Changes to support flight examiners

Date published: 27 February 2022

Date:

We are working on a number of reforms focused on delivering tangible benefits to better support flight training. These are longstanding issues raised by the general aviation community.

Changes to support flight examiners

We said last year we are looking at how we can expand privileges for some flight examiners to improve flight testing, revisiting how we administer the Flight Examiner Rating System, and looking at how we can work with the aviation community to prioritise other initiatives.

Some of these initiatives will come into effect over the next few months:

  • Enabling industry to conduct Examiner Proficiency Checks

We will deliver on this initiative by mid June 2022. To ensure we do this safely, we have established a dedicated team to develop the entry control, an appropriate assessment, oversight and surveillance program for 61.040 approvals of this nature

  • Enabling industry to provide a Flight Examiner Rating Course (FERC)

A framework to assess an industry delivered FERC and establishment of an oversight model framework is being developed as a priority. Target implementation date for the framework is August 2022. If there are elements that could be considered for implementation earlier, then we will endeavour to do that.

How we plan to action the Technical Working Group’s recommendations

1. Initial flight tests for the Flight Examiner Rating

What the TWG recommended:

FER tests be conducted by industry through the development of a “Senior Examiner” role, in addition to current arrangements where CASA conducts tests.

What we’re doing:

Requires further consideration.

The devolution of the initial issue of the FER ratings to industry is a significant change in current policy which has not previously been contemplated by CASA.

CASA will work with the ASAP Chair and nominated industry representatives to consider how this may be taken forward.

CASA notes that the implementation of some of the below initiatives may address to some degree the lack of flight examiners.

2. Examiner Proficiency Checks (EPCs)

What the TWG recommended:

EPCs be conducted by industry through development of a ‘Senior Examiner’ role and 61.040 approvals – with surveillance by CASA.

What we’re doing:

Agreed in principle.

Whilst CASA does not see the creation of a “senior examiner” role as the solution, we will progress the implementation of the intention of the recommendation as a priority.

A dedicated team has been established to develop an appropriate assessment, oversight and surveillance program for 61.040 approvals of this nature.

The target implementation date is no later than June 2022.

3. Flight test notifications

What the TWG recommended:

Changes are made to notification requirements to CASA for a flight examiner undertaking a flight test to allow greater flexibility (changes to regulation 61.1295) – as being reviewed by the Part 61 TWG.

What we’re doing:

Agreed in principle.

We are developing an options paper which will be provided to the Part 61 TWG for advice. We will consider the advice of the TWG and implement as appropriate with timelines to be established.

4. Flight Examiner Handbook and FER/EEE forms

What the TWG recommended:

These documents be reviewed to align with competency-based standards that will be established in CASR Part 61 U.

What we’re doing:

Agreed.

We are progressing this recommendation.

Part 61-FER and Flight Examiner Handbook have been updated to remove prescriptive mandatory requirements and the hours will form interim guidance whilst competency-based standards developed (item 5 below).

Compensating criteria on the eligibility standards for each test endorsement need to be established in order to achieve consistency and fairness.

Once the MOS has been updated, the Flight Examiners Handbook can also be updated.

Target date to be aligned with item 5.

5. Competency-based standards

What the TWG recommended:

Development of competency-based standards for CASR Part 61 U with TWG members to assist with development for specific industry sectors.

What we’re doing:

Agreed.

We will progress this recommendation.

Standards will be developed and the MOS updated by September 2022.

6. Flight Examiner Rating Courses

What the TWG recommended:

TWG members assist with development for industry specific sectors.

It also recommends that industry developed flight examiner rating courses (FERC) be provided by organisations with oversight from CASA.

In addition, it recommends that the requirement to undertake an FPC with CASA prior to the FERC be reviewed.

What we’re doing:

Agreed.

We are progressing this recommendation.

A framework to assess an industry developed FERC course and establish an oversight framework is being developed as a priority.

Target implementation date for the framework is August 2022.

If there are elements that could be considered for implementation earlier, then we will make best endeavours to do that.

Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//changes-support-flight-examiners
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