This brief is provided as an introduction to anyone interested in a career as an aircraft engineer through courses offered at Air Service Training (AST) in Perth, Scotland.

EASA IR Part 66: The European Aviation Safety Agency Implementing Rule Part 66 is an aviation regulation that defines the conditions under which a maintenance engineer is authorised to work on, certify and release an aircraft into service after a maintenance operation.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is the organisation that regulates all aviation activity within Europe and its delegates authority. This regulation is implemented and enforced by the respective country’s National Aviation Authorities; for example the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the United Kingdom, and the Department of Civil Aviation, under the Ministry of Transport for Malaysia.

To assure safety within the industry, engineering personnel are licensed by the national authorities, similar to how pilots and air traffic controllers need license to work in the respective countries.

Licensed engineers are allowed to certify the work that has been carried out on an aircraft and return it to service.

There are several categories of licenses which cover different levels and disciplines and a variety of routes exist to achieve them.

Category A Licence: Ramp or Line Maintenance Certifying Mechanic
  • a person who is qualified to work on operational aircraft
  • perform relatively minor maintenance tasks and part replacements that are required between major service overhauls and to subsequently certify these tasks
  • this work is generally done while the aircraft is in service, during turnrounds or overnight

Category A license is attained after completing a 6-month approved course and examinations, plus 1 year of appropriate certified experience. The alternative route to this licence is the self-improver, which can be achieved by self-study or attending a modular course. In this case 2 years appropriate experience is required.

Category B License: Base Maintenance Certifying Technician
  • a person who is qualified to work on aircraft that have been withdrawn from service for routine periodic servicing or major overhauls and re-fits
  • he/she can subsequently certify his/her own and others’ work.

Category B licence is attained after completing a 2 year approved course and examinations, plus 2 years of appropriate certified experience.

Category B licences are further divided into specialist skills such as mechanical or avionic. This licence can also be attained through the self-improver route, which can be achieved by self-study or attending a modular course. In this case 5 years appropriate experience is required.

The different disciplines of Category B license

If you decide that you would like to be a Mechanical Engineer specialising in scheduled maintenance, restoration and re-fit of airframes, power plants, fuel systems and associated pneumatic, hydraulic and air-conditioning systems then you can select from the following Category B licence routes. The licence issued will show which category of aircraft it applies to – which will be one of the following:

  • B1.1 Fixed Wing: Aeroplanes with Turbine Engines
  • B1.2 Fixed Wing: Aeroplanes with Piston Engines
  • B1.3 Rotary Wing: Helicopters with Turbine Engines
  • B1.4 Rotary Wing: Helicopters with Piston Engines
  • B2 Avionic: Electronic systems fitted to all aircraft

Turbine Engines: often referred to as jet engines and also called combustion turbines, these are rotary engines that extract energy from a flow of combustion gas. It has an upstream compressor coupled to a downstream turbine, and a combustion chamber in-between. Turbine aircraft may be propeller or jet driven.

Piston Engines: otherwise known as reciprocating engines, they use fundamentally similar technology to those used by cars and motorcycles where pistons in cylinders are used to generate motive force for propulsion by turning pressure into a rotating motion. These engines are always propeller driven.

Avionics: for the more electronically orientated, an Avionics Engineer specialises in scheduled maintenance, restoration and modification of communication, navigation, radar equipment; guidance and control systems including auto-pilot/auto-land and cabin entertainment.

The SAST will offer approved courses for the following license categories:

  • B1.1 Fixed Wing: Aeroplanes with Turbine Engines
  • B1.3 Rotary Wing: Helicopters with Turbine Engines
  • B2 Avionic: Electronic systems fitted to all aircraft

Requirements

Students interested to enrol in one of these courses must have the following:

  • a good knowledge and understanding of both Mathematics and Physics
  • a good command of English, equivalent to IELTS band 6 or higher

These courses are defined as such that the only course pre-requisites are for potential students to have a good knowledge and understanding of both Mathematics and Physics. As our students will come from varying levels of education, both basic level Mathematics and Physics are included in the course to ensure everybody is starting off at the same level before going further in depth with the subject matter. Mathematics and Physics tend to be the first subjects delivered during the first few weeks of the course.

In essence, students do not necessarily need to undertake a foundation diploma or any other course before commencing their training on the approved course since this course is aimed directly for newcomers to the aviation industry such as Malaysian school leavers at SPM level. Naturally any student who has undertaken any previous study in aircraft engineering should already have a good grounding in the subject matter, which will assist them during their course.


Contact us for more information and enquiries.