About The Test
Steve Alcorn of DME Services of North Florida conducts the Oral and Practical tests for aircraft mechanic ratings. These tests are the final step in the certification of aircraft mechanics as outlined in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR, Part 65).
Who may test
To be eligible for a mechanic certificate, a person must be at least 18 years old, be able to read, write and speak English, have passed the prerequisite Airman Knowledge Exams (also known as the written exams), and submitted documentation regarding the completion of a course of study in an Aviation Maintenance Technical School or documentation showing applicable work or military experience.
All applicants document their experiences using the Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application (FAA’s 8610-2 Form). This form is available online at http://www.faa.gov/forms/index.cfm/go/document.information/documentID/185870. Once completed the 8610-2 Form is taken to an FAA Flight Standards Office for review and sign-off.
Applicants must have been approved by an FAA Flight Standards Office (FSDO) and obtained 2 copies of the 8610-2 Form with the appropriate signatures by the FSDO representative and the applicant. 2 copies of the signed 8610-2 Form must be provided to the DME.
Note: Graduates of a 147 school may show their graduation certificates in lieu of the 8610-2 form.
Applicants must have passed the prerequisite Airman Knowledge Exams within 24 calendar months of the Oral and Practical testing. The original copy of the results of these exams must be provided to the DME at the time of the Oral and Practical testing.
Applicants must show a government issued photo identification like a driver’s license or passport. There also must be some form of identification linking the applicant to their current address. If the applicant is not a US citizen, there must be a second government issued photo identification shown.
What is the test
There are five parts to the Oral and Practical test: General, Airframe Structures, Airframe Systems and Components, Powerplant Theory and Maintenance, and Powerplant Systems and Components. There are 44 subjects that are tested in the Oral. The FAA selects the questions for these 44 subjects for the Oral, each subject to be passed with at least a 70%. The FAA also designates the projects for the Practical exam that must all be performed correctly. The projects are taken from the published Practical Test Standards that are available on faa.gov.
Applicants seeking the Airframe certificate must pass the General and the two Airframe sections. Applicants seeking the Powerplant certificate must pass the General and the two Powerplant sections.
Applicants who fail a subject are required to retest on the entire section failed. Retests within 30 days of the initial exam must be reauthorized by an A&P who provides additional training to the applicant. After 30 days the retest does not require a reauthorization.
How to Prepare
Preparation for the test may be done with the use of various published materials either on one’s own or with the help of prep courses or available maintenance personnel. There are several publicly available Study Guides. Practical test projects differ by DME but follow the FAA Practical Test Standards which are available on www.faa.gov.
Applicants come with 3+ years experience as a mechanic with military or civilian backgrounds, or from an academic program in Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics.
Testing for all 3 parts, General, Airframe and Powerplant, is scheduled for a full day. If the applicant is only testing for the Airframe or Powerplant certificates, but not both, the test is scheduled for the majority of a day. Retests are scheduled based on the number of sections to be retested.