Previous FAA Orders (FAA Order 8710.3) stated that DPEs are required to maintain a full-time flying position, outside of testing. It was always the intent to delegate our pilot certifications to highly qualified and respected aviation professionals, actively engaged (outside of their testing) in the industry.
FAA Order 8900.2, in its current version, states that for renewal, DPEs must continue to meet the eligibility requirements of their initial designation. (For example, DPEs administering tests in airplanes are required to maintain a minimum of 300 hours of pilot-in-command (PIC) time in the previous 12 months.)
It was discovered that this renewal requirement was frequently overlooked, as most believed the recent PIC experience requirement was for initial designation only. We received feedback that the recent PIC experience,required for renewal, was excessive.
Revision 2A to FAA Order 8900.2 has been published. One of the changes to this Order is that we have significantly reduced the recent PIC experience requirement, and re-worded the language to clarify that this is an on-going requirement.
We are providing this information to you so that you are aware that your principal inspector is required to verify that you meet the recent PIC experience, on an annual basis. Please also note that aeronautical experience accrued while administering practical tests will not be considered for the purposes of recent PIC experience.
The following excerpt is taken from FAA Order 8900.2A:
While exercising the privileges of their designation, designees must continue to maintain their currency and proficiency. Currency requirements are outlined in §§ 61.56 and 61.57. For designees who administer tests in large, turbine-powered aircraft, currency in accordance with § 61.58 must also be maintained, regardless of which seat the designee occupies.
Note: PIC experience obtained while administering practical tests will not be considered for the purposes of the recent PIC experience required of the designation (see Figure 7-4). The designee is responsible to maintain at least the following recent pilot-in-command experience. The FAA will check this during the yearly required oversight.
FAA Order 8900.2A outlines the recent PIC experience renewal requirements for the following categories:
Airplanes – 60 hours (10 hours in each class authorized)
Airplane – Light Sport – 12 hours
Rotorcraft – 25 hours (5 hours in each class authorized)
Gliders – 3 hours, which included at least three flights
Lighter-than-Air-Airship – 40 hours
Lighter-than-Air- Balloon – 5 hours, which included at least 3 flights
Weight Shift Control – 12 hours
Powered Parachute – 5 hours
FAA Order 8900.2A is available at fsims.faa.gov