Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Long Journey To Become a DPE

Tuesday July 7 2015,

Another milestone on the way to becoming a Designated Pilot Examiner has been reached.  On Tuesday, I performed an "Initial Designated Pilot Examiner" practical test with an FAA inspector.

The practical test was essentially a practical test to ensure that I'm still a good flight instructor who can operate a glider at level of Commercial Pilot Glider.  I found the examiner to be incredibly professional, very friendly, and also very knowledgable about gliders.  I was afraid that the FAA representative would only have a paper rating in gliders; I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this guy is quite knowledgable about the slightly different culture of glider aviation from the rest of General Aviation.

The next steps are to:

  1. Wait for the paperwork from the checkride on Tuesday to work through the bureaucracy of the FAA and Oklahoma City. 
  2. Wait for the local Flight Standards District Office to contact me with an "Initial Pilot Designation" and a letter indicating that I'm permitted to give practical tests as a designee. 
  3. Meet with the people at the local FSDO, where apparently they teach me the secret handshake. 
  4. Set up an appointment where I have a candidate ready for a glider check ride.  At that appointment, a glider examiner will be present to observe me giving the practical test. 
  5. Perform the ground portion of the practical test with the candidate (while I'm being observed)
  6. Perform the flight portion of the practical test with the examiner playing the role of the candidate. 
While we had an examiner there for the day, we also managed to get him to administer a practical test to our star student, Kaye Ebelt, pictured here:

Steven Brown, Kaye Ebelt and I congratulate
Kaye's successful Private Pilot Practical Test

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