Chapter 13. The Mechanic Certificate

65.89 Display of Certificate

Once a technician receives his or her mechanic certificate, the certificate must be kept in the immediate area where he or she normally conducts work and exercises the privileges of the certificate. When requested, the technician is required to present the certificate for inspection to the FAA, or any authorized representation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), or any federal, state, or local law enforcement officer.

Inspection Authorization (by 14 CFR Section)

65.91 Inspection Authorization

An A & P mechanic who has held his or her certificate for at least 3 years, and has been active for the last 2 years, may submit application using FAA Form 8610-1, Mechanicís Application for Inspection Authorization, to the FAA for consideration as an IA. In addition to the preceding time requirements, the IA candidate must have:

  • A fixed base of operation where he or she can be located in person or by phone.
  • Available equipment, facilities, and inspection data necessary to properly inspect the airframe, powerplants, propeller, or any related part or appliance he or she will be approving for return to service.

The applicant who meets all the above criteria must then pass a written (computerized) test to determine his or her ability to inspect the airworthiness of an aircraft following either a major repair or alteration action or the performance of an annual or progressive inspection.

The minimum passing score for the computer test is 70 percent. If the applicant fails the test, retesting cannot be attempted until a minimum of 90 days have elapsed from the failure date. Unlike the A & P test, there is no reduction in this time if the applicant receives additional training.

65.92 Inspection Authorization: Duration

An IA certificate expires on March 31 of each odd numbered year, but may only be exercised during the time the technician holds a currently effective mechanic certificate. The IA ceases to be effective if:

  • The technician surrenders it, or it is suspended or revoked.
  • The technician no longer has a fixed base of operations.
  • The technician no longer has the required facilities equipment or inspection data available.

Whenever the certificate is suspended or revoked, the technician must return it to the Administrator when requested by the FAA to do so.

65.93 Inspection Authorization: Renewal

An IA certificate may be renewed in one of the following ways each year the technician is seeking renewal:

  • The performance of at least one annual inspection for each 90 days the technician has held the IA rating.
  • The performance of the inspections of at least two major repairs or alterations for each 90 days the technician has held the IA rating. (Note: The inspections can be counted regardless of the approval or disapproval of the work.)
  • The performance (or supervision) and approval of at least one progressive inspection.
  • The attendance and successful completion of a refresher course (acceptable to the Administrator) that is at least 8 hours of instruction. This can be either a single day seminar or a combination of individual classes acceptable to the Administrator. Some seminars are sponsored by the FAA FSDOs and are free; others are low cost. Private industry also frequently conducts one-day sessions and usually charge for their efforts. Regardless of who is conducting the seminar, it is usually an excellent way to accomplish renewal, learn about new issues, and develop a network among peers.

No renewal is required for someone who received the IA during the first quarter of the calendar year, since the regulation states that anyone holding an IA for less than 90 days need not meet the preceding renewal requirements.

It should be noted that regulations clearly state the number of annual inspections and major repair or alteration inspections required for renewal are for each 90-day period and not in each 90-day period. Therefore, an IA could actually go 11 months without performing any inspection activity relative to renewal. Then, in March he or she could conduct all four necessary annual inspections, or all eight 337-related inspections. The regulations do not provide for the mixing of any of these renewal activities (i.e., two annual inspections and four Major Repair and Alteration forms).

Another method of renewal is to meet with the FAAassigned FSDO inspector who will determine that the applicant possesses current knowledge of the applicable regulations and standards. Although this is often considered the renewal method of last resort, it should not be considered a negative experience. If the IA has been performing his or her activities in a professional manner throughout the year, this session can be considered a professional follow-up or consultation. Proper IA-to-FSDO inspector interaction can be enhanced with such a meeting.

 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                                                                                                      Contact Us              Return To Books

AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator