11/19/13

 

8900.1 CHG 314

Volume 3  GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION

CHAPTER 20  CHECK AIRMAN, INSTRUCTOR, AND SUPERVISOR PROGRAMS FOR TITLE 14 CFR PART 121 AND 135 CERTIFICATE HOLDERS

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Section 2  Check Pilot and Check Flight Engineer Approval and Surveillance

3-1421    GENERAL.

A.    Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) Codes.

·    Check Pilot: 1346.

·    Check Flight Engineer (FE): 1347.

B.    Procedures.

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1)    This section addresses procedures for approval and surveillance of check pilots and check FEs. All check pilots and check FEs must be approved by an operator’s principal operations inspector (POI). Approval is based on a candidate:

·    Having the proper certificates and ratings;

·    Being qualified in accordance with the operator’s approved initial, transition, or upgrade training program;

·    Having completed the operator’s approved check pilot or check FE training program for the appropriate check functions; and

·    Having demonstrated the ability to conduct a check and to evaluate the performance of flightcrew members to the satisfaction of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector.

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2)    The check pilot and check FE approval process follows the five phases described below.
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3-1422    PHASE ONE—OPERATOR FAMILIARIZATION WITH REQUIREMENTS AND LETTER OF REQUEST.

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A.    Beginning the Approval Process. The first phase of the check pilot and check FE approval process involves a discussion between the operator and the POI. The POI should ensure that the operator understands the regulatory check pilot and check FE training requirements and that a candidate must satisfactorily demonstrate the ability to perform check functions to an FAA inspector before approval. The POI should also ensure that the operator is prepared to submit the necessary documentation to initiate the approval process, which is as follows:

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B.    Required Information. The letter of request constitutes the operator’s nomination. It originates from the operator, not a training center, candidate, or some other party. It includes:

·    The candidate’s full name,

·    Business address,

·    Applicable airman’s certificate number,

·    Current flightcrew member position,

·    Requested check pilot or check FE classification,

·    Aircraft type,

·    Brief résumé of the candidate’s aviation background and experience,

·    Copies of the candidate’s appropriate airman certificates,

·    Copy of the candidate’s medical certificate (not required if the only classifications requested are proficiency check pilot—simulator or line check pilot—observer’s seat only), and

·    Copies of the candidate’s training records, including his or her initial, transition, or upgrade training in requested aircraft type; record of most recent applicable recurrent training; and record of check pilot or check FE training.

NOTE:  A POI may require that this information be expanded to suit circumstances.

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3-1423    PHASE TWO—SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTATION. Phase two begins when the operator submits the documentation listed in paragraph 3-1422 to the POI for evaluation. The operator may transmit this submission by conventional mail, email, fax, or by other means mutually acceptable to the operator and the POI. The POI will initially review the information to determine if the candidate meets the basic qualification requirements for the classification of check pilot or check FE approval sought. (See Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 1, General: 14 CFR Part 121, 125, and 135 Certificate Holders.)

A.    Unacceptable Submission. If the operator’s submission is unacceptable, the POI should return the submitted documentation with a statement of the reason for nonacceptance.

B.   Acceptable Submission. If the operator’s submission is acceptable, the POI should initiate phase three.

3-1424    PHASE THREE—REVIEW OF DOCUMENTATION.

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A.    Verification. The POI will verify the candidate’s certificates and background using the enhanced Vital Information Database (eVID), the Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS), PTRS and local office procedures. The POI will then create a file for the individual in the check airman section of eVID.

NOTE:  Creation of the eVID file at this point in the process will allow for documentation of subsequent action regarding the individual without having the records rejected. During the upload/download process, check pilot and check FE surveillance records are cross-checked (last name and certificate number) against the check airman ancillary file in the eVID file for the operator.

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B.    Training Requirements. Before the POI can evaluate a candidate for approval as a check pilot or check FE, all required training must be completed. The candidate’s training records must show satisfactory completion of initial, transition, or upgrade training and all training required under the operator’s approved check pilot or check FE training program for the specified classification. The approved training program must contain all training required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121, §§ 121.411, 121.413, and part 121 appendix H, or 14 CFR part 135, §§ 135.337 and 135.339 that is applicable to the approval being sought. When the candidate’s records show that the candidate has previously completed a required curriculum segment, the segment does not have to be repeated.

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C.     Nonqualification. If, after reviewing the documentation, the POI determines that the candidate does not qualify as a check pilot or check FE, the POI will provide the operator with a statement of the reason for nonacceptance.

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3-1425    PHASE FOUR—CHECK PILOT AND CHECK FE EVALUATION. In order to evaluate a candidate effectively, inspectors must become thoroughly familiar with the operator’s procedures. Inspectors must also become familiar with any special regulatory requirements affecting the operator, such as special conditions contained in the operations specifications (OpSpec) and exemptions.

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A.     Choosing Airmen as Subjects. The inspector conducting an evaluation for an original check pilot or check FE approval must observe the candidate conducting an actual check. The purpose of the evaluation is to ensure that the candidate has achieved the required skills for briefing, evaluating, and debriefing a flightcrew member. The flightcrew member receiving the check should be a line flightcrew member who is due for an evaluation. The flightcrew member will not be an instructor, check pilot, or check FE unless previous approval has been received from the POI. Such approval is reserved for unusual circumstances.

B.    Candidate’s Flying Skills. Except for an initial cadre approval, an evaluation does not entail an evaluation of the candidate’s flying skills in a flightcrew member duty position. An operator should not request approval of an individual as a check pilot or check FE when there is any question about the individual’s flying skills in a flightcrew member duty position. Should the POI have reason to question a candidate’s proficiency, the evaluation will not be conducted until the candidate’s proficiency is verified. An acceptable way to verify the candidate’s proficiency is to check the candidate. An inspector may conduct a proficiency check, a competency check, a flight check, or a line check of the candidate, scheduled at some time before the official evaluation. (Such checks are not routinely required.)

C.    Satisfactory Evaluation. If the inspector determines that a candidate meets criteria for the requested approval, the inspector will inform the candidate that a recommendation of approval will be reported to the POI. In this case, the candidate will certify the proficiency of the flightcrew member receiving the check and complete the necessary recordkeeping tasks. The POI may permit the new check pilot or check FE to be scheduled immediately as a check pilot or check FE, even though processing of the letter of approval has not been completed, provided that a PTRS entry has been completed to document the satisfactory evaluation.

D.    Unsatisfactory Evaluation. If the inspector determines a candidate does not qualify for the requested approval, the inspector will inform the candidate that approval will not be granted. In such a case, the inspector must determine whether the flightcrew member receiving the check performed satisfactorily, and must certify the flightcrew member’s proficiency and complete the necessary records.

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NOTE:  The failure of a candidate is uncommon and usually ends a candidate’s eligibility for check pilot or check FE status. In rare circumstances, the POI may allow a reevaluation. In such a case, the operator must conduct sufficient additional training, recertify the candidate’s proficiency, and arrange to have another evaluation conducted by an FAA inspector.

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E.    Content of Check Pilot or Check FE Evaluation. The following guidance applies to an inspector’s evaluation in respect to each of the six classifications of check pilots and check FE.

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1)    Proficiency Check Pilot—Aircraft. An inspector must evaluate this candidate while the candidate conducts a proficiency check or competency check in an aircraft in-flight. The inspector should observe the candidate conducting the entire check in the aircraft. The candidate should be evaluated on his/her ability to evaluate an individual while, at the same time, performing the flightcrew member activities normally associated with the seat the check pilot candidate occupies. With the approval of POI, the inspector may observe part of the check in the aircraft and the remainder in a flight simulation training device (FSTD).
2)    Proficiency Check Pilot—Simulator. An inspector must evaluate this candidate while the candidate conducts the FSTD segment of an actual proficiency check, or competency check, as applicable. The candidate should be evaluated on his/her ability to evaluate an individual while, at the same time, demonstrating proficiency in operating the FSTD. Time management and the ability to adapt to events that might disrupt a planned sequence of events should be considered. If the entire proficiency check or competency check can be accomplished in a full flight simulator (FFS), the candidate must be observed conducting the entire check.
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3)    Line Check Pilot—All Seats. An inspector will evaluate this candidate while the candidate conducts an actual line check from either pilot seat. Satisfactory performance will also permit the candidate to conduct a line check from the forward observer’s seat, during Line-Oriented Flight Training (LOFT), during revenue service or during nonrevenue service. A candidate for line check pilot—all seats must be qualified to be the pilot in command (PIC) for that operator and hold a first-class medical certificate.

NOTE:  The operator must have procedures published in its operations manual that will be followed in the event that a line check pilot determines that a flightcrew member’s performance does not meet standards that would allow the individual to continue to operate the aircraft. The flightcrew member will not be allowed to continue the flight series or trip. If the line check pilot does not possess the appropriate class of medical certificate or is not qualified to substitute for the flightcrew member, specific alternative procedures must be followed.

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4)    Line Check Pilot—Observer’s Seat Only. An inspector must evaluate this candidate while he or she conducts an actual line check from the forward observer’s seat. If the aircraft is equipped with more than one observer’s seat, the evaluation must be conducted in the aircraft. When the evaluation is conducted during revenue service, in an aircraft with only one observer’s seat, a candidate who holds a second-class medical certificate, who has not yet reached 65 years of age and is otherwise qualified for part 121 operations (does not apply to part 135 operations) may be evaluated while conducting a line check from the right pilot seat. In this case, the PIC must be fully qualified and line current. When the evaluation is conducted during nonrevenue operations in an aircraft with only one observer’s seat, a candidate who holds at least a third-class medical certificate and who is over 65 years of age and is otherwise qualified for part 121 operations (does not apply to part 135 operations) may be evaluated while conducting a line check from the right pilot seat. If the candidate does not hold a medical certificate and the aircraft is equipped with only one observer’s seat, the evaluation may be conducted in a FFS during LOFT. A check pilot who is approved to conduct line checks from the observer’s seat and who does not maintain line currency must be observed by an inspector at least once every 24 calendar months. If an evaluation within this time period is not given, the check pilot is not authorized to conduct line checks.
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NOTE:  The operator must have procedures published in its operations manual that will be followed in the event that a line check pilot determines that a flightcrew member’s performance does not meet standards that would allow the individual to continue to operate the aircraft. The flightcrew member must not be allowed to continue the flight series or trip. If the line check pilot is not qualified (including appropriate medical certificate) to substitute for the flightcrew member, specific alternative procedures must be followed.

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5)    Check Pilot—All Checks. An inspector must evaluate this candidate in accordance with preceding the paragraphs. The evaluations for this approval may be treated cumulatively.
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NOTE:  An pilot may have been a proficiency check pilot—aircraft for a number of years, and then qualify as a line check pilot—all seats. If the operator does not use FFSs in the training program, then upon satisfactory completion of the line check evaluation, the check pilot could be approved to conduct all of the forgoing checks.

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6)    Check FE. An inspector must evaluate this candidate while the candidate conducts an FE flight check in a FSTD. In normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures, segments of the check are normally accomplished in a FSTD. In those instances when a check FE candidate is to conduct any portion of a check in an airplane in-flight, the check FE candidate must be a qualified and current FE and must be evaluated during actual flight.
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F.    Conducting a Check Pilot or Check FE Evaluation.

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1)    Preevaluation Briefing. An inspector conducting a check pilot or check FE evaluation must arrange to meet with the candidate in sufficient time for a preevaluation briefing. The inspector must explain the purpose of the evaluation and some ground rules, including: (1) that the check should be conducted as if the candidate were fully qualified in the role of check pilot or check FE; (2) that during the briefing, the inspector may ask questions of the check pilot or check FE candidate as part of the evaluation; and (3) that the inspector will not ask questions while the check is in progress.
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2)    Observing and Debriefing the Candidate. While the check is in progress, the inspector will observe, but should not interrupt or otherwise interfere with the check pilot or check FE candidate’s management of the check. The inspector must determine that all required events and maneuvers were conducted properly; that the check pilot or check FE candidate’s evaluation of the flightcrew member’s performance was objective and accurate; and that the check pilot or check FE candidate’s debriefing of the flightcrew member was thorough and constructive.
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3-1426    PHASE FIVE—CHECK PILOT AND CHECK FE APPROVAL. All check pilots and check FEs approved for part 121 or part 135 operations must be approved by the operator’s POI.

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A.    Letter of Approval. POIs may only approve check pilots and check FEs for operators under their oversight. Approval of a check pilot or check FE will be in the form of a letter of approval addressed to a responsible official of the operator and signed by the POI, or a representative approved by the POI. This letter of approval may be transmitted to the operator by conventional mail, email, by fax, or by other means acceptable to the operator and the POI. The POI should retain a copy of the letter of approval together with the operator’s original letter of nomination for the candidate. The letter of approval must contain the following:

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·    Identification of the air operator for which the approval is granted,

·    Check pilot’s or check FE’s name and applicable FAA airman’s certificate number,

·    Approved check pilot or check FE classification,

·    Specified category, class, or type of aircraft,

·    Authorizations and limitations, and

·    Effective date of each approval (since different approvals may occur at different times, this information simplifies record checks. The date on which the check pilot or check FE was recommended for approval by an inspector will be the effective date of approval.) See Figures 3-85, Check Pilot Letter of ApprovalSample A, 3-86, Check Pilot Letter of ApprovalSample B, and 3-87, Check Pilot Letter of Approval for Multiple Operations, for sample letters of approval.

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NOTE:  Under current regulations, no normal term of expiration is specified for approvals of check pilots or check FEs (unlike 14 CFR part 183 designees whose authorization must be renewed every 12 months). A check pilot’s or check FE’s approval, however, may be given, limited, or withdrawn, in the discretion of the POI.

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B.    Limitations. A check pilot or check FE will be approved only in the six classifications listed in this section.

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NOTE:  Currently, a separate check airman file in the eVID must be entered into the system for each operator for which the check pilot or check FE holds approval. A forthcoming change to the eVID will result in a single file for each check pilot or check FE, and will permit the listing of all operator affiliations and classifications.

C.    Letter of Approval—Other Copies.

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1)    The original of the letter of approval will be sent to the operator for which the check pilot or check FE has been approved.
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2)    A copy of the letter of approval will be retained in POI’s files, together with the operator’s original letter of request for the candidate. This copy will be maintained in the FAA office files of the overseeing inspector until 2 years after the approval is withdrawn or superseded.
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3)    When the individual is a training center instructor or Training Center Evaluator (TCE) who is being approved to evaluate an operator’s personnel, and if the POI anticipates requesting assistance from the Training Center Program Manager (TCPM) with check pilot or check FE surveillance and oversight, a copy of the letter of approval should be forwarded to that TCPM for inclusion in his or her records.
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D.    PTRS and eVID. The POI must ensure that a record of the approval is entered in the PTRS. A future modification to the PTRS will also require an entry when approval is withdrawn or terminated. Each time an approval is given or withdrawn, the POI must ensure that the operator’s eVID file accurately reflects:

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1)    The current number of active check pilots and check FEs approved for the operator, and
2)    The correct status of the individual.
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3-1427    APPROVAL OF INITIAL CADRE CHECK PILOTS AND CHECK FEs. During the early phases of establishing a check pilot and check FE program, initial cadre check pilots and check FEs are required. Initial cadre check pilot and check FE candidates must first become fully qualified as flightcrew members and then be trained, evaluated, and approved as check pilots and check FEs. Because the regulatory language of parts 121 and 135 does not address a training process for initial cadre check pilots and check FEs, this handbook provides guidance. This process that follows is valuable for startup operations for at least two reasons:

·    It is a practical way to initiate and build a check pilot and check FE program; and

·    It takes advantage of proving flights, when the operator/applicant is under close FAA scrutiny—with desirable effects on the check pilot and check FE program.

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A.    Letter of Request from Operator. The overseeing inspector must arrange with the operator/applicant to approve one or more likely candidates to form an initial cadre of temporary check pilots and check FEs. The operator/applicant will submit a letter of request, as described earlier in this section. This letter comprises the request for initial cadre check pilots and check FEs and a description of the training that they will undergo.

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B.    Letter of Approval. The POI must approve the candidates using procedures described earlier in this section. Usually initial cadre are approved to function as check pilot—all checks or check FE, so that they may conduct all types of checks and supervise Operating Experience (OE) during the period that the startup operation is beginning. The initial cadre letter of approval is a temporary approval, to be replaced with a permanent letter of approval after the check pilot or check FE is fully qualified. The initial cadre letter must contain a statement similar to the following:

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(Name) is approved as an initial cadre check (pilot or FE) to function as a (check pilot—all checks or check FE) for the purpose of initiating operations with the (type of aircraft) for (name or operator). This approval expires on (expiration date).
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3-1428    TRAINING, CERTIFICATION, AND QUALIFICATION—STARTUP. The operator must provide a full qualification process for its initial cadre check pilots and check FEs.

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A.    Initial Training and Certification. The operator must first arrange to have initial cadre check pilots and check FEs trained and appropriately certificated for their flightcrew member duty positions. The operator may provide the training by contracting with a manufacturer, with another operator of the same 14 CFR operating part, or with properly qualified individuals. An inspector or an aircrew program designee designated examiner may certificate the initial cadre, provided that the examiner is employed by a U.S. air carrier operator.

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B.    Gaining Proficiency as Instructors. After the initial training and certification, initial cadre check pilots and check FEs must become proficient in the operator’s proposed training program by instructing each other, or in the case of a single initial cadre check pilot or check FE, by self-training. During this training, an operator may arrange for a pilot from the manufacturer, from another operator, or from another source to act as the safety pilot or instructor pilot.

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C.    Proficiency, Competency, and Flight Checks. After the first initial cadre check pilots and check FEs have become proficient as instructors, they may then begin the training and checking of other initial cadre check pilots and check FEs in accordance with the operator’s initially approved flight training and qualification curriculum segments. Each check must be observed by an FAA inspector who holds the appropriate airman’s certificate, and the appropriate type rating, when applicable. If the inspector determines that the performance of an initial cadre check pilot or check FE conducting a certain check is satisfactory, the inspector will recommend to the overseeing inspector that the candidate be approved as an initial cadre check pilot or check FE for that type of check. One initial cadre check pilot or check FE may check another, with the process repeated until each candidate has been approved as an initial cadre check pilot or check FE or has been terminated from the program. If only one person is being considered to be the initial cadre check pilot or check FE, an inspector will observe that person conducting a check of another flightcrew member. If the candidate’s performance is satisfactory, the inspector must recommend to the POI that the candidate be removed from temporary status and approved for full-time check pilot or check FE duty with the operator.

D.    OE.

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1)    Initial cadre check pilots and check FEs will be permitted to acquire OE flight hours on any flight that can be credited toward the proving-test flight-hour requirement (including training flights, ferry flights, and representative en route proving flights). OE flight hours may be accrued by initial cadre check pilots and check FEs while they are:

·    Conducting aircraft checks;

·    Overseeing the OE of other flightcrew members,

·    Being checked, or

·    Acquiring OE under the supervision of other initial cadre check pilots or check FEs.

2)    Initial cadre check pilots must receive a line check and conduct a line check during an en route proving flight or a ferry flight. The same process (above) will apply: one initial cadre check pilot line checks another while being observed by an FAA inspector. If the check pilot’s performance is satisfactory, the inspector may recommend that the person be removed from temporary status and approved for full-time duty as a check pilot for the operator. If there is only one initial cadre check pilot, then the FAA inspector will conduct the line check.
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3-1429    APPROVAL OF A CHECK PILOT OR CHECK FE IN MULTIPLE AIRCRAFT. Before a candidate may be approved as a check pilot or check FE in more than one type of aircraft, the operator must show that there is a need. The candidate must be fully qualified and current in each of the aircraft types. Overseeing inspectors must be judicious in approving check pilots and check FEs and vigilant in overseeing their performance. There are various acceptable combinations of check pilot and check FE approvals.

A.    All Single-Engine, Normal, or Commuter Category Airplanes. A check pilot may be approved to serve in all single-engine, normal, or commuter category airplanes that an operator operates under part 135.

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B.    Helicopters. A check pilot may be approved to serve in two different types of helicopters.

C.    More Than One Aircraft Family. For part 135 operations, a check pilot may be approved to serve in a combination of two of the following aircraft families:

·    One series of multiengine, normal, or commuter category airplanes;

·    Single-engine, normal, or commuter category airplanes; or

·    Helicopters.

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D.    More Than One Commuter or Transport Category Aircraft Type. Before a candidate may be approved as a check pilot or check FE in two commuter category aircraft types or two transport category types, the overseeing inspectors must ensure that the following conditions are met:

·    For proficiency check pilot—aircraft or simulator the candidate must have logged at least 500 hours as PIC in each type;

·    For line check pilot the candidate must have logged at least 100 hours as PIC in each type and at least 1,000 hours as PIC in transport- or commuter-category airplanes; and

·    For check FE the candidate must have logged at least 500 hours as a FE in each type.

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3-1430    APPROVAL OF A CHECK PILOT OR CHECK FE FOR MULTIPLE OPERATORS. This paragraph provides a standard method for approving a check pilot or check FE to serve multiple operators. The approval of a check pilot or check FE to serve more than one operator is limited to those cases in which the operator’s aircraft, aircraft operating manuals, procedures, and checklists are compatible in the judgment of the overseeing inspector(s). Provision for multiple check pilot or check FE approvals may be made for part 135 single-pilot operators, part 135 single-PIC operators, and for part 121 and part 135 operators with programs that are compatible, in the judgment of the respective operator’s POI. An operator’s POI may also approve a check pilot or check FE to serve multiple part 121 or part 135 operators on a temporary basis, when a startup operation is initiated or when new equipment is being introduced. Other multiple approvals may be made with the concurrence of the regional Flight Standards division (RFSD) when justified.

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3-1431    TRAINING CENTER INSTRUCTORS/EVALUATORS APPROVED BY AN AIR CARRIER’S POI AS CONTRACT CHECK PILOTS OR CHECK FEs. Training centers have made FSTD training and checking available to a broad range of aviation users, including air carriers with smaller fleets and smaller aircraft. With the approval of an operator’s POI, an employee of a 14 CFR part 142 training center may serve one or more air operators as a contract check pilot or check FE. The guidance contained in this paragraph applies to training center personnel who have been requested to serve as such contract check pilots or check FEs.

A.    POI Approves the Check Pilot or Check FE Candidate. Only the POI may approve a check pilot or check FE for use in an air carrier’s training program. Normal procedures apply, including a letter of request from the operator, and a letter of approval from the operator’s POI.

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B.    TCPM Role. Without diminishing the responsibility or authority of the POI, experience has shown that the TCPM may be in the best position to make quality assessments at training centers on behalf of the Administrator. The TCPM continually assesses training programs conducted by a training center for certification of airmen under 14 CFR parts 61 and 63. Similarly, the TCPM assesses the instructors and TCEs employed by a training center. At the request of an operator’s POI, a center’s TCPM may therefore assist with the evaluation of an air carrier’s request to use the services of a center’s employee as a contract check pilot or check FE.

C.    Scheduling Multiple-Use Check Pilots and Check FEs and Maintaining Check Pilot or Check FE Status. Before a multiple approval is made, the overseeing inspector must ensure that the operators understand that the scheduling and use of the check pilot or check FE is their responsibility. An operator entering into a multiple-use arrangement may employ a check pilot or check FE on a part-time basis, may contract with another operator or training center to provide a check pilot or check FE, or may contract directly with the check pilot or check FE.

NOTE:  Each operator is responsible for ensuring that the check pilot or check FE maintains currency as specified in their operations specifications paragraph A031, the appropriate operating rule and Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 1, and that he or she performs adequately when serving the operator.

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D.    Issuing Additional Letters of Approval. An operator seeking check pilot or check FE approval for an individual who is serving as a check pilot or check FE for another operator must provide the necessary information to its POI. The operator’s POI must consider the means the operator will use to train, to qualify, and to maintain qualification of the contract check pilot or check FE candidate and the documentation that will be required. Contract check pilots and check FEs may be able to meet recurrent training requirements for more than one operator simultaneously. When the operator and the POI have agreed on the training and qualification necessary for the contract check pilot or check FE, the operator must submit a written letter of request to the POI, as described earlier in this section. When the second or subsequent POI approves the individual as a contract check pilot or check FE for his/her operator, that POI will issue an additional letter of approval following the procedures described above. Additionally, if the subject check pilot or check FE is an employee of a part 142 training center, the POI will forward a copy of the new approval letter to the center’s TCPM.

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NOTE:   The check airman file in the eVID is being modified to allow for a single file for each individual who has been approved as a check pilot or check FE for an operator. This consolidated check airman eVID file will be linked to a unique airman identifying number, and will permit multiple entries for aircraft and operator combinations.

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E.    Primary Oversight Responsibility. Each operator for which an individual is approved as check pilot or check FE, along with the operator’s POI, has responsibility for oversight of the contract check pilot or check FE. When the check pilot or check FE is employed by a training center, the FAA TCPM may provide assistance as requested by the POI with this responsibility. Any POI who has issued a letter of approval to the check pilot or check FE may, however, conduct surveillance activities at anytime.

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F.    Contract Check Pilot or Check FE LOAs. When approved as a contract check pilot or check FE for an operator, the POI of that operator will issue a letter of approval showing the operator; the check pilot or check FE classification; the type(s) of aircraft authorized, and the type(s) of checks authorized (by regulatory reference). A sample contract check pilot letter of approval is provided on the FAA’s Air Transportation Division—Air Carrier Training and 142 Training Center Branch Web site at http://www.faa.gov/pilots/training/part_142/media/check_pilot_loa.doc. This sample letter provides for the listing of multiple contract check pilot approvals for a particular operator on a single letter.

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G.    Recordkeeping. Each operator is required by their operating rules to maintain training and qualification records for his/her check pilots and check FEs. This responsibility cannot be delegated. However, by agreement between the operator and the training center, a training center may keep a contract check pilot’s or check FE’s training and qualification records. This agreement must be documented in each operator’s recordkeeping system and approved by the POI. The POI must maintain a record in the operator’s file that documents the details of any such arrangement, including the location in the operator’s manual where such arrangement is described.

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3-1432    FLIGHTCREW MEMBER FAILURE RATES. The repetitive failure of a single flightcrew member, or the failure of several flightcrew members during proficiency, competency, or flight checks, may indicate a training program deficiency. Overseeing inspectors must establish procedures with their certificate holders that provide for FAA notification when unsatisfactory performance occurs. Identified deficiencies should be promptly investigated and corrective action taken. A comparison of failure rates between checks conducted by inspectors and those conducted by check pilots and check FEs should also be made. If a significant difference in failure rates exists, additional observations and counseling should be conducted. The overseeing inspector must discuss the matter with the appropriate official responsible for the certificate holder’s training and checking activities. Should these discussions not lead to an improvement in the quality of training and evaluations, consideration should be given to withdrawing approval of any check pilot or check FE involved, or if appropriate, withdrawing approval for a specific part or for the entire training program.

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3-1433    SURVEILLANCE OF CHECK PILOTS AND CHECK FEs. Overseeing inspectors must establish a surveillance program for each check pilot and check FE at the time of approval. The POI must determine which geographic surveillance unit will have responsibility for the check pilot or check FE’s surveillance program and notify that geographic unit of the check pilot or check FE’s approval. Notification may be accomplished by the POI sending a copy of the letter of approval to the geographic unit.

A.     Biennial Check Pilot or Check FE Observation. The surveillance program for each office must include an observation by an FAA inspector or aircrew program designee of each approved check pilot and check FE in his or her area of responsibility at least once every 24 months. Check pilot and check FE observations should be conducted while the check pilot or check FE is conducting an approved checking activity or supervising OE. For example, a check pilot approved to conduct proficiency checks, line checks, and supervision of OE, should be observed conducting a proficiency check in the aircraft or FSTD, conducting a line check, or supervising OE. At the discretion of the POI, an observation conducted by another POI or by a TCPM for a check under the same rule part need not be repeated. It is the responsibility of the operator to maintain records showing that this observation has been completed.

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1)    Surveillance of Check Pilots and Check FEs by Geographic Units. POIs will monitor the activity of geographic units conducting check pilot and check FE surveillance on their behalf. When significant events are reported, the POI should provide feedback to the operator. POIs should remain especially vigilant for repetitive failure rates as discussed in paragraph 3-1432 of this section as an indicator of training program deficiency.
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2)    Constraints of Aircraft with Two Pilot Seats. Inspectors may encounter difficulties in conducting the surveillance of check pilots whose activities are restricted to two-place airplanes or helicopters. In such cases, it may not be possible for an inspector to observe the check pilot conducting actual checks. In lieu of these observations, the POI may review the check pilot’s activities and arrange for an inspector to administer the check pilot’s competency and line checks.
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B.    Periodic Report by the Operator. The POI should arrange to have the operator provide the POI with a periodic report of each check pilot’s and check FE’s activities, including a pass/fail rate, to coincide with the POI’s periodic review (annual, semiannual, or other). POIs may arrange for these reports to arrive at a time that meets the POI’s needs. A check pilot or check FE should be active enough to retain the required knowledge and skills. This activity level may vary depending on the check pilot or check FE function, the size of the operator, and the number of approved check pilots and check FEs. Usually a check pilot or check FE should conduct at least eight authorized check pilot or check FE activities during a 12-month period (including supervision of OE). The POI should specifically re-assess the operator’s need for those check pilots and check FEs whose records indicate low activity levels.

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C.    Withdrawing Check Pilot or Check FE Approval. The POI’s reasons for withdrawing the approval of a check pilot or check FE may include a lack of check pilot or check FE activity, a request by the operator, or an unsatisfactory performance on the part of the check pilot or check FE. To withdraw approval of a check pilot or check FE, the POI must notify the operator by letter that approval is withdrawn. The letter should include the name of the check pilot or check FE, the effective date of withdrawal, and the reason approval is being withdrawn. If the approval of a check pilot or check FE is withdrawn because of unsatisfactory performance, the letter of withdrawal must be sent to the operator by certified mail—return receipt requested. A future additional PTRS activity code will be used to capture data associated with withdrawal or termination of a check pilot’s or check FE’s approval.

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NOTE:  Under current regulations, no normal term of expiration is specified for approvals of check pilots and check FEs (unlike designated examiners, whose term is 12 months, per 14 CFR part 183). Contract check pilots and check FEs who are employees of a part 142 training center will have their term contingent upon continued employment with the training center and maintaining their instructor or evaluator qualification with the employing center.

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D.    POI Authority. A check pilot’s or check FE’s approval may be given, limited, withdrawn, or terminated at the discretion of the POI.

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Figure 3-85.    Check Pilot Letter of Approval—Sample A

February 24, 2006

Mr. Sam A. Frost

Chief Pilot

Transcon Express, Inc.

48 Perimeter Rd.

Utica, OH 22032

Dear Mr. Frost:

John R. Smith, FAA certificate number 467120928, is approved as a check pilot. This check pilot is approved to conduct checks in the Douglas DC-9 aircraft for employees of Transcon Express, Inc. This approval is applicable for the following checking functions:

[ ]      Proficiency Check Pilot—Aircraft                                      Effective                            

[X]    Proficiency Check Pilot—Simulator                                    Effective          8/27/2009

[ ]      Line Check Pilot—All Seats                                               Effective                           

[X]    Line Check Pilot—Observer’s Seat Only                            Effective         02/20/2009

[ ]     Check Pilot—All Checks                                                    Effective                            

Please retain a copy of this letter in Mr. Smith’s individual flight training records.

Sincerely,

James J. Jones

Principal Operations Inspector

FSDO (XXXX)

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Figure 3-86.  Check Pilot Letter of Approval—Sample B

February 24, 2007

Mr. Sam A. Frost

Chief Pilot

Trans Regional Airlines, Inc.

48 Perimeter Rd.

Utica, OH 22032

Dear Mr. Frost:

John R. Brown, FAA certificate number 467219028, is approved as a check pilot. Mr. Brown is approved to conduct checks in multiengine Cessna, reciprocating-series airplanes and in all single-engine airplanes to pilots that are employed by Trans Regional Airlines, Inc. This approval is applicable for the following checking functions:

[ ]  Proficiency Check Pilot—Aircraft                                    Effective                            

[ ]  Proficiency Check Pilot—Simulator                                 Effective                            

[ ]  Line Check Pilot—All Seats                                            Effective                            

[ ]  Line Check Pilot—Observer’s Seat Only                         Effective                            

[X] Check Pilot—All Checks                                                Effective          02/24/2009

Please retain a copy of this letter in Mr. Brown’s individual flight training records.

Sincerely,

James J. Jones

Principal Operations Inspector

FSDO (XXXX)

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Figure 3-87.  Check Pilot Letter of Approval for Multiple Operators

February 24, 2007

Mr. Sam A. Frost

Chief Pilot

Trans Regional Airlines, Inc.

48 Perimeter Road

Utica, OH 22032

Dear Mr. Frost:

John R. Brown, FAA certificate number 467219028, is approved as a check pilot. Mr. Brown is approved to conduct checks in multiengine Cessna, reciprocating series airplanes and all single engine airplanes to pilots that are employed by:

Trans Regional Airlines, Inc., Effective 02/24/2009, and Transylvania Charter Services, Effective 11/15/2009.

This approval is applicable for the following designated functions:

[X]  Proficiency Check Pilot—Aircraft                                 Effective MM/DD/YYYY   

[ ]    Proficiency Check Pilot—Simulator                               Effective                              

[X]  Line Check Pilot—All Seats                                          Effective MM/DD/YYYY   

[ ]    Line Check Pilot—Observer’s Seat Only                       Effective                             

[X]  Check Pilot—All Checks                                               Effective MM/DD/YYYY   

Please retain a copy of this letter in Mr. Brown’s individual flight training records.

Sincerely,

James J. Jones

Principal Operations Inspector

FSDO (XXXX)

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Figure 3-88.  Check Pilot and Check FE Approval Job Aid

1.   Operator’s Letter Contains Necessary Information:

[ ]   Full name of candidate

[ ]   Business address of candidate

[ ]   Flightcrew member duty position and aircraft type

[ ]   Type of check pilot or check FE designation requested

2.   Certificates (copies)

[ ]   Applicable airman

[ ]   Medical

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[ ]   Any valid check pilot or check FE Letters of Approval

3.    Training Records (copies)

Indicates new/changed information.

[ ]   Initial, transition, or upgrade to requested aircraft and flightcrew member duty position

[ ]   Recurrent

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[ ]   Check pilot or check FE

4.   [ ]   Resume of experience included

5.   [ ]   FSIS verification satisfactory

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6.   [ ]   Check pilot or check FE evaluation scheduled

7.   [ ]   Report of evaluation received from PTRS

8.   [ ]   Open eVID file

 

Favorable Report:

 

9.    Prepare Letter of Approval

[ ]   Original letter to operator

[ ]   Copy to geographic unit supervisor

[ ]   Copy to operator file

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[ ]   Copy to other POI (if check pilot or check FE for another operator)

10. [ ]   Update operator eVID file

11. [ ]   Complete PTRS

 

Unfavorable Report:

 

12. [ ]   Prepare letter to operator indicating disapproval

13. [ ]   Update operator eVID file

14. [ ]   Complete PTRS

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-1434 through 3-1448.