Should I get my IA?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by psween, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. psween

    psween Pre-Flight

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    I have had my A&P cert for 17 years, but didn't really use it until about 4 years ago. I bought a 150, and do all the maintenance with the exception of the annual, and for the last 3 years I have been doing the maintenance and annual condition inspection on my FIL's RV-10. I have no real inclination to start doing a bunch of annuals for people, but I do have a shop and hangar I could work out of, and it would be nice to have the option of signing off my own plane or planes. Any reason not to go ahead and study up to test for the IA? I know there's requirements to keep it current, but I'm ok with that. Am I missing anything I should be thinking of? Thanks,

    Patrick
     
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    get it if you want to, if you don’t want to get it than don’t.
     
  3. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How many annuals do you have to do a year to keep current?
     
  4. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    FAR 65.93
     
  5. Pilot Steve

    Pilot Steve Pre-Flight

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    If it sounds like something that you can putz around doing and have fun with, do it. What's the downside of doing something you love? https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/65.93 looks easy enough to jump the hurdle to keep the IA active once you get it. An 8-hour refresher course, no problem.
     
  6. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I am big into getting something before they make it unavailable or more difficult. It happens, from time to time, but few things end up with less regulation.
     
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  7. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Doooo Eeeeeettt!!!!
     
  8. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    none. no 337s either.

    the FAA gives refresher trainer once each usually in February
     
  9. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Even if you never exercise your IA privileges, I’d be surprised if you don’t learn some things while you’re studying to take the IA test. That alone is worth the effort in my book.

    I don’t use my IA for anything other than maintaining the small fleet of airplanes a friend and I own. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth the hassle of maintaining currency but then I get reminded of what I’d have to deal with if I let someone else do the work.
     
  10. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You can also do the entire thing online now.
     
  11. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    first off get it. the best way i can think of is once this corona thing is over, get the endorsement, get on a plane to nashville, give baker one AMU and walk out with a passing score in 4 days. I cannot imagine trying to study for it on your own. there is way to much information to digest if you do not have an idea of what will be coming your way. they not only prep you for the test, they cover the material very well. the lady the teaches the course has been doing it for over 30 years. I scored a 100 on it.
     
  12. psween

    psween Pre-Flight

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    Thanks, I had been pretty strongly leaning toward just doing to have it, even if it didn't get used much. Any recommendations on prep materials? I don't really have the time or money to go to a prep school, but have plenty of time at home right now. I used all the ASA books for the A&P through my 147 school, so I'm familiar with those, are others better/cheaper/easier etc.?
     
  13. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    FYI: prior to taking the test, you have to get your test authorization tickets from your local FSDO. And also check to see where the nearest testing site is and if they have any separate requirements.

    FWIW: don't know if it's still relevant today, but about 12 years ago or so there were a number of new ASIs that made issues of the "actively engage" clause in the reg and were denying/complicating the IA interview/test process to obtain/renew an IA. The FAA did eventually define this phrase, so others here may have more updated info. But as a viewpoint from the other side of the fence, I had an IA for a number of years due to a requirement for my old day job. Once that requirement was no longer needed I surrendered my IA due to the recurrent requirements and the beginnings of the "actively engaged" BS. But if it's something you want, definitely get it, especially now as the numbers of IAs are dwindling at a fast rate.
     
  14. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    get it....I do enough annuals and other sign offs to stay current, but I don't use them ( I don't care to open Pandora's box for the FSDO records). I take the Gleim IA course every year to maintain currency.
     
  15. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    I thought the test was easy, and did 100% self study. If you're knowledgeable to begin with it is very doable. Personally, I wouldn't want to spend the money and take a week out of my life to go to Baker to do this.

    That said, the test does seem to produce its fair share of failures. The test proctor at the test center I went to was shocked when I was done in less than half the allotted time and passed. She told me the last three applicants failed the IA test. One of them was the head mechanic in that FBO's shop too, ha.

    I've had my IA for a number of years now so things may have changed but when I self prepped I used the ASA prepware. I thought it was excellent preparation for the IA test. I think you'd do fine if you went with them.

    Same here. I find it much easier to just do the annual recurrent training rather than document everything I do. Many of my projects are large restoration projects so the amount of activity I do that would count toward IA renewal is highly variable.
     
  16. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    Actually, no need to go to Baker. The test databank is available, and all one needs to do is study the test and then go take it.

    But, if you have a thousand bucks to blow and want to take a trip to Nashville, go for it.
     
  17. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    There are test preps available online. https://www.google.com/search?q=inspection+authorization+test+prep&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
     
  18. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    no, the test question bank is not available.it is a closed test. the prep books,software, and courses like baker know what areas are tested, they also know the general format and subject of the questions. however, the faa changes the wording of the questions regularly. I have no idea what the failure rate on the exam is, but I have heard it is rather high. With all the hassle of getting the authorization, which is only good for 30 days, a 90 waiting period after a failure, the need to get a new authorization, the hassle of getting a reschedule for the test and the fees for that, I felt going to baker was a good investment. to each his own. I have alwas just studied the test questions for a FAA test also, but on that test i was glad to spend the money knowing I would pass it on the first try.
     
  19. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Gliem has practice tests. I kept doing them till I regularly scored high 90’s. The exam will be a mix of those and about 10-15% new questions. I missed a few of those and scored an 89%.
     
  20. thomasdr72

    thomasdr72 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Do it! It makes working on your own plane (or a friend/family member's plane) much easier...
     
  21. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Often the end goal (or unintended result, lol) is to sign off other's logbooks, not just your own. [In fact I have heard various FSDOs expect that you do hold forth with your new privileges - to indeed make your skills and capabilities available to the public; the FSDOs shunning "hobby IA-ism"]
    In any case, prepare yourself for the insurance bill to have liability coverage for this activity if you do hold out as an IA.
    I have always been very grateful for what IAs have done for me, I think I understand their risk.
     
  22. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Lawyers go for the money, they never go for the lowly A&P-IAs
     
  23. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Yes, do it. Wish I was in a position to.
     
  24. alanpk

    alanpk Filing Flight Plan

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    Absolutely do it if you can!!
     
  25. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've known several to take the exam in the last couple of years, they used the online test prep's available and none of them scored below a 90. The feedback we got was the test preps were almost identical to the actual test, with minor changes. Add in the test is written by professional test writers and multiple choice, so by using just a bit of common sense it's not that difficult.

    I went to Baker years ago, it was a good course. But in my opinion the online courses are just as good for test prep.
     
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  26. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nope, the FAA doesn't require holders of an IA to work for the public, and they do not shun individuals who want it for their own reasons.

    The unfortunate side of this are the individuals that get it to sell their signatures. The IA use to be a essay type exam with 10 questions, the applicant had to bring his own research material such as AC's, Regulations and AD's (back then it was microfiche) and the test would take hours to complete. The FSDO had tighter control on who could get the authorization, and there wasn't near the problems with the signature sellers. Then, under demand, it was changed to a multiple choice exam anyone could take, and now it's flooded the market with IA's. And unfortunately, the quality has decreased.
     
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  27. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am an IA and maintain my 2 planes, plus have signed off a dozen ADS-B installs this year. Not a problem to meet currency requirements...you can take a Gleim course online to get your 8 hours of continuing education each year in place of 4 annual inspections per year, or enroll in an IA refresher course from your local FSDO if they offer that as an option. I am told the Baker course costs $1200...you can buy the Gleim course for about $100 and study at home. The test involves a lot of research and interpretation of ADs and TCDS....not as much fun as other written tests...as if fun is an option.
     
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  28. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    Maybe it's different now but back when I did it the test was open book. There were no study guides. You were provided the material that contained all of the pertinent regulations and AD's that were referred to in the test questions. The main focus of the test was to find, interpret and cite the correct regs or to determine applicability or status of a hypothetical example given in the test question. There were also quite a few weight and balance problems as I remember.

    As to the OP's question I'd say get it. I did not get it for a number of years because it used to be a burden to maintain the library of books or microfiche which had to be updated every month. Nowadays it's all on-line and free so kind of a no-brainer.
     
  29. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Do it. I’m in your boat- A&P, at this point in my career I only work on 1 plane for our company(i have a couple personal projects coming), that I fly by myself 98% of the time. I’m just about ready to take the test, even called the FSDO and laid it all on the table. Then Covid hit.

    Thing is, you can always decide NOT to sign off someone else’s annual/337s if the hair on the back of your head stands up, or you don’t want the liability. I supervise and pay for major repairs for my job(don’t sign off) in claims, so it’s more of continuing education/personal goal for me. I even like the idea of continuing to have another IA sign off the company plane’s annual just for another set of eyes.
     
  30. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Read block 7 on the 337.

    you do not have any liability as to making the repair.
     
  31. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Might thin it out a bit if you had to retake the IA test every two years.
     
  32. Doc Holliday

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    [​IMG]
     
  33. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  34. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A lament rarely heard:
    "Damn, I wish I'd never gotten that certificate/rating/endorsement!!"
    (Shut up and just do it)
     
  35. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Specially if they had to take the old test.. now it is 50 answer computer
     
  36. Jdm

    Jdm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for posting this! I’m in the same boat. I have had my A&P forever. Worked for a number of small outfits prior to many years at the airlines. Thankfully they paid for tuition reimbursement which allowed me to move on to another carrier. I quit using my A&P for money a long time ago. I’ve always had my own airplane. Now I just exercise my privileges on my C172. I’ve been seriously considering getting my IA recently. I’m not interested in working for hire. Just want to to have it for my own airplane and to learn the ropes of a new title.
     
  37. Jdm

    Jdm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I always encourage another set of eyes. And if I get my IA, I plan to continue to do the same thing. It’s really interesting to get other mechanics take on things. I’ve probably learned more from that than anything.
     
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  38. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    and that doesn't mean squat to any lawyer filling against any checkbook he can find. it will still cost you a fortune in legal fees.
     
  39. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    you can't get blood from a turnip.
     
  40. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    True, but the legal cost of the turnip trying to defend himself in court can get quite expensive. o_O
     
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