Acceptable Forms of Identification
For a U.S. citizen or resident alien, acceptable forms of photo identification include a valid and current:
U.S. territory or state-issued driver's license
U.S. government identification card
U.S. military identification card
Alien residency card
For a non-U.S. citizen, a passport AND one or more of the following valid and current forms of photo identification:
Country-Issued Driver's license
An identification card issued by any government entity
Foreign Military identification card
Must be at least 18 years old
Speak, Read, Write and Understand English.
Have passed all of the FAA Exams tests within a period of 24 months.
* IMPORTANT *
You must have 18 months of practical experience for one rating and 30 months of practical experience for the Airframe & Powerplant ratings.
Your experience doesn't expire as long as you have the evidence to back it up.
The moment you start testing, you will have 24 months to complete all testing. If the 24 months are superseded, you must retest all written exams again. The applicants 8610-2 never expires, just the exams.
America's Best AMT Courses will be with you until you have completed the course.
Military Aircraft Mechanic Experience Requirement
You must have aircraft experience prior to applying or taking any Federal Aviation Administration exams.
Military experience starts after you graduate from your technical school.
You must have:
At least 18 months of practical experience with the procedures, practices, materials, tools, machine tools, and equipment generally used in constructing, maintaining, or altering airframes or powerplants appropriate to the rating sought; or
At least 30 months of practical experience concurrently performing the duties appropriate to both the airframe and powerplant ratings.
Get All Your Training Documentation Ready for Review
(623's. TBA'S, training records DD-214)
Contact your local Flight Standards Office (FSDO) and ask them what they would like to see before your appointment with the Inspector. Each FSDO Inspector may ask for one document or several. Then gather those documents so you’re prepared for the appointment.
If you’re a veteran, take your DD214 and any additional training records you may have available on hand.
To obtain your DD214 you can go to this link: https://www.dd214.us/
Call and make an appointment with the FSDO Inspector. You will provide all the documentation proving you’re qualified. Also, bring an up-to-date I.D. with your name and address. You’ll be asked questions about your aircraft experience and engine experience as applicable. After the Inspector reviews your I.D. your records and conducts an oral interview, they will issue you 8610-2 AKA “tickets” if he or she determines that you are qualified. You MUST have your 8610-2 with you for every FAA Exam you take.
America's Best AMT Courses will help you review your records if needed before you sit down with the FAA.
Airman Knowledge Exams
Once you obtain your tickets, the next step is to study for your Airman Knowledge exams (AKTR) aka written exams. You are going to encounter subjects or topics that you have never seen or studied before. You can self-study or attend a prep course depending on how much time or money you want to dedicate to it.
Once you start you have 24 months to complete. If you don’t, then you have to get another 8610-2 from the FSDO, go through the interview again, and start over with the testing.
The General exam is a multiple choice 60 question exam. General you will have to do no matter if you one rating or both. The Airframe and Powerplant exams are 100 multiple choice questions each. You must score 70% or higher to pass the exams. Remember to have your I.D. and 8610-2 for each FAA exam and if not a U.S Citizen bring a passport.
All exam fees are separate from the course.
Orals and Practicals
Next step is the Oral and Practical Exams with the Designated Mechanic Examiner (DME). Contact your local DME (Click here) by phone or email and ask them their exam fees and how much for retest fee.
The testing covers 43 technical subjects and is broken up into 2 parts, Orals and Practical. The DME will log into the DMS system and print out the applicant's exam.
The Orals are where the DME will test your knowledge verbally. You’ll be asked a series of questions and you must be able to answer them based on what you know and what you learned.
Practicals are where you demonstrate to the Examiner that you can perform the core competency items per subject (basic tasks). Before you perform any task,
first open your manual or book,
find the job,
show the DME you know how to navigate through the books (publications),
read the instructions,
and then perform the task.
This shows your proficiency in knowing how to use the books and also tells you how to perform the task. America's Best AMT Courses will guide you through the whole process and get you certified.
Understanding the Performance Levels for O&P
The following is a detailed description of the meaning of each level. (FAA PTS)
Know basic facts and principles.
Be able to find information, and follow directions and written instructions.
Locate methods, procedures, instructions, and reference material.
Interpretation of information not required.
No skill demonstration is required.
Example for Level 1:
Locate specified nondestructive testing methods.
The applicant will locate information for nondestructive testing. (Level1)
Know and understand principles, theories, and concepts.
Be able to find and interpret maintenance data and information, perform basic operations using the appropriate data, tools, and equipment.
A high level of skill is not required.
Example for Level 2:
Detect electrical leakage in electrical connections, terminal strips, and cable harness
(at least ten will have leakage faults)(Level 2)
Using appropriate maintenance data and a multi-meter, the applicant will identify items with leakage faults.
(This is the approval for return to service standards.)
Know, understand, and apply facts, principles, theories, and concepts.
Understand how they relate to the total operation and maintenance of aircraft.
Be able to make independent and accurate airworthiness judgments.
Perform all skill operations to a return-to-service standard using appropriate data, tools, and equipment. Inspections are performed in accordance with acceptable or approved data.
A fairly high skill level is required.
Example for Level 3:
Check control surface travel. (Level 3)
Using type certificate data sheets and the manufacturer’s service manual, the applicant will measure the control surface travel, compare the travel to the maintenance data, and determine if the travel is within limits.
Reasons why an applicant passes or fails their O&P (FAA Definitions)
The practical test is passed if the applicant demonstrates the prescribed proficiency in the assigned elements in each subject area to the required standard. Applicants shall not be expected to memorize all mathematical formulas that may be required in the performance of various elements in this practical test standard. However, where relevant, applicants must be able to locate and apply necessary formulas to obtain correct solutions.
If the applicant does not meet the standards of any of the elements performed (knowledge or skill elements), the associated subject area is failed, and thus that section of the practical test is failed.
Typical areas of unsatisfactory performance and grounds for disqualification include the following.
Any action or lack of action by the applicant that requires corrective intervention by the examiner for reasons of safety.
Failure to follow acceptable or approved maintenance procedures while performing skill (practical) projects.
Exceeding tolerances stated in the maintenance instructions.
Failure to recognize improper procedures.
The inability to perform to a return to service standard, where applicable.
Inadequate knowledge in any of the subject areas
The Full A&P Process Made simple for all our Future and Current students
Obtaining FAA Approval
Read the following for requesting FAA approval to proceed with Airframe and Powerplant certification. Once you have acquired the required experience as an aircraft mechanic (either through civilian work, military, or school), the first step in obtaining an A&P certificate is to visit your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
You can find the locations for these offices here: FSDO
The FSDO is where you will present all your documentation (work history, military records, or school information) to the inspector. Remember that the FAA does not charge for this service; you will also need to provide positive photo identification, so be sure that your ID is current and reflects any recent name or address changes.