Chapter 13. The Mechanic Certificate

Overview of the Maintenance Technician

The Mechanic Certificate—Maintenance Technician Privileges and Limitations

Since part 65 was covered only briefly in Chapter 12, it was left for this chapter to develop it more completely. Therefore, this chapter discusses the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulation governing the certification of airmen other than flight crew members. This chapter is based on the material contained in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 65, which has the following subparts:

  • Subpart A—General
  • Subpart B—Air Traffic Control Operators
  • Subpart C—Aircraft Dispatchers
  • Subpart D—Mechanics
  • Subpart E—Repairmen
  • Subpart F—Parachute Riggers

This chapter will only focus on the certification of maintenance technicians, and therefore subparts B, C, E, and F will not be addressed.

The FAA certifies two separate categories of maintenance technicians, mechanic and repairman.

The fundamental difference between these two is that the mechanic certificate is transportable, is issued to the technician based upon his or her training and knowledge, and is not dependent on the technician’s location. Although the repairman certificate is also based upon the training and knowledge of the technician, it is specifically issued to that technician while he or she is employed at a distinct location of a specific company. This certificate carries a literal address where he or she is authorized to work using his or her repairman skills. When the technician is no longer employed there, the repairman certificate must be returned to the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) that issued it.

Mechanic Certification—General (by 14 CFR Section)

65.3 Certification of Foreign Airmen Other Than Flight Crewmembers

Normally, the FAA issues these certificates only to U.S. citizens or resident aliens residing in the United States. However, on occasion if the FAA determines that the issuance of a certificate to a person located outside of the United States is necessary for the operation and continued airworthiness of a U.S.-registered civil aircraft, it will issue a certificate to that person, providing they meet the necessary requirements.

65.11 Application and Issue

Any person who meets the criteria for obtaining a mechanic certificate must apply by means of a form and in a manner prescribed by the Administrator. That form is FAA Form 8610-2, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application. If a mechanic has had a certificate suspended, they may not apply for additional ratings during the time of suspension. A revocation of a mechanic certificate prevents that person from applying for a certificate within a period of 1 year after the revocation.

65.12 Offenses Involving Alcohol and Drugs

Any person, who has been convicted of violating federal or state statutes relating to drug offenses, can be denied their application for a certificate or rating up to 1 year after the date of conviction. The violation can be relating to any one or more of the following actions: growing, processing, manufacturing, selling, disposing, transporting, or importing narcotic drugs, marijuana, depressants, or stimulants. They may also face the suspension or revocation of any certificate that they currently hold.

65.13 Temporary Certificate

A qualified applicant who successfully passes all required tests (a minimum score of 70 percent is required) may be issued a temporary certificate, which is valid for not more than 120 days. During this time, the FAA will review the application and supplementary documentation, and will issue the official certificate and rating.

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