Airframe Repair Courses and Classes
The airframe is the main body of an airplane, including the electric and internal airflow systems but not the engines and propellers. Students interested in airframe repair can complete certificate or associate's degree programs.
Airframe repair courses can be found at 2-year colleges with aviation technology programs and may lead to an associate degree in aviation maintenance, though many airframe mechanics choose to complete a certificate program at a Part 147 FAA-approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School. Although certifications are not required, the FAA awards Airframe certification to mechanics who pass the required exams. Additional certifications, including Repairmen of light-sport aircraft and Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR), are also options.
List of Courses
The courses described below are often found in programs that cover airframe repair.
Introduction to Aircraft Mechanics Course
This course provides an overview of the responsibilities of an aircraft mechanic and the skills required to maintain airframes. This is the first course taken in an airframe repair program. Students become familiar with aircraft repair and maintenance terminology. Math and physics concepts are reviewed.
Federal Aviation Administration Regulations Course
This course is required for all aircraft mechanics before working on commercial or private aircraft. Federal Aviation Regulations that apply to airframe repair are reviewed, including federal documentation requirements for maintenance records. Issues of balancing weight in the airframe are discussed in detail. This course should be taken in the first semester of a 2-year program.
Electricity in Airframes Course
This basic electricity class covers topics such as alternating and direct currents, electrical circuitry and electric power sources. Skills learned in this course include measuring voltage, designing electrical circuits and wiring lighting systems in an airframe. This course is taught in both the classroom and laboratory and should be completed early in a 2-year airframe maintenance degree program.
Aircraft Blueprint Course
When working on an airframe, a mechanic needs to know the exact location of a wire that might be hidden under a panel. After rewiring an airframe, the mechanic needs to know how to insert new information on the blueprint to keep it accurate. In this course, students learn to both read signs and symbols on aircraft blueprints and to insert new information on blueprints using proper drawing techniques.
Airframe Materials Course
Topics covered in this course include the properties of materials used in airframe construction, as well as methods for inspecting or measuring them for use in airframe repair. Materials, such as wood, sheet metal and fiberglass, are tested for corrosion and durability. Welding metals to repair airframes is demonstrated, although a separate welding course may also be required. This course is typically taken in the second semester of a 2-year program.
Airframe Maintenance Course
Maintaining and repairing airframes is an ongoing process. Regular maintenance procedures for airframe systems, including hydraulic, fire alarm, electrical, climate control, navigation and warning systems, are studied. Instruction in the repair of these systems takes place in the classroom and laboratory. This course is typically a 2-semester class.
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