A B2 engineer focuses on managing the necessary maintenance and repair checks concerned with the electrical systems and equipment on an aircraft.
Under Part-66, the common European legal framework for certifying licensed aircraft engineers, there are three main categories of aerospace engineering licences in EASA member states, A, B & C.
The category B license is the standard license for practitioners and involves two disciplines – B1 & B2. The B1 mechanics license focuses on engines and airframes, while B2 avionics centres around instrumentation and electrical/ electronic equipment.
Holders of a B license are able to issue a Certificate of Release of Service of aircraft following necessary maintenance and repair checks and thus requires a much more extensive knowledge than the Category A licence.
Category C holders usually hold a B-1 or B-2 license and this enables a person to provide a Certificate of Release of Service of aircraft following a complete service or overhaul.
This article focuses on the Category B-2 license and the job prospects and general duties of a person who holds this certification.
B2 Engineer Duties
- Completing maintenance and necessary checks on aircraft instruments and electronic equipment.
- Signing off inspections and general tasks/ repair work.
- Approving the quality of completed work.
- Analysing and interpreting technical information to assist pilots.
- Understanding engineering diagrams and manuals.
- Determining the condition of the aircraft’s parts and equipment.
- Ensure crews and other departments are informed of any issues and the measures taken to rectify them.
B2 Engineers can work varied hours, including nights, weekends, bank holidays and Christmas. Hours can be long and most engineers will be required to work overseas which could result in prolonged periods away from home.
Working on long haul flights could also be an issue for people who are prone to jet lag. There is also some risk of radiation exposure which could lead to fertility issues and an increased risk of cancer.
What skills do you need to be a B2 engineer?
- Capable of working under pressure, while making fast and accurate decisions.
- Thorough knowledge of air crafts and healthy & safety procedures.
- Close attention to detail to ensure checks are completed thoroughly.
- Excellent communication skills to ensure flight crews and departments are fully informed and projects are completed on time.
- Experience of flying an aircraft is extremely advantageous.
- A good level of fitness is required as the role will include heavy lifting, lots of walking and climbing of ladders.
Aerospace engineering licences are dependent on completing relevant qualifications and gaining practical experience. A Part-66 license can be applied for once an individual has completed a special Part-147 course, which requires less practical experience compared to other qualifications which involve completing a minimum number of hours working on various aircraft types. Practical work will be signed off and supervised by a qualified engineer.
Applicants may also study for and complete exams before gaining the relevant experience as a passed examination is valid for up to 5 years.
Applicants enrolled on a training scheme or apprenticeship will have the licensing costs paid for by the company they work for and will be released for college study and exams. These schemes are in high demand and employers will generally look for applicants who have achieved high GCSE grades.
Licenses can also be paid and studied for independently.
The average salary of a B2 flight engineer is between £30k-£35k a year, this figure can rise to around £50k a year with experience.
As ever, an engineer’s salary can be determined by location, with the highest paid jobs typically found in London.
Flight engineers can continue their professional development and work towards their Category C license. This allows an engineer to issue a Certificate of Release of Service of aircraft for the completion of a full service and aircraft overhauls and can command a higher salary.
A Category C license is obtained by completing the relevant qualifications and gaining the required amount of experience.
B2 Engineers can also find higher paid jobs within the military sector, or by finding employment at larger airlines; these roles require more specialised engineers with significant experience.
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