Handling a Failed Flight Test

General 

During the test and the debriefing, actions or comments by the examiner must be respectful toward the candidate. Examiners and candidates should keep in mind that it is not the examiner who fails the candidate, but rather it is the candidate whose performance on that day has not met the minimum skill standards needed to safely exercise the privileges of the licence or rating sought.

Candidates may become aware or assume that a flight test item has been performed at an unacceptable level. Examiners should encourage candidates to continue provided that the candidate is still eligible for a partial flight test and the candidate is willing.

Examiners will stop the test when air items are failed and it becomes evident that a complete re-test will be required, unless after being advised, the candidate wishes to complete a few remaining items. This measure could provide additional debriefing points to enhance the possibility of success during retest. Keep this practical from the point-of-view of efficient use of aircraft cost.

If not satisfied with the outcome of the flight test, a candidate may wish to file a written complaint regarding the conduct of a flight test or the performance of an examiner with the Transport Canada Regional Office responsible for that examiner. In order to succeed with a complaint, the applicant will have to satisfy Transport Canada that the test was not properly conducted. Mere dissatisfaction with the flight test result is not enough. After due consideration of the individual case, the Superintendent/TTL responsible for Flight Training may authorize that a re-test be conducted, without prejudice (with a clean record in regard to the disputed flight test), by a CAI or an alternate pilot examiner.

Should the complaint not be addressed to the candidate's satisfaction, the procedure to be followed is outlined in Civil Aviation Issues Reporting System (CAIRS). The document can be found at: www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/opssvs/secretariat-cairs-menu-209.htm.

In the event of a failure of a valid instrument or flight instructor rating, the Minister is bound by CAR 401.17(1) which states; "Where, during a flight test, the holder of a valid rating fails to meet the requirements specified in the personnel licensing standards for the lowest class of that rating, the Minister shall suspend the rating." CAR 401.17(2) applies more specifically to Flight Instructor Ratings. The examiner will initiate the suspension process by contacting the Regional Office no later than the next working day to report the failure. The Regional Office will then issue a formal Notice of Suspension to the candidate in accordance with SI-SUR-016.

A pilot licence, including any ratings or endorsements attached to that licence, is a Canadian Aviation Document (CAD). The powers to suspend, to cancel or to refuse to renew a CAD, or any of its additional privileges, are set out in the Aeronautics Act.

Section 6.8 of the Act states: In addition to any grounds referred to in any of sections 6.71, 6.9 to 7.1 and 7.21, the Minister may suspend, cancel or refuse to issue, amend or renew a Canadian aviation document in the circumstances and on the grounds prescribed by regulation of the Governor in Council. (e.g.: CAR 401.17) Section 6.8 of the Act has no provision for appeal before the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC). The only avenue for appeal of a failure for which a candidate has not reached a resolution with Transport Canada is an appeal before the Federal Court of Canada.

The Federal Court may be contacted at: Federal Court, Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1A 0H9.

DO NOT STRIKETHROUGH ANY PRIVILEGE ON A CANADIAN AVIATION DOCUMENT.

Instrument Ratings

When an instrument rating is held for aeroplane and helicopter categories, a flight test failure on a category of aircraft shall not have effect on other category except when, in the opinion of the examiner, a procedural error demonstrates the inability of the applicant to carry out a task or manoeuvre in the other category

Flight instructor Ratings

Subsection 401.17 (1) of the CARs states: "Where, during a flight test, the holder of a rating fails to meet the requirements specified in the personnel licensing standards for the lowest class of that rating, the Minister shall suspend the rating.";

Subsection 401.17 (2) of the CARs states: "Where, during a flight test for a flight instructor rating, the holder of a rating fails to meet the requirements specified in the personnel licensing standards for renewal of the rating but meets the requirements for a lower class of that rating the Minister shall endorse the holder's licence with the lower class of that rating."