A&P License does not make you a Mechanic

Pilots and mechanic share a certain bond. Depending on your job, you may have to associate with pilots. In most cases this is a positive experience, one filled with mutual trust and respect.  If are in a shop small enough where you intact with pilots frequently, then you will probably run into the “pilot with an A&P”. In most cases this pilot is harmless and only looking for affection from their mechanic. These pilots want to talk the talk with the mechanics because hey, “I am a mechanic too”. Of course we know that’s not the case. An A&P license does not make you a mechanic. It just means you took and passed the oral, written and practical A&P tests.

Like I said, in most cases this type of pilot just wants to use mechanic lingo, and that’s fine. I have no problem with listening to how they are also mechanically inclined unless of course I have something more important to do, which is typically the case. Sometimes these pilots were mechanics back in the military and will tell you how they “used to do things”.  My advise is to  smile, nod and listen politely.

In very rare cases, the A&P pilot may try and dictate how you perform your maintenance. Unless he is your boss for some reason, ignore him/her the best you can. It is your signature that releases the aircraft back to service. We follow the maintenance manual and not the pilots’ intuition. I’m not saying ignore the poor guy, just take what he says with a grain of salt. When he describes what happened during a problem, take note. When he starts explaining his “theory” on what needs to be replaced, take heed.


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