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Maintenance > Inspection Authorization (IA) Training > Inspection Authorization (IA) Privileges and Requirements

Inspection Authorization (IA) Privileges and Requirements

What Can a Mechanic Do with an Inspection Authorization Certificate?

Airframe & Powerplant mechanics that hold an Inspection Authorization (IA) are very valuable to the aviation community and play a critical role in determining the airworthiness of an aircraft.

Aircraft that have undergone major repairs and major alterations may not be returned to service without an inspection by the holder of an IA. In addition, the holder of an IA may perform annual inspections and perform or supervise progressive inspections.

Requirements to Obtain an IA Certificate

The decision of eligibility of applicants for the Inspection Authorization Knowledge Test is determined based on the criteria established in 14 CFR 65.91(c). Specifically, you must:

Hold a mechanic certificate with both an airframe rating and a powerplant rating, each of which is currently effective and has been in effect for a total of at least 3 years.
Have been actively engaged, for at least the 2-year period before the date of application, in maintaining aircraft certificated and maintained in accordance with federal regulations.
Have a fixed base of operations at which you may be located in person or by telephone during a normal working week (it need not be in the place where you will exercise inspection authority).
Have available the equipment, facilities, and inspection data necessary to properly inspect airframes, powerplants, propellers, or any related part or appliance.
Pass a written test on your ability to inspect, according to safety standards, for returning aircraft to service after major repairs and major alterations and annual and progressive inspections performed under 14 CFR Part 43.

If you determine that you are eligible to hold an IA, you should schedule an appointment with an Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) at your local FSDO to interview for authorization to take the knowledge test. You will need to complete and sign two copies of FAA Form 8610-1, Mechanic’s Application for Inspection Authorization, and bring them with you to your appointment (along with proper identification). It is a good idea to bring all of your training records/certificates and transcripts to the interview since the primary purpose of the interview is to establish that you are qualified for and fully understand the inspection authorization privileges, limitations, and responsibilities.

Once the ASI confirms that you are eligible for an IA, both copies of the 8610-1 will be signed. One copy will be retained at the FSDO and the other copy will be given to you. Both copies will contain a statement indicating that the ASI’s endorsement expires 30 days from the date of application. You are now authorized to take the IA Knowledge Test.

IA Renewal Requirements

You must meet certain renewal requirements by March 31st of every year and report your status to the FAA in every odd-numbered year (i.e., every 2 years). If you do not have enough appropriate activity over the allotted time period, you can take an 8-hour renewal course to meet the renewal requirements in a given year.

The Gleim Inspection Authorization Renewal Course (IARC) was the first FAA-accepted online IA renewal program. It offers a host of topics designed to appeal to almost any IA’s interests. Not only does it meet the requirements for renewal with the FAA, but it also encourages safety and helps you do what you do even better.

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