Annual departmental reports, 1924-1925
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Subject: AIR Engineers in Canada and the Aeronautical Ground Engineer in Great Britain and its Dominions, Territories, etc circa 1920- 1950
Civil Aviation Safety inspectors performing work during the design, manufacturing, major repair, modification and import stages were required to hold an Aeronautical Ground Engineers' "B" or "D" License issued by the Secretary of State.
The Civil Aviation Safety inspectors performing work during the subsequent operation and routine / day to day maintenance of British Registered aircraft were required to hold an Aeronautical Ground Engineers' "A" and/or "C" License issued by the Secretary of State.
Both "Public" and "Private" civil aviation safety inspectors were required to hold the required Aeronautical Ground Engineers' License issued by the Secretary of State.
Aeronautical Ground Engineers of the British Empire
Aeronautical Ground Engineers or simply "Ground Engineers" (1919 -1952)
were specially trained and educated in aeronautics at a BritishTechnical Institute (known as a University today) and once having completed their "Apprenticeship in the Trade" performing Inspection duties as a "candidate Engineer" under the supervision of a Licensed Ground Engineer, they were subsequently examined by the Air Ministry A.I.D - Technical department and if found acceptable, licensed by the British Government as being qualified to inspect and to certify the mechanical systems and the structural airworthiness of an aircraft of the period.
An excellent pre-requisite for becoming a "Licensed Ground Engineer" was to posess a British Trades Board certificate as a "competent journeyman mechanic" after having completed their apprenticeship in the trade and passed the required oral, practical and theoretical testing by a Board of Trade examiner. By the mid 1920's this testing and the issuance of the certificate of competency for Aircraft Trades persons was being undertaken by the Air Ministry.
"Ground Engineers" were licensed by the Secretary of State for Air of the British Empire with the specific task of Aircraft Safety Inspection and certification to that effect.
Five (5) types of Ground Engineer Licenses were issued, identified using a Letter system of categories:
Ground Engineer category "A" License: Inspection and Certification of Aircraft before Flight / Minor repairs / Minor modifications.
Ground Engineer category "B" License: Inspection and Certification of Aircraft during Manufacture and after Overhaul / Major repairs / Major modifications.
Ground Engineer category "C" License: Inspection and Certification of Aero-Engines before Flight / Minor repairs / Minor modifications.
Ground Engineer category "D" License: Inspection and Certification of Engines during Manufacture and after Overhaul / Major repairs / Major modifications.
Ground Engineer category "X" License: Inspection and Certification of Electrical and Wireless Equipment of Aircraft.
Many training course textbooks for Ground Engineers were published, some are still available today such as "A Complete Course for Ground Engineers' A,B,C,D & X Licences" by the New Era publishing Co, London UK, with a forward by Mr. H. Haselden Lewis of the UK Air Registration Board. This 760 page textbook - which can still be found in antique bookshops and ocassionally on AMAZON - contains sections on the following :
'A' License - 'The Rigging, Maintenance and Inspection of Aircraft' by W.J.C Speller, A.F.R.Ae.S, UK-A.I.D
'B' License - 'Inspection of Aircraft after Overhaul' by S.J. Norton, Assoc. M.inst.C.E & A.F.R.Ae.S
'C' License - 'Aero-Engines : Inspection of, Before Flight'
Part I - ' 'Aero-Engines : Inspection of, Before Flight' by R.F. Barlowe
Part II - 'The Law relating to Civil Aviation' by A. McIsaac
'D' License - 'Inspection of Aero-Engines after Overhaul'
'X' License - 'Electrical and Wireless Equipment of Aircraft' : Including the repair, overhaul and testing of Magnetos by S.G. Bybrow, A.M.I.E.E & A.M.I.M.E
'X' License - 'Instruments' : Repair, overhaul, testing and calibration of Aircraft and Aero-Engine instruments : Adjustment, Installation and Compensation of Compasses in Aircraft by R.W. Sloley, M.A - Cambridge, B.SC.- London university & Mr. C.E Dodge (sec. 8, App'x 'X' & Diagrams)
Additional Government and Air Ministry Official Publications (A.P.) references incorporated by reference in this textbook that were required to be posessed by all candidate "Ground Engineers" include:
the United Kingdom - British Air Navigation Act (as ammended)
the United Kingdom - British Air Navigation Order (as ammended)
the United Kingdom Interpretation Act, 1889 for the purpose of interpretation of "The Air Navigation Order" as "an Act of Parliament" of the United Kingdom.
A good companion reference to the Interpretation Act, 1889 is "A treatise on statute law : with appendices containing statutory and judicial definitions of certain words and expressions used in statutes, popular and short titles of statutes, and the Interpretation Act, 1889" (can be found on Archive.org)
The Air Navigation Directions (A.N.D)
The Metropolitan Traffic Manual : containing the law relating to road, river and air traffic in London and elsewhere. (can be found on Archive.org)
British Government Statutory Rules & Orders - as applicable.
British Air Ministry Pamphlet No. 34 - Instructions to Applicants for Ground Engineers Licenses & Syllabus of Examinations. (Can be found on Archive.org - search for "Duties of Licensed Ground Engineers")
British Air Ministry Publication No.1208 (A.P. No. 1208 ) - Airworthiness Handbook for CIVIL Aviation Vol. 1 "Design section " & Vol. 2 "Inspection section"
British Air Ministry Publication No.1275 (A.P. No. 1275) - General Instrument Equipment for aircraft
British Air Ministry - Department of Technical Development (D.T.D.) specifications.
Re: Certificates of Safety:
Aeronautical Ground Engineers were authorised to issue "Certificates of Safety"
The "Statement" or "Certification" made for a Certificate of Safety for Flight (Extract from the Air Navigation Directions) made by a Ground Engineer holding an "A" License before the first flight of the day. (known as a Daily Certificate) was as follows:
I HEREBY CERTIFY that I have this day inspected the above aircraft (including its instruments and equipment but exclusive of the engine(s) and engine installation and of the instruments relating thereto) and that I am satisfied that it is safe in every way for flight, provided that the conditions of loading specified in the certificate of airworthiness are complied with. The time this inspection was completed was at ________hours (24 hr clock). Signed by:__________________ Ground Engineer "A" License No. __________ Date: _______________ Time: ___________hrs (24 hr clock)
The certifications made by the "B, C, D and X" licensed engineers were similar.
The Modern British based "AME" arose from the issuance of the British Aerial Navigation Regulations of 1919 (can be found on Archive.org) the British Aerial Navigation Act of 1920 and the orders issued by authority of the Secretary of State for Air.
The "British Air Regulations" were the "Internal" or "National" regulations and orders for aircraft and airworthiness which preceded the signing of the International Convention on Aerial Navigation (I.C.A.N) which dealt specifically with "International" cross-border flying of foreign aircraft among the signing members by 6 months, but were the foundation upon which the I.C.A.N was based
An excellent reference for British aviation and aeronautics history of the period from pre 1900 to 1921 is found in the 1922 edition of the "The Encyclopaedia Britannica" - which can be found on Archive.org.
The British Aerial Navigation Act of 1920 asserted absolute sovereignty over all parts of His Majesty's Kingdom.
The book "Choosing Your Life Work" contains information pertaining to the education and licensing of Canada's "Air Engineers" (now Aircraft Maintenance Engineers - AME's) which were identified as "Aeronautical Ground Engineers" or simply "Ground Engineers" in the United Kingdom during the same period.
Topics United Kingdom British Air Ministry Publication No. 1208, A.P 1208, Airworthiness Handbook for Civil Aircraft - Vol. 1 Design, Airworthiness Handbook for Civil Aircraft, British Air Ministry, Publication No. 1208, Air Pub 1208, Aeronautical Ground Engineer, Aeronautical Ground Engineers, Ground Engineer, Ground Engineers, Aeronautical Engineer, Aeronautical Engineers, Air Engineer, Air Engineers, Aircraft Structural design, British Empire, British Airworthiness, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, Airworthiness Design, Airworthiness Inspection, Certificate of Airworthines, Certification of Airworthiness, Airworthiness
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