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EAA Chairs Pilot Examiner Reform Working Group

  • DPE Working Group
    Photo by Bonnie Bartel

November 7, 2019 - EAA Vice President of Advocacy and Safety Sean Elliott was in Washington, D.C., last week to chair the first meeting of a new Designated Pilot Examiner working group, which was chartered by Congress as part of last year's FAA reauthorization bill. Congress has given this group one year to evaluate all aspects of DPE selection, training, deployment, and oversight.

The initial three-day meeting included more than 25 members representing all facets of DPE work. The FAA also is fully engaged, ensuring that ample staff resources are provided with a wide range of knowledge related to DPE policy and regulations.

Elliott is leading a group that is chartered to bring new thinking to the DPE process and remove existing constraints to make the program as effective as it can be. The ultimate goal is developing recommendations that position airman testing processes for the future. Elliott's own expertise as a specialty aircraft examiner in the warbirds community will be valuable in the chairman's role, as will his ability to draw upon expertise from all facets of the pilot examining community.

At the conclusion of the yearlong DPE program review, the group will provide a report back to the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) with recommendations concerning the selection, training, deployment, and oversight of DPEs. In addition, the group will review easing geographic boundary restrictions as well as restrictions on the number of tests conducted per day.

The entire working group will meet in person on a quarterly basis and has established several subgroups that will meet more frequently. EAA will present a status report at the December ARAC meeting in Washington, D.C.

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