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Guide to FAA Mechanic Ratings & Certifications

Guide to FAA Mechanic Certificates and Ratings

Aircraft Mechanic:

For more information see Federal Regulations, 14 CFR Part 65.71 – 65.89

  • What it is – This is the basic mechanic certificate. An aircraft mechanic must hold at least one “rating” (see ratings below) and many mechanics hold both mechanic ratings. These mechanics are often referred to as “A&P” mechanics.
  • What it lets you to do – A mechanic certificate allows you to perform work on any U.S. registered aircraft or aircraft engine based on the ratings held by the mechanic.
  • What it takes – Must be 18 years old. Must meet the experience requirements as prescribed by 14 CFR Part 65.77. Must be proficient in English. Must pass FAA knowledge test and an oral and practical exam.

 

Airframe Rating:

  • What it is – This is a rating on the basic mechanic certificate. It is often referred to as the “A” rating.
  • What it lets you do – This rating allows you to inspect, repair, and perform maintenance on the airframe (and its associated components) of an aircraft.

 

Powerplant Rating:

  • What it is – This is a rating on the basic mechanic certificate. It is often referred to as the “P” rating.
  • What it lets you do – This rating allows you to inspect, repair, and perform maintenance on the engines (and associated components) and propellers installed on an aircraft.

 

Inspection Authorization:

For more information see Federal Regulations, 14 CFR Part 65.91 – 65.95

  • What it is – This is an authorization added to an A&P mechanic certificate. Aircraft mechanics with an inspection authorization are often referred to as “IA”s.
  • What it lets you do – This authorization allows you to perform Annual Inspections and approve major repairs and alterations performed on US registered aircraft.
  • What it takes – You must have been an A&P aircraft mechanic for at least three years and have been actively involved in aircraft maintenance for the two years immediately preceding the application for the authorization. You must pass an FAA knowledge test.
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