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Thread: 709

  1. #1
    Taledrger's Avatar
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    709

    Now that I have your intention...Here's the scoop..
    1) I am one of the very few in the area that offer Tailwheel Training
    2) I received a call from a fellow pilot that "banged up" a Pietenpal back in May..
    3) The "FAA" decided he needs a 709 ride..
    4) No one in the "local" FSDO is tailwheel qualified.. It could take 6 weeks to get a "qualified" Tailwheel Inspector here for the ride..
    5) My insurance does not allow flight in my aircraft without me in one of the seats..
    Questions: I've asked all these questions to the local FSDO and a Local DPE.. no response..
    1) Can an FAA Inspector authorize a CFI to administer a 709 ride?
    2) Can a DPE give a 709 ride or at least be authorized to do so?

    I don't want to lead the guy down a road without an end game. I may be able to get my Insurance to allow a "one-time" authorization for an inspector or DPE to be PIC but that's a big IF..

    What are your thoughts? The "brother" in need seems very conscious and willing to comply.. The SYSTEM seems to be getting in the way.. Just want to do the best for him I can..

    Thanks for any help you can offer.. PM me if you don't want to discuss on an open forum..
    Bob D
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Yes, the FSDO can authorize a CFI or a DPE to conduct a 709 ride. I’ve done them at the request of a FSDO in past.

    MTV
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    They did that when I had one. in the 90's
    Tim

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    Does the FAA require it to be in a tail wheel airplane or does the pilot want to use a Supercub because that is what he is used to? Might be easier to rent a 172 for a couple of hours. Another consideration may be that this is a way for the FAA inspector to give him a 30 day suspension with out a record of a suspension. When I was working for an airline occasionally one of the line pilots would screw something up that got the attention of the FAA. Often times the company would give the pilot two weeks off without pay. Giving the pilot time off without pay resulted in lots of bitching about the company around the pilot lounge. The chief pilot and I were pretty good friends and sometimes I would let the word out on things at his request that he was not able to say openly. He explained to me that the FAA did not normally want to deal with these problems, but preferred the company handle it. If the company took action in a timely fashion the FAA normally lost interest in pursing certificate action against the pilot. The pilot would have been off without pay for two weeks if he had received a suspension and also have it on his record. This was really a win situation for the pilot. It was a good company I worked for, if the pilot had vacation time they usually gave them the option of taking vacation time instead of losing pay. That may be why it will take 6 weeks for an inspector to be available.

    Tim
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    n40ff's Avatar
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    PA18 vs. C172? I suspect it may depend on what was done. A ground loop in a Tailwheel aircraft would likely require a ride in a like aircraft?

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat443 View Post
    Does the FAA require it to be in a tail wheel airplane or does the pilot want to use a Supercub because that is what he is used to? Might be easier to rent a 172 for a couple of hours. Another consideration may be that this is a way for the FAA inspector to give him a 30 day suspension with out a record of a suspension. When I was working for an airline occasionally one of the line pilots would screw something up that got the attention of the FAA. Often times the company would give the pilot two weeks off without pay. Giving the pilot time off without pay resulted in lots of bitching about the company around the pilot lounge. The chief pilot and I were pretty good friends and sometimes I would let the word out on things at his request that he was not able to say openly. He explained to me that the FAA did not normally want to deal with these problems, but preferred the company handle it. If the company took action in a timely fashion the FAA normally lost interest in pursing certificate action against the pilot. The pilot would have been off without pay for two weeks if he had received a suspension and also have it on his record. This was really a win situation for the pilot. It was a good company I worked for, if the pilot had vacation time they usually gave them the option of taking vacation time instead of losing pay. That may be why it will take 6 weeks for an inspector to be available.

    Tim
    Dont need to formulate conspiracy theories. A 709 ride, by definition is supposed to be in a “similar” aircraft to the one in which the incident occurred. Therefore, if it happened in a tailwheel airplane, the ride needs to be in a tailwheel airplane.

    A 172 isn’t even close.

    MTV

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    daedgerton's Avatar
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    I thought the FAA was moving away from these types of actions with their "Compliance Program"...

    https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/cp/

    I went to an FAA sponsored helicopter safety stand down a year or two ago and they spent a ton of time talking this up. I guess it all depends on the deviation / incident?

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    Taledrger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Yes, the FSDO can authorize a CFI or a DPE to conduct a 709 ride. I’ve done them at the request of a FSDO in past.

    MTV
    Thanks Mike, that was what I was thinking.

    I have not talked to the "designated Inspector". What confuses me is that I am pretty sure there is an Inspector in the same office that owns a Tailwheel Aircraft. Don't know why he would not be qualified to give the ride. There is also a local DPE that has extensive tailwheel experience.He gave my son his PPL Checkride in my Cub..
    ???? If I ever get a hold of the inspector, perhaps I'llget some answers.. Thanks for the input
    Bob D

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    Taledrger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat443 View Post
    Does the FAA require it to be in a tail wheel airplane or does the pilot want to use a Supercub because that is what he is used to? Might be easier to rent a 172 for a couple of hours. Another consideration may be that this is a way for the FAA inspector to give him a 30 day suspension with out a record of a suspension. When I was working for an airline occasionally one of the line pilots would screw something up that got the attention of the FAA. Often times the company would give the pilot two weeks off without pay. Giving the pilot time off without pay resulted in lots of bitching about the company around the pilot lounge. The chief pilot and I were pretty good friends and sometimes I would let the word out on things at his request that he was not able to say openly. He explained to me that the FAA did not normally want to deal with these problems, but preferred the company handle it. If the company took action in a timely fashion the FAA normally lost interest in pursing certificate action against the pilot. The pilot would have been off without pay for two weeks if he had received a suspension and also have it on his record. This was really a win situation for the pilot. It was a good company I worked for, if the pilot had vacation time they usually gave them the option of taking vacation time instead of losing pay. That may be why it will take 6 weeks for an inspector to be available.

    Tim
    Tailwheel incident .. Tailwheel aircraft required
    Bob D

  10. #10
    Lisa Martin LMartin's Avatar
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    I think the 709 is one of the few flying activities left that the FAA is hanging on to. They are wanting DPEs to do all CFI checkrides and are working on getting them to do 135 rides. I had to do one for running off a two track road into a ditch and twisting the right gear attach fitting. It was a mess. My local fsdo first didn't specify the type of airplane, but wanted me to do 3 landings so I assumed tailwheel. By the time they decided what airplane I needed (the inspector said I could fly anything, but he would appreciate a tailwheel because the omission was a mistake he was in trouble for) I was a week from leaving for a job I would be away 3 months doing. So I told him I could do it that week. He couldn't because he wasn't current to ride in any airplanes. I'm so glad I made sure all communications were in writing (email). Tell your friend to do the same. They were threatening me to no end for the 3 months I was away, even though I maintained weekly communications and even arranged an airplane where I was working (on my 2 off every 12 days) to do the check in. An inspector from that local fsdo declined to get involved (??? they're not supposed to be able to do that...and he and an inspector from the bordering state both stated they were a year behind on 709s, that my accident was not one that is even supposed to be given a 709 and that I needed to stand up to my home fsdo and quit letting them try to intimidate me). When I got done with the job, I had arranged a tailwheel airplane to do my 709 in with my inspector the first week I returned home. Two days prior he let me know that he was unqualified to fly in a tailwheel airplane, and in fact no one in the state fsdo could fly a tailwheel airplane, and I now needed to find a C172 for the ride. I did that to which he informed me he also was not current to fly in any airplane (still). So finally, I was assigned a different inspector who told me I could fly any airplane I wanted and was (finally) a very pleasant man to deal with. The bad inspector was present for the preliminary portion (where I showed them weight and balance and airplane logs). The nice on asked, "Why are we doing 3 tailwheel landings in a C150?" To which the jerk replied, "Well, she had more time in tailwheel airplanes than tricycle, so I figured she knew how to fly a tailwheel and it would be better to see if she could fly a different airplane." Again???? With the FAA, the only certain thing is that nothing has to make sense. Like your friend, I played nice. I'm really thankful I also kept everything in writing because I did end up threatening them with a lawyer so I could get a different inspector and get the ride done. Sorry for the long story.
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    Anybody know how these guys are handling it during Covid?

    I have heard that there are only four qualified tailwheel ASIs in the entire country. They flew a really nice guy in from Cleveland to do one a couple years ago. I met him before they took off - impressive. Ride took 20 minutes.

    I agree with Lisa - do everything in writing, and do not voluntarily give up your license. Be polite and contrite.

    We have one coming up here as punishment for doing something totally legal. Ride is for nicking the edge of a class B, something that usually gets a gentle talking-to. There are an average of three a day!

  12. #12
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I did some research some 25 years ago and they did not need to be tail wheel current for my demonstartion of ability ride. I was PIC.

    Also, I got to fix a Citabria years ago that was rented to the FAA so two insectors could get curent. The owner had to sue the FAA to get them to pay for the repairs resulting from them putting it on it's nose.
    Steve Pierce

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taledrger View Post
    Thanks Mike, that was what I was thinking.

    I have not talked to the "designated Inspector". What confuses me is that I am pretty sure there is an Inspector in the same office that owns a Tailwheel Aircraft. Don't know why he would not be qualified to give the ride. There is also a local DPE that has extensive tailwheel experience.He gave my son his PPL Checkride in my Cub..
    ???? If I ever get a hold of the inspector, perhaps I'llget some answers.. Thanks for the input
    The Chief of the FSDO was the one who authorized me to conduct a 709. Depending on your situation, it might be good to go there.

    Or not.....

    MTV

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    Lisa Martin LMartin's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=bob turner;782916]Anybody know how these guys are handling it during Covid?


    ...it sounds like individual FSDOs can come up with their own plans. My local FSDO now, Spokane, WA, is still basically shut down, working from home and keeping up their stringent schedule of endless meetings via zoom. No flying, including ride-a-long checkrides and rides to approve DPE’s for expanded authority. But, over reaction is status quo in Washington state.
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    Lisa Martin LMartin's Avatar
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    BTW...my problem was with the Montana FSDO in Helena in 2013. When did they let you give a 709?

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I suggest that it depends on who the FAA person is and who you are and what the relationship between the FAA person and you is. In the past I've dealt with FAA people who would not give you the time of day if they had the watch on their wrist, and also with other FAA people who would bend over backwards to cooperate, help and otherwise encourage me with whatever I wanted. Some would even call or come on the weekend on their days off to beg for my help.

    I even had one once who when I called looking for a seaplane examiner for my students, say "you are it, have someone send me a letter recommending you".
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 09-18-2020 at 01:06 PM.
    N1PA
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    Yep, they’re just people. Difference is they are bureaucrats, and those with unhelpful personalities now have government backing to be unhelpful. That said, most I dealt with were decent, but not all. As far as the new “Compliance Program”, inspectors no longer have much discretion when dealing with minor infractions. Where in the past, a phone call and a reminder might be all that resulted, now there’s a “process” in place that pretty much guarantees a formal written response. Progress.........
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    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    I know of a 709 situation where a C-180 was substantially damaged in a ground loop and the pilot took a 709 ride in a C-150. Another friend had a mishap with a Waco and he didn't have any kind of enforcement action. I think it depends on the FAA person and who's desk it comes across to what will be the resolve. Subjective for sure.

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMartin View Post
    BTW...my problem was with the Montana FSDO in Helena in 2013. When did they let you give a 709?
    I was in Alaska at the time when what I discussed occurred.

    MTV
    Last edited by mvivion; 09-19-2020 at 01:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Yes, the FSDO can authorize a CFI or a DPE to conduct a 709 ride. I’ve done them at the request of a FSDO in past.

    MTV
    I understand it's been just about impossible to schedule a private check ride for a private license for quite a while now around my area (Puget Sound).
    Pre-covid anyway, I dunno what the situation is now.
    People were having to schedule checkrides out a month or more.
    IMHO when that's the case the FSDO needs to get some more DPE's designated, or do something to fix the situation.
    Maybe lean on the DPE's to do more checkrides-- as in "do xx checkrides a month average or lose your DPE ticket".
    Last edited by hotrod180; 09-19-2020 at 11:49 AM.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    We have had a one month backlog for years - I wound up sending a Cub guy to Sacramento for a Cub checkride.

    And sometimes it seems like a two-step - flunk the first one; pass the second.

    I don't think Covid has affected it. Four out of ten think Covid is a Democrat Hoax. Most of my buddies think it will go away on November 4. I hope they are correct, but suspect by then we will be in a serious spike.
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    The FAA isn't very motivated to authorize more DPEs, but the other problem is finding qualified people who actually WANT to do that job, and willing to go through the hoops, which are substantial.

    MTV
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    One problem with the DPE availability is that the FAA now restricts them to two check rides a day (at least in the GRR FSDO where my buddy has his authority), the change if I remember correctly happened three or four years ago. It used to be in the summer he would start his day with a sea plane add on, then a multi or multi add on, followed after lunch by a private, instrument or commercial check ride and then in the summer with the long day maybe another multi ride. Of course CFI rides required all day with the oral requirements. During times when the local colleges were ending a semester he was a busy man, now he does two a day so if they are add on's he is done by lunch. One other problem with recruiting new applicants is that you have to have flown 300 hours in the last 12 months, so if you have retired by the time you are selected and the paper work is done you are no longer qualified. Another case of a government agency who has forgot who their customer is.

    Tim

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    Even a Sport ride around here has a six hour oral. I don't know six hours'worth of anything, let alone airplane stuff. Pretty difficult to do two checkrides a day.
    Maybe that's why they are $650 a pop.

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Even a Sport ride around here has a six hour oral. I don't know six hours'worth of anything, let alone airplane stuff. Pretty difficult to do two checkrides a day.
    Maybe that's why they are $650 a pop.
    Twenty years ago, the DPEs in Fairbanks were doing 6 hour orals for a SES add on.....ridiculous, and I told them so. They seemed to feel like they wanted to give applicants their money's worth. If you can't figure out that someone knows their stuff within a couple hours..... With the single exception perhaps of the initial CFI.

    MTV
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    If the oral exam is so critical why bother have a written exam? One reason might be is there's some unexplained improvement in average written test scores due to the online material courses available - don't know - but later during the orals there's a lack of knowledge? But without a written exam then some dialog would be needed....as in a 135 or 709 check.

    Gary

  27. #27
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Twenty years ago, the DPEs in Fairbanks were doing 6 hour orals for a SES add on.....ridiculous, and I told them so. They seemed to feel like they wanted to give applicants their money's worth. If you can't figure out that someone knows their stuff within a couple hours..... With the single exception perhaps of the initial CFI.

    MTV
    Puleeze! An entire SES add-on training course can be done in 6 hours with a competent student.
    N1PA
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  28. #28
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    If the oral exam is so critical why bother have a written exam? One reason might be is there's some unexplained improvement in average written test scores due to the online material courses available - don't know - but later during the orals there's a lack of knowledge? But without a written exam then some dialog would be needed....as in a 135 or 709 check.

    Gary
    Gary,
    First, not all practical tests have a prerequisite written exam. SES or MEL add on for example. The CFI oral SHOULD be not so much a test of your knowledge of the materials (and everything is fair game in that one), but rather your ability to teach those materials, and answer/explain questions from the examiner, who serves as a "student" in that case.

    And, again, I just don't understand those long, long orals. As I noted, it's really pretty easy to know within an hour whether the person knows their stuff or not.

    The written does come into play in the oral, however, in that the DPE is required to test the applicant on subjects that the applicant missed on the written. One of the reasons it's always good to go into an oral with a 98 % grade on your written. For practical tests that require a written, that is.

    Frankly, I think the two DPE's who did SES in Fairbanks just liked to demonstrate their expansive knowledge of seaplane ops.

    MTV

  29. #29
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike for the background from a CFI's perspective. I understand if there's been just cause for a 709 ride (assumes applicant is still alive) then an understanding of areas causing confusion should be addressed. Same for any post check rides including a review of problem areas noted. But if there's an extensive question pool and the applicant passes the written what does that assume? If not much and a long oral follows something's not right in my opinion.

    Any missed topics on the written should be of great interest to the applicant. From what's been described to me recently the oral can be open book with formal documents and published materials available. Ask it - find it - explain it, just to see what really sunk in before the written and after.

    But even after all that we are still having tragic accidents. Accidents preceded by very recent check rides (and perhaps flight reviews) and involving experienced trained pilots. In the end it's up to us to save ourselves and not some well intended examiner.

    Gary
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    I have never had an oral exam lasting longer than an hour. That includes graduate school. My private oral was a shot of whiskey and a congratulations. Did not even know I was taking a test. My A-320 type oral was 15 minutes. The guy asked me about the hydraulic systems - I told him that rather than do a Q & A, I would just draw a picture from memory. He went to get a cup of coffee - took one look at my picture, and signed my ticket. It really does take 15 minutes to draw that complex system - I even had max control angles up & down.

    I agree with MTV - an hour is more than enough to see if an applicant is well versed. But the PTS has now been changed, demanding that thousands of specifics need to be addressed. Glad I do not have to sit through one of those orals.

    By the way (grumble) they are no longer called "orals." Students are now "learners" and my J3 has a "flight deck." Some bureaucrat is operating with a Ph.D and a half deck. "I have the controls - you have the controls - I have the controls."
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    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Just anecdotally re oral exams - When I was teaching high school math, I would occasionally receive an exam that I suspected involved cheating. Of course, usually, the student would deny. About 90 seconds of oral questions would settle the matter. So maybe the prevalence of test-prep materials makes the oral exam the "real" exam.
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    The written exams are easily passed using on-line courses. They teach you what you need to know - it is not cheating.

    I too had trouble with students cheating - on law school exams! Ten years ago you could type a sentence into Google, and in a heartbeat it would tell you where that sentence first appeared. It is ok to memorize a passage and put it on an exam, so long as you state where it came from - otherwise it was plagiarism, and subjected you to dismissal or worse.

    I still think, like MTV, that in less than an hour you can figure out if an applicant "knows his stuff."

    When I met a new first officer, I could tell by the way he/she picked up the clearance and arranged the takeoff data whether I had a good partner or not.

    I think the FAA is mandating longer orals. No other reason for it.

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Maybe it's no longer considered a license to learn. All knowledge but no experience.

    Gary
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    I’ve yet to see a written or oral exam that would keep a pilot from making a poor decision in his aircraft.
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mam90 View Post
    I’ve yet to see a written or oral exam that would keep a pilot from making a poor decision in his aircraft.
    Oh, decision making is the thing that is very difficult or impossible to evaluate, at least without turning the person loose on their own. They’ll almost always be on best behavior during check rides, eval, or observation......make conservative decisions, etc. But turn them loose and Katie bar the door, at least with some folks.

    Another point on FAA check rides, understand that the examiner is required to test the applicant during the oral on AREAS of knowledge in which they had errors in the written. An applicant with an 80% passing score could have missed one question in each of several areas, thus requiring the examiners to dig quite a bit.

    And, frankly that’d make me suspicious in any case. As Bob noted, with canned programs that teach the tests, and practice tests to see if you’ve memorized the answers well enough, there’s no excuse for not doing well on written.

    MTV
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  36. #36
    BradleyG's Avatar
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    Anything longer than an hour is all about the examiner not the recipient of the check!


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  37. #37
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyG View Post
    Anything longer than an hour is all about the examiner not the recipient of the check!
    Some of that is dictated by their FAA bureaucrat overseers and their office placeholder manual writers.
    N1PA
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  38. #38
    Taledrger's Avatar
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    Just a quick update:
    I was, at first, confused by the requirement of a 709 ride, based on the review of the incident. I've seen "remedial training" mandated in like, or even worse incidents. Answer: This is the pilot's second incident. In the first one, Remedial training was mandated.....
    Why can't the Inspector in the local office, that owns a PA12, give the ride? Answer: he is not an FAA "Qualified" Tailwheel Inspector ... one must follow the FAA required protocol to be "qualified...?? I don't know what that is...
    Can a DPE that has given PPL Checkrides in a Taildragger do the ride?? No answer.. I might have opened "Pandora's Box" on that one..That DPE has not even responded... Oops ... Hope my son's PPL is valid..
    I flew with the "Subject Pilot" in My SuperCub. He has not flown in several months and he is an "old" guy like me.. He did OK.. We are doing some more time tomorrow..
    I appreciate all the input. Thanks!!
    Bob D
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  39. #39
    Taledrger's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    Final Update: We did 3 "flight lessons" ... they were not to the level I would "recommend" one to go for their Private Pilot Checkride.. (mind you, no recommendation is required for a 709 ride) ... The subject pilot, ultimately decide to give up his certificate.
    To say the least, I am disappointed.. Being the "bridge" between "the ground" and the "air" for anyone is an awesome feeling!! Being the "bridge" between an Aviator and the "ground" is extremely difficult...
    Bob D

  40. #40
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    You never mentioned the age or the overall experience level of this pilot. Not that it should make any difference. Sometimes, often people slowly loose their edge for many different reasons. It is the most difficult for that person to recognize this themselves. It sounds from what has been said here, that may be the case. The pilot who damaged his Pietenpol has had time since the incident and after having flown with you to think this situation over. It sounds as though he has recognized something in himself which was emphasized when he damaged his plane and he has accepted it. Using the wisdom of the ancients.

    It is just as tough for the instructor, for the student not to achieve the goal the two of you have set for yourselves as you have learned.

    While I of course have no knowledge of Mr FAA's thinking, perhaps he recognized something and was dragging his feet on the 709 in hopes the subject pilot would recognize his abilities on his own. Thus saving the pilot from having his license "taken" from him? We have done a good job based upon our own past experiences in bashing the FAA. Perhaps in this case he was doing the subject pilot a favor?
    N1PA

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