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First Light Sport Repairmen Add General Aviation A & P Rating

It has been over 30 months since the first Light Sport Repairman Maintenance (LSRM) course was held and the first two LSRMs have received their FAA letters of approval to take the Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A & P) written exam and several other LSRMs are in the process of applying. “With so many owners of amateur built aircraft with Rotax engines having difficultly finding an A &P to perform the required condition inspection, the opportunity is too great to pass up,” says Brian McCallen of Light Sport Repair.

Brian took the first LSRM course back in March of 2006 and has submitted an application and was given the approval to take the A & P written exam. An FAA inspector validated the date of his certificate, looked over his paperwork and a record of the work he has performed over the last 30 months.

“The application process was simple and in short order I had my letter of approval to take the A&P written exam. The whole process was relatively painless except for the studying associated with the written exams,” explained Brian. “This is offset by the additional opportunities that an A & P certificate will provide.”

The Repairman Maintenance Rating allows you to perform the maintenance, the annual condition inspection, and the 100 hour inspections (required on aircraft used for hire) on Special Light Sport Aircraft and Experimental Light Sport Aircraft and charge for your services. The job opportunities for the repairman with a maintenance rating are wide-ranging. Light sport manufacturers and dealers in the light sport industry will all require a light sport repairman to perform maintenance on their aircraft after they are certificated. Additionally, flight schools will need LSRM for the required 100 hour inspections. Not to mention the opportunities for new light sport maintenance facilities. Then there is the little known option of transitioning to a general aviation Airframe and Powerplant mechanic.

Aldo Sibi, of Indus Aviation, has also received FAA authorization to take the A & P written exam. “The Light Sport Repairman Rating is a great stepping stone,” says Aldo. “I did not have the two years to commit to an A & P school, but have always wanted a career in aircraft maintenance. Besides 1900 hours of classroom is a long time, but it’s just that! It’s a classroom. Nothing beats experience,” Aldo comments. “In September, I met with an inspector from the Dallas FSDO who reviewed my previous experience, portfolio, and paperwork. Then, after careful review, I was officially signed off to take the test. The A&P opens the door for more versatility. It adds more credibility to my abilities.”

The repairman keeps a portfolio of his work and may apply for authorization to take the A&P written and practical exams for general aviation maintenance technician after working in the field for 30 + months under his own supervision. This 30 month period and work experience substitutes for the traditional requirement to attend a FAA certificated Aviation maintenance technician program.

We recommend that the repairman meet early on with his local FSDO inspector to clarify expectations and create a point of contact at the local FSDO office.

After the thirty month period has past he then makes an appointment with a local FSDO inspector who verifies the work and the date of issuance of the repairman’s certificate. Remember the Repairman must show and the FAA must find that the Repairman has been working in the field for the thirty month period.

With the A & P Certification he will then be authorized to work on any U.S. standard category airplanes from a Cessna 2-seater, to the largest of Jumbo Jets and of course any airplane in-between.

The first step for a LSRM should be purchasing a AMT Logbook to record his experience over a thirty month period while working under his own supervision. The repairman should list all maintenance and inspections including the make and model of the aircraft and the engine.

And how easy was the process for Aldo? “If I had to do it again, I would get a log book to record my maintenance experience. I would be more diligent in keeping records. A lot of time was wasted going through old records to put my experience records together,” he replied. And don’t wait, for a sign off to test to start studying.” Tests, in three separate booklets, consist of written, oral (knowledge) and practical (skills) exams, and are overseen by Designated Mechanic Examiners (DME) of the FAA. Proof of passing grade must be given to the FAA within a designated period of time in order for the appropriate certificate to be issued. There are numerous publishers as well as video’s are available. Sample tests are included in the study materials as well.

After earning your Light Sport Repairman Certificate with a Maintenance Rating the sky is truly NOT the limit in this ever-expanding, high demand, hands-on, exciting field. Rainbow Aviation Services in the sole provider of this specific training. There are currently more jobs available than graduates to fill them! A career as an Aviation Mechanic is in high demand and can take you on many paths in your life.

For more information visit www. rainbowaviation.com or call Rainbow Aviation Services at 530-824-0644.

Light Aviation Edition October 2008

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