The hope is that these changes will “help alleviate some backlogs of practical tests in some areas,” said officials with the Flight School Association of North America.
- DPEs may conduct the tests for which they are authorized without geographic restrictions;
- Initial CFI practical tests can directly be scheduled with examiners who have authorization to conduct those tests. Candidates no longer have to contact a Flight Services District Office (FSDO) to have an examiner assigned;
- DPEs are now authorized to give up to three full practical tests and an unlimited number of “retests” in a day; and,
- DPEs must provide a minimum of 24 hours notice of any practical test activity to their managing office.
These changes will allow DPEs who were previously near FSDO boundaries to operate without the previous geographic restrictions, to offer specialty tests such as glider or seaplane testing throughout the country, and for examiners who may find themselves regularly or seasonally in other areas, to provide tests without needing prior approval from local FSDO offices to do so, FSANA officials explain.
The increase in the allowable number of practical tests in a day is intended to allow DPEs to fit in more testing, including retesting of particle flight portions of practical tests. An example would be three students who may have to do short field landings only, FSANA officials noted.
This also allows DPEs to conduct more shorter practical tests, such as a commercial-single-engine add-on or a seaplane add-on practical test.
“These tests do not require as long…to complete and could legitimately allow a DPE to conduct more tests in a day,” FSANA officials said. “It is not expected that a DPE might fit in three full initial private pilot or commercial multi-engine initial practical tests that have much longer time requirements in a single day.”