Haven’t Used Your A and P License in 24 Months?
If you have your A and P license and you haven’t used it in 24 months, your certificates technically are not current. That means you cannot exercise the privilege (use your license), until you meet the requirements of FAR 65.83 ;
A certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges of his certificate and rating unless, within the preceding 24 months—
(a) The Administrator has found that he is able to do that work; or
(b) He has, for at least 6 months—
(1) Served as a mechanic under his certificate and rating;
(2) Technically supervised other mechanics;
(3) Supervised, in an executive capacity, the maintenance or alteration of aircraft; or
(4) Been engaged in any combination of paragraph (b) (1), (2), or (3) of this section.
If you find yourself without a job for over 24 months, you may have a problem getting hired. This is because many companies use this rule to sort out the qualified mechanics for open positions. Even if you have 30 years of prior experience, a 24 month lapse can seriously hurt your prospects of getting hired.
Keeping your A and P License Current
FAR 65.83 is designed to keep mechanics fresh and up-to-date with the changes within the FAA and FARs. The good news is that there are ways you can comply with this regulation with without causing to much of a problem. FAR 65.83 (a) states that if the administrator (the FAA) deems a mechanic “able to do that work” then he/she may exercise the privilege of the A&P license. That means setting up an appointment with the local FAA office (FSDO). The FAA inspector will probably ask you questions for CFRs and FARs which you should be familiar with as an aircraft mechanic.
It is also possible for someone to work as an aircraft mechanic apprentice for 6 months. This satisfies section (b) of 65.83. It is also important to note that 6 months does not necessarily mean full time employment. It is also important to remember that it does not matter which type of aircraft the work was performed on as long as it is an N- numbered aircraft.
Often times when applying for jobs, the human resources department will consider an aircraft mechanic that does not meet this rule to be not qualified. This can be very troubling to those seeking work.
It is also possible to instead work for a part 145 repair station for awhile to push that 24 month lapse of employment down on the resume. The idea is to not highlight that section of your history. Avoid anything that could raise a red flag by someone in the HR department. Some contract firms like STS and AeroTek will also hire a mechanic that currently does not meet the minimums of 65.83.
The bottom line is some companies will make a bigger deal about this rule than others. Some will not hire based on this alone. The best way to avoid this rule is to not have a lapse in employment at all but of course somethings cannot be controlled such as layoffs.
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