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Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem!

(Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

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1996 - 2026

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Kirt Blattenberger

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Model Aviation Magazine, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets

Wanted: A & P Mechanics - Part II
March 1967 American Modeler

March 1967 American Modeler

March 1967 American Modeler magazine coverTable of Contents]

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

With the commercial airline industry and military strategic and logistic air operations moving inexorably into the jet age, demand was high for skilled airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics. The military took care of its own training, but the civilian world also desperately needed technicians to maintain their hardware. For that matter, even highly experienced veterans usually needed to receive specialized training to qualify for working on the models of engines and airframes sold for civilian use. As you probably know, many models of both airplanes and engines had both military and civilian versions, so a lot of similarity existed, but with the huge investment in equipment and human lives at stake, total familiarity with complete systems was (and still is) essential. Model and full-size aviation magazines published many articles like this one in a 1967 issue of American Modeler in order to coax people into the field. Promises of good pay, career security and advancement, job satisfaction, and prestige were all promoted heavily. Unfortunately, I do not yet own the previous issue which contained Part I of this series. 

Wanted: A & P Mechanics - Part II

Students listen attentively to instructor at one of the 79 Federal Aviation Agency certificated schools - Airplanes and Rockets

Students listen attentively to instructor at one of the 79 Federal Aviation Agency certificated schools. A complete listing is given at the end of this article.

How to qualify for a license. Where to study. FAA certificated schools, skills and knowledge required. What the FAA examinations cover.

By Walter Zaharevitz and Dr. Mervin K. Strickler, Jr.

(Mr. Zaharevitz is Executive Director, National Aerospace Education Council.

Dr. Strickler is Special Assistant for Aviation Education, Office for General Aviation Affairs, Federal Aviation Agency.)

Aviation is not inherently dangerous but to an even greater extent than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect. Safety of aircraft is delegated through various levels hut in the final analysis it is the mechanic working on the aircraft who has this responsibility. - An aviation axiom

Last month's portion of this article emphasized the following factors in relation to the A&P mechanic: the importance of education, the basic characteristics necessary for a good A&P mechanic, the nature of the work, wages, the demand, high school courses related to aviation mechanic tasks, how to get started, and the importance of the aviation mechanic. It also included the Aviation Mechanic's Creed.

This concluding portion of the article will provide you with information on how to qualify for an A&P mechanic's license (certification).

Where to Study

There are two main avenues for you to become an FAA-licensed A&P mechanic. Experience can be gained by: 1) attending an FAA-certificated mechanic school, or 2) by performing, for a specified period of time, the duties appropriate to the rating.

An applicant for either the A or the P rating must show he has performed the duties appropriate to that particular rating for a period of at least 18 months. For both ratings, concurrently, 30 months of experience are required. In any case, applicants for a license who follow the experience route or those who attend mechanic school must pass FAA oral, written, and practical examinations. The age minimum for an A and/or P rating is 18. You cannot have the license issued to you before your 18th birthday.

FAA Certified Schools

Alternate route to a rating is to perform for a specified period, duties appropriate to the rating - Airplanes and Rockets

Alternate route to a rating is to perform for a specified period, duties appropriate to the rating. Either way, FAA oral, written and practical exams must be passed.

Users of piston and/or jet engines offer distinct employment opportunities - Airplanes and Rockets

Users of piston and/or jet engines offer distinct employment opportunities to the student who "sticks it out." The military offers valuable in-service experience.

Private aviation, most especially in business flying - Airplanes and Rockets

Private aviation, most especially in business flying, required men like these who here service a flat-four engine.

Mechanic working on hydraulic system of a landing gear - Airplanes and Rockets

Mechanic, working on hydraulic system of a landing gear, is symbolic of today's specialized society.

Working on powerful turbopro - Airplanes and Rockets

Working on powerful turboprop, these painstaking craftsmen compare favorably with skilled in other vital professions.

FAA certified mechanic schools as of August 1, 1966 - Airplanes and Rockets

FAA certified mechanic schools as of August 1, 1966.

As of August 1, 1966, the Federal Aviation Agency listed 79 certificated mechanic schools.

These schools are one of four types: 1) A high school and adult education trade school program; 2) A public school vocational and technical program; 3) A two-year associate in arts degree program (community or Junior college.) 4) A four-year baccalaureate degree program (college or university).

In picking the right school for you, some selection guidelines may be helpful:

1. The program should be directly related to employment opportunities, determined by school officials in cooperation with the aviation community and competent individuals and groups.

2. The course content should be confirmed or changed after periodic evaluations and job analyses of aviation mechanic performance.

3. The course content should be set up and maintained with the advice and cooperation of the school officials, the FAA, and the appropriate representatives of the aviation community.

4. The facilities and equipment to be used in instruction should be comparable to those found in the aviation community.

5. The conditions under which instruction is given should duplicate as nearly as possible desirable conditions in the aviation community itself and at the same time provide effective learning situations.

6. Training should be carried to the point of marketable skills, abilities, understandings, attitudes, work habits, and appreciations sufficient to enable the student to obtain a job at the completion of the course.

7. Instructors should be competent and possess adequate qualifications for teaching.

8. Continuous research on the part of the schools and their staffs should be an integral part of the school program.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements for the  A&P Mechanic Rating

The Federal Aviation Regulations require each applicant for a mechanic certificate or additional rating to demonstrate that he meets the knowledge requirements by passing a written examination. The tests cover the construction and maintenance of aircraft appropriate to the rating; the Regulations pertaining to the certification of, and operating rules for mechanics; the applicable provisions of the Regulations that deal with maintenance, repair, and alteration of aircraft; and general operating rules.

Skill requirements, like experience and knowledge, are related to the rating sought. The Federal Aviation Regulations require each applicant for a mechanic certificate or rating to pass an oral and a practical test for the rating he seeks. The tests cover the applicant's basic skill in performing practical projects in the same general subject areas covered by the written test for that rating.

What Areas Do Examinations Cover?

The subjects with which mechanic examinations are concerned are arranged into three categories: 1) general, which relates to both airframe and powerplant ratings; 2) airframe, which relates to the airframe rating only; and 3) powerplant, which relates to the powerplant rating only.

1. General Subjects:

a) Mechanic Privileges and Limitations b) Official FAA Publications, c) Various Maintenance Forms and Records, d) Basic Physics, e) Basic Mathematics, f) Maintenance Publications, g) Mechanical Drawing, h) Aircraft Weight and Balance, i) Basic Handtools and Measuring Devices, j) Basic Aerodynamics, k ) Nondestructive Testing, l) Basic Electricity; m) Batteries; n) Aircraft Maintenance Equipment, Techniques, and Practices; o) Safety Practices; p) Inspection Procedures and Techniques; q) Fuels and Fuel Systems.

2. Airframe Subjects

a) Theory of Flight, b) Flight Control Systems, c) Cleaning and Preservation, d) Assembly and Rigging, e) Aircraft Finishes, f) Aircraft Covering, g) Aircraft Structures, h) Structural Materials, i) Procedures and Techniques, j) Aircraft Hydraulic Systems, k) Hydraulic Fluids, I) Hydraulic Pumps and Actuators. m) Hydraulic Pressure and Flow Control, n) Aircraft Landing Gear, o) Aircraft Pneumatic Systems, p) Aircraft Fire Detection and Control Systems, q) Cabin Atmosphere Control, r) Aircraft Instrument Systems, s) Airframe Ice Detection and Control Systems, t) Aircraft Communication and Navigation Systems, u) Generators and Generator Control, v) Motors and Motor Control, w) Aircraft Electrical Systems.

3. Powerplant Subjects

a) Basic Carburetion, b) Induction Systems, c) Float-type Carburetors, d) Pressure Carburetors, e) Direct Fuel Injection Systems, f) Carburetor Systems, g) Turbine Fuel Control, h) Superchargers and Impellers, i) Basic Ignition, j) Magnetos, k) Ignition Wiring, l) Turbine Ignition. m) Spark Plugs and Igniters, n) Starting Aids, o) Basic Engine Principles, p) Engine Operation, q) Engine Installations, r) Engine Instruments, s) Exhaust Systems, t) Cooling Systems, u ) Engine Maintenance Procedures and Techniques, v) Basic Lubrication. w) Lubrication Systems, x) Basic Propeller Principles, y) Propeller Operation, z) Propeller Installations, aa) Variable Pitch Propellers, bb) Propeller Maintenance Procedures and Techniques, cc) Generators and Generator Control, dd) Motors and Motor Control, ee) Aircraft Electrical Systems.

Sample Oral Examination Questions

Some examples of the type of questions asked during the oral examination are:

1) What is a blind rivet and how is it used?

2) What is the difference between welding and brazing?

3) What is a circuit breaker and how does it work?

4) What are two causes of vapor lock in a fuel line?

5) Which cylinder should be removed last during the disassembly of a radial aircraft engine?

6) How would you check a propeller for correct track?

7) How is the moment of an item of equipment determined in computing aircraft weight and balance?

Typical Practical Examination Projects

The following are typical of the projects assigned during the practical examination:

1) Make a sheet metal splice.

2) Make a steel tube welded splice.

3) Compute empty weight center of gravity and the most forward and rearward loaded center of gravity of an aircraft.

4) Time the valves of an engine.

5) Install and time engine magnetos.

6) Remove and install a propeller.

Remember: you may obtain more information and assistance regarding A&P mechanics as a possibility for your career from the following sources:

1) Your school counselor, teacher, and/or librarian.

2) Your state employment office.

3) Your local airport.

4) Your public library.

An additional possibility for exceptionally capable young men is United Air Lines' rapidly growing Apprentice Mechanic Program-on-the-job training conducted at their San Francisco and Chicago locations. You may obtain a copy of United's new brochure outlining its complete career program for people interested in becoming aircraft mechanics by writing to the United Air Lines, Education and Training Center, P. O. Box 8776, O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, 60666.

Test Your Knowledge

To find out something about what an A&P written examination is like and to test your knowledge of some of the things an aviation mechanic needs to know, try the following test based on sample written examination questions that are like those on an FAA mechanic's examination. (You can check your answers with the correct answers given below).

1. What must a certificated mechanic with both airframe and powerplant ratings do prior to returning to service an aircraft on which he has performed and approved a 100-hour inspection?

1)   Make the proper entries in the appropriate logbooks.

2)   Present his work and records to a mechanic holding an Inspection Authorization for final approval and release.

3)   Complete the required copies of Form FAA-337, including an accurate description of the work performed, date, mechanic's name, and certificate number.

4)   Notify the local FAA maintenance inspector in writing of his intention to return the aircraft to service.

2. If the container volume of a confined gas is doubled (assume temperature remains constant) the pressure will:

1)   Increase in direct proportion to the volume increase.

2)   Remain the same.

3)   Be doubled.

4)   Be reduced to one-half its original value.

3. As the velocity of the air across an airplane wing increases, the pressure of the air on the upper-surface:

1)   Increases.

2)   Decreases.

3)   Drops to zero.

4)   Remains unchanged.

4. If the cross-section area of a given conductor is increased to four times its original value and the length and temperature remain constant, the resistance of the conductor wilt be:

1)   One-fourth its original value.

2)   Four times its original value.

3)   The same as its original value.

4)   Found by multiplying the original resistance by the percentage increase in cross-sectional area.

5. Which of the following sequences of connecting and tightening the battery leads should result in the safest procedure of installation of a battery in an aircraft with a single wire ground-return electrical system?

1)   Connect and tighten the negative (ground) lead before connecting the positive lead.

2)   Connect the negative (ground) lead, connect the positive lead, then tighten in the same order.

3)   Connect the positive lead, connect the negative (ground) lead, then tighten in the same order.

4)   Connect and tighten the positive lead before connecting the negative (ground) lead.

6. Which of the following has tittle or no effect upon the rate of vaporization of a given fuel?

1)   The pressure of the surrounding air.

2)   The temperature of the fuel.

3)   The temperature of the surrounding air.

4)   The antiknock value of the fuel.

7. If an aircraft is cruising in level flight and the stick or control column is moved forward the elevator will:

1)   Go down and the nose of the aircraft will go down.

2)   Go up and the nose of the aircraft will go down.

3)   Go down and the nose of the aircraft will go up.

4)   Go up and the nose of the aircraft will go up.

8. Which of the following is not indicated by the aluminum sheet designation ALCLAD 2024-T36?

1)   The specific process or combination of operations used to produce the stable temper.

2)   The nominal thickness of the sheet.

3)   Major alloying element.

4)   Method used to produce stable temper (whether strain hardened or heat treated) .

9. If it is necessary to adjust several valves in a hydraulic system, what particular sequence, if any, should be followed?

1)   Units with the highest pressure settings are adjusted first.

2)   Units with the lowest specified pressure settings should be adjusted first.

3)   Units are independent of each other and therefore no particular sequence is necessary.

4)   Units most distant from the hydraulic pump should be adjusted first.

10. Shuttle valves installed in large aircraft braking systems allow:

1)   Two independent systems to operate the same actuator if necessary.

2)   The safe application of brakes regardless of ground speed due to the compensating action of the valves.

3)   Fluid to bypass from the right wheel cylinder to the left wheel cylinder if braking pressures are different.

4)   The compensating port, interconnecting both master cylinders, to discharge fluid alternately from one to the other.

11. Built-in aircraft fire extinguishing systems ordinarily are charged with:

1)   Carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

2)   Carbon tetrachloride.

3)   Sodium bicarbonate.

4)   Freon and nitrogen.

12. Instrument static system leakage can be detected by observing the rate of change in indication of the:

1)   Altimeter after pressure has been applied to the static system to cause a prescribed equivalent altitude to be indicated.

2)   Airspeed indicator after pressure has been applied to the static system to cause a prescribed equivalent airspeed to be indicated.

3)   Altimeter after suction has been applied to the static system to cause a prescribed equivalent altitude to be indicated.

4)   Airspeed indicator after suction has been applied to the static system to cause a prescribed equivalent airspeed to be indicated.

13. What effect wilt increased generator voltage have on the strength of the electromagnet which controls the pressure applied to the stack of carbon discs in a carbon pile voltage regulator?

1)   Both magnet strength and the pressure applied to the carbon discs will increase.

2)   Both magnet strength and the pressure applied to the carbon discs will decrease.

3)   Magnet strength will decrease and the pressure applied to the carbon discs will increase.

4)   Magnet strength will increase and the pressure applied to the carbon discs will decrease.

14. What effect wilt increased humidity have on engine power output?

1)   No appreciable change in power output.

2)   Power output will decrease at all altitudes.

3)   Power output will increase at all altitudes.

4)   No effect at sea level but greater power output at altitude.

15. Aircraft engine direct cylinder fuel injection systems normally discharge fuel into each cylinder during which stroke(s)?

1)   Compression.

2)   Intake.

3)   All (continuously).

4)   Intake and compression.

16. When a single-stage, two speed supercharger is shifted from low to high impeller ratio during a ground check there should be:

1)   A momentary drop in oil pressure, no drop in manifold pressure, and no change in RPM. /p>

2)   A momentary drop in oil pressure, a slight rise in manifold pressure, and an increase in RPM.

3)   No drop in oil pressure, no drop in manifold pressure, and an increase in RPM. /p>

4)   No drop in oil pressure, a slight drop in manifold pressure, and a decrease in RPM.

17. Which statement about the ignition system of a turbojet engine is correct?

1)   It is a low voltage, high amperage system.

2)   The engine will operate normally after start if the ignition system is deenergized.

3)   The engine will not continue to operate after start if the ignition system is deenergized.

4)   The system generally includes a polar inductor type magneto.

18. Thermocouple type temperature indicating instrument systems:

1)   Require no external power source.

2)   Are classed as balanced type, variable resistor circuits.

3)   Usually contain a balancing circuit in the instrument case to prevent fluctuations of the aircraft electrical system , voltage from affecting the temperature reading.

4)   Will not indicate a true reading if the aircraft electrical system voltage varies beyond the range for which the instruments are calibrated.

19. Which of the following is referred to as the propeller blade face?

1)   The root end of a propeller blade.

2)   The flat side of a propeller blade.

3)   The cambered side of a propeller blade.

4)   The cuff around a propeller blade.

20. Select the proper sequence to be followed when using the etching process as an inspection method for determining the surface condition of an aluminum alloy propeller blade.

1)   Nitric acid etch, water rinse.

2)   Nitric acid etch, caustic bath, water rinse.

3)   Abrasive cleaning, nitric acid etch, water rinse, caustic bath, water rinse.

4)   Abrasive cleaning, caustic etch, water rinse, nitric acid bath, water rinse.

 

See answers below.

 

 

 

Answers to Sample Written Examination Items - Airplanes and Rockets

 

 

Posted January 27, 2022


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