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Who precisely may work on an N-reg?

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Someone has asked me this question.

FAR 43.3 lists various options.

One of them is:

(d) A person working under the supervision of a holder of a mechanic or repairman certificate may perform the maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations that his supervisor is authorized to perform, if the supervisor personally observes the work being done to the extent necessary to ensure that it is being done properly and if the supervisor is readily available, in person, for consultation.

which suggests that anybody can do it under supervision. That must be right because the whole of the maintenance business works that way, including airlines. Not everybody is an A&P or EASA66 certified mechanic. A lot of college kids work in these places, under supervision.

Obviously pilot maintenance is a separate thing, which can be done by

  • the pilot (and he signs it off)
  • anybody with a private certificate (and the pilot signs it off)
  • an A&P or A&P/IA (either he or the pilot signs it off)

AD checks and releases to service need to be done by an A&P or A&P/IA in all cases.

However, it is also normal for maintenance including Annuals on N-regs to be done by European companies and an A&P/IA does the return to service. He does not sit there all day watching the work. He inspects the end job. Under what provision is this done?

Rotax oil level and burping

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From here

I was taking my friend flying once and because it’s a Rotax powered engine, I had to turn the prop to glugg the engine and check the oil. My friend asked me what I was doing as it was his first time in a small plane and had never seen such actions performed. I told him I was winding up the elastic band which provided the power to turn the propeller. He believed me.

However he got rather upset and felt insulted when I used my usual chant when checking aileron deflection – to you, up yours…….

Ab initio pilot training – a scam?

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If the standards are sufficiently met, why is a frozen ATPL worth absolutely ZERO without passing an ensuing airline assessment?

Because the airlines know that anybody who can mortgage their parents’ house for an integrated ab initio zero to hero course can show up at their doorstep with a wet ink cpl + atpl theory credit (=proof for rote memory MQB clicking) and it says nothing about the candidates aptitude and quality. If it were as you say, one could get hired based on attainment of a fAtpl. Not on this planet, though.

The ab initio airline training is a scam due to conflicts of interest. For profit flight schools require a steady stream of paying student “pilots”, aka customers and washing them out would reduce revenue.

Finance a fleet of cheap trainers (P-Mentor, DA40, DA42) and have a few hundred hours annual utilization. Charge insane prices for it. Especially for the worthless and scalable theory courses (mostly fake self study). Want to increase profits by 30%? Easy, hand out cheap plastic uniforms, iPads (“EFBs”) and useless “Crew ID” cards to your customers. Makes them feel important, and they’ll pay dearly for it.

The win win situation is for the schools and airlines.
Constant flow of customers turned into a constant flow of cheap labor. Some airlines even turn the labor into a profit center by charging new hires atrocious training costs for typeratings included free of charge with airplane orders. The really shitty carriers that can’t make enough money from passengers extend the ticket purchase requirement to, well, the leftovers who really, really, really need that instagram picture in the front seat. "We’ll hire you, but you pay 50k for “the experience”. At that point it’s rotten to the core. Guess where that pay2fly guy did his training? Yup, where everyone else did it. Washout? No no just drag along with some extra training.

Nobody wants to hear about this. Dreamers want to dream and everybody else wants to keep lining their pockets.

You can tell me the fairy tale about the training industry being a loss leader when airlines start owning their basic training outfits as well as fully covering the cost for their future pilots again. This would mean a major trend reversal and I doubt it will happen. Until pilots are replaced with metro like conductors watching the plane do its thing, things will continue to get worse (or, actually, better! Depends on which side you’re on). Even the big “professional” names out there, often pretending some association with reputable operators, all have pesky little clauses stipulating “no guarantees” to make sure the customer (student “pilot”) is the one bearing the cost.

I’m not saying there aren’t great people on both sides. Certainly the case. There would be in any case. My point is that throwing around terms of “standards” and “washout” is ridiculous when every chap walking in the door means potentially another 100-150k revenue.
And when the money is gone, they’re less capable then many of the contributors here regarding piloting.

What have you done with, or on your aircraft, this week-end? (25-26 November 2023)

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Thread starter…

Last weekend brought a plethora of magnificent shots, airborne and groundborne. No views counter on here, but I would like to think those are enjoyed by many of us. Impressive variety of achievements published by many, thanks for that

Like probably most of us in the northern hemisphere, not much flying now, but other activities relating to GA are sure taking place.


+1 for the language ! I lived in Milan for year in the late 90s and speak pretty fluent Italian – I wouldn’t have been able to shepherd my project at the time to fruition without it. Also, and per…


Good question and the honest answer is: I don’t know. My only exposure to Rotax engines was in the P2006T twin and we always ‘burped’ the engines. The line I quoted comes verbatim from the Tecnam …

Img 4779
From a few months ago, but I just saw it. Some solid flying here.
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I get it. Because you don’t crash you mean.
You make a good point. Actually, I wonder how they talk to airspace controllers at all beyond about 100 to 120 nmi of the coast? According to the line of sight formula, they should be out of range?…
N65lv small

Yep, I was contact with tech support recently for the SN3500 latest models on ADS and FIS-B :
The SN3500A/4500A units have been released with TIS-B Traffic we are going to make a similar upgrade t…