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DPE on staff


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Is it an advantage for a flight school to have a DPE on staff? Should that factor into a decision when choosing a flight school?


It really depends on the school and the DPE. At any reputable school, the DPE is NOT a rubber stamp. You will have to preform during the checkride. I have dealt with flight schools where the DPE was so busy, that I had to use an outside DPE one time and when I used the school DPE, my scheduled ride was bumped back over a month. I have dealt with other schools, where the DPE, kept his schedule locked in and in one case the DPE had to cancel my ride, he called me personally and told me. I have seen good DPE's try to work with the applicant to resolve scheduling issues.


The more important question is does the school have access to a DPE that can conduct the appropriate checkride in a timely manner? Getting on the schedule is not an acceptable answer. Personally, 5 to 10 working days is the acceptable range. The exception here would be the initial CFI ride, which is normally conducted by the FAA. With them, just getting on the schedule is sometimes a miracle.

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A better thing is to have local access to multiple DPEs, so you're not dependant on one. Even if we had one on staff, we'd still throw some business their way, just to keep options open in the event we need to do more than two checkrides in a weekend.

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