Desperately seeking DPE

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Peter Ha, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. Peter Ha

    Peter Ha Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My CFI been promising checkride for last 4 weeks. Thought next week was it but appears that was false.
    Called that DPE yesterday; says he's busy and can't schedule me in until next month-ish... maybe. :(
    It's been almost two months since I've been ready for checkride... very frustrating! :mad:
    Do other student pilots go through this ordeal? Watching all the planes overhead today... so close, but so far(about 2000AGL). I'm feel like a always-bridesmaid-but-never-a-bride student pilot.
    Anyone recommend a DPE in SoCal area?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  2. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Can't schedule you until next month, does this mean that he gave you a date or he won't consider giving you a date until next month? If he is willing to give you an exam date next month, take it. You can cancel if you find someone to do it sooner. I've said this before, this is part of the patience deal being a pilot takes, but your deal sounds a little ridiculous.
     
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  3. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yes. DPEs are all pretty much saturated. Took an ME student to his checkride (an hour east of portland or) today, we couldn't get in for wx, and in chatting with the examiner to reschedule, he mentioned that a flight school in San Diego (!) is courting him to come down because they have 30 students who cannot get examiners. This is in Eastern Oregon, aka MOFN.

    It's a mess.

    Call EVERY examiner in SoCal and hit them up for "next available" dates. The FSDOs all maintain a list. Search for Designee Locator and call them all to get options. I'd ask after pricing too, I bet this situation will see rapid checkride fee inflation.
     
  4. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Stupid question but why don't they add more DPE's?
     
  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Any number oF reasons, some more valid than others. One factor is that the powers that be in the FAA see only about two weeks’ wait because IACRA applications typically aren’t filled out until closer to checkride date.
     
  6. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Much of your frustration is on your instructor. He/she/other knows DPEs are booked out at least a month. They should have also been pointing you to a specific examiner and prompt you when to call.

    If you were ready a month ago that is when that should have happened.

    Then there should have been a YOU centric moment at your flight school with a calendar out. Plane blocked for your ride, with a look at the logs to make sure it will not be down for 100 hr. Three hour check ride prep flights booked, bumping others if needed. Ground sessions with your logbook, FARs, any "gouge" on the examiner

    I imagine your teats are getting sore
     
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  7. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    Getting scheduled with a DPE for my instrument in South Florida last year was a nightmare. So yes other people do go through this.
     
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  8. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    They are.
     
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  9. RussR

    RussR Cleared for Takeoff

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    Anymore, you need to schedule the checkride before you’re even ready for it. I likely will be training someone for their Commercial in January, my plan is to schedule the checkride first then plan the training around the checkride date. If you wait until you’re ready, as you’re seeing it can be another month or more.
     
  10. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    The DME for my A&P had a six month wait. But I knew that going in and it is understandable given that there are not that many people here in South Florida that can give the test and there are lots of applicants. I did not expect my instrument checkride to take four months probably to schedule. Part of that had to do with I was doing it independent and a lot of the examiners are booked up with flight school students. I finally got my ride from a fellow who mostly does helicopters and it was a very enjoyable experience to the degree that the experience can be enjoyable.
     
  11. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

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    One perspective from the other side of the fence: I get anywhere from 2-4 new calls for practical per day which is in addition to my regular flight schools who usually give me batches of applicants at a time. It is difficult if not impossible to call everyone back in a timely manner especially given I only do checkrides part time and travel internationally on a regular basis.

    There is greater demand than supply at the moment.
     
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  12. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    the DPE shortage traces back to a FAA inspector shortage. Every GA Ops inspector can only oversee so many designees. The FAA is desperate for inspectors, but qualified applicants are in short supply when there's a pilot shortage.
     
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  13. YooperMooney

    YooperMooney Pre-Flight

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    Can a candidate see a DPE anywhere in the USA? I had a similar issue the OP is having 13 years ago and ended up with a 60+yr old pioneer female DPE who was an ultra-stickler to the letter of the law.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  14. imwithtuxedo

    imwithtuxedo Pre-Flight

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    I was waiting for almost two months when I decided to start calling DPE's from the neighboring state. Found one on the first call. Scheduled for following weekend. I own my plane so I was able to travel with a cross-country sign off by my CFI.
     
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  15. RussR

    RussR Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yes. Further, a recent change now allows DPEs to give checkrides outside of their FSDOs area as well (meaning they can travel too).
     
  16. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ordealing (Yes, not a real word) here myself. There is an insane shortage. I'm ready to go. DPE won't be available until January - and that is the guy I have to fly 1 1/2 hours one way to get to.

    I asked my CFI the same question - why the shortage. His take is that DPE's usually have airline / corp flying jobs and do this on the side. In my case the DPE simply has a lot of work scheduled. DPE's are usually seasoned pilots, and with the pilot shortage they are flying a lot and have a lot less time for the side job of DPE check rides. Which is another thing to add on. There aren't a lot of people like that who can be DPE's who aren't pulled into "real" flying jobs.
     
  17. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Yep, I had a similar delay. Very common.

    We need to allow pilots to self-certify, similar to SP medical qualifications. Fly all the maneuvers and landings on a solo flight, and if you think you did okay, send in the paperwork for your license.

    :D
     
  18. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    The lead time for the check ride wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact you really can't schedule them until you are ready. I don't see a way around that issue.
     
  19. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Lead time for our area is 4-8 weeks for the DPE my CFI uses. I think most cases they dpe is a full time something else.m and dpe is the side job so between my schedule conflicts and his we stretched out.
    You didn’t even get to cancel a few time because of weather or a plane issue. Just wait for that!!!
     
  20. Warmi

    Warmi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Or record the checkride with certain number of cameras at certain predefined locations etc and send it for review ... I think this could work reasonably well.
     
  21. Shuswap BC

    Shuswap BC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Smart idea, you're in a plane after all, so traveling a few hundred miles is nothing, or even further. I never once flew with an examiner from the field I was flying out of. PPL i traveled to, Multi/IFR again traveled, CPL I traveled. I had the same person for my Multi and CPL, she was awesome, and more than worth the flight to get there. I had never seen the plane, or met the people I was renting the Seneca from before I arrived. I flew up in my 172, landed, met them at the school, did about 0.7 with their instructor to get used to the plane, and then when we landed she was already there waiting for us, she was early. She met me on the ramp, basically said hello, and then started asking me questions...I never had time to get nervous because she was just keeping me too busy for a moment to breath or rest. After answering what felt like a thousand questions, she asked me how much fuel was left, I said lots, and dipped the tanks, they were about 75% so we went flying. After a little hood work, she said an airport in the rockies to the east 100 nm is in solid ifr right now lets go. I hand flew to the destination airport, I had never seen before in my life, tight to steep mountains in a valley, and it was right down to minimums. We did a couple of misses and some holds, then a touch and go, and lastly a full stop. She said lets top the tanks off here and chat a while. We went for a coffee while they fueled the Seneca up. She handed me a sheet of paper, and said well the flight home is a formality now, you passed, unless you crash us getting us out of here or the hour back to my home airport. I landed exhausted and excited at the same time, got in my trusty little 172 and flew home, landed in the dark, and it felt surreal. I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or that really happened for a few minutes as I tied my 172 down. Don't be scared to go places you guys.
     
  22. RussR

    RussR Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't do any Private/Instrument training right now, but when I did up until about a year ago, I started getting ahold of DPEs pretty much around the time we were starting XC training. That way hopefully the delay after they're ready isn't too long. It did have another useful effect, though - with a definite date set for the checkride, the student was now very motivated to buckle down and study. Sometimes it's hard to get motivated if there is no established date you need to be ready by.

    Of course, I'm not in a college or career-minded setting, I was working mostly with owners so there was no end-of-semester-type pressure to help motivate people.
     
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  23. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    Better still would be to post the video here and grant the ticket by a two-thirds majority vote.
     
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  24. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Or create different classes of DPE's. A CFI who can teach PPL should know what the required knowledge and flying competencies are. So why not allow someone who is CFI rated to also give check rides? You'd have to use a CFI who didn't instruct you, or even perhaps be associated with your school. Same with CFI-I's, etc.
     
  25. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    That would create and even bigger pilot shortage.
     
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  26. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    DPE's are CFI's. What you are describing is what a DPE already are.
     
  27. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    You are just so awesome!
     
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  28. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Not quite; he believes that all CFIs should be able to give the exams as well, just not to their own students.
    But I'd actually remove the exam altogether, and go for a "train to proficiency" regimen.
     
  29. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    Uh, no. :eek:

    Why not just have them mail a postcard to the FAA (prepaid by the FAA, of course) and be given the certificate or rating of their choice? :rolleyes:
     
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  30. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    See my post above.
     
  31. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    For SPs, additional endorsements are done by a CFI other than the one who trained you. The initial license checkride is done by a DPE but not subsequent endorsements. For example, a SP who flies SEL LSAs may want to fly gyros or seaplanes. After training, he flies with a different CFI to get endorsed. No DPE required.
     
  32. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

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    Because the requirements to safely and proficiently flight instruct are not the same as what is required to conduct practical tests on behalf of the FAA. I am sure that I was not prepared to give checkrides with my brand new flight instructor certificate, which I earned nearly two decades ago. The job of pilot examiners is to use judgement backed up by experience in the airman certification realm. It is a very different skillset than flight instructing.
     
  33. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    IF you're qualified to teach and judge that a student is good enough to pass the check ride, not sure why you're not qualified to test someone. There are certain things you need to do when you do the practical test - you either bust altitude or not, etc. As far as the oral portion of the test, I'm still trying to get my head into why that is the best way to test knowledge. Oral testing allows variability and subjectivity. Why not just do a comprehensive on line knowledge test that covers items outside of the traditional written test?
     
  34. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    Make your proposal to the FAA for rule changes. Get back to us when it get's accepted.

    Otherwise, right now, it's either a DPE or FAA ASI giving the exam utilizing a practical test and oral exam.
     
  35. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

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    The simple answer is "because you're not." The FAA makes the ultimate decision about whether a pilot meets the ACS or PTS for a given certificate or rating, not a flight instructor, and it does so via its own Inspectors or Designated Pilot Examiners. The training and knowledge required to exercise those privileges do not equate to what is necessary to become a flight instructor. Additional training, oversight, and regulatory knowledge of FAA Orders is necessary, and these subject areas are not part of a flight instructor's training. Additionally, the FAA requires its designees to have a high level of practical experience in the field, and that experience is required to safely conduct practical tests. Flight instructors who meet these experience requirements may and do become Designated Pilot Examiners, so your wish is already a reality.
     
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  36. flyingron

    flyingron Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The FAA is still rather cronyistic when it comes to designees and the DPE is the worst. We don't have this problem with respect to IAs.
     
  37. Sazzy

    Sazzy Pre-Flight

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    I'm wondering how big your flight school is? I'm just asking because in my situation, my instructor personally knows the DPE he sets his students up with and it tends to be a fairly efficient process. Keep in mind, I'm with a very small school/flying club out of bum-frick Wisconsin. Is there anyway you would be able to check around smaller, more personable schools to see if they have more one-on-one connections to DPEs?
     
  38. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    I have to laugh at that statement!

    Since the FAA relaxed the testing requirements for IA, we've been inundated with A&P's gaining IA. And that doesn't mean quality. There are way too many IA's in the system.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  39. Warmi

    Warmi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, yes .. a few more yes/no questions that at pretty much early high school level ( as all FAA exams are frankly are ) is going to make that much difference - pencil whipping and dishonesty in general are not derivative of how many questions you get to answer correctly but personality and overall experience...
     
  40. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Sport Pilot or Private Pilot? If Sport Pilot, I know a guy that might be available. If Private Pilot, I can ask around...
     
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