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VOLUME 3  General technical administration

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

Section 3  Approve a Check Airman for part 125 Operations (Pilot, Flight Engineer, or Navigator)

3-1451  PROGRAM TRACKING AND RECORDING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES:

·        Pilot: 1346;

·        Flight Engineer (FE): 1347;

·        Navigator: 1348; and

·        Oceanic Navigator: 1349.

3-1452  OBJECTIVE. This task determines if an applicant is eligible for check airman authority. Successful completion of this task results in the issuance of a letter of authorization (LOA) to the applicant or operator giving an individual check airman authority or results in denial of check airman authority.

3-1453  GENERAL.

A.     Certification Applicant or Existing Operator. A check airman authorization may be issued to an applicant for a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 125 certificate, or an A125 Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA), or to an existing part 125 certificate holder or A125 LODA holder. Although an individual is assigned check airman duties to conduct initial, recurrent, and instrument checks required by part 125, §§ 125.265(b), 125.285, 125.287, and 125.291, the authorization is issued to the applicant or operator.

B.     Letter of Request. Requests for approval of a check airman (including check airmen for FEs, if necessary) should be submitted in letter form (Figure 3-89) by the operator to the certificate-holding district office (CHDO). Each request received by the district office will be reviewed by the principal operations inspector (POI) to determine the need for a check airman, based on factors such as the complexity of the operation (number of aircraft and flight personnel) and the qualifications of the nominee, before scheduling any tests.

C.     Instruction. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors will instruct the check airman in the proper conduct of practical tests and in the completion and disposition of an airman applicant’s file.

3-1454  ASSESSING CHECK AIRMAN QUALIFICATIONS. When evaluating the qualifications of a check airman nominee, the inspector has to determine the nominee’s currency.

A.     Other Proficiency Checks. The inspector may accept proficiency checks conducted under 14 CFR part 121, § 121.441 to establish qualifications for the check airman nominee. Furthermore, the successful completion of a proficiency check under either part 121 or part 125 satisfies the requirements of 14 CFR part 61, § 61.58.

B.     Conditions for Accepting part 121 Proficiency Checks. A pilot proficiency check conducted in accordance with appendix F of part 121 may be accepted as meeting the requirements for operations conducted under part 125 if:

1)      The check is conducted in the same type of airplane or in an airplane simulator or other training device, approved under § 121.407 for each flight maneuver or procedure to be accomplished during the proficiency check.
2)      The pilot has passed a written or oral test on the appropriate provisions of 14 CFR parts 61, 91, and 125, and the operations specification (OpSpec) and manual of the certificate holder (§ 125.287(a)(1)).
3)      A properly documented record of that crewmember is maintained in accordance with the requirements of § 125.401.

3-1455  CONDUCT OF THE EVALUATION FLIGHT. The POI is responsible for the authorization/denial of check airmen. The POI may perform all of the procedures or may assign a qualified inspector to conduct the practical test.

A.     Inspector Responsibility During the Test. The evaluation flight of a check airman nominee is considered to be a practical test of the nominee’s ability to test other airmen. However, since the nominee is not yet authorized as a check airman, the FAA inspector is actually conducting a dual test: on the check airman nominee and on the airman being tested. This situation should be discussed and explained to all participants before the flight. It is similar to the situation where an inspector observed a pilot examiner nominee conducting a practical test.

B.     Simulated Emergencies. Before beginning a flight test in an aircraft, discuss with the nominee the method in which simulated emergencies will be created and agree on the method to be used to preclude an actual emergency. If an actual emergency occurs, the test must be terminated immediately and attention focused on crew coordination and operation of the aircraft to the extent necessary to handle the situation.

C.     Postflight Critique. After the flight evaluation, the FAA inspector and the check airman nominee must confer before advising the airman being tested of the results of the test. This is a continuation of the evaluation of the check airman nominee. The nominee indicates whether the other airman’s performance was satisfactory or unsatisfactory and the justification for the decision. The inspector indicates agreement or disagreement and why, then decides whether to pass or fail the check airman nominee and the airman being tested. The procedures for handling the various pass/fail situations are in paragraph 3-1460 below.

3-1456  APPROVAL OF PART 142 TRAINING CENTER PERSONNEL AS CONTRACT CHECK AIRMEN.

A.     POI Approval. POIs are authorized to approve part 142 flight instructors or Training Center Evaluators (TCE) as contract check airmen to conduct initial, recurrent, and/or instrument proficiency checks required by §§ 125.265(b), 125.285, 125.287, and/or 125.291.

B.      Contract Check Airman Requirements.

·        The subject training center or satellite and aircraft make, model, and series (M/M/S) must specifically be listed in the air operator’s OpSpecs or A125 LODA holders LOA paragraph A031;

·        The operator must have made a formal written request to his or her POI, nominating the subject individual as a contract check airman;

·        The nomination letter must include the documentation required to enable the POI to evaluate each candidate as required by Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 2;

·        The nominated individual must have completed the air operator’s required check airman training for all areas and subjects in which the operator requests check airman authority; and

·        An FAA inspector must observe the nominated individual initially and at least once each subsequent 24 calendar-months performing a checking function using either the subject operator’s procedures or those of another operator under the same CFR part.

·        A standardized Contract Check Airman Letter of Approval, in template form, is available at the following Web site: http://www.faa.gov/pilots/training/part_142/media/chk_air_loa.doc.

·        Only 14 CFR part 142 TCEs with existing certification authority (testing/checking) may be approved to issue pilot certificates in accordance with §§ 61.157(f) or 61.63(d). A TCE without certification authority or a part 142 contract instructor may, however, be granted authorization to conduct check airman activities (i.e., proficiency/competency checks) that do not result in FAA certification.

NOTE: See Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 2, Figure 3-88A, Check Airman Approval Job Aid.

C.     Approve More Than One Contract Check Airman. At the discretion of the POI, the POI may approve more than one contract check airman in a single LOA. List each individual’s name, certificate number, and associated authorizations and limitations in the LOA (the template described in the bullet above is designed to accommodate this practice). A subsequent change to one individual’s status will require the LOA to be reissued to reflect the revision.

D.    Training Center Program Manager’s (TCPM) Role. Experience has shown that the TCPM is usually 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, and with the concurrence of an operator’s POI, a center’s TCPM may assist with the evaluation of an operator’s request to use the services of a center’s employee as a contract check airman.

E.     Scheduling Multiple-Use Check Airman. The overseeing inspector must ensure that the operators understand that the scheduling and use of the check airman is their responsibility, before a multiple approval is made. An operator entering into a multiple-use arrangement may employ a check airman on a part-time basis, may contract with another operator or training center to provide a check airman, or may contract directly with the check airman. However, each operator must ensure that the check airman maintains currency, as specified in the appropriate operating rule and Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 1, and performs adequately when serving the operator.

F.      Contract Check Airman for Multiple Operators. An operator seeking check airman approval for an individual already serving as a check airman for another operator must provide the same information to its POI as described above. The operator’s POI must consider the means the operator will use to train, to qualify, and to maintain qualification of the contract check airman candidate and the required documentation. Contract check airman can 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 airman, the operator must submit a written letter of request to the POI, as described earlier in this chapter.

NOTE: We are revising the Vital Information Subsystem (VIS) to allow for a single file for each individual approved as an air operator check airman. This modification will be linked to the airman’s certificate number and will permit multiple entries for aircraft and operator combinations in a single consolidated VIS file.

G.    Oversight Responsibility. Each air operator who requests check airman authority, whether for its own employees or those of a part 142 training center, retains oversight responsibility for its authorized contract check airmen. POIs are responsible for providing surveillance over all individuals assigned as check airman/contract check airmen for their assigned air operators. However, if a contract check airman is employed by a part 142 training center, the TCPM can assist with these surveillance duties. While any authorizing POI may conduct surveillance activities over an assigned operator at any time, he or she may also make requests for assistance in this regard from the training center TCPM or M/M/S Fleet Training Program Manager.

H.    Recordkeeping. Operating rules require each operator to maintain training and qualification records for its check airmen. If specified in the recordkeeping section of an operator’s manual and approved by the POI, one operator or training center may maintain a contract check airman’s training and qualification records for all operators for which the contract check airman serves.

3-1457  PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS FOR OTHER THAN PART 142 TRAINING CENTER CONTRACT CHECK AIRMAN.

A.     Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of regulatory requirements in part 125, FAA policies and, specifically,

·        Check airman authorization process,

·        Task background, and

·        Qualification as an aviation safety inspector (ASI) (Operations).

B.     Coordination. This task requires coordination with the principal operations inspector, the operations unit supervisor, and, possibly, the airworthiness unit.

3-1458  REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.     References (current editions):

·        Title 14 CFR parts 1, 61, and 91.

·        Volume 5, Chapter 2, Title 14 CFR part 61 Certification of Pilots and Flight Instructors.

·        Volume 13, Chapter 6, Designated Pilot Examiners.

B.     Forms:

·        FAA Form 8000-36, Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem Data Sheet.

·        FAA Form 8410-1, Airman Proficiency/Qualification Check (for use by the check airman applicant).

C.     Job Aids:

·        Sample letters and figures.

·        FAA Form 8410-1 (for optional use by the inspector to check the testing activities of the check airman applicant).

3-1459  PROCEDURES.

A.     Letter of Request. Review the applicant’s letter of request for check airman authorization to determine if there is a need for a check airman. Base your decision on the following:

·        Number of airplanes and flight crewmembers,

·        Complexity of operations, and

·        The nominee’s qualifications.

1)      If you determine that the company does not need a check airman, issue a letter of denial. (See Figure 3‑90.)
2)      If you determine there is a need for a check airman, review the nominee’s qualifications.

B.     Nominee’s Qualifications. Ensure that the nominee meets the following applicable requirements by using the Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS) and the Enforcement Information System (EIS) and by reviewing the supporting information included with the letter of request. The nominee must meet and maintain the following qualifications.

1)      For a pilot check airman:

·        An airman certificate with category, class, ratings, and type ratings appropriate for the airplane in which tests will take place.

·        A medical certificate appropriate for the category of airman certificate.

·        The pilot in command (PIC) requirements of § 125.281.

·        The recency of experience requirements of § 125.285.

·        The initial and recurrent pilot testing requirements of § 125.287.

·        The PIC requirements of § 125.291 for instrument flight rules (IFR) flight.

2)      The ability to evaluate another pilot’s technique and proficiency properly. This can be determined by a history as a check pilot for another operator, as a certificated flight instructor, as a pilot examiner, etc.

·        Qualifications, knowledge, and experience which commands respect and confidence.

·        Good record as a pilot and good reputation in the industry and the local aviation community for honesty and dependability.

3)      For a FE check airman:

·        An airman certificate with category, class, ratings, and type ratings appropriate for the airplane in which tests will take place.

·        A medical certificate appropriate for the category of airman certificate.

·        Meet the experience requirements of § 125.265.

·        The recency of experience requirements of § 125.285.

·        The initial and recurrent pilot testing requirements of § 125.287.

4)      If the nominee does not meet the above qualifications, issue a letter of denial to the company. (See Figure 3‑91.)
5)      If the nominee is qualified, schedule the evaluation flight.

C.     Schedule the Evaluation Flight. Determine the date, time, and place of the evaluation flight based on inspector availability and workload.

D.    Before the Evaluation Flight. Before conducting the actual evaluation flight, determine that the nominee is knowledgeable on the following:

·        Parts 61, 63, 91, and 125,

·        Appropriate practical test standards (PTS),

·        OpSpecs/LOAs,

·        Relevant portions of the policies and procedures manual,

·        Techniques associated with administering a particular practical test,

·        The procedures and limitations for performing normal, abnormal, and emergency maneuvers,

·        The appropriate action to be taken when acceptable standards have not been met, and

·        How to fill out FAA Form 8410-1.

1)      If the nominee does not show adequate knowledge of the above, then issue a letter of denial. (See Figure 3‑91.)
2)      If the nominee has adequate knowledge of the above, conduct the evaluation flight.

E.     Observation. Observe the nominee conducting the oral portion of a test or check of a company airman.

F.      Evaluation. Evaluate the nominee’s conduct of the oral portion of the test or check. Consider the following items when evaluating the nominee’s oral test.

1)      Did the oral test include the items listed in § 125.287(a)?
2)      Did the nominee properly evaluate the results of the pilot’s oral examination?

G.    Oral Portion of Test Unsuccessfully Administered. If the nominee did not successfully administer the oral portion of the test or check:

1)      Advise the nominee of the failure.
2)      Recommend that nominee be denied check airman authority by entering results onto PTRS data sheet.
3)      Route the PTRS data sheet to the POI.
4)      Recommend that the POI issue a letter of denial to company. (See Figure 3-91.)

H.    Oral Portion of Test Successfully Administered. If the nominee successfully administered the oral examination, continue with the flight portion of the evaluation.

I.       Debriefing Observation. Observe the nominee conduct a required test or check and the postflight debriefing.

J.      Evaluate the Nominee’s Performance. Consider the following items when evaluating the nominee’s conduct of the flight test and the debriefing.

1)      For a pilot check airman nominee:

·        Did the flight test include a competency check of the maneuvers and procedures currently required for the issuance of a commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating as required by §§ 61.127(a) and 61.65? (Refer to § 125.287(b) and use FAA Form 8410-1 as a job aid.)

·        Was the flight test conducted in an efficient and logical sequence?

·        Was the flight test conducted safely?

·        Did the debriefing reflect the actual performance of the pilot?

·        Did the nominee properly evaluate the results of the pilot’s flight test?

2)      For a FE check airman nominee:

·        Did the flight test satisfactorily cover the items required by part 63, § 63.39(b)?

·        Was the flight test conducted in an efficient and logical sequence?

·        Was the flight test conducted safely?

·        Did the debriefing reflect the actual performance of the FE?

·        Did the nominee properly evaluate the results of the FE’s flight test?

K.    Flight Portion of the Test Unsuccessfully Administered.

1)      If the check airman nominee did not successfully administer the flight test, but the airman being checked performed the required maneuvers and procedures successfully, then:

·        Advise the check airman nominee of the failure.

·        Advise the airman being checked the test is successful; make the appropriate entry on FAA Form 8410-1.

·        Recommend that the check airman nominee be denied check airman authority by entering recommendation onto the PTRS data sheet. List specific reasons for the denial in the recommendation.

·        Route the PTRS data sheet to the POI.

·        Recommend that the POI issue a letter of denial to company. (See Figure 3-91.)

2)      If both the nominee and the airman being tested performed unsuccessfully, advise both of the failures and follow the steps above.

L.     Flight Test Administered Successfully.

1)      If the nominee successfully administered the flight test and the airman being tested successfully performed all required maneuvers and procedures, then:

·        Advise the check airman nominee of the results.

·        Advise the airman being tested of the results; make the appropriate entry on FAA Form 8410-1.

·        Recommend that the check airman nominee be approved for check airman authority by entering recommendation onto the PTRS data sheet.

·        Route the PTRS data sheet to the POI.

·        Recommend that the POI issue a LOA to the company. (See Figure 3-92.)

2)      If the nominee successfully administered the test but the airman being tested did not successfully perform all the required maneuvers and procedures, then:
a)      Advise the check airman nominee of the successful results and follow the steps above.
b)      Advise the airman being tested of the failure and make the appropriate entry on FAA Form 8410‑1.
c)      Recommend that the check airman nominee be approved for check airman authority by entering recommendation onto the PTRS data sheet.

3-1460  TASK OUTCOMES. Completion of this task results in one of the following:

·        Issuance of a LOA to the company for check airman privileges.

·        Issuance of a letter of denial to the company.

·        Indication of satisfactory performance on FAA Form 8410-1 for the airman being checked.

·        Indication of unsatisfactory performance on FAA Form 8410-1 for the airman being checked.

3-1461  FUTURE ACTIVITIES.

·        After initial authorization, observe two of the first six check flights conducted by the check airman.

·        Plan surveillance to observe the check airman at appropriate intervals depending upon the size of the operation and the number of checks accomplished.

·        Observe a minimum of one flight check conducted by each check airman during annual surveillance.

·        Withdraw the check airman authorization and request the return of the letter authorizing the check airman when:

·        There is no longer a need for check airman services.

·        The check airman’s performance is not satisfactory.

·        The check airman leaves the employment of the operator issued the check airman authorization. (See Figure 3‑93.)

·        Possible enforcement investigation if the check airman’s performance is not satisfactory.

·         Possible re-evaluation of the check airman, or pilots the check airman has tested, under Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.) § 44709.

Figure 3-89, Sample Letter From Operator Requesting Check Airman Approval

FAA District Office

Dear Mr./Ms. ____:

Valley Vintners, Inc. is requesting check airman authorization for one of its employees, Ms. Elizabeth Pendleton. Ms. Pendleton, if authorized, will give initial, recurrent, and instrument checks required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 125, §§ 125.287 and 125.291. Valley Vintners, Inc. operates one B-727 aircraft with two alternating crews of three.

Ms. Pendleton is holder of Airline Transport Pilot Certificate number 123456789 and has a current first class medical certificate. Furthermore, Ms. Pendleton meets the pilot-in-command (PIC) instrument proficiency check requirements of § 125.291. Before being employed by Valley Vintner's, Inc., Ms. Pendleton was a highly regarded flight instructor and pilot examiner locally. She has no history of accidents, incidents, or violations and is considered by the local aviation community to be a competent and safe pilot.

Attached are photocopies of Ms. Pendleton's airman and medical certificates, her most recent logbook entries, and a current resume. She is available at your convenience for an evaluation.

Yours truly,

James T. M. Moore

Figure 3-90, Letter Denying Check Airman Request

[FAA LETTERHEAD]

Dear Mr. Moore:

This is in response to your recent letter requesting check airman authorization for Ms. Elizabeth Pendleton, an employee of Valley Vintner’s, Inc.

After an initial review of Ms. Pendleton’s record, we have determined that she meets all the necessary qualifications. However, we feel that the size of Valley Vintner’s operation (two flight crews) does not warrant a check airman. The necessary initial, recurrent, and instrument checks can continue to be performed as they have been, by inspectors from this office or the air carrier under contract to provide your training.

Sincerely,

Signed by District Office Manager

Figure 3-91, Letter Withdrawing or Denying Check Airman—Denial

Mr. James T. M. Moore

Consultants, Inc.

San Francisco, CA 99919

Dear Mr. Moore:

During the flight check conducted to determine Ms. Elizabeth Pendleton’s qualifications for check airman authorization, Ms. Pendleton failed to demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skill for conducting instrument proficiency checks. [For any reason, state specifics.] Therefore, Valley Vintners’ request for a check airman authorization for Ms. Pendleton is denied.

Contact this office at [telephone number] if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

District Office Manager

Figure 3-92, Sample Letter—Authorization of Check Airman

April 10, 2008

Mr. John J. Doe

Doro Aviation Service

Municipal Airport

Bayside, Virginia 20030

Dear Mr. Doe:

Mr. John R. Ike, holder of Commercial Pilot Certificate No. 356829, is approved as check airman for Doro Aviation Service. He is authorized to conduct 6-months instrument checks, initial, and recurrent (oral, written, and flight) checks for pilots to be used by Doro Aviation Service. This authorization is limited to the conduct of checks in Douglas DC-9 aircraft/simulator.

Unless sooner recalled, this letter becomes invalid if Mr. Ike’s employment with Doro Aviation Service terminates. In that event, this letter must be returned to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) that issued the authorization. Please place a copy of this letter in Mr. Ike’s individual record.

Sincerely,

Signed by District Office Manager

Figure 3-93, Letter Withdrawing or Denying Check Airman—Withdrawal

AUTHORIZATION

Mr. John J. Doe

Doro Aviation Service

Municipal Airport

Bayside, VA 20030

Dear Mr. Doe:

A review of your personnel files during our recent surveillance of Doro Aviation Service revealed that Mr. John R. Ike is no longer employed by your company. Therefore, please be advised that the letter of authorization (LOA) issued to Doro Aviation Service for Mr. Ike to act as a check airman is rescinded.

The LOA must be returned to this district office as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

District Office Manager

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-1462 through 3-1475.