RAAPs

RAAP 07 Conduct of Initial Issue, S&P Check or Renewal for a Rating or higher Approval holder

Tuesday 20 April, 2021

Recreational Aviation Advisory Publication (RAAP) – 7

20 April 2021

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Requirements

The RAAus Operations Manual Sections 2.08-2.10 includes initial assessment and renewal requirements for holders of Instructor or Senior Instructor ratings, Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) or Pilot Examiner (PE) and Regional Operations Coordinator (ROC) Approval holders.

This RAAP provides guidance on what type of review should be conducted for each of these categories of Rating or Approval.

An Instructor or higher Approval holder initial assessment and renewal is expected to consist of an exercise which consists of more than “a lap around the circuit” or a simple Pilot Certificate BFR standard. The Examiner must assess the ability of the candidate to deliver briefing content to an adequate standard, manage the flight of an aircraft to acceptable flight tolerances (+/- 100 feet, +/-5 knots, +/- 10 degrees) and demonstrate sequences to a high degree of accuracy and delivery of patter. As such, the entire exercise may require up to 3-4 hours, including at least an hour of in-flight component.

The RAAus Operations Manual Sections 2.08 and 2.09 also state the requirements for Instructors and Senior Instructors to complete a standards and proficiency check with their CFI or Pilot Examiner at the school. This RAAP will also provide guidance on what RAAus expects to be completed during the check.

Definitions

Candidate                           The Rating or Approval holder undertaking the assessment or renewal

Examiner                             The Approval holder conducting the assessment or renewal

Flight Tolerances             +/- 150 feet, +/-5 knots, +/- 10 degrees, a high degree of accuracy in delivery of inflight patter, management of the aircraft and accurate flight

Completion of a renewal (timeframe)

A recent Flight Operations clarification to RAAus Instructor and Senior Instructor rating holders, CFIs and higher approval holders provided that if a renewal is completed up to 90 days prior to the due date, or with extension, up to 90 days after, the renewal will be processed as valid to the end of the month the renewal was completed on. This effectively provides a window of 6 months to complete a renewal and maintains the renewal date as a fixed date.

A single 90 day extension is available in the Flight Operations Manual for Instructor and Senior Instructor ratings, which will also provide a 90 day extension to any Approvals such as CFI, PE or ROC. This is intended to assist to manage scheduling issues or weather related issues. Only one 90 day extension can be issued and once the rating or Approval has lapsed, no further flight training is permitted until a renewal is complete.

Medical requirements

Ratings and Approval holders must also manage their medical compliance as outlined in Section 2.16 of the Flight Operations Manual to continue to hold the Rating or Approval. This requires either a CASA issued Class 2 Medical Certificate or the RAAus Instructor Medical Form MED003 with their GP.

The Examiner should sight this document, or confirm validity of the medical using the Instructor Portal as part of the documentation validation process of the review. 

Nomination of roles during the assessment flight

It is critical, prior to the flight taking place, to nominate who is in command should a genuine emergency occurs. There is the potential for a dangerous situation to develop with two highly experienced rating or approval holders aboard together in the event of a genuine emergency.

In the event of any emergency, the pilot mutually nominated on the ground (usually with the greatest experience or recency on the aircraft type) should take control. The other pilot should then use effective cockpit and crew resource management to assist by making radio calls, carrying out trouble checks and additional situational awareness as previously arranged.

Likewise, the handover and takeover procedure for upper air exercises should also include clarification of when the exercise is intended to be the candidate delivering a briefing to the Examiner who is simulating a student and when the Examiner is expecting the candidate to manage the aircraft as a pilot in command.

Common elements for assessment

There are areas which are common to each type of Rating or Approval renewal which have been provided first. To provide clarity, specific requirements for each Rating or Approval have also been dealt with separately later in the document.

Candidate does not meet the standard

As a Rating or Approval holder, the standard for successful completion of a nominated flight exercise must be to a higher standard than for a Pilot Certificate holder for obvious reasons. If the Rating or Approval holder cannot successfully demonstrate the flight exercise to the Examiner, they must complete further practice before presenting again for renewal.

Pre-Flight Briefing

A renewal for an Instructor Rating or higher Approval must include:

  1. Delivery of at least a pre-flight briefing for a specific lesson nominated by the Examiner. The Examiner must be prepared to play the role of ‘the student’ for the purposes of briefing delivery. Background for where ‘the student’ is up to in their training must be provided to give context.

Assessment should be made in context to the RAAus Flight Instructor Reference Manual for format and minimum content of the pre-flight briefing. This is not expected to include long brief information unless specifically requested by the Examiner.

For example, if the selected briefing is for circuits, the Instructor is expected to refer to preceding lessons and ask relevant questions to confirm the student’s level of understanding of preceding lessons.

Confirmation of deeper understanding of specific aerodynamic elements

  1. In-depth questioning of specific elements within the briefing to ensure a robust knowledge of relevant aerodynamics related to the briefing.

For example, if the briefing is for stalls, the Examiner may request further clarification of the effects of wing loading, detail regarding the effect on airspeed, vector information or other relevant factors.

In flight patter

  1. A flight including delivery of patter related to the lesson briefed along with assessment of normal aircraft handling and procedures. These may include a pre-take-off safety briefing, demonstration by the candidate of medium and steep turns, stall entry and recovery with and without power, successful forced landing to 500‘AGL to the nominated landing area (with relevant patter), standard and non-standard circuits (including simulated partial or full engine failure, simulated system failure such as flaps, trim or electrics, etc.

For example, the Examiner may simulate a partial power failure by retarding the throttle to a reduced RPM (subject to safe conduct of the flight) and request the candidate patter ‘the student’ through management to a successful landing, either in a nominated landing area or a runway if in the circuit at the aerodrome.  

Debrief on the candidates conduct of the flight assessment

  1. A debrief in which the candidate self-assesses their performance to highlight any areas of deficiency and note areas completed well.

This exercise is invaluable to provide assurance to the Examiner that the candidate has assessed their own performance in a non-critical way in much the same way the candidate would expect of a student pilot undertaking training with the candidate in the normal course of their flight training.

Instructor ratings – specific information

Conduct of the renewal

An Instructor renewal can be conducted by the CFI of the Flight Training School (FTS) the Instructor operates at, by a Pilot Examiner (PE) or Regional Operations Coordinator (ROC) on request by the CFI, or by Flight Operations.

The CFI is still expected to conduct the 90 day standard and proficiency checks for the Instructor and note these in both the Instructor and CFI logbooks. These checks are expected to contain all of the above requirements as a minimum in order to ensure the Instructor is delivering briefings to an appropriate standard and their personal aircraft management skills are within expected tolerances. Again, it is not simply a local flight or lap around the circuit.

The Instructor is still being directly supervised at this time, so mentoring and assistance could be expected to be provided by the Examiner as required.

The Instructor should be questioned as to the types of training they can conduct, the expected process for a usual lesson, use of the Instructor Portal, airworthiness minimums for the school aircraft, questions related to the aircraft POH, personal minimums for delivery of flight training (weather, wind, cloud, visibility, etc.)

Senior Instructor ratings – specific information

Conduct of the renewal

A Senior Instructor renewal can be conducted by the CFI of the Flight Training School (FTS) the Instructor operates at, by a Pilot Examiner (PE) or Regional Operations Coordinator (ROC) on request by the CFI, or by Operations.

The CFI still expected to conduct the 12 month standards and proficiency checks for the Senior Instructor and note these in both the Senior Instructor and CFI logbooks. These checks are expected to contain all of the above requirements as a minimum in order to ensure the Senior Instructor is delivering briefings to an appropriate standard and their personal aircraft management skills are within expected tolerances.  

The Senior Instructor may operate with indirect supervision, so they are expected to operate without mentoring and assistance to a higher standard than that of an Instructor.

The Senior Instructor should be questioned as to assessment of solo candidates, types of training they can conduct, the expected process for a usual lesson, airworthiness minimums for the school aircraft, questions related to the aircraft POH, personal minimums for delivery of flight training (weather, wind, cloud, visibility, etc.).

Further questions could relate to the expectations of the CFI when the Senior Instructor is operating without the CFI, use of the Instructor Portal, conduct of BFRs and endorsement training and issue of endorsements as appropriate to the qualifications held by the Senior Instructor. 

Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) Approval – specific information

Conduct of the renewal

A CFI renewal must be conducted by a Pilot Examiner (PE), Regional Operations Coordinator (ROC) or by Flight Operations.

The CFI is charged with managing the standards of the Flight Training School they are responsible for and their renewal is expected to contain all of the above requirements as a minimum. In addition, the CFI must be assessed to ensure they are delivering briefings to appropriate standards and their personal aircraft management skills are within expected tolerances.

While this may seem self-evident, as the CFI may not complete regular flights and have more involvement in management of lessons, the school and aircraft, their personal aircraft management skills, delivery of briefings and in flight patter may actually have degraded due to lack of practice.

Certainly, this is a risk for Flight Operations staff, and must be addressed if required by the Examiner.

The CFI should be questioned as to appropriate assessment of solo and Pilot Certificate candidates, types of training they can conduct, the expected process for a usual lesson, airworthiness minimums for the school aircraft, questions related to the aircraft POH, personal minimums for delivery of flight training (weather, wind, cloud, visibility, etc.).

Further questions could relate to the expectations of the CFI for Senior Instructors operating without the CFI, management of Instructors, conduct of BFRs and endorsement training and issue of endorsements as appropriate to the qualifications held by the Senior Instructor. 

Further questions should relate to accessing the Instructor Portal, use of resources on the RAAus website, the Flight Instructor Reference Manual (FIRM), changes in legislation, procedures and radio calls and other changes.

Pilot Examiner (PE) and Regional Operations Coordinator (ROC) Approval – specific information

Conduct of the renewal

A PE/ROC renewal must be conducted by a Pilot Examiner (PE), Regional Operations Coordinator (ROC) or by Flight Operations.

The PE/ROC is charged with managing the standards of Flight Training Schools and CFIs and their renewal is expected to contain all of the above requirements as a minimum. In addition, the PE/ROC must be assessed to ensure they are delivering briefings to appropriate standards and their personal aircraft management skills are within expected tolerances.

While this may seem self-evident, as the PE/ROC may not complete regular flights and have less direct involvement in management of lessons, the school and aircraft, their personal aircraft management skills, delivery of briefings and in flight patter may actually have degraded due to lack of practice.

Certainly, this is a risk for Flight Operations staff, and must be addressed if required by the Examiner.

The PE/ROC should be questioned as to appropriate assessment of solo and Pilot Certificate candidates, Instructor, Senior Instructor and CFI candidates and the types of training they can conduct, the expected process for a usual lesson, airworthiness minimums for the school aircraft, questions related to the aircraft POH, personal minimums for delivery of flight training (weather, wind, cloud, visibility, etc.).

Further questions relate to the expectations of the PE/ROC for CFIs and their management of Instructors, conduct of BFRs (permissible for PEs based on the Senior Instructor rating) and endorsement training and issue of endorsements as appropriate to the qualifications held by the PE/ROC. 

Additional questions relate to accessing the Instructor Portal, use of resources on the RAAus website, the Flight Operations and Technical Manuals, Flight Instructor Reference Manual (FIRM), changes in legislation, procedures and radio calls and other changes.

Rating and Approval holder should expect a rigorous assessment in keeping with their higher level of responsibilities and expectations for demonstration of competence. The review should be conducted in a collegiate style, with professional interactions and conduct by both participants.  

Standards and Proficiency (S&P) Check

Why is it required?

A standards and proficiency check is required to confirm the Instructor or Senior Instructor continues to meet not only the required standard for the issue of an Instructor or Senior Instructor Rating but is proficient to continue teaching at the FTS. The process is also critical for the CFI to provide mentoring and development of Instructors operating under the CFI supervision. The CFI or PE will assess whether the Instructor or Senior Instructor has the required knowledge relevant to the FTS aircraft, specific operating location and is teaching the required items as required by the CFI. 

When is it Required?

Section 2.08 of the RAAus Flight Operations Manual states an instructor must not conduct in-flight instruction unless having satisfactorily completed a standards and proficiency check with the CFI or Pilot Examiner at the FTS or SFTS, prior to commencing instructional duties. Subsequent checks are to be conducted at least every 90 days thereafter.

Section 2.09 of the RAAus Flight Operations Manual states Senior Instructors must not conduct in-flight instruction unless, during the 12 months preceding the proposed flight, satisfactorily undergone a Flight Review with a CFI or higher approval holder. For the purposes of this section the flight review is the same as a standards and proficiency check.

Conduct of the Standards and Proficiency Check

Pre-Flight Briefing

The CFI or PE must assess the Instructor or Senior Instructor prior to going flying. This should include FTS specific requirements such as specific location, FTS aircraft and how the CFI expects the required syllabus items to be taught. As each FTS has slightly different ways of teaching the CFI or PE must confirm the information being conveyed the way they want it to be taught.

In flight patter

The in-flight patter will follow on from the pre-flight briefing and will cover the same specific information. This will include FTS specific requirements such as specific location, FTS aircraft and how the CFI expects the required syllabus items to be taught. Whilst the flight is a ‘check’ it is also a good time for the CFI or PE to fine tune the Instructor or Senior Instructor to allow for standardisation throughout the instructing cohort.

Instructor or Senior Instructor does not meet the standard

If an Instructor or Senior Instructor fails to meet the required standard for the standards and proficiency check the CFI must not let the instructor continue to operate at the FTS until the CFI is satisfied the instructor meets the requirements.

Administration requirements

Examiners and CFIs must ensure the appropriate documents are submitted to RAAus for processing and  any internal record keeping documents are updated according to the Flight Operations Manual requirements. Use of an appropriate record system and development plan is critical to ensure compliance requirements for renewals and checks continue to be met and mentoring of rating holders continues for standardisation purposes and the progression of the instructor when operating within the flight school.

 

 
 
 
 

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