Designated Flight Examiner

Hopefully one of you veterans to GA will have an answer…and yes I’ve looked in the FAR/AIM already and can’t find the answer.

Long story short, I’m in the final stages of PPL and my instructor tragically passed away. I am literally to the point of needing a couple of “mock” check rides and then get the endorsement for the practical. The FBO where I’m training is great and has a couple of other instructors, however the other instructors have “real jobs” and usually only work on a part-time basis, and there are now several students needing a new instructor. My other option is to use an instructor at an FBO near here. The only issue is that this instructor is a DFE, and I was going to use him for my check ride. I don’t want to call him yet and find out the answer, because I still might be able to finish with one of the local guys.

So my question is can a DFE instruct a student as an CFI, and then perform the checkride on that student?

Thanks for your help.

Don’t think so.

Why not just call him and ask him?

He may be the ultimate source on either finding you an instructor to wrap up your training or if you used him to finish your training, he can find another flight examiner for you to take the checkride with.

I don’t think (would hope) he would do anything (such as conflict of interest) that would jeopordize his own ticket.

A DPE cannot instruct and give you your checkride. They can give you instruction, but the last 3 hours of instruction must be with another instructor and they must sign you off for the ride.

There are special waivers that can be done by the FSDO on a case by case basis. As an example, when I first started flying the Citation Mustang in 2007 there were not many options for type ratings. The FSDO approved a one-time DPE to do the training and type rating. I have seen this on more than one occasion with various jet type ratings. I would think it would be far more challenging with a CFI unless there was a reason the check ride had to be done in a specific aircraft. The process for even scheduling a CFI check ride goes through the FAA and they will typically assign an inspector and not a DPE. So in short, your question of being trained and checked by a DPE can happen however the example of a CFI ride is probably the rarest for that to ever happen with.

Thanks for the info. I checked with the DPE and he stated that my last three hours of training would have to be with someone else. Being that I have finished all of the flight requirements, I’ll just spend a little time “polishing up” with a local CFI before the checkride.