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Getting Helicopter Mechanic Certified?


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I was wondering what it takes to get (About, how long and how much?) certified as a hireable mechanic? I want to mainly be a pilot, but getting certified as a mechanic as well appeals to me. I always hear about pilots having TONS of downtime and I was wondering if one could get employed as a Pilot AND Mechanic at the same company? I'm sure it possible, but how common is it? Thanks.

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Read this:

 

http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/helicopterfor...wtopic=4007&hl=

 

Then, forget about it. Unless you have plenty of money and free time, don't worry about the A&P. It's great for the knowledge but you'll never make anywhere near what you would as a pilot. And, yes of course, businesses LOVE to have pilot/mechanics. And it will definately get you a job over someone else in a smaller flight school or 135 operation. HOWEVER, they like it since they don't have to pay TWO salaries. You might get a little extra money, but you are going to have TWICE the duties and about FOUR times the headaches, for HALF the pay.

 

I help out on mx on my bird for the sole purpose of helping our regional mechanics out. For instance, if I have my search light or something simple 15 minute job that's not MEL'able go out at 3AM, I'm not going to drag the guys in to fix it. I fix it, sign it off, and go back to bed--I do that for them, NOT the company. We have these new mounting brackets and power sources for a piece of medical equipment that were supposed to have been installed months ago, but none of our mechanics in our region have their IA (they let them lapse because the company doesn't give them anything extra or pay for the renewal.) They're going to have to pay a guy from another region overtime & mileage to come over and sign all these things off. Then they remembered that I had my IA and called down to corporate to see if they'd pay me to do it. NOPE.......corp said they'd be real "appreciative" if I'd "help" them out with this, but they can't afford to pay me. Well, they going to pay this other guy well over a grand if not two by the time he gets done so screw 'em.....I'm no slut.

 

Same deal at the flight school I used to work for. I got my A&P and all the sudden I was expected to sign off all the illegal work the owner was doing himself. Screw that! He wouldn't pay me any extra money, he didn't pay for any part of my A&P training, I owned my own Snap-on tools, so NO WAY. I'd help out with maintenance, but I wouldn't sign ANYTHING off but oil changes and minor things. Why should I take on the liability? All the money that went to the other guys doing to the maintenance could have EASILY gone into my check, but the boss didn't see it like that. Everybody wants something for nothing.

 

Sooooooo, get it for the better knowledge and understanding of what you fly and DO NOT tell any employers that you have it.

 

-Jonathan CFI/CFII, A&P/IA

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Guest pokey

Best way & fastest is go to a 1 year school. As far as it really helping you & adding to your "hireability" & extra $$ ? --- Probably NOT the best reason to want A&P cert. I got mine for the main purpose of maintaining my own aircraft, altho i do maintain a few others & it turns out to add a "decent" amount to my yearly income. I tend to agree w/Delorean about keeping it a secret, altho it will be difficult to do for any length of time as a mechanic can only "walk by a wrench" so many times w/ out picking it up. Get it for your own use if nothing else !

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Thanks for the info guys, it was great. I agree with you delorean, If I did have my A&P and and the boss wanted me to do something for nothing, forget it. I would have no problem telling him to go shove it, in a professional manner of course... :P

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Best way & fastest is go to a 1 year school.

 

Wow, I just finished the first year of my two year A&P program at Northern Michigan University (I took my last final today). We are in class 32.5 hours a week for four college semesters. I cannot imagine trying to cram all that information into my head in one year!

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Wow, I just finished the first year of my two year A&P program at Northern Michigan University (I took my last final today). We are in class 32.5 hours a week for four college semesters. I cannot imagine trying to cram all that information into my head in one year!

 

Yeah, we had the same deal as you at Parks (Saint Louis University). 9-3:30 for 5 days a week, then 1 month off for summer, 1 month at Christmas, and 1 week in the Spring and Fall. Make that 8-5 for 5 days a week and cut out all the breaks and you can do it in 12-months easy. One perk of the other way, you're getting college credit for that two years for subjects you like, maybe 60-70 hrs. When Parks switched to the 1 year deal, the guys only got 25 hrs of college credit.

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the college credits can be hashed out with your local school board, most do not understand that there is a large amount of geogrophy, mathmethics, phyisics, meteroligy, and so forth. the amount that is learned is greater than the edcational instatutions will grant unless you push it.

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When your getting certified, do they teach about working on the types of planes at the airport, you know the big passenger planes?

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Guest pokey
When your getting certified, do they teach about working on the types of planes at the airport, you know the big passenger planes?

 

It depends on the school, but the short answer is "no". I went to a 1 year school, (13 months actually), but their main goal was the FAA's curriculum, (which 13 months was MORE than enough time). WE got "hands on" experience on what ever the school had, in my case it was some old jet engines--rolls royce avon, lycoming T-53, & a few others. General aviation piston engines, a beech 18, a stearman. The "real" training comes after you get your rating tho, w/your employer & any factory achools that you may attend. Some schools even have helicopters, mine had just a huey transmission and rotor head---some have alot more tho.

 

What i am trying to say tho, is : (aside from college credits as others have posted) You need to have "authorization" to take the FAA tests, a school wont make you a "mechanic" but will authorize you (per regulations) to be eligable to take the tests & in most cases will administer the test to you.

 

Those "big passenger planes" are very complex machines & i highly doubt that one person even working for an airline for many many years could be an "expert" on all the systems.

 

hope this helped :)

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Ok, I would probably be more interested in the turbine engines than anything else.

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We had an awesome lab full of airplanes and helicopters.

 

Airplanes: 2 PA-28s, C337, 2 310s, Saberliner jet, and more; and then out on the school's flightline: a bunch of Tampicos, Senecas, 150s, and a KingAir.

 

Helicopters: AH-1 Cobra, OH-58, TH55, B47

 

Plus TONS of engines with 10 test cells and more......It was fabulous--probably THE best A&P school in the country. And what did they do? Closed it. SLU's president didn't like the "tech school" image it gave off. Plus our budget was as high as the med school's for all the materials we went through. I won't be a bit surprised to see the pilot side disappear into the vast Engineering school that "Parks Air College" has become. So much for the CAA's (old FAA's) Air Agency Certificate #1.

 

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL (SIUC) still has a very extensive A&P program and a great lab building at their airport. They have a Bell 205, Bell 47, plus a Boeing 737!!!

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Guest pokey

THAT sounds like 1 impressive school Delorean ! I looked at about 3-4 schools, and never seen THAT much "hardware" in any of them ! Altho 1 in Pennsylvania did have a harrier ! ( like i wud ever work on one of those tho) ! :lol:

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We had an awesome lab full of airplanes and helicopters.

 

Airplanes: 2 PA-28s, C337, 2 310s, Saberliner jet, and more; and then out on the school's flightline: a bunch of Tampicos, Senecas, 150s, and a KingAir.

 

Helicopters: AH-1 Cobra, OH-58, TH55, B47

 

Plus TONS of engines with 10 test cells and more......It was fabulous--probably THE best A&P school in the country. And what did they do? Closed it. SLU's president didn't like the "tech school" image it gave off. Plus our budget was as high as the med school's for all the materials we went through. I won't be a bit surprised to see the pilot side disappear into the vast Engineering school that "Parks Air College" has become. So much for the CAA's (old FAA's) Air Agency Certificate #1.

 

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL (SIUC) still has a very extensive A&P program and a great lab building at their airport. They have a Bell 205, Bell 47, plus a Boeing 737!!!

 

 

AWESOME! Thanks delorean, that would work perfectly , the school is only a stones throw away...kinda. I'm still pondering on wether to go straight to flight school or this. I like the idea of having a cushion if things get bumpy while I'm going through flight school. I also have been hearing there is a demand for good mechanics.

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