Sunday, 7 March 2010

Designated Pilot Examiner

I've made the decision to pursue my FAA Pilot Examiner designation. It's akin to marking the day one chooses to get in shape; nothing has really happened. A goal has been placed on the board. That's it.

The decision is just the start of a multi-year process, and it could well be a fruitless pursuit. Pilot Examiner designations are awarded based on two factors: first, on the FSDO's need; second, on the applicant's qualifications and how well he/she fits that specific need. Everything could go well during the application process, and I could still be shut out by low demand in the Central Florida area.

The process starts by submitting an application to the National Examiner Board. Completing the application will be a challenge in itself; precise logbook records are required. For years, I've kept my logs electronically, not even in a spreadsheet but a simple text file. Those will need to be transposed into written form. It's a daunting challenge -- not in terms of difficulty, but of sheer, blunt effort. I will be scribbling in my logbooks for days.

It is my understanding that approximately 250 applications are submitted each year. That's not a huge number, but I already know from experience that Central Florida is somewhat saturated with DPEs. The training industry here has been badly impacted by the (all-too-familiar) terrible economic conditions which have wreaked havoc across our nation. We once had a thriving community of instructors and examiners here; now, many are gone, some are surviving, and the rest are starving.

This will take a long time. I fully expect that the best case scenario is 3-4 years, but more probable is a 5-6 year cycle -- if I'm fortunate enough to be selected. Hopefully, a combination of tailwheel, jet and overall piston experience will fit the mold of what the FSDO needs in my area.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck.. let us know how it goes.


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