General Aviation

Published on May 17th, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer


AFTA Aircraft Apprentice Engineers

Congratulations to AFTA Aircraft Apprentice Engineers Alex Nolan and Dominic Daly on receiving their Certificate of Recognition for successful completion of their EASA CAT A2 Part 66 basic training examinations. The apprentices were presented with their certs by Michael Hayes Training Manager at Shannon Aviation Maintenance School at the main AFTA Engineering hangar at Cork Airport.

AFTA have been running their internal apprentice engineer programme for many years and were delighted to see the latest members of the teams achievements under the supervision of Chief Engineer Finbarr Lynch. The Engineering team are the backbone of the AFTA operation that support an advanced fleet of aircraft at AFTA’s Cork and Waterford bases seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Commenting on the occasion, the company said: “The importance of having a ‘best in class’ engineering division at AFTA ensures the safe and meticulous upkeep of our fleet. This is currently keeping the business primed for a post pandemic robust recovery and we look forward to recruiting new engineering apprentices later in 2021.”

The aircraft apprenticeship system is a modular standards-based system comprising of five alternating phases of on-the-job and off-the-job training and development completed over 4 years. Off the job phases are Phase 2A, 2B and 4 and On the job phase are Phase 1, 3A, 3B and 5. The Aircraft Mechanics programme has two streams leading to either Mechanical Electrical (EASA Part 66 Cat B1 AML) or Avionics (EASA Part 66 Cat B2 AML). The first off the job phase 2A is common to both streams leading to EASA Cat A AML and it is only before they start Phase 4 when they go into either stream.

The purpose of the On-the-Job Phase 1 of the apprenticeship training and development programme is to provide the apprentice with introductory training and is normally a minimum of 4 weeks. The purpose of the On-the-Job Phases 3A, 3B and 5 of apprenticeship training and development programmes is to provide all apprentices with the opportunity to practice the skills acquired in the Off-the-Job Phases 2A, 2B and 4 and to develop new skills and competences.

The current duration for Off-the-Job training phases is as follows:

  • Phase 2A – 32 weeks in Shannon Training Campus (Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board) – starts October to June of the following year.
  • Phase 2B – 6 weeks in TU Dublin
  • Phase 4 – 35 weeks in TU Dublin

Most employers take on apprentices in late August, they start their Phase 1 and then they would start their Phase 2 in late Sept/early Oct. Employers would normally be advertising on their respective websites from March onwards.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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