We have been covering all the journey of becoming an expert Aircraft Maintenance Technician. Today, we will pin point 10 facts about EASA or European Aviation Safety Agency Technical Training you need to keep in mind when you are about to pursue a Type course.
1. Who can enrol in a Type Training course?
Anyone holding an aircraft maintenance licence (AML) or aeronautical engineering degree or equivalent and involved in the development of aircraft maintenance tasks, who may need to broaden their skills on a specific aircraft. If you don’t have a license or an engineering degree but have at least one year's significant industry experience, you may also be admitted.
2. What do you need to know to enrol in a Type Training course?
To be able to complete a Type Training course you need to get your Aircraft Maintenance Technician Part 66 B License. This means that you have completed your Basic Training and your field practice. In some cases, you may have even been working in the field for a while and now you know what aircraft is your favourite. Basic Training prepares you for MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) activities and the final result is a Category B licence, which is divided into two subcategories:
- B1 – Mechanical (aircraft structure, power plant and mechanical and electrical systems)
- B2 – Avionics (communications, navigation, radar, instrument and electrical systems)
Once you have that, you can pursue an EASA Technical Type Training course and specialise in a particular Aircraft model.
3. What are the objectives of a Type Training course?
Once you complete the Type Training of your choice, you will acquire comprehensive theoretical skills in the systems, structures, operations, maintenance, repair and diagnosis of malfunctions detected on an aircraft type in particular, in accordance with approved maintenance information and documentation, so that the necessary maintenance tasks can be properly and safely carried out. You will get to know particular aircraft types inside-out.
4. What are the most demanded EASA Technical Type Training courses?
As in every specialization, some of the options are more ‘famous’ than others. The real reason for that lies behind the knowledge of which are the most widely commercially used aircraft. The logic is simple: If you specialise in those aircrafts that are the most demanded by airlines, you will probably have better and more job opportunities.
And the winners are: Airbus A320, Boeing 737, Boeing 777, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 757, Boeing 767 and Airbus A380. Also, you may be bolder and go for ATR-72 500 type training or Bombardier CRJ1000 type training.
5. What is the theoretical part of the Type Training about?
As in any other course, there is a theoretical part and a practical part. Theoretical questions are included in the theoretical part and distributed into 5 exams. All contents cover the levels identified in the Appendix III of Part 66, which is the detailed theoretical knowledge of the aircraft's applicable systems, structure, operations, maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting according to approved maintenance data. Once you have completed the theoretical part, you will be able to demonstrate the proper use of manuals and approved procedures, as well as the steps to follow in relevant inspections and the limitations involved. You probably can’t wait to get on the field next to an aircraft, but this section is carried out in a classroom environment by using power point presentations and visual material on the particular aircraft type.
6. What is the practical section of the Type Training about?
The time has come: You have completed the theoretical part and now you are ready to prove yourself on the field. This is it. You will put into practice the knowledge acquired to translate it into the skills necessary to perform maintenance, inspection and day-to-day tasks properly and safely, in accordance with the maintenance manual and other relevant instructions of a particular aircraft type.
You will be exposed to real-life situations to learn how to troubleshoot and solve problems, perform repairs and customizations, replacements and functional checks. Basically, it’s hands-on time, and you will get familiar with the use of aircraft technical documents, dedicated tools and test equipment to remove and replace components and modules. The EASA Type Training practical part sounds exciting, right?
7. How long does the whole training course take?
As a general rule, theoretical training shall be completed within 25 days and practical training within 10 days, yet, it all depends on the type of aircraft you choose and how the training course is organised at the training centre you attend. If you can’t find the duration of the course on the web page of training centre, don’t hesitate and give them a call to get all the information that you are interested in.
8. How long is the training valid to be able to issue the certificate?
You have some time to get the certificate issue. The training for the aircraft type rating chosen is valid for a period of three years preceding the application for a rating endorsement (Part-66, Appendix III, paragraph 1). Note that the three years start counting the day you start the course and not when you finished it.
9. What should be taken into account when choosing the training centre?
It’s important to select a Part-147 approved training centre. This part states everything a centre should offer to ensure proper training is provided, from the duration of the courses, whether there is theory involved or the course is only practical, the qualification of the trainers, the characteristics of the facilities, etc.
Another thing that you may have also known, is that if you train at an EASA Part-147 Approved Training Centre, then you need less time of field experience before qualifying to apply to your B license (2 years instead of 5).
10. Further considerations when selecting your training centre
Not only it is important that the centre complies with European safety standards, there are other aspects that, though EASA approved, may vary across centres and can make a difference in your training experience. For example, it is best to choose a centre that has its own hangar for the hands-on part of your training, as they will be able to control all elements at the hangar meet all theoretical contents covered by their training.
Also, as it happens with any other career you may want to pursue, the more solid the company behind the centre, the better. Run a background check on the company offering the training. The comments of previous students on online forums are usually a good source of real experiences.
So there you have it. We hope we have made it a little easier for you to decide on a training centre. Go for it!