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pilotbear
29th Aug 2009, 18:54
:ok:I have a question to debate for all you honest and forthright chaps out there;:ok:

On balance is it right that Examiners that are paid a salary as for example;
A Chief/Deputy F I and / or the Head of Training for a Major or any Flight
Academy should be allowed to do; CPL or Initial IR exams for that school?

Consider especially if for instance, the poor pass rate notably improved since
Authority permission was granted?
And that the IR examination is or has been so jealously guarded for so long
?

Mickey Kaye
30th Aug 2009, 07:46
No I don't think it is right.

The examiner should have no commercial connections with the organization that trained the student. And I feel that should hold true for all exams PPL, CPL, IR etc

mad_jock
30th Aug 2009, 10:23
It always used to be that Gatwick issued the examinor but there were ways and means to ensure you got the one you wanted.

And I do agree that certain large schools have been taking the piss with the standard of the CPL. Yes I know thier zero to hero's will be getting watched very carefully but in these days a large percentage of thier product is not heading straight into the RHS of an automated Jet.

I haven't seen an indication that the IR standard has been dumbed down mainly because you stick anyone new in a Pref A machine everything is going that fast they are behind the machine. And to be honest they are a hellava lot easier to fly than a crappy MEP. And you do have someone sitting next to you with very strong ideas on how it should be done and radar vectored ILS isn't rocket science.

Anyway by releasing crap into the system it only gives the modular guys a boost as the "special" reputation will be well and truely be put to bed

Miles Magister
30th Aug 2009, 10:39
I believe the guidance to be that an examiner should not examine a student he has trained.

Beyond that examiners are assumed to be sensible, fair and reasonable.

MM

mad_jock
30th Aug 2009, 10:54
And to note I seem to remember that because of Easa changes the role of Intial IR examinor being only confered to CAA staff examinors was going to the wall. With the changes going through all IRE's would be able to do them.

I agree I don't like it though, all it will do is make a majorly over supplied pilot market even bigger. And make it even harder for the good guys/girls to shine

Whopity
31st Aug 2009, 07:33
Until recently the CAA did not permit CPL Skill tests to be conducted by an in-house examiner for obvious reasons. On an integrated course, the candidate takes a series of progress tests (A hang over from CAP509) and these were conducted by in house examiners on the grounds that they are not a licensing skill test.

The final IR Skill test was always conducted by a CAA Staff examiner, never an industry examiner (Unless a former CAA FE) but certainly not an in house examiner.

The CAA have recently appointed in house examiners at one Integrated FTO to conduct CPL and IR Skill tests. This is due to a shortage of CAA staff examiners, and a naive belief by inappropriately qualified management, that it can reduce costs without reducing standards, by passing all tests to industry!

S-Works
31st Aug 2009, 09:42
and a naive belief by inappropriately qualified management, that it can reduce costs without reducing standards, by passing all tests to industry!

Rubbish, spoken like a true CAA staff member. Whoppity, that is just about the rudest and demeaning thing I have ever seen you post and is sour grapes that the then end of the CAAFU is in sight.

If the CAA does not think it's industry examiners are up to the job then they should pull the authorisations.

mad_jock
31st Aug 2009, 10:14
Don't know Bose-x he does have a very good point.

The IR was the one and only truely independant check of a commercial pilot before getting let loose on unsuspecting punters.

The Caafu setup did have its faults ie I couldn't see why they had to be an examiner of all things. IR CPL MEP should be the base qualification. I would hate to know what it costs to train one and keep one current.

Personally I think the school will be shooting themselves in the foot if they do drop the standard. All it will take is a few cadets to struggle with type ratings and the "special" relationships will fall over like a pack of cards.

Mind you with this in mind I wonder how many Chief Pilots will add " so who was your examiner for CPL and IR" to the list of interview questions.

Whopity
31st Aug 2009, 10:55
end of the CAAFU is in sight. In case you hadn't noticed, CAFU ceased to exist over 17 years ago!
It is a sad fact that if the examiners salary is linked to his pass rate the standard will suffer.

Munnyspinner
31st Aug 2009, 12:10
On the face of it there is an unavoidable conflict of interest. However, provided proper quality management procedures are in place the examiners should be able to maintain their "independence".

High pass rates are one thing but releasing crap into the system ( thanks Mad Jock - a very visual metaphor) is only going to rebound onto the FTO.

I suspect that in house examiners might actually err towards being more conservative and be less willing to pass a marginal candidate. However, this may be wishful thinking on my part.

pilotbear
31st Aug 2009, 16:00
It appears that a candidate now can enrol, train and 'pass' the CPL/ME/IR at the aforementioned school for a JAA/CAA licence without EVER seeing a CAA employee/examiner:eek:
Is it not the same Academy in the USA that has JAA stage check 'examiners' who only hold FAA licences?:suspect:
Can you imagine trying to set up an FAA school in the UK without FAA qualified people?:ugh:

I feel that good candidates will always pass regardless. However, my concern is that more of the borderline candidates will scrape through, plus more 'training for the test' will take place than does already. Recent incidents/accidents where primary flight training has been questioned highlights this point.
Does anyone agree with this....?

DFC
31st Aug 2009, 16:56
I can't see a problem with the change.

Shock. Horror!! The examminer who signs a piece of paper stating that they have safely demonstrated the required standard also works for the training organisation?

Where is that differrent from the examminer who will sign a piece of paper that gets them a type rating in a B737 (also employed by the training organisation)?

Why do people think that in order to be safe a pilot has to fly with an examminer exclusively in the employ of the CAA twice in their lifetime?

I think that if 50% of the finance and effort that kept the CAA staff examiner system operating is put into auditing and monitoring industry examminers at all levels then the system as a whole will be improved to a much greather degree than is possible under the current system.

If the budget for staff examminer's personal flying to keep current was transferred to travel expenses under the current CAA T+RE rules they could visit plenty of RTF's and FTO's every month. Add to that the savings from insurance policies etc and the CAA would only have to take 50% of the current test fee to run the system.


Mind you with this in mind I wonder how many Chief Pilots will add " so who was your examiner for CPL and IR" to the list of interview questions.


That has been a common question for a long time. Some never ask, since they prefer to ask them to explain how the test went while looking up the examminer in the logbook.

If there is a risk that the quality of an initial IR test could be tainted by an examminer giving a pass where it was not deserved then preventing that examminer from completing initial tests while permitting them to complete renewals does noting for safety or the quality of IR holders who complete renewals with that examminer.

pilotbear
31st Aug 2009, 17:30
Well, the difference is that the airline isn't trying to attract the business of future students and the airline has chosen its candidates based on partly where they have trained and the 'pass rate' of the school they have recruited from.
If the type rating candidates struggle it is an internal issue and a recruiting issue and is not going to affect future business.
I totally agree with the Authority financing of examiners comments having at first hand several years ago witnessed upgrading of commercial flights at the flight schools expense to 'British Airways'.

The 'Authority' independently issue a Licence to be a pilot so it should be independently tested by the Authority like the FAA do in the USA. With that 'licence to be a pilot' they can go to any airline/organisation etc. Once the Airline accepts that person is a licenced pilot then any future training on the type of pilot they are going to be and the testing of such is down to them.

mad_jock
31st Aug 2009, 17:33
I have a sneaky feeling that come January that all EASA state exam approvals are going to become EASA wide valid.

And as there is no such thing as IRE(intial) like we have in the UK under EASA it could be the whole set up could have run it term anyway.

I can see your idea and like it DFC. But I suspect come Jan they are going to shut the whole lot down anyway as there is nothing they can do about all the renewal IR examiners starting to do intials.

What it is going to do is make alot more airports who were uneconomic for commercial training suddenly become economic because they now have a local examiner.

If I have got my EASA rule changes wrong please tell me. It was just a conversation I was having about TRE's and that come Jan things would get a whole heap easier getting one for an LPC after Jan for my type.

DFC
31st Aug 2009, 19:13
Well, the difference is that the airline isn't trying to attract the business of future students and the airline has chosen its candidates based on partly where they have trained and the 'pass rate' of the school they have recruited from.
If the type rating candidates struggle it is an internal issue and a recruiting issue and is not going to affect future business.



I was not talking about airlines.

I was talking about training organisations. TRE's employed by the training organisation are nothing new.

If it is safe for an industry IRE to renew a rating then it is also safe for them to test the initial.

You (and others) seem to be saying that it is wrong for a student at XYZ organisation to complete an initial IR test with an examminer who happens to be employed by that organisation but it is absolutely fine for that student to complete a renewal of the IR with that examminer.

So - student A completes PPL, CPL, IR at xyz organisation (exam by in-house examminer) = bad

but

student B completes PPL/IR 4 years ago and after completing CPL at xyz organisation, completes refresher and IR renewal (exam by in-house examminer) = OK

Whopity
1st Sep 2009, 06:22
Whoppity, that is just about the rudest and demeaning thing I have ever seen you post and is sour grapes that the then end of the CAFU is in sight.Sour grapes! Why? The fundamental principle of regulation is that rules are applied fairly and equally to all. To grant one FTO special dispensation whilst another has to comply with a different set of rules is hardly equal or fair.

It matters not whether Examiners work for the CAA or come from industry so long as they are independent. Working for a company or being able to be selected by a company as their examiner, will always lead to an element of bias no matter what "quality management" is employed.

This decision was based upon saving money rather than doing the job properly; if it is time to move to industry examiners, then it should have been applied across the board not piecemeal. Any money saved by reducing the numbers of staff examiners is not likely to be ploughed back into the standardisation of Industry examiners because by then there will be nobody left to do the job! The CAA is currently managed by a mixture of accountants firemen and engineers who have little knowledge of flying training; and despite all their mission statements, they are running a business that's loosing money. Poor regulation is like brushing the dirt under the carpet, it takes a long time to rise to the surface!

S-Works
1st Sep 2009, 07:01
I think you have actually made the point Whoppity. The CAA has long been run that way. If it was not former military aircrew on second pensions setting the bar on things like the pointless exams and running the organisation like a squadron, it was the accountants and fireman having ago. The CAA long ago stopped being fit for purpose.

pilotbear
4th Sep 2009, 21:44
DFC, with all due respect;

1st time/series ME/IR passes are have traditionally been an indication of the quality of training at that school. With an independent examiner you could to a degree rely on this as a measure.
My point is that if initial Instrument Ratings are trained at and by the school whose CFI/deputy/HOT examines the student the CFI/examiners are subject to subliminal pressures. Especially if the pass rate is low and business is slow as a consequence of a low pass rate. Like it or not they are not going to want to ruin the reputation of the company they are relying on for employment and their own reputation as CFI etc. That is just human nature.
It is also feasible that they could end up examining the particular schools techniques/syllabus taught or tailored by them rather than a generic skill.
Just look for example of the appalling standard of students coming from some of the well known US/JAA schools with owner/examiners.
(I am definitely not referring to the independant JAA examiners in the USA in any way!!)

Renewals are a different issue, the school does not rely on these figures for future business, the test is not as challenging as the initial test for 'licence issue' as everyone here knows very well, the candidate has already demonstrated the ability on the initial and could be anyone from anywhere.
Mind you, if there is an indication that the staff examiner is 'gentle' then the school gets the revision or re-training business.:ok:

This is clearly going to happen as it appears the EASA recommendations will not be challenged till 2012 and having said all the above I also did not and do not like the way the CAA is a closed shop, old boy network and something has to change:ok:

DFC
5th Sep 2009, 10:28
pilotbear,


There are two issues.

1. Exammining to confirm that a candidate can demonstrate the ability and knowledge required to perform a short simulated IFR flight in a MEP.

and

2. Auditing of FTO / TRTO performance

If you look at people who will be employed by an airline, their initial multi pilot IR will be completed at a TRTO where the examminer is employed by that TRTO. Has there been a serious quality or standards issue in such cases? Should such tests which are indeed the chop point before people get their hands on a tube full of fare paying passengers IFR be done by CAA full time Staff?


A first time pass on a multi IR means nothing more than when the test was completed the minimum standard was met. Note that it is a minimum standard, a snapshot of ability and unless you look in the logbook, there is nothing to differentiate the student who had 50 hours training and the one who has had 500.

Auditing of Examminer standards has to be separated from Auditing of school standards.

In the above, it is clear that the school which reguluarly completing the course in 50 hours is different from the one that reguluarly requires 500. That is a school issue. Different does not mean better.

If examminers start passing people who do not meet the minimum standard then their personal reputation will be ruined.

What seems to have been lost along the way in the UK is that the LST for an intial multi-engine IR is not and should never be used as a chopping point or filter for future commercial pilots. The test has to be the same for PPLs who wish to add a multi-engine IR to their licence.

EU-OPS ensures that a CPL/IR holder with less than 700 hours can never be PIC of a multi-engine public transport flight single pilot. Thus the private pilot with 130 hours total experience sitting their IR test should not be assessed as to their ability to do something that can't be done unless they get a CPL and have 700 or more hours experience.

Finally, if an airline is putting students through an FTO they have an auditing and support process in place. Standards are not only monitored but it is not unusual for the airline to require that it's ethos, SOPs and standards are applied from day 1.

That auditing, ethos and standards will be applied to all aspects of the organisation.

Private individuals approaching the school for training have to use the same principles on a smaller scale - Check out the school before starting. First time pass rate is no indicator of quality - not in past times, not now and not in the future.

It is the quality of the instructor(s) that make a school not the probability of getting through a short test at the end.

DFC
5th Sep 2009, 10:47
Just look for example of the appalling standard of students coming from some of the well known US/JAA schools with owner/examiners.



How often has this been reported to the UK CAA - the organisation responsible for oversight?

Everyone moans about standards, however I have not come across an operator, instructor, or examminer who has placed an official written complaint to the Authority with the evidence that standards were not being adhered to.

RTF's, FTO's and TRTO's can be closed down by the CAA if they have evidence that minimum standards are not being adhered to.

The independent examminer relies on the RTF/FTO to a larger extent than the examminer employed by the FTO. If the independent guy falls out of favour with the FTO they drop them (at no expense) and get another more to their liking. An employee of an organisation has certain remedies. What FTO wants a statement like "I was sacked / disadvantaged because I would not pass students who were below the required standard" to come out at an employment tribunal?

Mickey Kaye
6th Sep 2009, 17:01
"This decision was based upon saving money rather than doing the job properly"

Don't really like having a go at the CAA but the money they charge for a IR test seems to me like the biggest cash cow in aviation. How an earth can't it make them money from it?