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Newbies in the Yacht Industry - advices
Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 9:24 AM
Joined: 27/04/2009
Posts: 2

I’m looking at heading over to the Med next season and wanting a heads up on an engineers position. I am currently an Aircraft Engineer working on a variety of aircraft but mainly F18 fighter jets for RAAF now. I would like a career change but am unsure of visa requirements for superyacht work. I am a New Zealand Citizen and have STCW95, Divemasters, PWC licence, Boat licence, play guitar, kitesurf, and love the ocean. The Australian authorities are currently converting my Aircraft qualifications for a MED1, but would still require my sea time.

Any advice you can give me would be fantastic, or perhaps any contacts in similar situations. A career change is fore front of my mind so willing to spend the cash for qualifications for the best fighting chance in a competitive industry.

It appears change seems to come when you ask for help and make a difference yourself. Even a slight push is better than nothing. I am now 4 months away from my planned career change date and already the wheels are in motion. A couple of handy contacts from strangers has meant my paperwork now going through for a y4 qualification, and my B1/B2 visa application is in. I understand that it is alot easier to obtain once already employed but to get that first job consider it critical. People are more than willing to give me advice and appreciate it greatly. Does anyone know how to get my aircraft quals recognised in america so as to by flight engineer as well as boat? Thanks Richard
Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 6:33 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 342

"A couple of handy contacts from strangers has meant my paperwork now going through for a y4 qualification."


They must be very handy indeed. Did they provide sea service letters?


"Does anyone know how to get my aircraft quals recognised in america so as to by flight engineer as well as boat?"


Do you desire to be a flight engineer or an aircraft mechanic? There is a difference. Most flight engineers don't maintain aircraft and most aircraft mechanics aren't employed as flight engineers. Google is your best resource.

Posted: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 4:23 PM
I'm not sure what you were thinking when you wrote this post, marine engineering and aircraft engineering have similarities but that is where it stops. If you want to be successful as a marine engineer you must be prepared to become one first. Becoming a marine engineer takes time and nobody can rush time. I've seen youngsters coming to this game only to fall flat on their face, because they rushed up the ladder and did not manage to master each element of the job. There is great deal more to Marine engineering than people realize, as is their great deal more responsibility than people realize. If you truly wish to be a marine engineer the first thing you need to do is stop looking for shortcuts, there are no shortcuts to becoming a marine engineer.
Posted: Saturday, December 11, 2010 8:46 PM
Joined: 26/11/2009
Posts: 2

Hi Richard, First off, I have been an aircraft mechanic myself in the the Royal Dutch Air-force working on F-16's and did my apprentice ship with the Dutch airplane manufacturer Fokker, so know what you mean about a career change. But that is where it stops to be honest, when I decided to join the yachting industry as a 2nd engineer I worked my way up from MEOL to Y2 which took a lot of time engineering and sea service wise and once you start going this road you will have to abandon your aircraft certification because you cannot do both. With regards to certification and especially sea-service time there are no short-cuts, those handy contacts that allowed you to go for your Y4 must not have been the smartest ones in the industry because they have not only set you up for a big fall when the MCA figures this fraudulent behaviour out but when traced back to them they will undoubtedly be dealt with as well for their part in this.
Richard McCormack
Posted: Monday, December 13, 2010 10:51 AM
Joined: 17/11/2010
Posts: 8

Hi All, firstly thank you for your advice and replies. I don't believe this original email has been interpreted as intended and would just like to clarify. I respect everything involved with becoming a marine engineer, and don't intend to take any shortcuts at all. I understand this will take several years to obtain but understand that a letter of initial assessment from the MCA means that my current three qualification's of Aircraft mechanic/structural/powerplant will count towards my Y4. I have been told that I may be able to gain a position as a 3rd or 4th engineer, being able to do flight line tasks and turnarounds of onboard helicopters. Also, have been told that alot of the tasks are similar. perhaps I'm currently been given the wrong information and may understand better if someone could tell me of your standard daily tasks? My understanding is for avionic diagnostics, engine maintenance, hydraulic maintenance, faultfinding etc. I feel there is nothing more important than system knowledge and operating principles, and hope to be taught by a professional allowing me to face any scenario whilst having a challenging adventurous career. Thanks again and look forward to further feedback
Posted: Monday, December 13, 2010 11:49 AM
Joined: 03/07/2009
Posts: 44

Hi Richard, I come from aircraft engineering background too, Royal Navy. The other posts were right about no short cut, you will be very lucky if the MCA give you a Y4. It is a catch 22 with yachting, to learn the trade as a 2nd or 3rd engineer you generally need a Y4/Y3 but to get that you need sea time. I had to work up my sea time on smaller yachts that didn't require a ticket as sole engineer. Although you do learn fast on your own, working with an experienced chief will always be better. Don't be put off though. If you want a career change then it is possible. marine is different to aircraft for sure but if you have an engineering mind and are happy to start at the bottom again, you will gain sea time and then your tickets with no problem !!! Best of luck with the MCA and happy job hunting.
Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:34 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

bellasmirnova wrote:
 Does anyone know how to get my aircraft quals recognised in america so as to by flight engineer as well as boat? Thanks Richard

FAR 65.3 covers that. You'll have to apply for it on an individual basis. If you are on a foreign (non US) yacht that is operating an N tail aircraft, you should be able to get one. Most likely you'll have to do the writtens. If you have an AME from CASA, I'm not sure if they'll make you take all the tests or not, but it should qualify you to take the tests at least. When I got my commercial pilots license in Aus on the basis of my US certificate, I only needed to do one (Air Law) written and a checkride. Since I was flying Fire and Ag, I also had to do the Spray Safe and Ag tests.

One minor thing, in the US parlance, a "Flight Engineer" is a flight crew member who typically sits sideways in a 3 man cockpit as on the old 747s that haven't been converted and the hand full of other three pilot aircraft that are still operating out there, IOW, it's a pilots rating. Mechanics are referred to as A&Ps (Airframe & Powerplant) mechanics, and after a couple of years you can add an IA (Inspection Authorized) to that. From your post, it sounds more like you are looking for an A&P certificate than an FE rating.

Title 14: Aeronautics and Space
Subpart A—General

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§ 65.3   Certification of foreign airmen other than flight crewmembers.

A person who is neither a U.S. citizen nor a resident alien is issued a certificate under subpart D of this part, outside the United States, only when the Administrator finds that the certificate is needed for the operation or continued airworthiness of a U.S.-registered civil aircraft.

[Doc. 65–28, 47 FR 35693, Aug. 16, 1982]

Title 14: Aeronautics and Space
Subpart D—Mechanics

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§ 65.71   Eligibility requirements: General.

(a) To be eligible for a mechanic certificate and associated ratings, a person must—

(1) Be at least 18 years of age;

(2) Be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language, or in the case of an applicant who does not meet this requirement and who is employed outside of the United States by a U.S. air carrier, have his certificate endorsed “Valid only outside the United States”;

(3) Have passed all of the prescribed tests within a period of 24 months; and

(4) Comply with the sections of this subpart that apply to the rating he seeks.

(b) A certificated mechanic who applies for an additional rating must meet the requirements of §65.77 and, within a period of 24 months, pass the tests prescribed by §§65.75 and 65.79 for the additional rating sought.

[Doc. No. 1179, 27 FR 7973, Aug. 10, 1962, as amended by Amdt. 65–6, 31 FR 5950, Apr. 19, 1966]

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