Monday, March 09, 2015

Bitch of a Friday

A little backstory. To stay qualified to instruct in a Simulator I have to fly a FAR 135.297/293 check ride every 6 months. This time my TCE (Training Center Evaluator) needed to have his TCE renewal done while he checked me. Can you see how convoluted it can get especially when you add in a young PITA "Fed" observing the TCE giving the check.

In spite of not having touched the controls of a Sim since the last time I was checked (six months ago) and being older than dirt as well as blind and deaf, I flew a pretty good ride. Where the bitch of a Friday comes in was with the PITA "Fed" questioning this and that with the checking TCE during and before the ride which should take four hours max ended up being over seven hours. Add in that seven hours plus after we finished my check I had to do a final Sim period for a client that was going for a "Type Check" the next morning.  My duty day was a solid twelve hours, of which the only enjoyable part was the last with the client.

I'm getting too old for that kind of happy horse pucky.  


  1. I can only imagine what that was like. I hope the bite marks on your tongue heal soon.

  2. Anonymous7:33 AM

    As you have demonstrated with your pretty good sim ride, if your civil aviation authority stopped functioning, the airplanes would not immediately start to fall from the sky.
    But look at the safety records of some countries where the State is unable to exercise a proper oversight; the safety level drifts down to unacceptable levels.
    USA has been the first country to ban operators from some other countries with deficient authorities; I therefore expect the US FAA to also do her job.
    The principle of ICAO, without which international air transport is impossible, is proper oversight by the State of the operator and operation to acceptable standards. Those are the conditions to mutual acceptance.
    If the world was perfect no oversight authority would be needed.
    That is not to say that one would be able to evaluate his own performance or could not benefit from other’s best practices.
    Enjoy the fact that the inspector didn’t question your evaluation by the evaluator ;-))

    For info :
    List of airlines banned within EU banned within the EU

  3. Andy,

    There are a couple of sore spots left on my tongue :-). The good news I have four days off starting today....May get in some shop time.


  4. Sylvain,

    Sorry to take so long to reply....It's been a busy first of the week. We are on much of the page as for the need for a strong regulatory agency to insure air carrier safety. I do not knee-jerk bash the FAA but there are times the Agency and/or individual inspectors do dumb things....then I speak.

    Our checking system is an example of dumb, almost every year something is added to the required checks. An experienced evaluator knows within the first 15 minutes if the candidate is the master of his airplane but the U.S.A. checking system has become a endurance test more than anything else, with checking events running three or more hours to cover all the PTS required checks. Canada and EASA have every bit as good safety record as the States but they approach training and checking differently with emphasis on training and greater flexibility checking. Their flight checks are usually completed in an hour or less.

    The problem Friday wasn't the system, although I think it should change, it was one of the players in the Check Ride Kabuki Theater departed from his assigned role. When that happens the check can turn into a goat rope as the one Friday did. BTW, I know the roles....I've been what is known as a "Supper" TCE for a number of years. I'm able to issue "paper", as well as do all the standard checks and evaluate other instructors. Of course that and a couple or three bucks might get a cup of coffee at Starbucks but I do know the roles well.

    The ride Friday was to complete my 6 month check and to renew one of our very experienced TCE's checking authority. The FAA inspector was there to "evaluate" the TCE. The TCE's role was to evaluate me. Notice the term evaluate, it means there is to be no training and there are only three possible out comes.....Satisfactory, Un-Satisfactory, or Incomplete. Like I said Kabuki Theater. If one of the players steps outside his/her role then the whole system fails. That is what happened Friday, the FAA inspector stepped out of his role and instructed the TCE instead of evaluating and we ended up with a 7 hour check instead of the scheduled 4 1/2 hour check.

    Again sorry to be late and for the long reply, ask the time and I've been known to start building a clock.


  5. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Andy, thank you for your answer.
    It seems I should not have commented.
    When reading US forum and blogs, I am sometime under the impression that for some US citizens, being anti government, is part of their religion. I always convince myself "Sylvain this is none of your business".
    This time I could not resist because aviation is by nature international and as I said above, I expect the FAA to apply the standards she expects from other Countries.
    Of course you are not responsible of some FAA interpretation of the ICAO standards which might make sense in the US environment but not necessarily elsewhere. I will not further expand on this.
    Let's talk woodworking.

  6. Sylvain,

    I can understand, the bat shit crazy faction of the States are in the minority except in the South but they have the loudest voice for now. If we survive, they will eventually be relegated back under the rock from which Nixon allowed them to escape. Some of us who have seen the world, lived and visited with many cultures know there are many ways to live....Enough for now, back to woodworking.

    Thanks for looking at my blog and for your comments,