Standards of Examiner activity
In 2020 EASA has published AMC2 FCL.1015. The document deals with standards required from examiners while exercising an examiner privileges.
In accordance with FCL.1005 and GM1 FCL.1005(b) EASA Examiners shall not conduct:
- skill tests or assessments of competence of applicants for the issue of a licence, rating or certificate to whom they have provided more than 25 % of the required flight instruction for the licence, rating or certificate for which the skill test or assessment of competence is being taken; and
- skill tests, proficiency checks or assessments of competence whenever they feel that their objectivity may be affected.
As an examples of a situation where the examiner should consider if their objectivity is affected are when the applicant is a relative or a friend of the examiner, or when they are linked by economic interests or political affiliations, etc.
An examiner should allow an Exam candidate adequate time to prepare for a skill test, assessment of competence or proficiency check, normally not more than 1 hour.
An examiner should plan a test or check flight so that all required exercises can be performed while allowing sufficient time for each of the exercises and with due regard to the weather conditions, traffic situation, ATC requirements and local procedures. This is throughly explained in GM1 FCL.1015.
✅ Daily arrangements ✅
An examiner should plan per day not more than:
- three skill tests or proficiency checks relating to PPL, CPL, IR or class ratings;
- four skill tests or proficiency checks relating to LAPL, SPL or BPL;
- two skill tests or proficiency checks related to MPL or ATPL;
- two assessments of competence related to any instructor certificates;
- four skill tests or checks relating to single pilot type ratings such as Cessna 525
✅ Overall exam duration arrangements ✅
An examiner should plan at least following time for one checkride including preflight briefing and preparation, conduct of the skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence, de-briefing, evaluation of the applicant and documentation.:
- 2 hours for a LAPL, SPL or BPL,
- 3 hours for a PPL, CPL, IR or class rating test or checks,
- 4 hours for instructor certificates, MPL, ATPL or MP type rating tests or checks.
✈️ Exam flight time arrangements ✈️
For the conduct of the skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence without additional activities specified the following values may be used as guidance for flight time and simulator time:
- 45 minutes for single pilot class ratings VFR only;
- 60 minutes for extension of BPL commercial privileges;
- 90 minutes for LAPL(A), PPL(A) and CPL(A), including the navigation section;
- 60 minutes for IR, EIR, instructor certificates, and single pilot type or class ratings; and
- 120 minutes for MPL, ATPL, and multi pilot type ratings.
Method of the checking
Before undertaking a skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence, an examiner will verify that the aircraft or FSTD intended to be used is suitable and appropriately equipped for the test or check. Aircraft that fall under points (a), (b), (c), or (d) of Annex I to the Basic Regulation can be used provided that they are subject to an authorisation as per point ORA.ATO.135 or point DTO.GEN.240.
Skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence flights have be conducted in accordance with the AFM and, if applicable, the AOM. A test or check flight will be conducted within the limitations contained in the Operations manual of an ATO or the Operator for which the applicant is flying, as applicable, or, if available, within the limitations placed by the DTO.
A skill test or proficiency check is intended to simulate a practical flight. Thus, an examiner may set practical scenarios for an applicant while ensuring that the applicant is not confused and air safety is not compromised.
When manoeuvres are to be flown by sole reference to instruments, the examiner should ensure that a suitable method of screening is used to simulate IMC. An examiner should maintain a flight log and assessment record during the test or check for reference during the post or flight debriefing. An examiner should be flexible to the possibility of changes arising to preflight briefings due to ATC instructions, or other circumstances affecting the skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence.
Where changes arise to a planned checkride an EASA examiner should be satisfied that the applicant understands and accepts the changes. Otherwise, the test or check flight should be terminated.
Should an applicant choose not to continue a test or check for reasons considered inadequate by an examiner, the applicant will be assessed as having failed those items or sections not attempted. If the test or check is terminated for reasons considered adequate by the examiner, only these items or sections not completed will be tested during a subsequent test or check. An examiner may terminate a test or check at any stage, if it is considered that the applicant’s competency requires a complete re-test or re-check.
Content of the checkrides
Skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence is comprised of:
- oral examination on the ground (where applicable);
- aircraft general knowledge and performance;
- planning and operational procedures;
- other relevant items or sections of the test or check.
- pre-flight briefing;
- test or check sequence;
- power setting, speeds and approach minima, if applicable;
- safety considerations.
- in-flight exercises;
- assessment or evaluation of the applicant;
- documentation of the test or check with the applicant’s FI present, if possible.
- post-flight debriefing.
Purpose of checkrides
The purpose of skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence is to:
- determine through practical demonstration during checkride an applicant has acquired or maintained the required level of knowledge and skill or proficiency
- improve training and flight instruction in flight school ATOs or DTOs by feedback of information from examiners about items or sections of tests or checks that are most frequently failed
- assist in maintaining and, where possible, improving air safety standards by having examiners display good airmanship and flight discipline during tests or checks.
Conduct of the checkride
An examiner will ensure that an applicant completes a test or check in accordance with PartFCL requirements and is assessed against the required test or check standards.
Each item within a skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence section has be completed and assessed separately. The test or check schedule, as briefed, should not normally be altered by an examiner. A failed item is not always a failed section, for example type rating skill test where a failure of an item in a section does not fail the entire section, only the failed item is taken again.
Marginal or questionable performance of a skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence item should not influence an examiner’s assessment of any subsequent items.
An examiner should verify the requirements and limitations of a skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence with an applicant during the pre-flight briefing.
When a test or check is completed or discontinued, an examiner should debrief the applicant and give reasons for items or sections failed. In case of a failed or discontinued skill test and proficiency check, the examiner should provide appropriate advice to assist the applicant in retests or re-checks.
Any comment on, or disagreement with, an examiner’s skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence evaluation made during a debriefing will be recorded by the examiner on the test or check report, and will be signed by the examiner and countersigned by the applicant.
Examiner preparation before exam session
An examiner should supervise all aspects of the skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence flight preparation, including, where necessary, obtaining or assuring an ATC ‘slot’ time.
An examiner will plan a test or check in accordance with Part-FCL requirements. Only the manoeuvres and procedures set out in the appropriate test or check form will be undertaken. The same examiner should not reexamine a failed applicant without the agreement of the applicant.
Examiner approach during the exam session
An examiner should encourage a friendly and relaxed atmosphere to develop both before and during a skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence flight. A negative or hostile approach should not be used. During the test or check flight, the examiner should avoid negative comments or criticisms and all assessments should be reserved for the debriefing.
Although skill test, proficiency check or assessment of competence may specify flight test tolerances, an applicant should not be expected to achieve these at the expense of smoothness or stable flight. An examiner should make due allowance for unavoidable deviations due to turbulence, ATC instructions, etc. An examiner should terminate a test or check only when it is clear that the applicant has not been able to demonstrate the required level of knowledge, skill or proficiency and that a full re-test will be necessary or for safety reasons.
An examiner will use one of the following terms for grading:
- a ‘pass’, provided that the applicant demonstrates the required level of knowledge, skill or proficiency and, where applicable, remains within the flight test tolerances for the licence or rating;
- a ‘fail’ provided that any of the following apply:
- the flight test tolerances have been exceeded after the examiner has made due allowance for turbulence or ATC instructions;
- the aim of the test or check is not completed;
- the aim of exercise is completed but at the expense of safe flight, violation of a rule or regulation, poor airmanship or rough handling;
- an acceptable level of knowledge is not demonstrated;
- an acceptable level of flight management is not demonstrated;
- the intervention of the examiner or safety pilot is required in the interest of safety. a ‘partial pass’ in accordance with the criteria shown in the relevant skill test appendix of Part-FCL.