View Full Version : May I see your licence Mr. Examiner?
18th Jun 2012, 11:42
I've been flying for twenty years now and I thought I've seen it all. The other week I learnt that there is still a way to top it all:
I've got two students ready to take there checkride. The Aviation Authority designates a Flight Examiner, an appointment is made. The Examiner shows up in time but without any personal belongings (no logbook, no wallet). So I figured it might be a good idea to ask him a few questions about his flying experience on the Hughes 269 etc. and finally ask him to sign a statement that he had made 3 take-offs and landings on type within the last 90 days.
He refuses to sign, gets all mad and threatens to leave and to cancel the checkrides. :eek:
Now that really made me curious. So I tell him that by the way he behaves one has to assume that he doesn't even have a valid type rating which he neither acknowledges nor denies.
A couple of offences later he finally leaves.
So I call up the Aviation Authority to tell them the news that their Examiner wasn't able / willing to prove that he is current on type and ask for a new Examiner. About two hours later they call me back and confirm that the Examiner doesn't even hold a type rating on the Hughes269 :ugh::ugh::ugh:
Ladies and Gentlemen, make sure your Examiner is properly rated and current.
18th Jun 2012, 12:40
There was a thread on here a while ago about asking examiners to show their credentials before a checkride. I was amazed how many posted that they would never dare to ask and a few, presumably examiners who stated that they would take great offence.
If I have a pilot (anyone from student to examiner) coming to fly one of my aeroplanes I have a duty as the aircraft operator to ensure that he is properly quaified. If he can't or wont show me the proper paperwork he aint flying my aeroplane - simple!
Dan the weegie
18th Jun 2012, 13:13
I've met a few examiners who would almost certainly take great offence at being asked. My IR examiner offered them willingly without prompting but I wouldn't have dared asked in case it put my test at risk. It's a terrifying prospect when you're already bunched about the test.
That said, my MEP examiner had in fact expired 7 days before my MEP skills test and the CAA were refusing to issue my IR on that basis and were suggesting I had to take both tests again.
This was of course resolved in a sensible way by the chief examiner but it goes to show that the examiners should be freely offering their licence as part of the briefing. I'm sure many do.
18th Jun 2012, 13:35
Good one! Thanks Spunk.
Yes, it can be embarrassing to ask, and the "other" pilot/examiner/whomever has put you in a difficult position if you feel you have to. I always try to offer in advance my license, and summary of my pilot log, before I fly someone's plane. Generally the offer is not taken up. In either case, there are no hard feelings, and even if the "no thanks" has to turn into a "may I please...", the ice is already broken for everyone.
It would be courteous if all new [to the aircraft/operation] pilots offered, instead of causing someone to have to ask....
18th Jun 2012, 13:50
If the examiner isn't licensed (for some reason) it could render the flight illegal in certain circumstances, so it makes sense to ask.
eg - if doing an initial PPL skills test, the person being tested isn't allowed to carry passengers. If all of the examiner's licences have expired he is then technically a passenger so theoretically the person taking the test is flying illegally. Therefore its not just him that could get into trouble (even though I seriously doubt you would be prosecuted).
Maybe we all need to be more pro-active in this? Mind you - I haven't ever asked for my instructor's licence...
Genghis the Engineer
18th Jun 2012, 15:17
I was party to a very unpleasant variation a while ago.
I was on an annual CRM refresher - mixed cockpit and back end crew, experienced instructor. It was also the instructor's biennial "checkride"; and he was failed by the CAA examiner sitting in. Even more surreally the CAA decided that although his CRMI hadn't yet expired, the flight deck crew needed a re-course; yet the back end crew did not. One of the oddest things I've ever experienced.
(I'm glad to say that the CRMI went off, re-coursed, and did our refresher again the next year. I continue to hold him in much higher regard than I did the examiner from what I saw of him who seemed utterly up his own backside).
Regarding pure pilot examiners, as a student I've never asked to see qualifications, and wouldn't - it's just starting on the wrong foot, and I trust anybody who has been my instructor to verify the examiner's bone fides.
But as an instructor, I've become cynical enough nowadays that I probably would now check that, if it was an examiner I didn't know personally and trust.
Plus anybody who had an issue with this, I'm not sure I actually want examining my students.
18th Jun 2012, 16:08
He refuses to sign, gets all mad and threatens to leave and to cancel the checkrides
Was he a fat, one eyed ginger guy?
18th Jun 2012, 17:36
Not just the case for examiners , One of my students came to me on the back of having done ten hrs of an IMCR with an instructor whose own IMC had lapsed several months previous , I would willingly show my licence to anyone who asked , although these days its bloody ramp checks where thats most likely:-)
18th Jun 2012, 20:57
I offer and use my credentials at the start of any course I teach as an example of what to look for in a licence and medical.
I'm checking theirs - so I suppose its only fair that they can check mine. A copy of my approval is on the wall in plain view for all to see - so why should I get upset if anyone asks to see it?
I have for some time now encouraged my student FI's to offer theirs as well in their instructing careers.
Big Pistons Forever
18th Jun 2012, 21:19
For CPL and Flight Instructor students I use my license as a teaching tool. When we start the course I give them my log book and license booklet and ask them to prove that I am legal to fly the next instructional flight. It is a good way to review license, medical requirements and recency requirements as they pertain to the regulations governing air transport and flight training.
19th Jun 2012, 14:39
I provide my licence, medical and examiner authority to every candidate I test. They are at liberty to review it as they desire. I have nothing to hide. They are also at complete liberty to go through my logbook as well. Very few ever do.
As an Examiner we should practice what we preach. Simple.
20th Jun 2012, 02:51
If all of the examiner's licences have expired he is then technically a passenger so theoretically the person taking the test is flying illegally. Therefore its not just him that could get into trouble (even though I seriously doubt you would be prosecuted).
'He' wouldn't be prosecuted. To make that argument you would have to prove that the Pilot being tested was a 'Student' and therefore if he was flying as a 'Student' he would have been flying under the supervision (and de facto approval) of his Instructor and therefore, if anyone, the Instructor would be liable.
Not one for creating extra legislation but from the responses in this thread it is clear that there are reservations about asking an Examiner for sight of his documents for fear of prejudicing the conduct of following flight test or as a matter of insulting a 'superior'. Both reasons go against basic CRM training and accidents have resulted. Therefore I believe it would not be unreasonable to suggest a quick line in the ANO or whatever relevant document(s) to state "The examiner will make available to the candidate his/her relevant Licence/Rating/Medical to conduct the flight as part of the pre flight briefing before conducting any flight test" Sorted.
Failing that, (or in addition to), we could follow suit with the FAA system and make all Flight Crew qualifications publicly available.
20th Jun 2012, 09:05
That comment made me laugh :D
20th Jun 2012, 16:04
Interesting thread. WRT type ratings and medicals, in the US I'd look up the medical dates on the FAA online registry database and the type in the online DPE database. Of course this isn't 100% that they haven't expired, but typically examiners are well-known quantities in their local area (including which ones to avoid because they are, by nature, disagreeable people).
While I do teach students to check certificates (for example if you are flying with someone and don't want to take responsibility as PIC), I don't know that many would have the cajones to card the examiner. Perhaps I should start doing this.
20th Jun 2012, 16:19
Was he a fat, one eyed ginger guy?
You know him?;)
20th Jun 2012, 21:49
I was quite shocked the first time I heard of this, which was just a few months ago
20th Jun 2012, 23:19
This other thread just underlines what I said earlier. Anyone who flies an aeroplane I operate will show me evidence of his qualification or he wont be flying my aeroplane. Of course it's uncomfortable for an individual to ask the examiner, that's why the club, FTO or RF has to do it.
Just ask, how hard can it be?