The FAA knows no limit to their pettiness

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by flyingron, Dec 5, 2020.

  1. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I was on a first-name basis with most of my previous FSDO guys for 20 years (and in fact almost taxied into another airplane with the current FSDO manager on board back when she was a flight instructor), and currently with the guys who approve me as an examiner. My name made it to Oklahoma City with regard to getting my initial Flight Instructor certificate because the Region wasn’t capable of handling it. And I doubt the Administrator has any clue who I am.

    The revoked certificate that I’m most familiar with, primarily because I worked with a couple of people who were actually there when it was going on, has been described as “a witch hunt. Not that he didn’t deserve everything he got.”

    So yes, the FAA can appear somewhat petty in the specifics of the complaint, but as you say, we’re only getting one side of the story. And as has been pointed out, there is apparently significantly more to this than we know about.
     
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  2. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Yeah, but you could fill a room with people the SAT FSDO has harried and for every one bold enough to speak up, there are others unwilling to go on record.
     
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  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Looks like 8000.95A Designee Management Policy — got a Christmas update. Number five apparently since publication in 2014.

    (And here y’all thought I wasn’t looking... heh... )

    Haven’t had time to see what all the changes were yet, though.

    The change control page is a mess, but it’s all notated.

    Never have been able to figure out why the document page will sometimes have a nice easy to read addendum sometimes and other times just jam the “merged” version of something up without the addition uploaded separately.

    Or why the front page linked to the recent update always has the original publication date on it, when the updates didn’t exist back then... top of the info box says Date Issued with the correct new date. Box to the right of the new/changed file name still says “04/11/2014” which isn’t true for that file, and the original date is easily seen on the versions page... not to mention the main page leaves off the “A” on the box to the left of the new file name... but the top of the page has it... LOL.

    (That’s just seriously sloppy crap web work there...)

    But trying to make sense of any FAA website driven off of whatever god-awful database/Document Management System is buried in the things, is pretty much ludicrous to even attempt it, so ... whatever... LOL.

    You gotta love the “official” emails of notices or changes coming from “links.gd” (“links! GD-it!”) which is a commercial domain parking service (those are usually operated by scumbags) in the official e-mail... which then bounces to a web tracker from Constant Contact (I guess the bad guys know who to go after without even needing to research it) and a final bounce to the FAA.gov site — in the age of phishing attacks literally taking whole orgs down.

    Christ almighty, learn to integrate crap with a proper SSL certificate and sub-domain set up properly... idiots! That’s truly dangerous crap when trying to teach people DO NOT CLICK ON UNKNOWN LINKS...

    “GD-it!” LOL.

    Morons running websites who can’t do this properly truly need to be tossed off the web. They’re making it all far worse than it needs to be because they don’t understand how this tech even works. Beat. Head. Here.

    (Did I mention the table is broken in Reader View because it isn’t even built with the correct HTML? LOL. Argh. Such utter garbage.)

    Anyway. The actual FAA link for y’all’s enjoyment if you’re bored. Not hiding behind a domain squatter site and a Constant Comtact tracker...

    https://www.faa.gov/regulations_pol...fm/go/document.information/documentID/1038697
     
  4. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tell us how you really feel, Nate....
     
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  5. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Lol I had to look. .gd is Grenada.

    I guess it’s slightly better than government agencies using the “bit.ly” link shortener and indirectly paying Libya. Hahaha.

    Pound. Head. On. Desk.

    Just what you want. Official emails from government with the embedded links using the official domain of Grenada.

    What a bunch of absolute morons.
     
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  6. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Maybe we got the domain from when we invaded? Or you could just use the phrase from the movie about it (Heartbreak Ridge) - "What we have here sir is a total CF" (loosely quoted)
     
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  7. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    I sense a disturbance in the original topic of the thread....
     
  8. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Well, run for Congress, get on the Internet Security Sub-Committee and get it fixed as it seems every federal website has some issues considering it appears Russia is the current IT sub-contractor. Then again, out of the 1000s of people who use faa.gov daily, there will be a few who get hung up trying to use it....:rolleyes:
     
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  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    That would be stupid. That’s not how web servers and tech get fixed. That’s just how lazy asses blame somebody else as if...

    ... no one should just expect tech professionals to know the basics created over 40 years ago.

    “1000s of folks using it” just means we all put up with the absolutely incompetent site design.

    It doesn’t mean it actually is any good.

    Don’t mistake the necessity to use that garbage for any measure of UI/UX quality. They’re not related in any way.

    Note that whoever runs the email notifications literally COULD NOT EVEN TRACK usage of the service with anything built into it. That’s LITERALLY why they uploaded a tracking link to a sketchy domain parking company outside of the official server farm, and that link bounces through Constant Contact.

    The site is SO bad they went off the reservation and created what we call in the business, “Shadow IT”. They knew if they didn’t, they’d never be able to accomplish even a simple e-mail contact tracking link and code deployment on the actual official servers.

    We really do fire people for that in the real world. Sourcing outside vendors without proper site integration and vetting is how very bad security things happen. Let alone wasting enormous amounts of troubleshooting time when said sketchy domain parking company or even Constant Contact has an (inevitable) outage.

    If we did that with any of the gov stuff we host, I’d have IT Security engineers from most of the 50 states, Amazon AWS Security, and DHS-CISA, amongst many others, crawling up my ass to turn it ALL off immediately. Probably even a couple of bright folks at news agencies, too.

    A few weeks ago doing exactly what FAA is doing in those emails would have quite probably landed me (or at least one of my poor bosses) on that night’s National news.

    Seriously. It’s that stupid. It’s literally HOW you set up someone malicious with an easy target (the domain parking server) to inject malicious code and end up with... stuff like SolarWinds.

    Yay SolarWinds... LOL. The IT private memes making fun of that complete disaster are fun, at least. I thought Garmin’s ransomware thing was impressive. That was just the “hold my beer” compared to Trojan Horsing SolarWinds. Ha. Amazing.

    If your IT staff don’t understand how using the wrong domain and no SSL lead directly to stuff like this, you probably need to hire some who do. First DNS RFC ratified in 1983...

    When Microsoft has to step in and demand control back of a domain they gave up a decade ago to build a botnet destroyer for you, you completely and utterly failed.

    But like I said, the memes are great. See below.

    Enjoy the “clean” link ... for those with a basic knowledge of what that even means...


    [​IMG]
     
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  10. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Sorry I know. It’s just... beyond incompetent.

    I’m just set up to receive notifications on document changes and saw that one come in and thought “cool, we’re talking about this stuff”.

    Then I go to share the link and take one look at the URL and realize there’s literally no hope for the idiots running the email update service...

    If a department of 3 people plus two less than part timers reviewing the security design ... can get this basic stuff right... enough to pass multiple audits... after being listed as “infrastructure related to national Security”...

    Even an effort worthy of a ten year old writing a website in their basement would be ...

    ... appreciated.

    It just isn’t that hard, if you actually give a crap about your work quality. It ain’t hard and instructions on how to do it, are literally ratified by everyone and posted for the entire planet.

    It’s likely a scenario where someone had to go way out of their way to even screw it up that badly — and also hide the .gd link as a referrer — from whoever runs the main site load balancer.

    Double hop. Otherwise it would show up as suspicious in those logs ... if they’re watching.

    But at least it highlighted where the usual cheerleaders immediately go — when confronted by a professional who actually knows something.

    They’re shocked anybody would dare complain. “It must be great. Thousands of people use it!”

    Most people would go ask internally if it really is that screwed up — if a customer definitely knows more than they do about it.

    Send the PoA link to my post on over to the Security folk and see what they say. I’ll be happy to discuss how to fix it with them offline in private if they need it, but they won’t.

    They’ll “get it” instantly. They’ll likely actually yell at the idiot who did it.
     
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  11. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Well if the Tech professionals can't fix it then who? :rolleyes:

    Yet on the aviation side, most expect professional A&P mechanics to "know the basics" and maintain a technology from over 60 years ago regardless the model. How ironic. Thankfully they don't give up that easily.;)
     
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  12. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Omg.

    I think you missed the point that nobody that awful at basic DNS handling is anywhere near being a qualified tech professional

    They’re not even up to the level of a teenager writing exploratory code in a basement at mom’s house.

    But I can send over a basic test of DNS skill set that we use during our hiring process, if you’d like to hand it to one of them and prove it.

    I’d say at least an A&P can pass a test. No idea why you mentioned them. They’re actually tested at least.

    You literally *** could NOT pass *** a basic DNS knowledge test, doing what whoever did that did.

    And DNS is somewhere around the Fisher-Price level of running a website. Seriously.

    It’s be the equivalent of not knowing what a propellor is as an A&P. It’s truly that effing dumb.

    Like “better get checked you don’t have a learning disability that held you at 6th grade” levels of dumb.

    Tech professionals. Haha. Doing that.

    Bwahahahahahahahajahahahahaha.

    You’re truly amazingly clueless, if you have that little knowledge about it and are actually attempting to defend it.

    LOL.

    Pitiful. Truly pitiful.

    I mean I guess you wanted to go back to something you knew with the A&P thing, which is fine by me. You just have no idea how far below even the DUMBEST A&P you’ve EVER met, that pulling a stunt like linking a .gr domain into an official government e-mail is to track participation.

    Or letting anyone anywhere near that dumb anywhere near an automated e-mail process that will be deployed on the internet.

    The actual yech professionals are not confused in the slightest by my posts or these extremely basic 40 year old concepts. They definitely don’t have non-pros trolling websites defending idiotic behavior as if they did something right.

    I’m impressed with your level of fanboy for them though.

    If you can get them to stop eating glue paste in the corner for a minute, one of the actual professionals might be able to get them to a level they needed to be at 39 years ago...

    But like I said, toss the post toward the security folks and they’ll handle it with a baseball bat to their shins. I don’t even have to offer nicer assistance.
     
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  13. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    I can't read everything you wrote, but using links with a different ccTLD is itself not a sign of incompetence or lax security. Plenty of services do it for lots of reasons, ranging from link shortening to tracking to just thinking they're cute. It's totally normal in 2020. Here's a YouTube link:

    Code:
    https://youtu.be/eXK1_mcf0fc


    YouTube is not in Belgium.
     
  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    YouTube also:

    - Isn’t a government
    - Owns the domain in question
    - Owns the SSL key on the domain
    - Actually uses it
    - Doesn’t point it at a domain squatter’s web server to hand out a secondary link to yet another third party server they don’t operate

    Bzzzt. Try again.
     
  15. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Ha. I guess you missed the point on the A&P analogy. Oh well. And I guess you also missed the point of the discussion… as I recall back in post 118 and 129 you had difficulty in finding certain info on faa.gov and blamed the website for your troubles. 5 pages of diatribe later, you’re still blaming the website with added details of Grenada and only glue-eating, non-professional IT people work at faa.gov.:rolleyes:

    But considering a large number of aviation professionals, FAA employees, and other GA hobbyists… navigate faa.gov daily with no problems, it begs the question of who is actually clueless about how to use it? And while I don’t quite follow your “defending” comment, I do know how to use faa.gov with relative ease and would be happy to offer you some pointers on its use, just as I’ve done for past customers and others. And no passport for Grenada required.;)
     
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  16. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    You've provided no actual examples, so what am I supposed to be trying again at? I disproved your theory that use of odd ccTLDs point to incompetence or nefariousness, which is all I set out to do. Here's another example, it's popular to use the '.tv' TLD for television stations and shows. But that's actually the ccTLD for Tuvalu, out in the middle of the pacific ocean. No one cares. If it weren't for the interesting coincidence, they probably wouldn't have registered any domain names at all..... The '.io' ccTLD actually belongs to the British Indian Ocean Territory, but it's extensively used by companies that want to seem "techie." Also not scary.
     
  17. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    I’ve never “blamed” the website for anything. I showed solid examples of where it doesn’t have any particular plain English or even a codified table of contents by topic and is an organizational mess.

    The technical discussion of how badly it’s run is simply a continuation of the example whereas I stated no professional website is split across 12 sites for a single entity, nor as disorganized once you reach it, and run by doofuses who don’t understand basic use of databases to organize documents.

    Solid further examples include mixing title names and dates on a single page, using the wrong titles on documents that have been updated, and the other usual mistakes in database driven websites that are written by a 12 year old.

    I did “blame” the e-mail update system for being a wholly inappropriate third party link generator, sending the users through a domain squatter to reach one of the 12 official websites.

    That you’ve figured out how to use a badly designed website really doesn’t matter. Most have due to necessity.

    Remember the answer given by me wasn’t an initial complaint, it was in response to a link to an obscure document a certain person didn’t bother to link to, and a good laugh over finding that document and many others in non-sensical places on the site, complete with screenshots.

    Nobody’s really impressed by you or anyone eventually finding things in that mess of a website. Doesn’t make it well done.

    Remember the theme was that FAA does things well. Like following obscure documents they slapped somewhere on one of 12 websites.
     
  18. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I’m a simple guy so here’s what I deduce from the words on the design of the FAA and other USG websites.

    A) It’s a crappy design from a web design standpoint

    B) I can usually find what what I want there without an undue amount of effort, sometimes with no effort

    C) Much bandwidth is being expended of something that is a trivial issue to me.

    D) I’m wasting more time on this topic than I should.

    Ergo, moving on:D

    Cheers
     
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  19. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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  20. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's also not "lowest bid"
     
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  21. Katamarino

    Katamarino Cleared for Takeoff

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  22. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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  23. Katamarino

    Katamarino Cleared for Takeoff

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    By "he" I was referring to Steve Dickson. I assume he's a he...
     
  24. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Ahh. The pilot was also at Delta.
     
  25. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Line Up and Wait

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    This statement sums it up...few people are willing to speak up against government abuse when potentially their livelihood hangs in the balance, so when they feed you a dog crap sandwich you thank them and eat it.

    Last year on one of the aviation related Facebook pages I follow there was a post by a student pilot who flew to an airport for his checkride, the DPE forgot the appointment and totally blew the kid off with a tough luck shart happens and according to the poster never apologized. The kid simply wanted an apology and wanted advice on if he should report the DPE for being unprofessional. The majority of the responses were don't do it the aviation community is small and it will follow you around.
     
  26. AlphaPilotFlyer

    AlphaPilotFlyer Pre-Flight

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    This thread seems to have experienced mission creep.....not sure what legal arguments regarding employee classification makes. my point was simply the FAA needs far more DPE’s to keep cost in check and allow for easier and quicker check rides. The DPE program was never intended to provide a career to a few, but rather qualified CFI’s trusted and trained to give check rides, just as we administer endorsements. There are plenty of qualified CFI’s that would be willing and wanting to act as DPE at far more reasonable rates. Instead we have the federal govt requiring you hire one of few designees and pay them whatever they want. It sounds like some banana republic, yet we accept it in GA.
     
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  27. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Intent or not, the DPE program has morphed into being a nearly full time job, and if you’re going to expect someone to glean their livelihood from something, you should expect to have to pay them accordingly.

    yes, the FAA could double or triple the number of designers, but they don’t have the staffing to oversee the ones they have now. They’re actually in the process of relaxing the oversight requirements now so they can try to keep up.
     
  28. AlphaPilotFlyer

    AlphaPilotFlyer Pre-Flight

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    The GA DPE program has been a problem for decades, but especially last 6-7 years with uptick in student and pro pilot starts. I spoke with several applicant airmen waiting months for check rides that not only have to pay the DPE way more then they should, but now pay to stay proficient until the ride. Although wait times decreased with policy change allowing DPE to work outside their district, it’s still unacceptable and hinders the potential market place and adds unnecessary cost.

    the check rides are simple, a candidate either meets or doesn’t meet PTS requirements....I would argue most gold seal CFIs can do the examining with little extra training, and happy to do it at a lot less cost.

    FAA doesn’t care about GA as there are few GA groups with any real money or political pull to make them care; I’m thankful for AOPA and EAA keeping GA alive. The airlines hand their trade associations have the money and thus political pull to get their attention. It’s just not the DPE program, ask a DAR what they charge for work.

    If you contact your FSDO and ask to Sched a ride with an FAA inspector for free, they will tell you to call a DPE. If you say you they want too much money, The FAA will clearly tell you that they have no control over what they charge and you just have to pay it if you want a check ride. what other government agency, at any time in history, would mandate you conduct your mandatory government business through a private party that has free range to charge whatever they wish with no government restrictions?

    the program was never intended to be a full time career. It was to have experienced CFIs to provide a needed service to allow more service and less burdens on airmen. In the 1980s there were several DPE’s in my area that were full time airline pilots that gave check rides for not much more than what a CFI would charge for their time. They didn’t do it for the money, I even saw them do rides for free in some situations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
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  29. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Checkrides are not mandatory.
     
  30. AlphaPilotFlyer

    AlphaPilotFlyer Pre-Flight

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    Not mandatory? I guess you are right if you are training to be a bar tender or accountant. Please explain another method of obtaining a pilots cert or rating without a check ride?
     
  31. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    If that's your definition of mandatory..... If you want to practice law, you will have to first graduate from an accredited law school, paying whatever they demand for tuition. Same for doctors, dentists, veterinarians, barbers, and many others. There are also other professions that require certifications issued by a private entity. CPA is one.
     
  32. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    You mean those bar associations don’t charge for admittance? ;)
     
  33. AlphaPilotFlyer

    AlphaPilotFlyer Pre-Flight

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    There are plenty of options for each.....some more expensive than others and none require you pass through a single government entity for certification that out sources the process to individuals with no controls on what they can charge. Lawyers must pass a bar exam, the BAR is essentially a trade association, a NGO, and each state has one..... they charge what the association and its members feel is right, it’s not a government entity. Same with CPA, doctors, vets. some such occupations have more than one recognized certification authority, giving applicant options.

    The difference is the FAA is a tax payer funded entity and is the only aviation certification entity, so you must deal with the private person they empower, and they put no restrictions on what said person can charge you. Moreover, FAA limits number of designees further exasperating the problems of cost and wait times, essentially providing a government protected monopoly..... great for the few designees, not so much for everyone else. I know of no where else this occurs, other than banana republics or corrupt governments.

    It’s one thing for a NGO or trade association to charge for their certification/memberships, and said entities have reduced cost options for those that need it. These associations are not supported by tax payers as the applicant, but the FAA is.

    it’s one thing for a private entity to charge for their certification, weather required by state or not. but it’s a another for the federal government to outsource mandatory federal licensing to individuals with absolutely no controls on what they can charge the public and additionally suppress competition and create protected and lucrative careers at the expense of those the FAA is supposed to administer and is supported by their tax dollars.
     
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  34. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    The public wanted and pushed for the DPE program.

    Take away the financial incentive without lowering the standards and you will soon find a shortage of people wanting the job.
     
  35. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    So how about states that use third party CDL examiners? Toss them as well?
     
  36. Lindberg

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    Lindberg
    There are a whole lot more DPEs in the country than accredited medical schools. And there are fewer than 30 vet schools nationwide. These are all "designated" by the government as gatekeepers because you have to attend one to be licensed in the profession. You claimed that didn't exist outside of FAA.
     
  37. AlphaPilotFlyer

    AlphaPilotFlyer Pre-Flight

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    AlphaPilotFlyer
    Again, These gate keepers are not government agencies supported by tax dollars of the applicant. Their cost reflects that set by their membership which is set in specific terms and is non arbitrary. Said fees also support that association that they become part of. Often, more than 1 such gate keeper exist to choose. my statement clearly referred to a government entity....if know of another agency that designates a person that must be worked with to obtain a government issued license and that has full authority on fees and whose competition is restricted by the agency, please advise as I know of none.

    there are plenty of competent and adequately experienced CFIs that would jump at chance to be DPEs not solely as their career, in greater numbers and for lower cost. Experimental amateur built community enjoys a large number of AB rated FAA DARs to inspect their aircraft, at about 1/5 of that charged by standard DARs- there are plenty of experienced A&Ps in their ranks and vastly improved AB experimental safety stats prove there was no lack of qualified folks wanting to do it regardless of lower fees.

    Simply saying FAA should set some guidance on fees and increase numbers of DPEs to reduce wait times and cost....there are plenty that have applied. It was never meant to be a full time job.

    maybe you are right.... simply accept the system, and the wait, and pay what is asked and be thankful someone wants to be a DPE.
     
  38. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Why not just increase the number of FAA inspectors?
     
  39. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    Doc Holliday
    [​IMG]
     
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  40. AlphaPilotFlyer

    AlphaPilotFlyer Pre-Flight

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    FAA said it would be far too expensive when expanding DPE program, and overkill.
    Initially, DPEs were to lessen the load on FAA staff as inspectors still did checkrides into the 1980s, although most wanted to pay for a DPE as they were easier to deal with and considered more reasonable....about $150 at my flight school for PPL. I think with budget crisis in the 80s and resulting closures of FSDOs and staff, FAA simply relied more and more on designees (DPE, DAR, DERs) to perform the work, to the point today they will not do any work a designee can do, other than training of new inspectors. I did fly with a guy that demanded the FSDO perform his sons check ride after hearing what DPE charged....they said no, but he contacted his congressman and actually got them to do it.
     
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