AME course/license for ones own aircraft

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ghazanhaider
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AME course/license for ones own aircraft

Post by ghazanhaider »

The lack of a license prevents me from doing more than elementary work on my aircraft, except for my homebuilt.

Is it worth getting the course done with the intention of just working on your own aircraft?

From what I gather, it is the 48 months of apprenticeship experience that gets in the way. If I just do the course, I just learn a few new things, but I still cannot do anything beyond elementary work on certified aircraft. If I try to count work on my own aircraft (100 hr inspections, IRANs and annuals), I'd need another AME to doublecheck everything and sign off my work for 4 years, something most AMEs might not have the time to do. And working on just 2 certified aircraft might not be enough time?

What are your thoughts/opinions?

G
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ahramin
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Re: AME course/license for ones own aircraft

Post by ahramin »

I think it's four years of full time work? If you're doing it part time there is an hour requirement? So working only on your aircraft it could take you 20 years to get the licence.

Taking the course is certainly a good idea if you're doing your own maintenance but find out exactly what counts towards the experience requirements before you make up your mind.
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vinzer
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Re: AME course/license for ones own aircraft

Post by vinzer »

ghazanhaider wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:12 pm
The lack of a license prevents me from doing more than elementary work on my aircraft, except for my homebuilt.

Is it worth getting the course done with the intention of just working on your own aircraft?

From what I gather, it is the 48 months of apprenticeship experience that gets in the way. If I just do the course, I just learn a few new things, but I still cannot do anything beyond elementary work on certified aircraft. If I try to count work on my own aircraft (100 hr inspections, IRANs and annuals), I'd need another AME to doublecheck everything and sign off my work for 4 years, something most AMEs might not have the time to do. And working on just 2 certified aircraft might not be enough time?

What are your thoughts/opinions?

G
I am in similar boat as you. At present I do time to time avionics installations on non-certified airplanes. This is something I like to do and feel confident with the job I made. Whenever it comes to my own certified airplane I can not do anything unless I have someone to check and sign it off for me (which is hard to find because it should be AME E licensed person).
I was looking in to getting AME E license however it will be a school for at least 4 semesters which is hard to fit in to my schedule with family/kids etc.
There are no online course for AME E license either (there is one for AME M though) however it will take me 4 years after that to work as apprentice before I am eligible to do my final TC exam.

On another hand I feel that my next airplane will be non-certified exactly because of these restrictions (not only avionics but also anything over elementary work).

As I understood, when you do your apprenticeship you have to perform certain amount of specific tasks. All these have to be logged in your personal log book and also you have to work certain amount of hours. This makes it hard to impossible to complete your practice sooner than 4 years.
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Heliian
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Re: AME course/license for ones own aircraft

Post by Heliian »

No, you don't have the time nor the skill to become an AME. I don't doubt you know your aircraft but there is so much more. Maybe put your airplane into the OM category or stick to the non-certified aircraft.

If you want to become an AME, the best way would be to take a 2 year college program and then get another 2.5 years of full time maintenance apprentice experience. You'll need to complete 70% of the tasks listed in the CAR's for the rating of license you are looking to obtain. Then, all you have to do is write the CAR's exam, achieve a passing grade and pay the fee.

Easy as that.
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PilotDAR
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Re: AME course/license for ones own aircraft

Post by PilotDAR »

The concept which must be remembered is that certified planes have a "C of A", which is issued and maintained to an international standard by an "AME/AMO", who also meet an international standard. Transport Canada is our national regulator of the international standards for these privileges. There is no uniform international standard for a lower threshold of aircraft maintenance, until the owner of the aircraft surrenders the standard C of A (amateur built or OM, for example). Then, the national authority may allow a lower threshold of maintenance, and Canada is very forward thinking in this regard.

So, if you own a C of A plane, perhaps unknowingly, you're a part of an international system, and thus bound by those policies. If you want to go the full AME route to maintain your own certified plane, the path is well described, and there is no lower threshold for this. If you want to maintain to a simpler standard, which may be entirely reasonable, and I do, surrender your C of A (if the airplane type is eligible), or own an amateur built plane. It is a little frustrating that the FAA will allow entrance to amateur builts, but not OM airplanes in the US airspace, but that's just the way it is - for now!

For my experience, there is very little difference in the minimum safe and suitable standard for aircraft maintenance, whether accomplished by and AME/AMO, or an owner who has the privilege, it's just who signs for the work. The quality of the work should be the same either way. Knowing how to accomplish quality aircraft maintenance requires a lot of mentored experience. For this reason, it is appropriate to require a course, and mentoring for minimum periods to qualify for an AME license.
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CFR
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Re: AME course/license for ones own aircraft

Post by CFR »

As noted it is not practical for one aircraft. Not only is it expensive and time consuming to get the license (4 years is the minimum, practically it may take longer, potentially much longer) but once licensed there is a recurrency requirement to keep the license. Working on one airplane a year will not cut it.

Amateur built or OM (if you plan on keeping it for a long time, it loses tremendous resale value once switch to owner maintained) is the way to go if you want to turn wrenches on an airplane and sign the release. Otherwise try and find an AME willing to have you help working on your aircraft.
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AirFrame
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Re: AME course/license for ones own aircraft

Post by AirFrame »

CFR wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:06 am
Otherwise try and find an AME willing to have you help working on your aircraft.
This is the route you should be exploring. You can do all the work if your AME is willing to sign it off. Get to know your AME, start by prepping the plane for it's annual for them. Inspection covers off, cowlings off, seats out, floorboards up, etc. before the AME arrives. Do all the re-assembly once he's inspected it. The AME gets done quicker, and off to the next job, so lower cost to you.
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ForesterAME
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Re: AME course/license for ones own aircraft

Post by ForesterAME »

ghazanhaider wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:12 pm
The lack of a license prevents me from doing more than elementary work on my aircraft, except for my homebuilt.

Is it worth getting the course done with the intention of just working on your own aircraft?

From what I gather, it is the 48 months of apprenticeship experience that gets in the way. If I just do the course, I just learn a few new things, but I still cannot do anything beyond elementary work on certified aircraft. If I try to count work on my own aircraft (100 hr inspections, IRANs and annuals), I'd need another AME to doublecheck everything and sign off my work for 4 years, something most AMEs might not have the time to do. And working on just 2 certified aircraft might not be enough time?

What are your thoughts/opinions?

G
If you are looking at just getting AME license to maintain your own aircraft I would say its not worth it at all. Just pay an AME to come look at your plane for its 50/100 hr and annual inspections. I wouldn't suggest asking to do the work and having an AME come sign off on your work either. Also I would never suggest giving up a CofA just so one can save on maintenance cost and maintaining the plane in OM category. Next to impossible to regain a CofA and you drastically reduce the value of your AC.
The best and safest course of action for all involved is pay to have it all done by an AME or find an AME looking to build his own flight hours and trade flight time for maintenance time.
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iflyforpie
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Re: AME course/license for ones own aircraft

Post by iflyforpie »

Owner maintenance doesn’t make planes lose as much value as people think.

They are all old, fixed gear, fixed pitch small aircraft... so not the cross country burners you’re going to typically find going to the US regularly.

The price of legacy certified aircraft in Canada has dropped precipitously in the last couple decades because of the availability of older restart aircraft and older “newer” designs.

The aircraft market in Canada is small, meaning there isn’t a lot available to bring prices further down.

“Certified” comes with liability (like having to spend several grand a year to keep it flying.. which this person is trying to avoid), and doesn’t really guarantee any sort of quality.

I’ve seen show winning and well cared for owner maintained aircraft and certified ones I wouldn’t put my mother in law in. Lots of times annuals are done and everything that is almost wore out is left in because the owner can’t or won’t afford to fix it rather than having the extra cash and time to throw at the plane.
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