The Answer Is!

The answers to the professional mechanics test that O’Brien promoted in the last issue as a way to gain much-needed recognition for mechanics as a “professional” career field are provided. And O’Brien says he is available if any one is...


QUESTION 6: What is the maximum number of mechanics who can sign off a 100-hour inspection on a Piper Aerostar?

Answer: The total number of mechanics to sign off a 100-hour inspection on any twin engine propeller driven aircraft is five. One mechanic to sign off the airframe, two mechanics to sign off each engine, and two mechanics to sign off for each propeller. Remember, when performing a 100-hour you are working within the privileges of your A&P ratings. That is why whenever you perform a 100-hour inspection you must sign off each of the aircraft’s three kinds of logbooks, (airframe, engines, and propellers) separately. It is only the mechanic with an IA who can sign off an annual inspection to the entire aircraft with one entry in the airframe logbook because he signs off the “aircraft” not individual airframes, engines, or propellers.

QUESTION 7: Give one major difference between aircraft certificated under CAR-3 and FAR 23.

Answer: CAR-3 aircraft like, J3-Cubs and Cessna 150s, did not have mandatory life-limited parts on their original type certificates. FAR 23 aircraft like the Piper Tomahawk and the Beech Skipper do have life-limited parts.

QUESTION 8: When were mechanics first licensed and who was the first U.S. licensed mechanic?

Answer: Mechanics were first “licensed” to work on aircraft on July 1, 1927 by the Aeronautic Branch of the Commerce Department. The first “licensed” mechanic was Frank Gates Gardner, director of the Aeronautic Branch. As a side note, the U.S. government stopped “licensing” mechanics and pilots on June 23, 1938, when Congress passed the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938. The Civil Aeronautics Act allowed for the government to “certificate” mechanics and pilots. This change from “licensed” to “certificated” mechanic or pilot was promulgated to reduce the increasing tort claims against the U.S. government in civil court when a government “licensed” pilot or mechanic was involved in an accident.

QUESTION 9: What five documents are required to be in an aircraft prior to flight, and what document is the most important?

Answer: The five documents required to be in an aircraft before flight are: Airworthiness, Registration, Radio License (if flight is outside the United States), Operating Manual, and Weight and Balance. The most important document is the registration certificate. If the aircraft is not properly registered then that aircraft cannot be legally operated (Ref: FAR 47.3).

QUESTION 10: What is the difference between a mechanic rating and an inspection authorization?

Answer: A mechanic’s rating is good until it is revoked, suspended, or surrendered to the Administrator. An inspection authorization is also good until it is revoked, suspended, or surrendered to the Administrator and for one calendar year that begins on April 1 and ends on March 31. The IA has a built-in life limit, a mechanic’s rating does not.

QUESTION 11: Name the three kinds of Airworthiness Directives?

Answer: There are three kinds of Airworthiness Directives: The first is the priority or emergency AD which immediately grounds the aircraft. The second is the immediate adopted rule, which allows a grace period measured in cycles, hours, or days before the AD must be complied with or the aircraft is grounded. The last is the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which the draft AD is published in the Federal Register and a request is made for public comment.

QUESTION 12: Where is the definition of “airworthy” found?

Answer: The definition of airworthy is found on the Standard Airworthiness Certificate and in the glossary of Advisory Circular (AC) 43.13-1B.

QUESTION 13: What is acceptable data used for?

Answer: Acceptable data is the information used to inspect and make minor repairs and alterations (Ref: FAR 43.13 Performance Rules).

QUESTION 14: What is approved data used for?

Answer: Approved data is the information used to make major repairs or major alterations (Ref: FAR 65.95 and FAA Order 8300.10, Vol. 2, Chapter 1, page 1-1).

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