Ever tried to schedule an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for a CFI check ride? Well… “wait” was the keyword. This may change. The FAA now allows schools and students to schedule check rides directly with the DPE without waiting for one being assigned to them. The key points of the rule are as follows:
- DPE’s may conduct the tests for which they are authorized without restriction as was previously typically established on a basis of their FSDO boundaries;
- Initial CFI practical tests can directly be scheduled with examiners who have authorization to conduct those tests. They no longer must contact a FSDO office to have an examiner assigned;
- DPE’s are now authorized to give up to 3 full practical tests and an unlimited number of “retests” in a day; and,
- DPE’s must provide a minimum of 24 hours notice of any practical test activity to their managing office.
Other issues have been revisited, such as geographical boundaries restrictions for some special licenses (gliders, etc.) given the scarcity of examiners in those areas. Read the full text here.
On a different proposal, not yet a rule, the FAA also filed an NPRM (notice of proposed rule making) to allow experimental aircraft to be used for training. Verbatim: “add [regulatory] language that permits training in experimental light sport aircraft (ELSA) for compensation or hire through existing deviation authority provided in paragraph (h) of that section.”
The FAA noted that to ensure these aircraft are used solely for the purpose of flight training and to better control and monitor the use of ELSA for flight training, the FAA proposes to require a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) for operators who intend to conduct flight training compensation or hire using ELSA. The 2004 Light Sport Final Rule created the LODA process to allow training for compensation or hire using certain categories of experimental aircraft.” Read the full text here.
This rule follows a trend we already reported on the expanded use of simulators. We believe these actions move the training environment forward at a faster pace without jeopardizing safety.