8900.1 CHG 451



Section 1  Safety Assurance System: General


13-2    OBJECTIVE. This section provides inspector guidance regarding designated examiners who work in air transportation, including aircrew program designees (APD) designated flight engineer examiners (DFEE), Designated Aircraft Dispatcher Examiners (DADE), and Training Center Evaluators (TCE), unless specifically stated otherwise. Volume 13, Chapter 1 contains general guidance regarding designees. Volume 13, Chapter 2 specifically addresses designating APDs under the Aircrew Designated Examiner (ADE) program. Volume 13, Chapter 3 addresses DADEs.

13-3    GENERAL.

A.    Authority. Under Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.) Chapter 447, the Administrator may delegate the certification of airmen to any qualified person. In practice, the Administrator’s certification tasks are delegated to the aviation safety inspectors (ASI) within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and to examiners (also referred to as designees) outside of the FAA.

NOTE:  The policy and guidance contained in these chapters is in addition to the requirements included in the current edition of FAA Order VS 1100.2, Managing AVS Delegation Programs.

B.    Need for and Ability to Manage a Designee. Under the terms of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 183, § 183.11(b), “Any local Flight Standards Inspector may select a pilot examiner…whenever he determines there is a need for one.” By policy, the designation of examiners is the responsibility of FAA managers. Managers must terminate a designee when a need no longer exists.

C.    Designee Oversight. Oversight of designees requires a risk management approach based on differences in the potential impact on safety and the likelihood of error on the part of the designee. Sufficient resources must be allocated to ensure effective management and efficient oversight of designees. The designee management program must be periodically evaluated to ensure it is producing the desired result. This evaluation should be data-driven and based upon objective evidence. Any decisions must be documented in accordance with the guidance material in this chapter.


A.    Aircrew Program Designees (APD) and Designated Flight Engineer Examiners (DFEE). APDs and DFEEs are designated to conduct certification within specifically approved programs, known as ADE programs.

1)    Eligibility. APD/DFEE candidates must be employed by the operator and qualified as a check pilot or check Flight Engineer (FE), as appropriate, for the operator before they may be designated as APDs/DFEEs.
2)    Appointment. Principal operations inspectors (POI) are authorized to designate APDs/DFEEs to serve in any ADE program that the POI oversees. The specific functions of an APD/DFEE are named in the letter of authority (LOA) that supplements the Certificate of Designation and Certificate of Authority (COA), which are issued by the POI. APDs and DFEEs are restricted to examining only those applicants employed by their operator and trained in their approved training program.

B.    Training Center Evaluators (TCE).

1)    TCEs are persons employed by a 14 CFR part 142 certificated training center who are authorized by the center’s Training Center Program Manager (TCPM) to conduct certification functions associated with the center’s approved 14 CFR parts 61 and 63 curricula.
2)    A TCE who has also been approved as a check pilot or check FE for an operator by its POI may conduct certification evaluations of an operator’s airmen in accordance with the operator’s approved training program and operations specification (OpSpec) A031.

NOTE:  For complete details on the appointment and training requirements for TCEs to become check pilots or check FEs for an operator, see Volume 3, Chapter 54.

C.    Designated Aircraft Dispatcher Examiner (DADE). Unlike other air transportation designees, DADEs are not necessarily employees of an air carrier or a training center. In many respects, DADE policy and guidance is similar to that of a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). Volume 13, Chapter 3 contains those areas where DADE policy and guidance differ from the policy and guidance in this chapter.

13-5    DESIGNEE AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITIES. A designated examiner is authorized by the managing FAA office to conduct only those airman certification activities approved by the FAA.

A.    Privileges and Limitations. The following privileges and limitations apply to designated examiners conducting evaluations of personnel in air transportation.

1)    A designated examiner may:
a)    Conduct only those tests indicated on FAA Form 8430-9, Certificate of Authority, and specifically named in the LOA.
b)    Issue temporary certificates to applicants that the designated examiner has evaluated and found qualified for the certificate or rating sought.
c)    Be authorized to conduct certification tests within 14 CFR part 121 or 135 training programs at any base or facility approved for the operator’s use by the POI.
d)    Amend or alter a certificate as follows:

1.    Add a rating to the certificate of an applicant whom the designated examiner has tested and found to be competent.

2.    Remove a limitation on a certificate which the examiner is authorized to issue. The TCE, APD, or DFEE must have been trained on evaluating an applicant to determine eligibility for removal of a limitation.

a.    Airline transport pilot (ATP) limitation removal following completion of an approved curriculum: For a TCE or APD to remove an ATP limitation, it must be done following completion of an approved training curriculum under part 121, 135, or 142. The following conditions must be met:

·    The applicant must successfully complete the entire approved curriculum which contains provisions for removal of the limitation;

·    The procedure to remove the limitation must be part of an approved curriculum, which includes both ground and simulator/flight training;

·    Other than removal of a circling approach limitation or a centerline thrust limitation, the approved procedure to remove the limitation cannot be a standalone training curriculum, but must be part of an existing training curriculum (initial, recurrent, upgrade, etc.); and

·    The TCE or APD must follow the certificate holder’s procedures, which must be described in the approved curriculum.

Indicates new/changed information.

NOTE:  For the removal of a limitation that is an administrative action only (e.g., part 61,
§ 61.64(f)(2), § 61.160(g) or (h)), the TCE or APD is not required to conduct an evaluation of the pilot. However, removal of the limitation must be part of an approved curriculum and the certificate holder must have approved procedures that allow the TCE or APD to verify the pilot has satisfactorily completed the approved curriculum and is eligible to have the limitation removed.

b.    FE limitation removal: A DFEE may be authorized to remove the limitation imposed by Exemption 4901 for an FE applicant when the examiner has been properly trained to perform the removal.

2)    A designated examiner may not:

·    Conduct a test for a certificate or rating that the designated examiner does not hold.

·    Normally conduct an evaluation of any applicant whom the designated examiner has instructed in preparation for the certificate or rating sought by the applicant. Exceptions may be granted by the supervising inspector only on a case-by-case basis.

·    Normally conduct an evaluation of any applicant whose performance the designated examiner has found to be unsatisfactory on the previous evaluation (i.e., a different examiner is required on a “retake”). Exceptions may be granted by the supervising inspector only on a case‑by‑case basis.

·    Conduct special medical evaluations, tests for waivers, or any test for competency under 49 U.S.C. § 44709. Specialists will instruct designated examiners to direct applicants for waivers, special medical evaluations, and competency tests under § 44709 to an FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or the certificate management office (CMO).

·    For TCEs and APDs, remove an ATP limitation based solely on satisfactory presentation of evidence from the airman.

B.    Professional Conduct. Each designated examiner must represent the Administrator in a manner which credits the FAA. Qualities such as promptness, courtesy, and professionalism are essential. Each designated examiner must continuously exhibit a positive personal attitude toward safety and present a positive image of the FAA in respect to aviation safety.

C.    Designated Examiner Responsibilities. Designated examiners are responsible for the following:

·    Conducting all practical tests in air transportation programs in accordance with the applicable sections of this order. Inspectors should ensure that designated examiners are aware that all operators must have a document covering procedures and maneuvers which contains specific training and testing standards. This document should be based on the applicable practical test standards (PTS).

·    Submitting complete and accurate certification packages (which include the PTRS data sheets or locally prepared data input forms) to the supervising FSDO/CMO within 7 calendar-days of administering a test.

D.    Multiple Certification Services by an Examiner. An airman may be designated by the FAA to perform multiple certification services as an examiner on behalf of the Administrator. In some cases, an airman:

·    May be designated to hold more than one type of designation; or

·    May be approved to conduct certification activities under more than one training program, which, in turn, may be approved for use by more than one operator.

1)    Designations. An airman may be designated as more than one type of FAA designated examiner. For example, an airman might be designated as a Private Pilot Examiner (PE) in gliders and, separately, as an APD for an air carrier and as a TCE for a training center.
2)    Training Programs. A designated examiner for an air carrier may be approved for a maximum of two different training programs.

13-6    FAA PERSONNEL. ASIs and FAA managers have oversight responsibilities for designated examiners.

A.    Supervising Inspectors. For the purposes of these chapters, supervising inspectors are referred to as “specialists.” The term “supervising inspectors,” as it is used in connection with examiners, comprises:

·    POIs;

·    Aircrew program managers (APM);

·    TCPMs;

·    Partial Program Managers (PPM);

·    Training center PPMs;

·    Geographic PPMs;

·    Assistant APMs; and

·    ASIs (Aircraft Dispatch).

B.    Managers. The term “managers,” used in connection with examiners, includes:

·    FSDO managers;

·    Unit supervisors;

·    CMO managers; and

·    Regional Flight Standards division (RFSD) managers.


A.    Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of the applicable parts  616365, 121, 135, 142, and 183 regulations and FAA policies, and qualification as an ASI (Operations) with designee oversight responsibilities.

B.    Coordination. This task may require coordination between the managing FAA office, the RFSD, and/or the Air Transportation Division (AFS-200).


A.    References (current editions):

·    Title 14 CFR Parts 1, 61, 63, 65, 91, 121, 135, 142, and 183.

·    Title 49 U.S.C.

·    PTRS Procedures Manual.

B.    Forms:

·    FAA Form 8000-5, Certificate of Designation.

·    FAA Form 8430-9, Certificate of Authority.

·    FAA Form 8710-6, Examiner Designation and Qualification Record.

C.    Job Aids. None.


A.    Designating Examiners. Managers should consider designating examiners when the volume of certification activity makes such designations desirable to an operator and to the FAA. These conditions may occur when the volume of certification activity is relatively high, when an aircraft type is new to an operator’s fleet, or when flight simulation training device (FSTD) training is available. Managers may consider designating examiners for FE and aircraft dispatcher certification as well as for pilot certification. Managers must also consider if they have the resources available to manage designees.

B.    Programs for APDs, DFEEs, and TCEs Authorized as Check Pilots or Check FEs. APDs, DFEEs, and TCEs may be designated as follows:

1)    ADE Program.
a)    APDs and DFEEs are trained in an ADE program. An ADE program is associated with an operator which conducts its own program of airman qualification. It is the preferred program for conducting the certification of flightcrew members for complex parts 121 and 135 operators.
b)    The ADE program was originally designed for operators with sophisticated training capabilities (including FSTDs), with highly trained personnel, and with a large volume of certification activity. The program has since been used by a broader range of operators.
c)    POIs and managers should consider establishing an ADE program before the operator’s airman certification workload for any aircraft type exceeds the FAA’s ability to meet requirements using available inspector resources. They should also consider an ADE program as a means of making FSTD training accessible to an operator which might not otherwise find FSTD training practical. FSTD training is acknowledged as the safest and best training method.
2)    TCE Program. TCEs are for use only by part 142 training centers. A TCE may also be authorized as a contract check pilots or check FEs for an operator through the issuance of OpSpec A031.

NOTE:  For complete details on the appointment and training requirements for TCEs to become check pilots or check FEs for an operator, see Volume 3, Chapter 54.

C.    FAA Specialist Training Requirements.

1)    FAA specialists are required to complete the managing FAA office’s specialist on‑the-job training (OJT) program.
2)    Mandatory job functions training is required to satisfy recurrent training requirements.

NOTE:  Specific TCPM training requirements are found in Volume 3, Chapter 54. Specific APM training requirements are found in Volume 13, Chapter 2. Specific dispatch inspector training requirements are found in Volume 13, Chapter 3.

13-10    SPECIALIST RESPONSIBILITIES. Specialists are responsible for ensuring that examiners are trained in certification duties and procedures, that surveillance is scheduled and conducted, and that examiners maintain certification standards. Managing the designee program must be data-driven. Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS) data should be used as a primary data source. For the examiners designated in accordance with this order, these responsibilities include the following:

A.    Initial Training and Observation. Specialists are responsible for ensuring that, before designation, each examiner candidate is properly trained to conduct certification and is observed while conducting an evaluation.

B.    Surveillance. Specialists must ensure that each examiner is observed a minimum of once a year by an appropriately rated ASI and that this observation has been accomplished before the examiner’s designation is renewed. The responsibility for scheduling surveillance lies with the supervising inspector. Specialists are responsible for establishing procedures by which the designated examiner provides schedules of proposed activities as far in advance as is practical or required.

C.    Airman Certification Standards. Specialists are responsible for ensuring that the designated examiners maintain airman certification standards as prescribed by 14 CFR, by PTS, by approved training programs, and by applicable handbooks. Specialists must conduct an active program of meetings and surveillance to achieve this objective.

13-11    OFFICE MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES. Office managers must establish effective administrative systems for supporting designated examiner programs. This support must include the following:

A.    Certification Paperwork. Office managers are responsible for establishing administrative procedures for the expedient and efficient processing of certification paperwork within the office. Managers are not required to maintain hard copies of certification paperwork, job aids, or PTRS data sheets. The PTRS serves as a record of certification activity.

B.    Data Processing Support. Office managers are responsible for establishing administrative procedures for entering the data generated by designated examiners into the PTRS.

C.    Resources. Office managers are responsible for the personnel, training, and budget resources necessary to accomplish the surveillance of designated examiners. Personnel, training, and budget forecasts must contain adequate provisions for the surveillance of designated examiners. Office managers should anticipate changes in personnel requirements due to either growth in operator programs or public demand.

D.    Continuous Improvement. Office managers are responsible for continually evaluating the effectiveness of the delegation program for designees and for responding to feedback on a timely basis.

13-12    RFSD RESPONSIBILITIES. In general, the RFSD is responsible for ensuring that airman certification standards are upheld. RFSDs are not required to take any specific action in respect to approving individual airmen as examiners. Other responsibilities held by the RFSD are as follows:

A.    Coordination. RFSDs are responsible for establishing procedures for FSDOs and CMOs for locating inspectors to conduct designated examiner surveillance when a qualified inspector is not locally available.

B.    Field Office Evaluation. RFSDs are responsible, coordinating with the Flight Standards Quality Assurance Division (AFS-40), for evaluating each FSDO’s and CMO’s designation process to ensure the process is producing the desired result. This evaluation must be conducted at least every 36 months based on a risk management approach and, when practical, in conjunction with regularly scheduled office evaluations.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 13-13 through 13-23.