Limitations of Helicopter Training Within 14 CFR Part 147

Celeste Torrez, Brian Kozak

Abstract


According to the 2018 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aircraft registration database, 10,500 of the 210,000 general aviation aircraft are helicopters (FAA, 2018).  While making up only 5% of aircraft, helicopter are found in niche markets that are highly specialized such as aerial tourism, news reporting, rescue operations, and medical transport.  In order to maintain airworthiness, these aircraft are inspected and maintained by Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics. Due to an increasing number of retirements, there is a need to train new mechanics.  In order to earn an A&P certificate, a student must undergo 1,900 hour of training. The current curriculum used to train prospective mechanics is monitored and regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration under 14 CFR Part 147-Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools.  However, within Part 147, helicopter training is only taught at a level 1 which requires only lecture instruction with no hands-on requirements. Furthermore, of the 1,900 hours of training required, only 1 hour is required for helicopter specific training. This lack of training creates a possible gap in knowledge. When the maintenance on helicopters is performed to subpar levels there are catastrophic results.  To demonstrate this, case studies of three specific accidents were used. All three accidents were caused by improper helicopter maintenance and resulted in fatalities. Major helicopter companies have attempted to mitigate this gap by creating additional training for A&P technicians after graduation from a Part 147 school. However, this additional training is costly and requires more time investment from students before they can enter the workforce.


Full Text:

PDF

References


AAMS. (2015). Frequently Asked Questions about AAMS and/or MedEvac Transport. Retrieved

September 7th, 2018, from http://aams.org/member-services/fact-sheet-faqs/.

Airbus Helicopters. (2017). Mechanics Training - Specific Courses. Retrieved September 20th,

, from https://www.airbushelicopterstrainingservices.com/website/en/ref/Specific

-courses_230.html

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. (n.d). What is general aviation. Retrieved September

th, 2018, from https://www.aopa.org/-/media/files/aopa/home/advocacy/what_ga.pdf

Bell Helicopter. (2018). Above and Beyond Flight. Retrieved September 8th, 2018, from

http://www.bellflight.com/company

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016). Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians.

Retrieved September 9th, 2018, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance

-and-repair/aircraft-and-avionics-equipment-mechanics-and-technicians.htm

Carey, L. (2018). Aviation industry mechanics retiring faster than they are being replaced, report

says. Retrieved September 20th, 2018, from https://transportationtodaynews.com/news

/8321-aviation-industry-mechanics-retiring-faster-replaced-report-says/

C.F.R. (2018). Maintenance, Preventative Maintenance, Rebuilding, and Alteration – 14 CFR

Part 43. Retrieved from https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/

Title14/14cfr43_main_02.tpl

C.F.R. (2018). Certification: Flight Crewmembers Other than Pilots – 14 CFR Part 65.

Retrieved from https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=f6d4f79997e031456

bdfcf724b5e&mc=true&node=pt14.2.63&rgn=div5

C.F.R. (2018). Ultralight Vehicles – 14 CFR Part 103.

Retrieved from https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=f6d4f79997e0314560484

bdfcf724b5e&mc=true&node=pt14.2.103&rgn=div5

C.F.R. (2018). Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools – 14 CFR Part 147.

Retrieved from https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=f6d4f79997e0314560484

bdfcf724b5e&mc=true&node=pt14.3.147&rgn=div5

Collins, M. (2018). Rotorcraft Pilot, Mechanic Shortfalls Quantified. Retrieved November 13th,

, from https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2018/march/01/rotorcraft-

pilot-mechanic-shortfalls-quantified

FAA. (2015). Standard Airworthiness Certificate. Retrieved November 18th, 2018, from

https://www.faa.gov/aircraft/air_cert/airworthiness_certification/std_awcert/

FAA. (2017). Air Traffic By the Numbers. Retrieved September 8th, 2018, from

https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/by_the_numbers/media/Air_Traffic_by_the_Numbers_2017_Final.pdf

FAA. (2017). Civil Airmen Statistics 2017. Retrieved November 8th, 2018, from

https://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/civil_airmen_statistics/

FAA. (2018). Aircraft Registration Database. Retrieved September 4th, 2018 from

https://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/

Feisel, L. D., & Rosa, A. J. (2005). The role of the laboratory in undergraduate engineering

education. Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), 121-130.

Lingard, R., & Barkataki, S. (2011, October). Teaching teamwork in engineering and computer

science. In Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2011 (pp. F1C-1). IEEE.

National Transportation Safety Board. (2018). Final Aviation Accident Final Report

WPR16FA072, Honolulu, HI, February 18, 2016. Aircraft Accident Report NTSB. Washington, DC.

National Transportation Safety Board. (2013). Final Aviation Accident Final Report

DCA12MA020, Las Vegas, NV, December 7, 2011. Aircraft Accident Report NTSB. Washington, DC.

National Transportation Safety Board. (2012). Final Aviation Accident Final Report

WPR10FA371, Tucson, AZ, July 28, 2010. Aircraft Accident Report NTSB. Washington, DC.

Payscale. (2018). Average Helicopter Mechanic Salary. Retrieved October 17th, 2018 from

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Helicopter_Mechanic/Salary

Peltier, J., (2016). The Robinson R44 Helicopter: The Top Piston Helicopter Available. Retrieved

October 1st, 2018, from https://disciplesofflight.com/robinson-r44-helicopter/

Qantas. (2016). The A, C and D of aircraft maintenance. Retrieved November 18th, 2018 from

https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/roo-tales/the-a-c-and-d-of-aircraft-maintenance/

Robinson Helicopter Company. (2015). Robinson’s R44 and R66 Helicopters Rank Number One

in Sales in 2015. Retrieved September 10th, 2018, from https://robinsonheli.com/uncategorized/robinsons-r44-and-r66-helicopters-rank-number-one-in-sales-in-2015/

Robinson Helicopter Company. (2017). Robinson Helicopter Company. Retrieved October 1st,

, from https://robinsonheli.com/company-information-2/

Saleh, J. H., & Pendley, C. C. (2012). From learning from accidents to teaching about accident

causation and prevention: Multidisciplinary education and safety literacy for all

engineering students. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 99, 105-113.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22488/okstate.19.100207

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.