The Role of a Designated Mechanic Examiner
Designated Mechanic Examiners, known as DMEs, are designees that issue certificates to people involved in the operation or maintenance of aircraft, such as pilots, and mechanics. These individuals are appointed by the Federal Aviation Administraton (FAA).
To earn your Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certifications to become a FAA-certified aircraft mechanic, you must show aptitude through certain tests. An appointed DME oversees these tests. Tests are administered at a separate facility.
The DME also must hold a valid aviation mechanic certificate, possess technical knowledge and experience required for aviation mechanic certification, and meet qualifications that the Federal Aviation Administration has set forth.
Designated Mechanic Examiner Training Requirements
Since the FAA oversees the testing for aviation maintenance, all DMEs have to be trained to the standards the FAA sets forth. Training for DMEs consists of two parts:
- Part 1 is a web-based prerequisite course that covers the Structure of the U.S. Code, The Code of Federal Regulations, Laws and FAA Policy and Guidance pertaining to holding a delegation on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Part II classroom-based seminar places emphasizes the Oral and Practical tests, use of the Practical Test Standards, Oral/Practical Test Generator, Minimum Tool & Equipment List (MTEL), test planning, evaluation of applicants, use of the related forms and certification file disposition. The 3- day (24 classroom hours) seminar consists of both lecture and workshop activities.
Even after initial training, the work of a DME is not finished! Every 24 months after the first training, Designated Mechanic Examiners must attend recurrent seminars. These seminars cover continued emphasis on the oral and practical tests from the pre-test interview to completing the airmen certification file. Additionally, the seminar covers the use of the Mechanic Test Generator (MTG) and the DMS during the planning, testing, and evaluation of each applicant. Finally, there is a review of the current policy(s) and regulations related to DME functions; and Mechanic certification procedures.
Why Use a DME for Aircraft Maintenance Testing?
Aviation maintenance is all about safety. To ensure that the safety protocols set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration are enforced, DMEs are used to make sure no corners are cut.
Testing measures aptitude for aviation maintenance technician candidates. Without an FAA-appointed DME, certifications could be fabricated, which means the aviation industry would not be as safe as possible!
While Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) schools want to see their students graduate, it is important that those graduates are going to keep the skies safe while out in the industry. Therefore, the testing for aviation maintenance technicians is distributed by a third party and not by the school itself.
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