FAA Reminds Operators About Check Pilot Requirements

Part 135 carriers certified under Part 119 are among those that must include a check pilot plan in their training curriculuum.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is reminding commercial operators to ensure they meet requirements for adequate numbers of flight instructors and check pilots/check flight engineers to satisfy flight training and check mandates. That reminder came in a recent Information to Operators (InFO) directed to chief pilots and directors of operations of Part 121 and Part 135 air carriers certified under Part 119 (those required to have a training program under FAR 135.341).

Both Parts 121 (121.401) and 135 (135.323) contain the requirement, the agency reiterated, saying each affected operator must “develop and submit for approval curricula to train and qualify flight instructors and check pilots/check flight engineers in its particular flightcrew member training and qualification program.” Carriers can elect to contract for the services, the FAA said. “However, this does not relieve the carrier/operator of its responsibility to adequately describe how these personnel will be trained and qualified.”

Individuals can serve as check pilots for more than one air carrier, but it is still up to the carriers to ensure the individuals are trained and current with their respective procedures.

Operators who do not have an approved flight instructor and check pilot/check flight engineer should work with their local FAA office for approval, the agency advised, and stressed, “Carriers/operators should not plan to rely on FAA resources to conduct the required checking activities.”

Only in limited instances can carriers request FAA resources, such as for a new aircraft type or observation of new check pilots, the FAA added. The agency noted it is replacing the term check airman with check pilot and check flight engineer.