AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE ENGINEERING (DGCA)
If we look back a decade or two, we will notice that avionics was just limited to a few black boxes for communication and navigation installed on aircraft. But with passage of time avionics in field of aviation has undergone a tremendous change. Integrated Digital Avionics as it is, referred to, has blossomed into a third dimension for aerospace vehicles, first two being airframe and engines. Any new advancement in electronics has tempted the A/C designer to add a new dimension to this avionics package. As a result, the avionics of today encompasses the aircraft flight control (fly by wire) also engine control (fully automatic Digital Electronics control), the integrated flight and fire control, cockpit displays and even utilities management in addition to communication and integrated navigation. Multiple roles are also being carried out in a truly integrated manner through the use of common digital format for data. This enables avionic systems to share data from a bank of common sensors and data links has permitted additional redundancies in hardware resulting to higher reliability and higher flight safety. Thus multi role aircraft are available with more reliability due to increased role of electronics. This has led to increase in cost of maintenance and manufacture of A/C. We know that avionics of today share 40% of the cost of military A/C and almost 55% of airforce budget.
The major escalation in cost of present day A/C is due to more advanced and developed avionics. Because of advancement in electronics/Avionics we have multi role a/c these days. Even present day helicopter carry a more modern fire control radar and digital avionic flight management computers. Some of Present day A/C have advanced auto pilots and common digital automatic flight control and ground proximity warning system (GPWS). The stress these days is vastly on avionics updates which improves performance. Head up display is a new growth area being used on light transport a/c (LTA). The market of avionic is on the increase both in military and civil sectors. The new trend of increased role for avionic is definite to result in increase share of avionics in the local market also.
The training and educational institutes are also updating their course coverage accordingly to deliver the trained manpower and handling and maintenance of developed avionic system in field of aviation. To fulfill the need of trained manpower in the field of avionics the endeavour of this institute is to update the training programme to generate reasonable level of self sufficiency in the field of Avionics. Presently there are about 60 institutes approved by DGCA to train man power for acquiring AME licence, out of these only 20 are approved to train AME’s for avionic systems and ours happens to be the first institute in Delhi Region approved by DGCA for Avionic System.
Total number of students coming out from these 60 institutes which are training the students in the field of Airframe and Engines, are approximately 3600 per year, where as number of students coming out with avionics training are only around 1000 per year and so they are in great demand in the industry due to short supply and more development of avionics industry.
About The Course
Training for the AME course at SOA has been approved by the DGCA. The licence Examination is conducted by the DGCA.
The duration of training at the institute is 2 ½ years, phased over five semesters and followed by one semester (six months) of Post Institutional Apprenticeship in an airline/aircraft operator/instrument shop. Different types of Instruments and Aircraft electrical equipment in our workshop give an opportunity to the student to study various theories of instrumentation of an aircraft. The reference books, periodicals, aviation magazines and text books in our library keep the student abreast of knowledge in the aviation field. In short SOA provide all facilities to make a student a successful Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.
Basically, the course is meant for preparing the students for getting Basic Maintenance Engineer Licence (BAMEL) which is issued by DGCA after the student has passed Papers I, II and III of examination conducted by DGCA.
There are basically 5 papers for the AME Licence Examination, conducted by the DGCA, New Delhi and the process for appearing in these exams are as follows.
On completion of the semester II (1 year’s completion) an AME student is advised to appear for the Paper I of the AME Licence Examination conducted by the DGCA, New Delhi and at the end of two years for Paper II.
Similarly, on completion of the Semester V (2 ½ years’ completion), an AME student is advised to appear for the Paper III (IS, ES & RN) for which the minimum age limit of 21 years to hold an AME Licence is not applicable.
Various Papers in Avionics System are
Paper I : Aircraft Rules, Regulation and CARs
Paper II : General Engg Workshop Practices and Aircraft Practices
Paper III(Avionics) : Aircraft Electrical System , Aircraft Instrument System, Aircraft Radio and Navigation System
It is mandatory for the students to put in a minimum of 80% of attendance in every semester to appear for the examination for promotion to the next semester. The minimum pass marks in any test or examination is 70% and pass marks for Re-Examination is 75%. The students falling short of attendance are not promoted to next semester and may be detained. The students are expected to pass all the subjects of a semester. Candidates may be promoted to the next semester after completion of previous semester (s). Candidates who are not successful in passing some subjects of a semester may be re-exmined for those subject(s) until they pass the complete semester. For such students the application must be forwarded for DGCA AME licence examination only after he has successfully passed the required semester examinations. They will be given extra coaching and will have to pay additional fees and other charges for the full semester.
The minimum qualification for admission to the course is a pass in
i. 10+2 pre-degree/intermediate or equivalent with Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry / B.Sc with Maths, Physics & Chemistry.
ii. Diploma in Engineering with 50% marks.
The student will have to produce a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner with minimum MBBS qualification to certify that he / she has no physical disability and the colour vision is normal.
AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE ENGINEERING LICENCE PROGRAMME FROM EUROPEAN AVIATION SAFETY AGENCY (EASA)
EASA - What They Do
Air transport is one of the safest modes of travel. It is also the fastest growing. That is why the European Union decided on a common initiative to keep air transport safe and sustainable, allowing for growth and improved safety. It is called the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The European Aviation Safety Agency promotes the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation in Europe and worldwide. It is the centerpiece of a new regulatory system which provides for a single European market in the aviation industry.
A milestone achievement of the agency in December 2006 was the certification of the Airbus A380, the world’s largest airliner. The agency’s responsibilities include:
The agency’s responsibilities are growing to meet the challenges of the fast-developing aviation sector. In a few years, the Agency will also be responsible for safety regulations regarding airports and air traffic management systems.
Based in Cologne, the agency already employs some 500 professionals from across Europe. It will continue to recruit highly qualified specialists and administrators in the coming years as it consolidates its position as Europe’s centre of excellence in aviation safety.
Their vision is to see European citizens benefit from the safest and most environment-friendly civil aviation system in the world.
Requirement To Hold A Licence Under Part-66
In order to be granted authorisation to issue certificates of release to service a person must hold a valid licence issued in accordance with Part-66. The minimum age to hold a Part-66 licence is 18 years. In order to certify, the minimum age is 21.
How To be an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Under Part-66
Under Part-66 an aircraft maintenance licence confirms that the person to whom it refers has met the Part-66 knowledge and experience requirements for any aircraft basic category and aircraft type rating specified in the document.
The licence is divided broadly between Mechanical and Avionic trade disciplines although in view of the various technologies and combinations applicable to certain aircraft the Mechanical licence category is further subdivided. In addition there are various levels within the licence that allow the holder to be authorised to perform certain roles within line and/or base maintenance. These reflect different levels of task complexity and are supported by different standards of experience and knowledge. An individual may hold a combination of licence categories.
The categories within the aircraft maintenance licence are:
Category A is further divided into sub categories as follows:
The experience demonstrated on application must be relevant to the sub category of licence being applied for and must satisfy certain criteria in respect of recency.
An applicant for a category A licence must have completed a prescribed period of aircraft maintenance experience. This experience should include minor scheduled line maintenance and simple defect rectification on operating aircraft. Category A applicants should have at least 3 years practical maintenance experience on operating aircraft.
Category B1 Licence
The B1 licence is a mechanical based licence and permits the holder to issue certificates of release to service following line maintenance, including aircraft structure, power plants and mechanical and electrical systems. Replacement of avionic line replaceable units requiring simple tests without the use of test equipment to prove their serviceability is also included within the privileges of this licence. A Category B1 licence holder also has a role in base maintenance in supporting the Category C certifier who is the final CRS/SMI signatory.
The B1 licence is sub-divided into sub-categories as below:
An applicant for a category B1 licence must have completed a prescribed period of aircraft maintenance experience. This experience is to be relevant to the licence category required and to the maintenance experience of operating aircraft. This experience should include maintenance on aircraft structure, powerplant, mechanical and electrical systems and replacement of avionic LRU’s requiring simple tests to prove their serviceability. Candidates should have at least 5 years practical maintenance experience on operating aircraft.
Category B2 Licence
The B2 licence is avionic based and permits the holder to issue certificates of release to service, following line maintenance on avionic systems. A Category B2 licence holder also has a role in base maintenance in supporting the Category C certifier who is the final CRS/SMI signatory.
The B2 licence broadly covers the following areas:
An applicant for a category B2 licence must have completed a prescribed period of aircraft maintenance experience. This experience is to be relevant to the licence category sought and to the maintenance experience of operating aircraft in avionic and electrical systems. Category B2 applicants should have at least 5 years practical maintenance experience on operating aircraft.