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8900.1 CHG 507

VOLUME 1  GENERAL INSPECTOR GUIDANCE AND INFORMATION

CHAPTER 3  INSPECTOR RESPONSIBILITIES, ADMINISTRATION, ETHICS AND CONDUCT

Section 6  Operations Inspector Qualifications and Currency Overview

1-260    OBJECTIVE. This section contains the qualification and currency requirements applicable to Operations inspectors conducting certification and surveillance of flight-related functions.

1-261    BACKGROUND. This section was developed to consolidate information for flight program participants to easily identify qualification and currency requirements for inspectors in the performance of the inspector job functions. The section does not include all inspector job functions. Inspector qualification requirements may also be found in Order 8900.1 sections that address the particular job function. With the development and future amendment of this section, duplicate information will be removed from the respective sections and consolidated in the matrix found within this section. Until all information has been included in the matrix and removed from the respective sections, inspector qualification requirements will be based on the section with the most recent amended date.

1-262    CREWMEMBER STATUS—TRAINING AND CURRENCY REQUIREMENTS. The Operations Inspector Qualifications and Currency Requirements Matrix was developed for flight program participants to reference qualification and currency requirements the inspector must meet to conduct specified job functions. Each row of the Operations Inspector Qualifications and Currency Requirements Matrix represents a job function, and the columns represent the qualifications. The Operations Inspector Qualifications and Currency Requirements Matrix includes references to Order 8900.1 where applicable guidance information is available. Figure 1-2, Operations Inspector Qualifications and Currency Requirements Matrix, lists inspector qualifications and currency by job function.

Figure 1-2.  Operations Inspector Qualifications and Currency Requirements Matrix

Indicates new/changed information. Indicates new/changed information.

Ref Policy Division(s)

Job Function

Medical Required (1)

Category/Class Rating

Type Rating in Subject Aircraft

12 Mo. Formal Training (2)

24 Mo. Formal Training in Category (3)

EBC Current (4)

1

AFS-800

Part 61 pilot certification practical test as a required crewmember, including safety pilot (5)(See Volume 5, Chapter 1, Section 2, paragraphs 5-27, 5-29, and 5-30.)

2nd

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

2

AFS-800

Part 61 pilot certification practical test from observer seat

(See Volume 5, Chapter 1, Section 2, paragraphs 5-27, 5-29, and 5-30.)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

3

AFS-200/ AFS-800

Part 91K/121/125/135/141/142 competency/proficiency check as a required crewmember, including safety pilot (5)

(See Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 7, paragraph 3-1282 and Volume 5, Chapter 1, Section 2, subparagraphs 5-27 and 5-32, parts 91K, 121, 125 & 135 only.)

2nd

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes (6)

4

AFS-200/ AFS-800

Part 91K/121/125/135/141/142 competency/proficiency check from observer seat

(See Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 7, paragraph 3-1282.)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes (6)

5

AFS-800

Special medical test (flight) (5)

(See Volume 5, Chapter 8, Section 1, subparagraph 5-1526.)

2nd

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

6

AFS-800

Title 49 U.S.C. § 44709 reexamination (5)

(See Volume 5, Chapter 7, Section 1, paragraph 5-1422.)

2nd (7)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

7

AFS-200/ AFS-600/ AFS-800

Original/Ongoing part 183 evaluation as a required crewmember, including safety pilot (5) (See Volume 13, Chapter 6, Section 1, subparagraphs 13-508B1) and 2).)

2nd

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

8

AFS-200/ AFS-600

Original part 183 evaluation (TCE/APD) from observer seat

(See Volume 13, Chapter 1.)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

9

AFS-200/ AFS-600

Ongoing part 183 evaluation (TCE/APD) from observer seat

(See Volume 13, Chapter 1.)

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes (8)

10

AFS-600/ AFS-800

Original part 183 evaluation (DPE) from observer seat

(See Volume 13, Chapter 6, Section 1, subparagraph 13‑508B1).)

No

Yes

Yes (10)

No

No

No

11

AFS-600/ AFS-800

Ongoing part 183 evaluation (DPE) from observer seat

(See Volume 13, Chapter 6, Section 1, subparagraph 13‑508B2).)

No

Yes

Yes (10)

No

No

No

12

AFS-200

Part 121/135 line check from observer seat (See Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 13, subparagraph 3-19-13-3B.)

No

Yes

Use Inspector Qualification Assessment Process

No

Yes (11)

Yes (8)

13

AFS-200/ AFS-800

Original part 91K/121/135 check airman/check pilot observation from observer seat

(See Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 2, subparagraph 3‑1428C.)

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

14

AFS-200/ AFS-800

Ongoing part 91K/121/135 check airman/check pilot observation from observer seat

(See Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 2.)

No

Yes

Yes (9)

No

Yes

Yes

15

AFS-200

Part 121 OE observation from observer seat

(See Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 20, subparagraph 6‑606B.)

No

Yes

No (9)

No

No

No

16

AFS-200/ AFS-800

Part 91K/121/135 flight instructor observation from observer seat

(See Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 2.)

No

Yes

Yes (9)

No

No

No

17

AFS-200/ AFS-800

Part 91K/121/135 proving and validation tests when the qualified operations inspector occupies an observer seat

No

Yes

(12)

(12)

(12)

(12)

Notes for Figure 1-2, Operations Inspector Qualifications and Currency Requirements Matrix:

(1)   Inspectors conducting certification (pilot evaluating, testing, and checking) job functions as a required crewmember, including safety pilot, must hold a second-class medical certificate.

(2)   Inspectors assigned to only one aircraft requiring a type rating must complete formal training in that aircraft every 12 months. Inspectors assigned to two aircraft of the same category requiring a type rating must complete formal training every 12 months, alternating between the two aircraft. Inspectors assigned to any helicopter must complete the “Helicopter Visual Flight Rules (VFR)/Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Refresher” formal training every 12 months (this requirement applies to both helicopters that require a type rating and to helicopters that do not require a type rating).

(3)   For gyroplane, lighter-than-air, glider, weight-shift, and powered parachute, a Flight Standards (AFS) Flight Program check recorded on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 4040-2, FAA Crewmember Check Record, may substitute for formal training.

(4)   In order to be event based currency (EBC) current, the inspector must have completed the required tasks and flight program requirements. EBC current does not refer to qualifications including formal training and medical certification.

(5)   In order to conduct certification (pilot evaluating, testing, and checking) job functions as a required crewmember, including safety pilot, the inspector must meet the recency-of-experience requirements of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61, §§ 61.57 and 61.58. (See Volume 5, Chapter 1, Section 1, paragraph 5-3, Inspector and Examiner Qualifications, and Volume 5, Chapter 1, Section 2, subparagraph 5-27C, Operations Inspector Currency Requirements.)

(6)   An inspector must complete all required non-Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) tasks in the Flight Operations Manual (FOM) chapter 4, Table 4-19 (not otherwise completed under the MOU), prior to conducting certification (pilot evaluating, testing, and checking) job functions outside the MOU.

(7)   If the Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.) § 44709 reexamination is conducted in a flight simulation training device (FSTD), the inspector is not required to hold a valid second-class medical certificate at the time of the reexamination.

(8)   EBC currency is not required in the subject aircraft. However, EBC currency is required in at least one EBC assignment in the same category and class.

(9)   The inspector must be qualified in the category, class, and group of aircraft to be used, but does not need to be qualified in the aircraft type. An inspector must be type-rated in an airplane that has a passenger capacity of 30 seats or more, or a payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds, to conduct the observation in an airplane of these capacities.

(10)  Not required for designees managed under the vintage and experimental aircraft programs.

Indicates new/changed information.

(11)  When an airman will receive a line check in an aircraft that requires a type rating and it is the first line check in that type under that operational part, the inspector must hold the applicable type rating and have received formal training in the respective aircraft within the previous 24 months. See subparagraph 1-263B1).

(12)  See Volume 3, Chapter 29, Section 5, subparagraph 3-2381A1), Qualified Operations Inspector.

1-263    LINE CHECKS—INSPECTOR QUALIFICATION ASSESSMENT PROCESS.

A.    Inspector Qualifications—General. The following paragraphs and Figure 1-3, Inspector Qualification Assessment Process, establish a risk-based method to determine inspector qualifications when conducting line checks as required by 14 CFR part 121, § 121.440 or part 135, § 135.299.

1)    The obligation of the FAA to provide qualified inspectors when performing a line check is long standing and requires the inspector to be able to, with confidence, certify the competency of the airman. It is important to note that a line check is a certification of proficiency as required by the respective rule, while an en route inspection is not; both maintain different objectives and qualification requirements.
2)    Inspector line check qualification requirements are established to ensure the inspector has the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) to ascertain the pilot in command’s (PIC) ability to operate the particular aircraft in accordance with their defined duties and responsibilities. The PIC’s duties and responsibilities are defined by the certificate holder and the regulatory requirements associated with operations under the respective 14 CFR part.
3)    By virtue of an inspector’s prerequisite experience and training requirements, inspectors generally have obtained many, if not all, of the KSAs needed to make accurate assessments during the conduct of most line checks. Complex aircraft, type-rated aircraft, or unique operational conditions may require special training or considerations when determining if the inspector can conduct the line check.
4)    The Inspector Qualification Assessment Process establishes the term “Alternatively Qualified.” “Alternatively Qualified” means that the local management has assessed the inspector’s qualifications through the guidance found in this section and has determined the inspector has the required KSA to conduct the line check.

B.    Inspector Qualification Assessment Process. Figure 1-3 and this policy describe a method to determine inspector qualification requirements when conducting a line check.

1)    When an airman will be receiving a line check in an aircraft that requires a type rating and it is the first line check in that type under that operational part, the inspector must hold the applicable type rating and have received formal training in the respective aircraft within the previous 24 months. The inspector would not need to be EBC current in that specific aircraft, but would be EBC current in category and class (see Figure 1-3, Outcome 1).
2)    When an airman will be receiving a line check in an aircraft that requires a type rating and has completed a line check in that type under that operational part, the office management may use the “Alternatively Qualified” method to determine inspector eligibility to conduct the check (see Figure 1-3, Outcome 2).
3)    When an airman will be receiving a line check in an aircraft that does not require a type rating to act as a PIC, the office management may use the “Alternatively Qualified” method to determine inspector eligibility to conduct the check (see Figure 1-3, Outcome 2).
4)    When it is determined that an “Alternatively Qualified” assessment can be made, it allows the local management the ability to recognize the expertise, experience, and qualifications of the inspector staff. The assessment provides staff and office management a basic methodology in determining if a comprehensive line check evaluation can be made with the office staff or if an external resource will be required. There may be situations, because of the uniqueness of the certificate holder or aircraft, that the office staffing does not have the expertise to fulfill the requirements of an “Alternatively Qualified” inspector. In such a case, the office would seek out other qualified inspectors, thus affording the office management the ability to make an informed risk and safety-based decision and selection.

C.    Fundamental Information from Certificate Holder. The qualification assessment requires the certificate holder to provide the FAA with fundamental information surrounding the conditions of the line check. The office must request the following items from the certificate holder.

    Type of aircraft the line check will be conducted in;

    Record of a previous line check (from any certificate holder) in the same type of aircraft, when the aircraft requires a type rating, if applicable (this will require validation by the inspector conducting the check when an “Alternatively Qualified” inspector is utilized);

    Record of most current line check with the requesting certificate holder when it is not the first line check with the certificate holder;

    Report of any unsatisfactory line check evaluations with the certificate holder; and

    Other items deemed relevant by the office manager necessary to determine “Alternatively Qualified,” if applicable.

D.    Application of the Inspector Qualification Assessment Process and Figure 1-3. Once the certificate holder has provided the fundamental information, Figure 1-3 and the Inspection Qualification Assessment Process should be utilized to determine if a type-rated inspector is required or an “Alternatively Qualified” inspector can be utilized to conduct the line check.

Figure 1-3.  Inspector Qualification Assessment Process

Figure 1-3. Inspector Qualification Assessment Process

E.    “Alternatively Qualified” Determination. An “Alternatively Qualified” determination must include considerations of the inspector’s overall expertise, experience, and qualifications with emphasis on the attributes required to make a comprehensive line check assessment and the associated certification of proficiency in the airman’s records. The attributes needed may vary for each certificate holder and aircraft based on many factors. Factors to be considered in determining if an inspector within the office staff can be considered “Alternatively Qualified” include at least the following:

1)    Knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the operation associated with the certificate holder (e.g., Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM); high altitude; Category II (CAT II); Required Navigation Performance (RNP) or special approach procedures).
2)    Ability of the inspector to become familiar with the certificate holder’s regulatory and operations specifications (OpSpecs) attributes.
3)    Ability of the inspector to become familiar with certificate holder’s standard operating procedures (SOP) and callouts and any special emphasis areas identified.
4)    Check pilot, chief pilot industry experience, and related inspector experience.
5)    Familiarity with the aircraft or operationally similar aircraft experience.
6)    Knowledgeable with the applicable aircraft technologies, such as: Global Positioning System (GPS), Electronic Flight Information Systems (EFIS), Flight Management System (FMS), Head-Up Display (HUD), Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS), Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), etc., as applicable.
7)    Knowledgeable of any unique automation characteristics, avionics suite or aerodynamic attributes of the aircraft.
8)    Familiarity with the powerplant type and operational considerations.
9)    Ability of the inspector to become familiar with the aircraft performance assessment methods for runway and obstacle analysis and application of alternative departure procedures that may be associated, as well as Weight and Balance (W&B) methods.
10)    Aircraft that have the same type rating but have significant differences, requiring difference training, should be considered (e.g., LR-25 and LR-55 are considered significantly different aircraft).
11)    Other factors that Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) personnel have identified as essential.

NOTE:  Policy for conducting line checks must be utilized, and is located in Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 13.

F.    Other General Considerations. Using a Job Task Analysis (JTA) approach, the line check is comprised of many facets.

1)    The job tasking for the inspector is also variable based on the operational conditions, complexity, and aircraft itself. For example, most inspectors should be qualified to conduct the evaluation of items associated with flight preparation procedures. However, assessing flight planning information may become significantly more difficult for an inspector unfamiliar with an aircraft that may have special considerations or complicated flight manuals or systems. Another example may be the validation of flight deck flows that conform to certificate holder standards and do not conflict with aircraft operational restrictions; data has shown such deficiencies have been identified during unsatisfactory line checks.
2)    With regards to in-flight observations, inspectors should be able to assess the conformance to regulatory operational requirements and OpSpec criteria; such differences may be vast for operations involving aircraft in RVSM airspace and possess different assessment challenges. More difficult to assess may be the proper operation and management of integrated systems that may be unique to the aircraft and require specific knowledge of the aircraft.

G.    Summary. Current data makes it clear a line check is comprised of many facets that require careful consideration when qualifying someone to conduct the check. It is important to ensure those conducting the checks are well equipped to make the comprehensive line check assessment. While line pilots gain valuable skills and hone their operational expertise as they gain experience, the depth of the line check assessment should not be compromised by randomly diluting the inspector skill sets to meet an industry demand and that can be filled by industry themselves. The line check and the associated certification of proficiency must be conducted by a qualified individual regardless of whether it is a check pilot or inspector. The line check may be the last validation event before the PIC will be authorized to fly the public in revenue service.

1-264    RISK MITIGATION AND SAFETY STANDARDS FOR ALL INSPECTOR FLIGHT‑RELATED JOB FUNCTIONS.

A.    Complexity of Job Functions. The flight-related job functions required of an inspector will vary widely in complexity and associated risk. For example, a line check and proficiency check will require different qualifications for the safety pilot because of the different level of risk associated. When critical skill tasks (critical skills require a precise action from the pilot to ensure a safe outcome) are conducted, a higher level of proficiency and competency is required of the safety pilot.

B.    Due Diligence in Risk Assessment. Because of the challenges the field inspector will encounter during the performance of his or her duties, he or she must exercise due diligence in the assessment of risk prior to conducting an event. To assist in determining the appropriate level of proficiency and competency of the safety pilot, the guidelines below should be considered. Additional information regarding safety pilot standards may also be found in Order 8900.1 sections that address the particular job function.

C.    Formal Training.

1)    Inspectors must consider and carefully evaluate the hazards and associated risks for that event. When conducting an event that involves critical skills, such as a proficiency check, the safety pilot must be formally trained, proficient, and competent in all of the critical skills that will be conducted during the event. The assessment must consider the training completed by the safety pilot.
2)    When conducting testing or checking events and a safety pilot is utilized, the safety pilot must have received, and be able to provide, documented training comparable to that required by air carrier aircraft flight instructors. The safety pilot must be:

    Knowledgeable in the SOPs to be utilized during the check;

    Competent in conducting the procedures associated with blocking the controls against incorrect applicant responses for an event that would require such a task;

    Knowledgeable of the appropriate actions for simulating failures in the specific aircraft;

    Able to identify when a maneuver or procedure is deteriorating to an unsafe level and know when to physically intervene;

    Willing to ensure overall safety of the flight;

    Fully adept to ensure safety in whatever manner would be effective if a particular maneuver cannot be executed safely; and

    Have recency-of-experience in functions required of a safety pilot.

3)    The considerations above and other factors deemed appropriate by the inspector conducting the event will ultimately determine if the event can be safely accomplished.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 1-265 through 1-279.