An Examination of the Current State of Examining Authority at Part 141 Pilot Schools

Main Article Content

Timothy Rosser
Paul Mosey


In recent years, the airline industry pilot base has experienced significant turnover. As a result, there has been a corresponding need for qualified pilots to fill open pilot positions, therefore an increased need to train and certificate those pilots. A main source for training larger numbers of pilots has been FAA part 141 pilot schools. Most of the part 141 pilot schools train student pilots to proficiency and send those students to a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for the check ride. A much lower number of part 141 pilot schools are approved for Examining Authority, which allows the school itself to conduct rating and certificate check rides in house. The process for a school to receive FAA approval is outlined in FAR 141.63 and 8900.1, and in some ways, appears to be open for interpretation. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of process requirements associated with FAA Examining Authority approval. The study also aimed to investigate the different Examining Authority approval requirements as set forth by individual Flight Standards District Offices. In addition, the researchers sought to discover whether pilot schools who perceived Examining Authority approval to be too difficult to pursue, would reconsider if those requirements were easier to obtain. A survey was conducted with part 141 pilot schools to gain an understanding of school perceptions of the process, and to examine whether individual FSDOs follow the same process and expect the same requirements. Survey findings showed that there were significant differences in Examining Authority approval requirements between different FSDO offices. Additionally, several pilot schools stated that they would consider, or reconsider application for Examining Authority if the FAA relaxed some approval requirements.

Article Details

Peer-Reviewed Articles
Author Biography

Paul Mosey, Middle Tennessee State University

Timothy Rosser, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Aerospace Department at Middle Tennessee State University

Paul Mosey is an Assistant Professor in the Aerospace Department at Middle Tennessee State University


Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. (2023). Flight school finder. Retrieved from

Beckman, W., Gref, M., & Rosser, T. (2023). FAA designated pilot examiner system insights. International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics, and Aerospace, 10(1). DOI:

Examining Authority, 14 C.F.R. § 141.63 (2024). Retrieved from

Federal Aviation Administration. (2007). Flight standards information management system. Retrieved from

Federal Aviation Administration. (2018). General aviation airman designee handbook. Order 8900.2C - General Aviation Airman Designee Handbook (

Federal Aviation Administration. (2021). Airplane flying handbook. Airplane Flying Handbook | Federal Aviation Administration (

Federal Aviation Administration. (2023a). Pilots handbook of aeronautical knowledge. Retrieved from

Federal Aviation Administration. (2023b). Notice 8900.675. Retrieved from

Godlewski, M. (2022, September 1). DPEs: report workforce shortage as symposium approaches. Flying.

Hardee, H. (2023, October 5). Pilot shortage ‘very real’ for US regional carriers struggling to keep aircraft flying. Flight Global.