FAA to Reexamine Some Pilots

Competency of pilots examined by California DPE comes into question.

Pilot Reexamination
Pilot ReexaminationFile photo

Some pilots who obtained their pilot certificates near Fresno, California, in 2012 and 2013 will get a rude surprise as the FAA has released a notice indicating that it is sending U.S. Code § 44709 letters to pilots who received their ratings during that time period from a designated pilot examiner (DPE) named Bruce Kalashian.

The notice said "there is reason to believe that the competency of the airmen examined by DPE Kalashian from the period of January 2012 through January 2014 is in doubt." As a result, any pilot who received his or her certificate from Kalashian during that time period will need to be reexamined "unless they have subsequently been reexamined or tested by another DPE or FAA inspector for a higher grade of certificate in the same category of aircraft with satisfactory results on the first attempt."

The Fresno FSDO will send out U.S. Code § 44709 letters to the affected airmen requiring them to contact the Fresno FSDO point of contact within 10 business days of receipt of the letter to schedule a time for reexamination. The airmen will have to schedule the reexamination within 15 days or relinquish the pilot's certificate for a maximum of 30 days under the FAA's temporary deposit and reissue policy.

Like any FAA pilot exam, the reexaminations will follow the practical test standards issued for the certificate in question. For pilots who received more than one rating in the same certificate level (ie. Private Pilot Certificate with an Instrument Rating), a successful reexamination of the lowest certificate level will cover the subsequent rating(s).

If the pilot does not pass the first reexamination attempt, he or she will have to relinquish the certificate temporarily for up to 30 days or until a successful test is completed. After the 30 days the certificate will be downgraded or cancelled and the pilot will have to get additional training from a CFI and take a new exam in order to keep flying.

The pilots in question can choose to hand in their certificates in lieu of the reexamination. Pilots who don't respond to the letter or surrender the certificate(s) are subject to legal enforcement action.

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