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All I Want for Christmas is a DPE

  1. There are around 963 DPEs.

  2. Around 120 of the 963 did almost ⅔’s of the checkrides.

  3. Many of the 963 DPEs do less than 25 checkrides a year.

  4. FSDOs won’t put on additional DPEs because they say they don’t have enough inspectors for oversight.  We must move the DPE program 100% into OKC under AFS600 and 640.  Then, FSDOs would only need to do surveillance/enforcement when directed by OKC or public concern.

  5. 25% of applicants for checkrides aren’t able to start the test due to one of the following:

    1. Missing an aeronautical experience requirement.

    2. Incorrect or missing endorsement(s.)

    3. Logbook problem.

    4. Airworthiness of the airplane.

  6. This burns two test slots: one now and another due to the one that didn’t happen today.

  7. Of the approximate 34,000 flight instructors, only about 8000 are active (meaning they recommended at least one person for a practical test while their CFI was unexpired.)  Of the 8000 active CFIs, 80% have less than two years of experience.  This adds to point 5.  People are getting through the CFI checkrides without the ability to do the entire job correctly.

  8. DPEs are creating tests that are too subjective.  I propose they pull a scenario or POA from an FAA website where the applicant has no idea what will be tested before the actual test.  Similar to the way it’s done for the A&P tests.  House all approved POAs and scenarios on the FAA site and have AFS640 vet them and approve them.

  9. Use IACRA as a logbook.  If IACRA can be called a logbook, then no FAR has to be rewritten to allow an endorsement in a logbook.  All endorsements for any rating could be automatically served up by IACRA and digitally signed by the instructor.  This would eliminate most of the paperwork issues related to eligibility and endorsements.

  10. Extend the term and renewal of the current DPEs from one year to five years.  Not many people want to accept a job that has the chance of not renewing for any reason whatsoever every year.

  11. Become a DPE.  Eligibility is:

    1. At least 23 years old.

    2. 2000 hours PIC time.

    3. 500 hours dual given.

    4. 100 hours dual given within the previous 12 months.

    5. Pass the DPE knowledge test with at least 80%.  It’s the same pool as the FIA test.

    6. Submit the application via DMS - Designee Management System at

    7. Order 800.95A addresses the DMS.

      1. Order 8900.2 is the DPE handbook and order.

      2. Your application will be scored based on ratings and experience.

  12. After the NEB accepts your application, wait.  The FSDO must contact the National Examiners Board (NEB) to pull the top-scored application.  If you are selected, then the following needs to be done:

    1. Meet with the FSDO manager and other inspectors for an interview.  Pass that.

    2. Take an online course ($150.)

    3. Go to initial DPE training in OKC - a 5-day program to learn how to conduct a practical test.  ($480 plus expenses.)

    4. Meet with the FSDO manager and get your POI (principal operating Inspector) assigned, and start training.  This is variable for each office.

    5. Pass a proficiency test for every checkride you will be authorized to conduct.

    6. Find an applicant willing to allow you to perform a checkride with the FAA inspector observing.

    7. Get your designation.

  13. You’ll probably need to pay a premium over the regular DPE test fee to get a test sooner.  Offer to pay the full non-refundable amount if you or your student isn’t ready at the agreed time.

  14. Find DPEs that will travel.  You’ll pay more, but at least you’ll get a test.

  15. Fly to more remote FSDO locations that have a DPE there and take the test at that location.

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