wing Turbine Engine
  • A2 – Fixed Wing Piston Engine
  • A3 – Rotary Wing Turbine Engine
  • A4 – Rotary Wing Piston Engine
Base Maintenance Certifying Technician
  • 1 – Fixed Wing Turbine Engine
  • 2 – Fixed Wing Piston Engine
  • 3 – Rotary Wing Turbine Engine
  • 4 – Rotary Wing Piston Engine
  • B2 – Avionics
  • B3 – Fixed Wing Piston Engine (non-pressurised aeroplanes of 2000kg MTOM and below)
  • C

The Category ‘A’ Licences are for individuals who are looking to become qualified to work performing relatively minor maintenance tasks and replacement of parts that are required between major service overhauls and to subsequently certify these tasks; this work is generally done while the aircraft is between flights, during turnarounds or overnight.

In our experience the majority of people prefer to study towards the Category ‘B’ Level of Licensing as this allows the individual to work on aircraft that require more complex maintenance tasks or have been programmed for routine periodic servicing or major overhauls and re-fits and who can then subsequently certify their own and others work.

The Category ‘C’ Licence is accomplished either by the individual holding a valid category B license and usually a type rated Part 66 Aircraft Maintenance Licence and have been exercising Category B1/B2 privileges for 3 years or more. It is also possible to gain the Category ‘C’ Licence where an Academic degree in a technician discipline, from a University or other higher education institute recognised by the competent authority. The individual will also need a minimum of 3 years of experience working in a civil aircraft maintenance environment on a representative selection of tasks directly associated with aircraft maintenance including six months observation of base maintenance tasks.

What Disciplines Do the Licences Cover?

If you decide that you would like to be a Mechanical Engineer specialising in scheduled maintenance, restoration and re-fit of airframes, power plants, fuel systems and associated pneumatic, hydraulic and air-conditioning systems then you can select either category A or B licence routes. The licence issued will show which category of aircraft it applies to - which will be one of the following:

  • A1 Fixed Wing: Aeroplanes with Turbine Engines

Line maintenance of Turbine Engine aircraft (often referred to as jet engines) and also called combustion turbines, these are rotary engines that extract energy from a flow of combustion gas. It has an upstream compressor coupled to a downstream turbine, and a combustion chamber in-between. Turbine aircraft may be propeller or jet driven.

  • A2 Fixed Wing: Aeroplanes with Piston Engines 

Line maintenance of Piston Engines (otherwise known as reciprocating engines) use fundamentally similar technology to those used by cars and motorcycles where pistons in cylinders are used to generate motive force for propulsion by turning pressure into a rotating motion. These engines always drive a propeller.

  • A3 Rotary Wing: Helicopters with Turbine Engines 

Line Maintenance of helicopters with one or more Turbine Engines and all associated systems including power plants, fuel systems and associated pneumatic, hydraulic and air-conditioning systems. 

  • A4 Rotary Wing: Helicopters with Piston Engines 

Line Maintenance of helicopters with a Piston Engine and all associated systems including power plants, fuel systems and associated pneumatic, hydraulic and air-conditioning systems.

  • B1.1 Fixed Wing: Aeroplanes with Turbine Engines

Turbine Engines: (often referred to as jet engines) and also called combustion turbines, are rotary engines that extract energy from a flow of combustion gas. It has an upstream compressor coupled to a downstream turbine, and a combustion chamber in-between. Turbine aircraft may be propeller or jet driven.

  • B1.2 Fixed Wing: Aeroplanes with Piston Engines

Piston Engines: (otherwise known as reciprocating engines) use fundamentally similar technology to those used by cars and motorcycles where pistons in cylinders are used to generate motive force for propulsion by turning pressure into a rotating motion. These engines always drive a propeller.

  • B1.3 Rotary Wing: Helicopters with Turbine Engines

This licence category will allow the mechanical engineer to service to base maintenance level, helicopters with one or more Turbine Engines and all associated systems including power plants, fuel systems and associated pneumatic, hydraulic and air-conditioning systems.

  • B1.4 Rotary Wing: Helicopters with Piston Engines

This licence category will allow the mechanical engineer to service to base maintenance level, helicopters with a Piston Engine and all associated systems including power plants, fuel systems and associated pneumatic, hydraulic and air-conditioning systems.

  • B2 Avionic: Electronic systems fitted to all aircraft

If you are more electronically orientated and decide that you would like to be an Avionics Engineer specialising in scheduled maintenance, restoration and modification of communication, navigation, radar equipment; guidance and control systems including auto-pilot/auto-land and cabin entertainment then this license is the one to choose

  • B3 Fixed Wing: Aeroplanes of 2000KG or Below with Piston Engines

Piston Engines: (otherwise known as reciprocating engines) use fundamentally similar technology to those used by cars and motorcycles where pistons in cylinders are used to generate motive force for propulsion by turning pressure into a rotating motion. These engines always drive a propeller.

The holder of a Category ‘C’ Licence is permitted to issue Certificates of Release to Service following base maintenance. This authorisation is valid for the entire aircraft including all systems.

You can find out more about our range of courses from our Course Prospectus linked below.

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