View Full Version : What's gone wrong with the CAA?

hugh flung_dung
20th Sep 2016, 13:44
What's gone wrong with the CAA?
emails to examiners@... are unanswered, emails to the medical department asking about policy get a "please speak to an AME" response, calls to FCL are answered with "Regretfully ... we are unable to take your call ... please call back later", and the website is a mess. Has somebody turned the lights out?

Please can someone tell me where to find the charge to renew a Ground Examiner (not FE) authorisation? (I can't find it on the scale of charges).

Is there still a direct number to call the chief examiner's staff?


20th Sep 2016, 14:49
All the Examiners have left!
The Medical Dept has closed down!
Scheme of Charges Para 239

hugh flung_dung
20th Sep 2016, 15:01
Thanks! I searched on the CAA website, which only lists part of the scale of charges - I'd forgotten about the ORS.

Surely there's still someone responsible for answering examiner's queries ... ?

A thought: if the services are being reduced and the staff are being reduced then the costs must be decreasing ... yet the charges for processing forms are increasing. Curious!


20th Sep 2016, 15:50
Surely there's still someone responsible for answering examiner's queries ... ?
I think they are advertising for someone!

20th Sep 2016, 19:59
None of my emails have been answered with any success this year. The only people who can offer advice are the likes of Whopity, BEagle etc

Our PPL applications are taking at least 8 weeks. I tested one candidate in early July and he still has not had his licence issued.

Contemplating writing to my MP to see if a Scrutiny Committee could look at their performance.

21st Sep 2016, 07:51
In contrast to your experience I had one student whose initial license application was turned around in less than 24 hours. My experience is, if there is a problem with an application, they will not contact you. You ring to enquire if there is a problem, then they tell you what the problem is and what to do about it.

Mickey Kaye
21st Sep 2016, 12:21
Well I find that American guy (Geoff?) To be quite helpful.

I do think they are actually trying to give a better service these days. Still a long way to go mind.

21st Sep 2016, 13:51
I think you have been lucky. None of our applications have anything missing, I think it is a resource issue.
I know several good ATOs with the same problem, and I was told this morning by someone close to the CAA that they only have five people processing applications and are running well over the 25 days.

I guess when they have restructured it will be quicker.

Marlon Brando
21st Sep 2016, 15:53
Bad experience for me aswell
Needed verification letter of foreign licence for the FAA.
Called them on monday " your letter will be send to your company this afternoon"
Called my chief pilot in the evening, no letter.
Same on Tuesday, Thursday, all week long.... on Friday " your letter as been send to faa Wednesday "
- But you didn't send it to my company ?
- No, we never do that...

hugh flung_dung
21st Sep 2016, 16:02
Update ...
Someone (a "Shared Services Officer") has just answered the questions I sent to examiners@... , so the email address is being monitored.


Manual Reversion
27th Sep 2016, 17:25
Distressed call from student today whose LST I had carried out. He was at the CAA for same day issue. The CAA wouldn't issue it until I had emailed my examiner auth and licence. I asked the candidate who was speaking to the official to let me speak to her....she refused!
Called the main number and spent 47 minutes chatting to a very helpful chap who said they are in a state of disorganised chaos. The reason for my licence and examiner auth being needed was that the srg 1157 for my LPC from six months ago hadn't been scanned and he thought it might go back longer. Examiner auth also wasn't in the systemConsequently the CAA have no idea whether an examiner is still current on type. I wonder how the checks I have done in the previous six months got through with no problem.

27th Sep 2016, 20:34
I just issue an SRG1100 now for this reason wherever possible. It's absolute chaos.

hugh flung_dung
3rd Oct 2016, 22:15
Last week I was pleasantly surprised to receive my examiner re-authorisation paperwork less than 7 days from sending-in the forms (and excessive payment), so something is still working. Thanks to whoever managed to edit the date and press the print button so quickly.


1st Nov 2016, 13:20
Submitted some paperwork for a rotary type rating Reval for an ATPL(H) continuously used since 1995.
CAA pre-search-select-scam team replied saying I had sent the wrong form and stated that I needed to submit a fixed-wing form - in addition to submitting my logbooks for verification/assessment. Baring in mind that the paperwork had been provided by an experienced examiner who does this stuff in their sleep.
My email asking for clarity was replied - did they really want a fixed-wing form for a rotary qualification - now any normal person might take the hint but not the pre-scamming team - they insisted that I submit the incorrect form.
My query to why does the examiner complete and sign the section on their form saying they have reviewed the candidates flying experience etc if Gatwick still insist on seeing logbooks - which, I have been told are rarely looked at when proffered.

It is all very well saying just call FCL if you have a query or just need to talk to someone - but who says you can get through? I have not managed to get through once this year.
Looks like the department has been 'dumbed down' to such an extent that it is no longer fit for purpose.
Thank you answering machine for suggesting I look at the website - never thought of doing that!!

I suggest that if the department was more knowledgeable then there would not be so many emails/attempted phonecalls in the first place.
I understand that even the examiners who work at the CAA are having problems getting applications processed in an acceptable time - and whoever decided that 8-weeks was an appropriate time to complete the process obviously has no idea what is required of such a service.

1st Nov 2016, 13:27
I've just successfully transfered my licenses from the UK. I sent them an email about the transfer a month and a half ago - no answer yet. It took them a month to send over the paperwork to Sweden.

The medical department on the other hand was incredibly helpful and got my medical transfered in a matter of days.

2nd Nov 2016, 08:33
I am due to due a rating on an MPA so asked for confirmation of my ATPL credit under grandfather rights for the ATO records THREE months ago. I have diligently written every week since reminding them without any response. Shambles is an understatement.

It's funny how the Flight Ops Inspector is in touch instantly an all expenses trip to Spain is on the cards to carry out a routine audit on us though....

2nd Nov 2016, 20:56
It is all very well saying just call FCL if you have a query Who is saying that?
Looks like the department has been 'dumbed down' to such an extent that it is no longer fit for purpose. You are a bit behind the times; FCL ceased to exist a number of years ago!
I understand that even the examiners who work at the CAA are having problems getting applications processed in an acceptable time Could be why they all left!

3rd Nov 2016, 07:06
A major problem for me and I suspect many other pilots,instructors and examiners is a complete loss of respect for the authority and what it does.The qualifications worked so hard for over many years seem debased by the lacklustre performance of the CAA,How can a licence issued by this laughable organisation be taken seriously especially given the poor quality of post Easa syllabii and question banks.Time for the top of the organisation to take responsibility.The resignation of Dame Deidre Hutton would be a good start!

3rd Nov 2016, 14:13
What is their current state, how many staff examiners are there left? If there are none who now advises the examiner cell?

3rd Nov 2016, 17:21
Last I heard, there was one aeroplane examiner, who didn't have a medical, and two helicopter examiners, one of whom was on an OML. I understand, however, that one of the aeroplane examiners who left couldn't make it in the real world and has now returned.

hugh flung_dung
4th Nov 2016, 11:37
A major problem for me and I suspect many other pilots,instructors and examiners is a complete loss of respect for the authority and what it does
I agree. Many years ago they were jokingly known as the Campaign Against Aviation, then they seemed to get much better but now they seem to be in a state of collapse.
We are the customers but we don't appear to have any way to find out what's going on inside the organisation or to apply pressure to get it fixed. I think there used to be a forum for the CAA to meet with the industry - does this still exist and is GA represented? If so, by who?
Also, CAA staffers must be aware of discussions like this so it would be useful for someone to (anonymously) provide inside info - but I won't hold my breath while waiting for this to happen.


5th Nov 2016, 17:34
They have finally produced a list of FIEs (https://www.caa.co.uk/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=4294982119). The Regulation requires the CAA to produce a list of Examiners which they have done however; there is no mention of WHERE you might find these examiners or HOW to contact them!