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Virginia Professor Shares Part 147 Rule Changes

Fred Dyen, Blue Ridge Community College professor of aviation maintenance technology, told an aviation industry group that revamped Part 147 regulations are on their way.  Part 147 regulations govern aviation maintenance technical schools in the U.S. and haven’t changed in more than 50 years.  The changes will update language and standards while aligning the schools’ curriculum with the mechanic Airman Certification Standards, which will free them from FAA curriculum approvals.

Professor Dyen and Aviation Technician Education Council executive director Crystal Maguire shared this information during an hour-long webinar hosted by Helicopter Association International. 

Under the new final rule, publishing of which is called for by March 27, the regulator will now assess a program’s quality based on student test performance and, in the case of nationally accredited schools, will defer oversight of all educational elements to the Department of Education.  It also will more easily allow schools to provide off-site training, including online, as well as establish competency-based programs that don’t have any seat time or credit hour requirements.

Dyen said, “So now that we take away seat time and credits…[students] have to have a certain knowledge that can be demonstrated through oral and written tests.  They have to have a certain skill level and that can be demonstrated through a variety of projects or actual hands-on tasks.”

These changes were more than five decades in the making.

“If you look at the history of the rule, it was developed to teach technicians to maintain a DC-6,” Dyen said. “And there’s very few of those left flying.”