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Old 10-03-2017, 02:38 PM
nbachert nbachert is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: California, MD
Posts: 339
Default Anyone attained their A&P through experimental builds?

I'm three quarters of the way through my second build and working with the FSDO to get permission to take my A&P test. The DME I've talked to about taking my academic and practical said he has done this before but doesn't have a copy of what was sent to the FAA for approval. I sent the guy working on my case at the FAA a 12 page document with pictures and descriptions of all my building. He said the EAA has some sort of build sheet that he would like to see but he doesn't have a copy of it. I've been working on this for 3 months now and I'm just trying to get the ball rolling. If anyone has this sheet or an example of what they sent in I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks for your help and advice in advance.

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Old 10-03-2017, 03:29 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,837

Hi Nick,

You can point the inspector at FAA Order 8900.1, Chapter 5, Paragraph 5-1135, sub-paragraph B. This allows the inspector to use work on experimental, amateur built aircraft as part of what you need to satisfy the requirements for the A&P. I did this earlier this year, and can tell you that I also had over twenty years of experience working with A&P's and IA's on my own certified aircraft. Note that I said "allows" - it doesn't require that they accept it. Building one (or more) E-AB's is unlikely to give you all of the experience necessary unless you have also done significant engine building as part of those builds. is all up to the discretion of the FSDO inspector. Note that THEY are the ones you have to satisfy that you have the necessary experience, not the DME. The DME can't give you the exam until the Inspector has signed your paperwork saying that you are qualified (at least as I understand it).

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:47 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,070

Note that the exams are separated into three parts: general, airframe and engine. You need the general to get either the A or the P or both, and can get those two separately or only get one.

I got my "experience" qualification by being a USAF mechanic back when, but it was my homebuilding experience that gave me the practical skills to get the A part of the license. I never did get the P side of it because I've never had the hands-on knowledge that's needed, just as Paul mentioned.

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Old 10-03-2017, 05:33 PM
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n82rb n82rb is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: fort myers fl
Posts: 1,091

I had the same experience with the FSDO as paul did when I got mine 20 years ago. they accepted it as experience, but more was needed to meet their requirements. they basically gave credit towards the A, but I had to show the experience for the P with other work.

bob burns
RV-4 N82RB
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Old 10-03-2017, 05:38 PM
nbachert nbachert is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: California, MD
Posts: 339

Thanks Paul, I'll research that document. Yes, you're correct, I have to prove my worthiness to the FAA guy not the DME. That is where I'm stuck. I'm trying to find this EAA product that he would like to see. Hope fully one of us will find it soon.

I have all three study guides and have passed all three in the online practice exams. I plan on getting both the A&P.
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:31 PM
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az_gila az_gila is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: 57AZ - NW Tucson area
Posts: 10,011

Originally Posted by n82rb View Post
I had the same experience with the FSDO as paul did when I got mine 20 years ago. they accepted it as experience, but more was needed to meet their requirements. they basically gave credit towards the A, but I had to show the experience for the P with other work.

bob burns
RV-4 N82RB
Same here.... I got my "A" too based on homebuilding, but still don't have the "P" bit.

When you talk to the Inspector you do need to use terminology per the FAA requirements for an A&P. Note that it's not only the experience bit, but the hours required must be met. That's hard to do in the "P" section unless you are working constantly on engines, including turbines. I believe they take the months required, 18 for "A" or "P" or 30 months combined, and assume full time 40 hr weeks.

"Priming" is "Corrosion Control"..etc.
Gil Alexander
EAA Technical Counselor, Airframe Mechanic
Half completed RV-10 QB purchased
RV-6A N61GX - finally flying
Grumman Tiger N12GA - flying
La Cholla Airpark (57AZ) Tucson AZ

Last edited by az_gila : 10-03-2017 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:41 AM
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Jesse Jesse is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: X35 - Ocala, FL
Posts: 3,711

I was signed off to take my exams based on my experience with RV?s. I had a few letters from A&P?s who had ?overseen? my work over the years. The FSDO guy said that was adequate. The problem is that each person can require different documentation to satisfy themselves. If you run into a block wall with this guy, maybe try someone at a different FSDO or a different person at that FSDO.
Jesse Saint
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:06 AM
TS Flightlines TS Flightlines is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ridgeland, SC
Posts: 2,930

Nick----a good friend of mine who had alot of military experience did the paperwork and the A&P course at Baker in Nashville. Got his ticket, now finishing up his IA. Since you have built several RV's, the airframe part should be ok. The engine part might be another issue.
You might talk to the Baker people and see whats required.

Tom Swearengen, TS Flightlines LLC, AS Flightlines
Joint Venture with Aircraft Specialty
Teflon Hose Assemblies for Experimentals
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Ridgeland, SC,
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:01 PM
titanhank titanhank is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Friendswood, Tx
Posts: 477

I just did mine with the houston fsdo. They are notorious for being difficult to work with on an experience based a&p certificate. The only thing legally required for you to show to the fsdo is a signed and notarized letter from the a&p or ia that is signing you off to take the test that you meet the requirments and have the required calender months working on airplanes. They are putting there certifications on the line to certify you are good to go. I had my mechanic friend who had overseen my work for years type out a letter and sign and notarize it. His ia certificate was from the atlanta fsdo and it made no difference. I went back and created a mechanics logbook of my previous work on experimental airplanes and helicopters based on pictures and dates of repairmen certificates issued. I had my mechanic friend sign it as well. I made an appointment with the fsdo inspector and presented my letter and logbook. He took the letter, verified my ID and never even opened the logbook. I was in and out in about 30 minutes with the authorization to take the writtens. I threw the logbook in the trash when i got home. I downloaded gleims online study course for the writtens and took them at the local airport. DO NOT take them at baker school. It is info overload with them. I took all the writtens in two weeks. The general was hardest for me. After passing the writtens, i enrolled at baker school for a class two months out. They will send you the oral and practical prep book. This gave me two months to study at my own pace without having a brain meltdown. I went to baker school for the three day prep course and nearly slept through class. It is mostly going over basic practical projects you may see and a lot of "study" time for those that took there writtens at the school. DO NOT do that. The O&P can last 12 hrs or so depending on your ability to do the projects and find info in the books. The examiners that baker school use are fantastic and really want you to succeed. The whole process took 3 months from letter sign off to certificate in my pocket. There was no tricky stuff anywhere in the process. Make sure you have the correct wording on your sign off letter, download gleim, take writtens locally and spend a month or so reviewing the test book from baker and you should breeze right through the whole process.
Harmon Rocket #1
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1959 Piper PA22-150 Tri-Pacer

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Last edited by titanhank : 10-04-2017 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:44 PM
dclaffey dclaffey is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 26

The response are correct the hardest part is showing the required time and experience. If you have an existing A&P or better IA sign off task sheets to show you have he experience it will help. I was fortunate and had training through the military and I was able to use my training records with the FAA to get the tickets signed. Once you have the permission form the FAA there are the 3 tests but you will also have to pass a practical and an oral exam. The 3 written are not hard if you study. The questions are taken word for word form the study guides. I opted to do a week long class that offered all the writtens, practical, and oral. You had to show up with the FAA tickets. The school had an examiner so I left with my A&P. The great thing was they provided a crash course refresher for things not practiced very often. Coming form the military most of my experience was on Jet engines so this class helped a lot especially since part of my practical was to checkout and install a magneto. I am not sure the school is still around but It was the Georgia Aviation College. Once you get your tickets I highly recommend finding one of these schools as they will help you get you license. It doesn't matter if you are examined out of state. I lived in North Carolina when I went to Georgia to test.

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