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Old 11-15-2006, 08:08 PM   #1  
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Default Does DPE really matter?

My question is this. I have had my last two checkrides with a certain DPE who I have gotten along with really well and had great rides with. He has alot of insight and experience and I feel very comfortable and fly well with him and I was planning on doing my IFR ride with him.

Now I have a new flight school (same field, different fbo) and my instructor wants to go with a different examiner whom I have never heard of because he has had many students ride with him and he knows his checkrides which of course would be to my advantage since he knows what the dpe is looking for as opposed to the dpe I have gone with.

Both DPEs do checkrides for the school and are approved but my examiner just doesnt feel comfortable putting me up with the examiner I want and feel comfortable with.

Sooo...the question is, should a student be able to make the call on who they wish to do the ride with and if I am able to make the call should I just suck it up and go with the examiner the instructor wants because that is who he feels comfortable with.

I am thinking it may be to my benefit because he knows the examiners routines and what his rides are like and prepare me as such and I should probably suck it up since I am sure there will be many times I will have to do checkrides and stagechecks with many different people?

Seeing how I am finishing my ratings here I just figured it would be nice to build a relationship and a rapport with my favored examiner and do my next 6 rides with him IFR,CMEL, CSEL, CFI, CFII, MEI

What do you guys think? Many of you have tons of experience and many rides under your belt and I am sure some of you could shed some light on the situation.

Thanks,
Shawn
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:25 PM   #2  
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Shawn,

It's your money. That said, it's you're instructors endorsement. However, I feel that you should be able to choose which DPE you want to take the test with. The fact is that a test is a test, and the same standards apply. If you can pass the ride with one DPE, you should be able to pass with any other.

Personally, when I taught, I didn't care who my students took the ride with. I didn't train for the test- I trained for AFTER the test. It was a given that they would have the skills necessary before they were endorsed... if they happened to have a bad day and botch a ride, so be it. I never got worked up about my pass/fail record. I only cared that they were competent pilots.

If you want to take the ride with the examiner you are familiar with, have a sit down and discuss your feelings with your instructor. Explain exactly why you feel that way, and insist upon choosing the examiner that you feel is most appropriate for you.
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:27 PM   #3  
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First off, I won't be surprised if someone comes along and gives me crap for saying this but I really don't care. I feel a good instructor will prepare his/her student to be able to go up with anybody and pass. I know its easier for both sides to know what you need to pass, but I see it as doing something half @ssed. Learn everything you can about what you will be doing will make you a better and safer pilot. Bottom line is its your money, its your choice. As for myself, I would probably choose the DPE I have gone with many times before. They know you and you feel comfortable with them. On the flip side, if you do a commercial career its a good idea to get used to flying with people you don't know and may not be comfortable with. In the end you will (should) know PT'S, and if you know them know what you are doing and are safe, you should pass. But then, this is just my thought.
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:31 PM   #4  
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I have a DPE like the one you describe, and would never go to anyone else if I could help it.

That personal relationship goes a long way, both for your comfort level and the amount of slack you you might get in the event of an un-characteristic screw-up on your part. The guy you know has a baseline on you, and may gloss over a screw-up based on your previous good performance. The new examiner doesn't know you, and if you goof once, he has to assume that you are no bueno and pink you.

Also, the more cynical answer is that there is an unwritten quota for DPE's...the FSDO simply does not allow them to pass everyone. The guy who knows you will not pink you just because he is behind on his quota that month.

If you use your guy, be sure and get some gouge as to how he conducts the checkride in question...maybe call him and ask him.
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Old 11-15-2006, 09:00 PM   #5  
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This is exactly why I am part of this site/community

Thank you for the detailed and well thought out caring responses aimed towards a person and not a screen name.

I think I am going to talk to my instructor tomorrow and tell him that I would prefer to go with my usual DPE. I have the rapport with him and i feel very comfortable with him. I dont really care about checkride "gouge" because as you said I know the pts standards and train for them and not the ride. I am going to pass because I know how to control the airplane and the standards set forth, not because I know what the examiner is going to ask me because of what he did last ride. I am sure I will have rides with other examiners in the future, in fact I know I will but why start now if I dont have to?

Now to see if I can convince my instructor.

Thanks again
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Old 11-17-2006, 04:13 AM   #6  
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No convincing to it. Your money, your choice.

Have as much in your favor as possible. If you're comfortable with a DPE that you've used before, use him. Once your instructor signs you off it really shouldn't matter who examines you (because he/she is stating you're capable of performing up to PTS standars) but being familiar with somebody's way of doing things can do nothing but help.
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:38 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilotpip View Post
No convincing to it. Your money, your choice.
CFI's endorsment, CFI's choice.

they're signing away their CFI every time they sign you off for a checkride

that said, if your CFI refuses to send you to the DPE you like, walk across the ramp to your old FBO, and get someone to fly with you for 3hrs, and sign you off.
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:44 AM   #8  
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If I'm signing somebody off, they're ready regardless of the examiner. I wouldn't send somebody with a DPE when they weren't fully ready knowing that one is "easier" than the other. The PTS explains what a student needs to do. If they are capable of this, why risk my certificate sending them with a DPE that they are uncomfortable with?
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:55 AM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btwissel View Post
CFI's endorsment, CFI's choice.

they're signing away their CFI every time they sign you off for a checkride

that said, if your CFI refuses to send you to the DPE you like, walk across the ramp to your old FBO, and get someone to fly with you for 3hrs, and sign you off.
An 8710 is not specific to a certain DPE...once the cfi signs it and hands it to you you can take it wherever you want to get your checkride...his DPE, your DPE, the FSDO, a DPE in another state...

It is however a very good idea for your cfi to know who you will be doing your ride with, so he can address any peculiarities of that examiner. This is the real world folks, not some fantasy land where all examiners test to the same standards with no personal flavoring...
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:10 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btwissel View Post
CFI's endorsment, CFI's choice.

they're signing away their CFI every time they sign you off for a checkride

that said, if your CFI refuses to send you to the DPE you like, walk across the ramp to your old FBO, and get someone to fly with you for 3hrs, and sign you off.

If a CFI is signing away their CFI certificate everytime they endorse a checkride, then they must not be a very competent CFI... I had full faith in all of my students to do the right thing and be able to meet (and 99% of the time exceed the PTS). A student's busted checkride is no big deal for a CFI, unless of course every student they send fails the ride. In that case I'd say that you have an instructing issue, not one with the DPE or student.
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