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Posted: 8/8/2008 10:01:24 AM EST
I've completed my written tests and made mid 90's on each General, Airframe, and Power plant.

The next step is to do the Oral and Practical exam.

I am extremely nervous about this.

To the few mechanics here, how was your O&P experience?

Which study guides did you use before taking it?



Link Posted: 8/8/2008 1:18:54 PM EST
TAG as I plan to do mine soon...
Link Posted: 8/8/2008 3:38:22 PM EST
My experience with both examiners was very good. I aquired my Airframe license first in Mobile, AL then my Powerplant license in Atlanta, GA. Both examiners used the same approach in my testing. First, they asked questions to get a good idea at where you were at in your aviation career. Since I have mostly an avionics background my O&P were more tailored for my field of experience. Something you need to know is that an A&P license is a license to learn. It doesn't mean you know everything that there is to know about aircraft.
Link Posted: 8/8/2008 3:50:26 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/8/2008 3:53:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/8/2008 3:57:56 PM EST by avmech]
been too long to remember................like over 30 years.............not as long for the IA, but long time, also the FCC gen radiotelephone and radar endorsement.......................been in this business too long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 35 years...yikes I do remember timing mags on one of those check the gas and fill the oil engines (radials)................one of the mags was bad I found out from another person, the DME laughed about it..............

Oh, and as was stated above, it is a license to learn................35 yrs and I am still learning................................will be going to G450 initial this winter

best of luck with those O&Ps and the IA tests
Link Posted: 8/9/2008 5:04:38 PM EST
I got my A&P in 1966 and IA in 1971 and I don't remember too much about the exams. With my shiny new A&P ticket, I went to a new job thinking that I knew everything there was to know about aviation. It only took about five minutes to realize that I was absolutely useless. I've been trying to learn ever since.
Link Posted: 8/9/2008 8:08:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/9/2008 9:10:00 PM EST by GAU5-A-A]
Congratulations!


Mine was quite a few years ago, but still a memorable experience. I used the Baker written study guides. BUT, I did an FBO apprenticeship instead of going to a formal A & P school. I already had three years of working on aircraft before taking the tests, a huge advantage.

The DME who administered my oral/practical exams, had recently attracted the scrutiny of the FAA. When I arrived for my exams, there was an FAA person waiting, and he evaluated my DME.

The oral was a clusterfluck. My DME was so nervous, that when he read a question, he left out words that were difficult for him to pronounce, or substituted other words in their place, so he wouldn’t look stupid in front of the fed. The result was him asking me questions that didn’t make any sense. I had seriously studied, and knew the questions and the answers he wanted, but giving the correct answer to a twisted question would have looked like we had colluded previously. When I tried to get him to clarify the question, he simply repeated his previous statement. The FAA guy finally realized what was happening, and clarified the questions so my answers made sense. It was incredibly aggravating for the first 30 minutes. I was furious. I soooooo wanted to reach over and smack my examiner up side the head.

Another problem was that my examiner used a question list that hadn’t been updated in 10+ years, so a number of those questions I had never seen on my up-to-date study guides. He also selected questions he was familiar with, from his work on small GA aircraft (wood & fabric). Most of my work experience was on turboprops and jets.

Practical was several hours of doing a 100-hr inspection on a C-172, next to a seasoned mechanic who asked me questions during the work. Child’s play, boring really. I was already doing far more complex work on jets.


I’ve never met a DME who didn’t want everyone to pass, but they do have standards to uphold, and none want the feds asking questions about their newly licensed students. I would try to dig up info on potential DMEs, to see if any have a history of failing a lot of students. Today, there are computerized study guides available that are a huge advantage. Get a friend to ask you the oral questions, to help build your confidence.

I would suggest you spend some time with your selected DME before the tests. Ask to work in his shop (without pay) a few days. I’m sure he will accept, and spend enough time with you to provide a VERY specific idea of the knowledge (oral) and skills (practical) he is looking for. Take notes! Use a digital voice recorder. Expect everything he tells you to be part of the oral/practical.

Good Luck.

And don’t spend too much time working for a small FBO. Corporate aviation is where the serious money is right now.
Link Posted: 8/10/2008 6:26:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/10/2008 6:27:37 AM EST by regalrocket]
If you passed the writtens, then your set for the orals. I did mine 4 years ago, and it went so fast, that when the FAA called to say they would be by we started all over so it didn't look bad. Just as GAU5-A-A said, the guy was so nervous, he asked the questions all messed up, and even though I had answered them reasily the first time he had me making faces.

My oral in the end was a cake walk. I had way over prepared for it. I did some hands on tasks, but he could tell what my background was (military) and pretty much reminded me that this is just a license to learn.

Flash forward too 2 months ago, I got my IA. Same deal. The FAA guy was a IA himself, formally at a local FBO. Great guy, and after alot of studying, the test was easy. If you use the respective study guides, and actually learn the material, your going to be fine. Just be confident, and say that you don't know if your at a loss for the answer. If you know the reference, say that you would look it up citing the reference just so that they know that your tracking.

Go get the ticket, so you can be part of the club :)
Link Posted: 8/10/2008 6:32:14 AM EST
don't sweat it!

the "hardest" part I had was to wait 30 days to retake the small airframe written..


seems some goofball at the FAA graded it as a FE test.


I went back and retook it 30 days later and aced it (and no, I didn't study)

(it was retake after 30 days or petition the FAA.. 30days was the quickest route)
Link Posted: 8/12/2008 4:42:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/12/2008 4:56:24 PM EST by alika]
I've had several mechanics go through"shake and bake" schools for their A&P, IA and O&P. There's several aviation schools that do this and they "garantee" you will pass!!!hey
In some areas of the country DME's are few and far between and one has to travel quite a distance to do the O&P.Also call the DME's in your area and see how much they charge. I've seen prices anywhere from $300 to $800.

When I took my O&P the DME told me that he had to ask at least 3 question on each of the sections, i.e, 3 questions about electrical, 3 on hydraulics, 3 on engines, 3 airframe etc. My practical portion was checking electrical circuits with multi meter, identifying parts and thier functions, doing a quick simple sheetmetal repair. The DME was also a DOM for a commuter airline so he gave me the aircraft logbook and flight manifest and made me do the weight and balance.I was also made to look up different repairs in maintenance manual and also had to able to look up the FAR's.

Good luck in your endeavors and welcome. Always need new"blood" in our industry

alika
Link Posted: 8/12/2008 5:00:59 PM EST
Also like someone else posted, if you don't know that answer be, truthful and don't BS him, say I don't know what the answer is but I know where I can find it and be able to look it up. You're not expected to remember everything but at least know where and how to find the answer.

alika
Link Posted: 8/12/2008 5:03:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By alika:
Also like someone else posted, if you don't know that answer be, truthful and don't BS him, say I don't know what the answer is but I know where I can find it and be able to look it up. You're not expected to remember everything but at least know where and how to find the answer.


alika


QFT

because... don't let the FAA see that you're doing anything for memory. You'll be required to quote the reference for everything you do.
Link Posted: 8/12/2008 5:14:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/12/2008 5:35:44 PM EST
height=8
Originally Posted By RED_5:
height=8
Originally Posted By alika:
Also like someone else posted, if you don't know that answer be, truthful and don't BS him, say I don't know what the answer is but I know where I can find it and be able to look it up. You're not expected to remember everything but at least know where and how to find the answer.

he


Quite true when dealing with the Feds, but I was refering to the DME during the O&P. If he ask you a question and you don't know the answer, ask him to allow you to look it up. The DME should have all reference materiel available
Link Posted: 8/12/2008 5:40:28 PM EST
hence the QFT

Quoted
For
Truth

Link Posted: 8/12/2008 5:49:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/12/2008 5:51:09 PM EST by alika]
height=8
Originally Posted By QUIB:
height=8
Originally Posted By RED_5:
QFT

because... don't let the FAA see that you're doing anything for memory. You'll be required to quote the reference for everything you do.


That was a problem I saw with a lot of the young guys coming right out of school.

I would go out to RII their work and not find a single Mtx Manual reference in sight. It’s not an easy task to break them from the habit of trying to memorize everything, and to get into the habit of printing out a current reference to the task they are about to perform, and following that reference.

I would mention the fact that getting ramp checked by the FAA and getting caught performing maintenance with out a reference was not a fun situation to be in.


I can attest to how not fun it is to go visit the Feds at the local FSDO to explain why the mechanics did not have any reference materiel available. I worked mostly on light helicopters and all mx manuals were on DVD's,engine , airframe, IPC's etc all readily availble. I always made sure each mechanic had a copy of the maint DVD, a DVD with our General Operating Manual , Ops Spec and FARs.
Some helicopter companies are requiring mechanics to have thier own laptops, which to my experience, most if not all our our mechanics did have thier own laptops. We also had a company computer and it was lot easier updating publications when all you had to do was delete the old DVD and upload the new DVD. Paperless technology FTW.
Link Posted: 8/12/2008 6:13:58 PM EST
when I started at UAL....

Paper >
then:
microfiche >
then:
tapes >
then finally:
computer.


computer was the best. updated globally and quickly.

had to go to tapes if the system went down though.


I miss aviation, but not the BS politics/management.

Link Posted: 8/12/2008 6:24:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/12/2008 6:25:40 PM EST by alika]
Red_5
I hear that QFThe
I forgot about micro fiche!! We had every IA withing a 25 mile radius asked if they could use our hangar address as the place where they had access to all data pertaining to AD's, SB,s etc because we had micro fiche. Now with electronic data available the Feds really need to get rid of that archaic requirement.
Link Posted: 8/13/2008 9:55:41 AM EST
Its no longer a requirement. As long as you have an internet connection, you have acces to the FAA site and AD's and other sources of information. Gone are the days of 300 a year subsctiptions to information dealers.
Link Posted: 8/13/2008 6:20:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/13/2008 6:20:52 PM EST by alika]
Thanks regalrocket thats good to know.
Last letter I wrote to the FAA for an IA was back in February.
Link Posted: 8/18/2008 4:03:19 PM EST
My powerplant test was just id'ing parts. My Airframe was at an operational FBO so that guy got 6 hrs labor free. I changed a tire and brakes on another and had to take the belly plate off of a mooney. I can't remember the rest. On my General, he had a mock-up that had hyd lines to flare and bend, various styles of saftey wire. ID crazing on a windshield, do a weight and balance worksheet and of course, turn buckles. That all I can remember.
Books, look over your standards and AC4113A. (if thats still in use) I graduated from school and didnt have military experiance so everything that was taught to me I had to lay hands on. I was very competant... Goodluck
Link Posted: 8/18/2008 4:09:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By QUIB:

Originally Posted By RED_5:
QFT

because... don't let the FAA see that you're doing anything for memory. You'll be required to quote the reference for everything you do.


That was a problem I saw with a lot of the young guys coming right out of school.

I would go out to RII their work and not find a single Mtx Manual reference in sight. It’s not an easy task to break them from the habit of trying to memorize everything, and to get into the habit of printing out a current reference to the task they are about to perform, and following that reference.

I would mention the fact that getting ramp checked by the FAA and getting caught performing maintenance with out a reference was not a fun situation to be in.


Gee...

That sounds like Army aircraft work...

Must have TM... Even if only mixing glue, must have TM....
Link Posted: 8/18/2008 4:34:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By QUIB:

Originally Posted By RED_5:
QFT

because... don't let the FAA see that you're doing anything for memory. You'll be required to quote the reference for everything you do.


That was a problem I saw with a lot of the young guys coming right out of school.

I would go out to RII their work and not find a single Mtx Manual reference in sight. It’s not an easy task to break them from the habit of trying to memorize everything, and to get into the habit of printing out a current reference to the task they are about to perform, and following that reference.

I would mention the fact that getting ramp checked by the FAA and getting caught performing maintenance with out a reference was not a fun situation to be in.


Gee...

That sounds like Army aircraft work...

Must have TM... Even if only mixing glue, must have TM....


Yea, you should, but after 10 years of doing Army maintenance, I know the truth. We all get a book and open it, but no one reads a dam thing.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 2:53:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2008 2:54:01 PM EST by TheMechanic48]

Originally Posted By QUIB:

Originally Posted By RED_5:
QFT

because... don't let the FAA see that you're doing anything for memory. You'll be required to quote the reference for everything you do.


That was a problem I saw with a lot of the young guys coming right out of school.

I would go out to RII their work and not find a single Mtx Manual reference in sight. It’s not an easy task to break them from the habit of trying to memorize everything, and to get into the habit of printing out a current reference to the task they are about to perform, and following that reference.

I would mention the fact that getting ramp checked by the FAA and getting caught performing maintenance with out a reference was not a fun situation to be in.


I know exactly where your coming from Quib. I seen it happen before. Just got ramp checked by the FAA yesterday while I was putting main rotor blades a S-76. He asked to see my manual and show him the installation procedure and even wanted to see the IPC where I got the part number for the cotter key. Had everything right there and he said GTG.
Link Posted: 8/31/2008 9:43:34 AM EST
If you go on the FAA website and look under the mechanics certificate requirements it will tell you all the new Required projects. The O&P has changed a lot in the last year. There were companies trying to get the test under the FOIA and now they changed the whole test to make it almost impossible to use the info from a FOIA.
Link Posted: 9/1/2008 3:08:04 PM EST
I just completed my O&P for Generals and Powerplants.

For the orals, I used the Jeppeson books. All the questions are in there. If you like, IM me and I can get you a list of the books or questions.

For the practical, I had to perform a cylinder compression test, remove and reinstall a turbine tachometer, time and install magnetos, fabricate a hydraulic line, inspect a wing for corrosion, and a few other tasks. Nothing terribly difficult, but pay attention to what you're doing. If you get that far, they assume you know how to research manuals without a lot of questions.

It's all open book for the practicals.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 6:15:36 PM EST
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