Re: FAA and EASA personnel maintenance licensing
I hold B1, B2 and an A&P with IA.
I'm a liney at heart, ever since I was in the RAF. I don't like working in hangars, I prefer live aircraft that break down and you have to think on your feet. It can be stressful, but rewarding.
I left the RAF as an electrician and chose the BCAR Multi-X route. Then came *****. I had to do a helicopter module in order to get an unrestricted B2 licence. And to my surprise when I got my new ***** licence I also had a limited B1, because in their wisdom the authorities took the electrician and moved them away from the avionics trade and moved them into the mechanical trade. In my opinion, this devalued the avionics trade.
When I first joined civil aviation my first company had a ratio of equal A&C, Multi-X and mechanics. Even after ***** my shift comprised of 4 B1s, 4 B2s and 4 mechs for around 15 based aircraft, A320, B757 and DC10. As the years have progressed I have seen the numbers of B2 guys on the line in decline whereas the numbers of B1 and mechs have gone up by comparison.
I decided to make a move and become an overseas engineer. So I went back to school and removed the limitations on my B1 licence and did some type rating courses to remove the limitations from most of my type ratings. My daily job now involves transits of A330, B767 and B777 aircraft. I can categorically state that the majority of defects I see on an almost daily basis are electrical by system. Most are resolved by a simple reset of a computer or using by doing a BITE test. That and fixing seats, galleys and IFE.
I also have an A&P which I did when I did a temporary seasonal detachment in the States. I had the opportunity to do the laser grade tests and find a DME to do my oral and practical. I self-studied and passed the whole lot within three weeks. Using their system i am technically qualified to sign off work on a Cessna 172 to a B787!
Compare that to time required to study take the modular exams, satisfy the minimum experience requirements and then do a full level 3 type rating course and practical training required by EASA. Having said that, one thing missing from the EASA system is the requirement to have an experienced human evaluate you. I had it with my initial BCAR exams and with my A&P oral and practical, but it is not longer required with the newcomers into the EASA system. They are judged by the ability of their short term memory to pass a modular exam.
I work for two companies at the moment. One is EASA part 145 and the other is a a contractor for American Airlines. The differences between the two work ethos's are huge, but they both work. I think the statistics will prove that very few aircraft have recently fallen from the sky from maintenance errors from either side.
God created aircraft mechanics so that pilots can have heroes too.