Aircraft Maintenance Engineer - How to become an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer? This is a big question by all students who are fascinated by aircraft and engineering. With the aviation industry getting a boost and developing fast, the requirements of aircraft maintenance engineers is growing more and more in the country. So can anyone become an aircraft maintenance engineer? What is the eligibility criteria; who is the authority to issue the license to practise as an aircraft maintenance engineer etc? These and other questions are answered in this article that talks about all aspects of how to become an aircraft maintenance engineer.
Who are Aircraft Maintenance Engineers?
For safe aircraft operations, it is vital that all maintenance, repair, overhaul and modification work of an aircraft is carried out regularly. These functions are best dealt with people who have the requisite technical knowhow; namely by engineers adequately qualified and having the required knowledge, experience and high degree of competence. It is not enough to study aircraft maintenance engineering. To be a practising one, students need the requisite license from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) who conducts examinations and also issues Basic Maintenance Engineer's Certificate (BAMEC) as well as Aircraft Maintenance Engineer's (AW) Licence to those candidates who pass the applicable examinations and meet all other eligibility requirements.
Where to do the aircraft maintenance engineering course?
It is mandatory to study aircraft maintenance engineering at DGCA approves AME Training Institutes which are authorised to impart ab-initio training in the field of aircraft maintenance. To check the list of AME Training Institutes, click here.
Many AME students study courses which are not recognised resulting in useless diplomas or degrees. The University Grant Commission in consultation with Ministry of Civil Aviation has introduced a B.Sc (Hons) course in Aircraft Maintenance along with the model syllabus template available here. Institutes offering this course must keep in tune with this before applying for the recognition. To download the syllabus click here.
How to become an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME)?
Candidates must undergo training and then apply for licenses starting with the basic followed by each level as required.
Types of AME applicants:
AME Trainees.- Applicants who are undergoing training in the DGCA Approved AME Training Institutes.
GET –Graduate Engineering Trainees undergoing training in the DGCA approved institutes of the Airlines.
AEG –Engineering Graduates in streams other than Aeronautical engineering
DEF – means applicants retired or working in the Defence forces
General – means applicants not falling in any of the above category
Graduate Engineer Trainee (GET) Scheme
Under this scheme, graduate engineers are recruited by the operators and given extensive theoretical and practical training both in basic and specific subjects to appear in Paper I, II & III after satisfactorily completing the prescribed 3 year curriculum.
Candidates of AME Training Institutes Approved by DGCA
Ab-initio training in the field of aircraft maintenance engineering is offered by DGCA recognized institutes. The curriculum, training and facilities of these institutes are as per the standards stipulated by DGCA. Applicants from such institutes are permitted to appear in Paper I, II & III after satisfactorily completing the 3 year curriculums respectively. Admissions to these institutes are separate and there is no common process or counselling.
Eligibility to enrol in AME institutes
Candidates must have passed 10+2 pre-degree/intermediate or equivalent with Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.
They may also have passed B.Sc with Maths, Physics & Chemistry.
Diploma in Engineering with 50% marks.
All students will have to produce a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner with minimum MBBS qualification to certify that he / she has no physical disability and the colour vision is normal to become an aircraft maintenance engineer
Training at AME institutes will be in:
(a) Mechanical stream (Aeroplane and Powerplants) – Training will comprise of Light Aeroplanes (LA), Heavy Aeroplanes (HA), Piston Engine (PE) and Jet Engine (JE).
(b) Mechanical stream (Helicopters and Powerplants) -- Training will comprise of Rotary Wing Aircraft (RA), Piston Engine (PE) and Jet Engine (JE).
(c) Avionics stream - Training will comprise of Electrical System (ES), Instrument System (IS) and Radio Navigation System (RN).
AME License and Exams:
DGCA conducts the exams thrice in a year in March, July , November
BAMEC AND AME LICENCE EXAMINATIONS- The examinations consist of two parts, i.e. written examination followed by oral-cum-practical test.
To download the syllabus for the tests click here
Exam centres: New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Calcutta, Kanpur, Bangalore, Chennai, Patna, Lucknow, Bhopal, Gawahati and Thiruvananthapuram
What is the Basic Aircraft Maintenance Engineer's Certificate (BAMEC)?
BAMEC is a basic certificate, without type-rating, which does not entitle its holder to any certification privileges. Acquiring a BAMEC is necessary for obtaining a type rated AME licence for inspection and certification of aircraft, engines or systems
Eligibility for Basic Aircraft Maintenance Engineer's Certificate
Applicants must not be less than 20 years age;
They must have passed 10+2 examination with Physics and Mathematics or any other equivalent qualification acceptable to DGCA
They must have passed papers I, II and III written examinations of the AME course.
They must have at least three years practical aeronautical engineering experience in the field allied to the subject for which BAMEC is sought,
They should produce a certificate from an MBBS doctor indicating that he does not have any physical disability and colour blindness.
Eligibility for Aircraft Maintenance Engineer's Licence
Applicants shall not be less than 21 years of age;
They must have passed 10+2 examination with Physics and Mathematics or any other equivalent qualification acceptable to DGCA;
They shall have passed papers I, II and III written examination and also paper IV approved course on the specific aircraft/engine/systems;
They shall have passed the necessary oral-cum-practical examination;
They shall produce a medical certificate from an MBBS doctor that he doesnot have any physical disability or colour blindness;
They shall possess a minimum practical experience of four years in the field of aircraft maintenance engineering.
Categories of Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s licences
Experience for AME license:
For Category A, Sub-categories B1.2, B1.4 and Category B3― 3 years
For Sub-categories B1.1 and B1.3 and Category B2 – 5 years
For Category C with respect to large aircraft
3 years of maintenance experience exercising privileges of Categories B1.1, B1.3 or B2
5 years of maintenance experience exercising the privileges of Categories B1.2 or B1.
For Category C with respect to aircraft other than large aircraft – 3 years of maintenance experience
How to apply for the AME license?
After appearing for the relevant exam, candidates must apply to the Director of Airworthiness, office of the DGCA, Opposite Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi with a fee of Rs 100. If all the documents are found satisfactory, the applicant is issued the applicable BAMEC or AME licence.
What is the validity of AME license?
The license so issued is valid for a maximum period of five years in each case, and may be renewed for another five years.