8900.1 CHG 0



Section 2 Specific Issues Related to Reexamination of Airmen Employed by Title 14 CFR Part 121/135 Certificate Holders

5-1446  GENERAL. This section and Section 3 of this chapter contain direction and guidance to be used by inspectors when reexamining airmen for questions of competence noted during operations conducted under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 121 and 135. Specifically, this section contains information concerning the first 3 bullet points below. The remaining procedural guidance described below can be found in Section 3 of this chapter.

        The basis for a reexamination.

        Inspector authority to prohibit operation of an Aircraft.

        Notification of other Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials.

        Procedures for initiating a reexamination.

        Procedures for handling various responses to a notification for a reexamination.

        Procedures for conducting a reexamination.

        Procedures for handling the results of a reexamination.

5-1447  BASIS FOR A REEXAMINATION. An inspectorís decision to conduct a reexamination of an airmanís competence must always be based on probable cause. This probable cause must be developed from facts and circumstances surrounding an event and must indicate clear evidence of incompetence. The airmanís failure on a required proficiency or competency check, or even repeated failures on a check, does not by itself constitute probable cause for a reexamination. For example, if during the routine surveillance of a flight check of a pilot conducted by an operatorís check airman, the pilot fails to perform a particular maneuver to the standards of the pilotís airman certificate, the check airman may stop the check, instruct the pilot, and then resume the check. This may happen more than once with one pilot, and does not indicate a lack of competence. In this case, the inspector should not initiate a request for reexamination. A reexamination would be initiated, however, if during an en route inspection, the inspector notes that a pilot performs in such a way that would call into question the safe completion of that or any subsequent flight. In such a case, the inspector should follow the guidance of this section to prevent the pilot from continuing to act as a required flight crewmember until the question of the pilotís competence has been resolved.

5-1448  INSPECTOR AUTHORITY TO PROHIBIT THE OPERATION OF AIRCRAFT. If the inspector observes pilot incompetence during the airborne portion of an en route inspection, the inspectorís in-flight options are limited. Caution must be exercised on the part of the inspector as any derogatory comment could exacerbate the situation, resulting in a greater hazard to safety. The inspector should use discretion and try to determine what action, if any, on the inspectorís part, would facilitate a safe completion of the flight. When the situation allows, the inspector shall advise the pilot that the pilotís competency is in question. The inspector shall further request that the airman voluntarily refrain from further flight until the question of competence has been resolved.

A.     If the airman agrees to refrain from further flight, the inspector shall follow the procedures of this section and the current edition of FAA Order 2150.3 FAA Compliance and Enforcement Program when arranging and conducting the reexamination.

Note:  The FAA has full authority over the safety certification of air carrier operations. The FAA may also issue orders orally or in writing, as deemed necessary, to carry out FAA powers and duties under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (FA Act). This includes the authority to make such orders immediately effective without notice, in order to meet any emergency requiring immediate action in the interest of safety in air commerce.

B.     If the airman whose competence is in question does not agree to refrain from further flight, the inspector will, as soon as possible upon landing, contact an appropriate management official of the operator by telephone. The inspector shall inform the operatorís management official of the following:

        All pertinent information to show probable cause that the pilotís competence is in question.

        The steps that the inspector intends to pursue based on the information.

        A request that the operator assist the FAA in its investigation and take immediate action to ensure that the pilot does not serve on any further flights pending the outcome of the reexamination.

        A reminder to the official that the FAA has the authority to prohibit, when warranted in the interest of aviation safety, the operation of the aircraft in the event that the operator fails to take action on its own.

5-1449  NOTIFICATION OF OTHER FAA OFFICIALS. The inspector shall immediately notify his or her supervisor and the certificate management unit or office that holds the operatorís certificate. This notification shall be by the most expeditious means possible, and must include the information in subparagraph 5-1448A above, as well as the action the inspector intends to pursue. Usually, this notification is through the FAA Regional Operations Center in the field; however, in the interest of public safety, the inspector is authorized to directly contact the Washington Headquarters Operations Center at (202) 863-5100, if necessary. If the inspector does not receive a response from the operator that satisfactorily resolves the inspectorís safety concerns, the inspector shall notify the management of Flight Standards according to the inspectorís own chain of command, who in turn shall notify the office of Assistant Chief Counsel in the region. The inspector shall elevate the notification to the highest FAA management official (up to and including the Administrator), as necessary, to contact the operatorís management and to address the FAAís concern for flight safety.

Figure 5-144, Letter of Notification to Airman for a Reexamination

Figure 5-145, FAA Form 8060-4, Temporary Airman Certificate

Figure 5-146, Letter of Notification to an Airman of Satisfactory Reexamination

Figure 5-147, Application for An Airman Certificate and/or Rating

Figure 5-148, Letter of Temporary Deposit

Figure 5-149, Letter of Surrender (Pending Enforcement Action)

Figure 5-150, Letter of Surrender in Lieu of Reexamination

RESERVED. Paragraphs 5-1450 through 5-1465.