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Can an instructor be FORCED to sign the PPL SEP class rating revalidation

The Q is whether these people are renting from the school.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

The Q is whether these people are renting from the school.

Some do and some don’t, doesn’t matter – if you want to get a reval or renewal for anything, you need to prove that you are profficient enough.


The system doesn’t work.

Show you logbook to the examiner, show your licence and it will get signed.

And then the next day go to a flying school for a checkout only to be told you cant self fly hire.

It’s a terrible over complicated system that doesn’t work.

Airborne_Again wrote:

And I pointed out that there is a legal obligation for the instructor. That’s all.

Actually, I do not read it in that way. I think it is rather a procedural description (i.e. this shall be done by the flight instructor) and not a legal obligation.

Upon completion of the training flight for the revalidation of an SEP or TMG class rating…

What does “completion” mean? Does it mean the training flight has to be successful? This is open to interpretation. But even if there are no formal pass / fail requirements, there is a necessary duration of one hour. If the instructor aborts the training flight because he or she feels it is unsafe, it is not completed. Thus the requirement for entering the endorsement is missing.

Apart from legal nitpicking, the whole scenario is completely unrealistic (as pointed out by others). The instructor won’t say “I’m not gonna sign this, now **** off!”, but there will be a debriefing and discussion about the problematic areas, followed by a suggestion about some more training before the endorsement can be signed. Most pilots are reasonable people who will agree to more training as it is about their own safety. Actually, most pilots that I have flown with are rather critical of their own skills and happily accept advice and suggestions to improve.

[ f-word deleted; please don’t use it ]

Last Edited by Thomas_R at 24 May 09:29

From my POV, the very long term criticism of this system is that candidates are not checked for stuff which really is necessary to fly, like getting wx and getting notams.

So what does that leave? Not completely smashing up the plane on the flight, so the FI is able to walk to his office and sign the logbook

OTOH, I suppose one can argue that one can fly safely without getting wx (by looking out of the window and not flying more than 20nm) and one can fly without getting notams (by local knowledge, etc). And that is legal.

Even if one avoids the admittedly silly caricatures (not landing so hard that the FI is unable to walk) what does this “an hour with an instructor” leave?

Obviously pilots who fly a fair bit will have no issue, but there is a lot of < 10 or < 5 hr pilots out there. I saw a case on my last flight; I won’t post details but he was not even able to taxi on the tarmac. I felt really sorry for him. He did complete the flight and landed ok, however, and probably will be safe just doing local stuff.

Bathman points out the two scenarios, where you can fly under one but cannot rent under the other.

We used to have @bookworm who AFAIK was involved in drafting a lot of this stuff years ago, so he could explain the rationale, but he seems to be long gone.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I am not well versed on FAR rules while it was mentioned as ‘better system’ (what does this even mean )
Can someone opine what it means to ‘fail BFR’? can CFI revoke flying privileges? can CFI refuse to sign DUAL or BFR?

@NCYankee @Silvaire @172driver

In EASA FCL semantics, even if a pilot “does not pass 1h refresher” or “don’t get sign-off”, the pilot can still legally fly until their SEP expires:

  • For PPL, that could be 12 months of flying
  • For LAPL, that goes lifetime

A “real fail” means one lose their privileges right after your “exam”, AFAIK, this is only the case for ‘fail on initial test and renewal test’, it’s not even the case for ‘fail in re-validation tests’ with examiners (IRT/PC for MEP, IR…)

Last Edited by Ibra at 24 May 10:10
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

I’d think you’d have to be pretty bad before an instructor would refuse to sign your log book stating that you’d done 1 hour of training flight with them. (If you are that bad, then you should be listening to what they have to say.)

They do this all the time during your training, and you don’t have to tell the instructor beforehand that you intend to use this flight for revalidation purposes. Indeed often the 1 hour with an instructor that I use for revalidation was not done specifically for that purpose. Rather when revalidation is needed, I check back to see if I have any such time done already with can be used.

But I think if you went somewhere and booked a training flight specifically for that purpose, and made that clear, and in the end the instructor refused to sign your logbook, I think you’d also be within your rights not to pay. You didn’t get what you’d paid for.

EIWT Weston, Ireland

I am not well versed on FAR rules while it was mentioned as ‘better system’ (what does this even mean ) Can someone opine what it means to ‘fail BFR’? can CFI revoke flying privileges? can CFI refuse to sign DUAL or BFR?

I’ve already explained this. The FAA requirement is for an hour of ground instruction and an hour of dual every two years, with no defined content. That’s it, and there is no FAA standard against which the pilots knowledge or performance is judged for a flight review. That is by design, it is not part of a “system”, the rule was implemented only to ensure that a pilot gets a little time in his logbook with an instructor once is a while, not to create a system of periodic private pilot skill checks, license renewal or revalidation.

In the real world an FAA instructor signs what he wants to sign. The student could conceivably discuss an individual instructors actions with the FSDO but they would likely ignore you. It would be easier to resolve with the instructor, or another instructor if you didn’t click with instructor #1. The only purpose of the exercise is to get a logbook signature every two years and that objective does not justify wasting time.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 24 May 14:15

In the real world an FAA instructor signs what he wants to sign

True but s/he has the option not to sign. And whatever the legalities might be, you don’t really have any recourse if they decline to sign. The CFIs I know would only do that if there was a really good reason, like they didn’t think it was safe to let the person continue to fly. You can’t “fail” a BFR and you can always shop around CFIs until you find one who’ll sign.

LFMD, France

You can’t fail a BFR, but without the signature you’re not legal to fly after the 24 months are up.

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