Below are some of the recurring and completely unnecessary problems I have encountered while performing my duties as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner in Europe. All could have been avoided simply by proper preparation for the flight test or service by the applicant and if applicable, his or her Instructor. Remember, when the applicant signs the 8710-1 Airman Certification/Rating application, whether online or a paper copy, he or she is swearing that he or she meets the FAA requirement for the flight test or service. If flight instructor endorsements are required, he or she is also swearing that the applicant meets the FAA requirement for the test or service. If you don't understand it, don't sign it! All you need to do is contact us for clarification. We are always delighted to help!
YOU MUST FILL OUT THE 8710-1 AIRMAN CERTIFICATION/RATING APPLICATION via the IACRA System
WELL IN ADVANCE OF YOUR APPOINTMENT WITH THE EXAMINER and here is why:
If there is any reason that IACRA won't accept any of your information such as a descrepancy with the name or ID number
on your General Knowledge Exam, you will need a few days to fix it. In most cases, it's simply not possible to fix it on the day
and will add unneccessary expenses to the process.
1. Paperwork and identification. Forgetting the passport, name misspelled on passport, name misspelled any supporting documents, wrong information on the TSA permission, Foreign
License verification letter etc..
2. Improper Logbook entries See Item #3 below. Not knowing the difference between IMC and IFR. This has
stopped more Instrument & ATP flight tests than any other problem. Same meaning in Europe as in the US. For example, you cannot control the aircraft solely by reference to instruments while on the ground. The examiner must be able to readily determine that the minimum instrument training/experience has been accomplished. With respect to required minimum Instrument time, IFR time is Irrelevant!
3. Wrong or missing flight instructor endorsements (Electronic signatures or copies without pen & ink signatures not accepted)
4. Explaining that the logbook actually means that the required training/experience has been accomplished
when in fact it indicates nothing of the sort. Item #5 & 6 below.
5. Not familiar with the Suggested Study List in the FAR/AIM
6. Not familiar with the applicable FAA Practical Test Standards for the test
7. Not accomplishing the aircraft paperwork checklist (ARROW) required for every flight.
Regardless of the country of registration, the A/C must have an approved manual and
all equipment required by CFR 91.205 MUST be operable!
8. Assuming that having held an ICAO equivalent of the FAA license or rating being tested for, that he or she
automatically meets the FAA experience requirements
9. Receiving some or all of the minimum required training in preparation for this FAA flight test from a nonauthorized,
non-FAA flight instructor
10. Applicant not registered with IACRA
11. Flight Instructor not registered with IACRA or as the applicant’s training provider
12. Flight Instructor is not available on Flight Test day. The FAA regulations do not require the CFI to be on hand for the test but 8 out of 10 times when he/she is not there, there is a problem with the paperwork that can't be fixed on the day without him/her and will incur charges if in fact the test can't take place that day.
13. Applicant & CFI (if applicable) have not completed the 8710-1 application. Everything stops here and the
Examiner will move on to the next applicant!
14. Not Flying the approach down to published minimums because you want to add a 'BUFFER' for imagined safety reasons. NOT GOOD! Remember, IT'S A FLIGHT TEST!
15. Not using the mandatory checklist on my website
*Items 10-15 typically add hours on to the process and will often prevent the flight test from happening at all. This must be done prior to the examiner’s arrival.
THE HOLY GRAIL OF MISTAKES ON AN FAA FLIGHT TEST:
Responding to the FAA Examiner's FAA questions with NON-FAA answers and insisting that's how we do it here!
DID YOU KNOW?
- There is no such thing as a FROZEN ATP. Remember, in life, in order for anything to be frozen, it had to be one in the first place!
- There is no such thing as a GREY AREA. This term is often used & abused by pilots wishing that a regulation means something different than what it clearly says. See items 4-7!
- There is no such thing as a PIGGY BACK LICENSE.
- You may not act as PIC in a US registered aircraft in IMC utilizing the UK IMC RATING/RESTRICED IR or any other RESTRICTED IR anywhere in the world. Not even in the UK.
- You may not act as PIC in a US registered aircraft in IMC utilizing a NON FAA IR anywhere in the world. Not even in the country that issued the license or rating.
- You may not act as PIC in a US registered aircraft while conducting AERIAL WORK without an FAA commercial license anywhere in the world. If you got paid, it's AERIAL WORK!
- NON FAA ICAO FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS conducting flight training toward an FAA LICENSE or RATING (CFR 14, 61.41) must have TSA APPROVAL to conduct such training. Item 6 applies as well!
- IFR does not mean INSTRUMENT TIME. You can't be IFR or Controlling the aircraft solely by reference to Instruments from start up to shut down! In fact, you can't be IFR on the ground.
- Some EASA Countries are conducting ALL the EASA Instrument training and Instrument Flight tests in DAY VFR/VMC conditions only without any view limiting device at all. This of course is not only illegal but totally unacceptable by any standard and will not be helpful on an FAA IR flight test! Note: In any case, the minumum performance standard required to pass the FAA Instrument Flight test as indicated in the applicable FAA Airman Certification Standard (ACS) far exceeds that required to pass the EASA Instrument Flight test!