As you may know, if the FAA discovers evidence that leads it to reasonably question an airman’s qualifications to exercise the privileges of the airman’s certificate, the FAA may issue a “request for re-examination.” The “evidence” is usually a situation or circumstances involving the airman and his or her operation of an aircraft. And, unfortunately for airmen, it doesn’t take much for the FAA to have a reasonable basis for requesting the re-examination. As long as the FAA can show that an airman’s lack of competence or qualification was a factor in causing the situation, then the request will be considered reasonable.
So, what types of situations may result in a request for re-examination? Here are a few, in no particular order:
- Running out of fuel.
- Landing with the gear up.
- Landing or taking off in a manner that results in damage to your aircraft (e.g. prop strike, tail strike, scraping a wingtip on the ground, striking runway lights etc.).
- Continuing a VFR flight into IMC.
- Getting caught on top of an overcast layer of clouds when you are not instrument rated or equipped.
- Taking off or landing on a runway at a tower controlled airport when you have not received take-off or landing clearance.
- Getting into an accident with your aircraft.
- Getting caught operating your aircraft over gross.
- Landing at the wrong airport.
- Entering Class B, C or D airspace without first establishing communications with ATC controlling the airspace.
- Colliding with another aircraft in flight, or on the ground.
- Operating an aircraft on a flight without appropriate or current charts necessary for that flight.
This is only a partial list of some of the more obvious situations that may trigger a request for re-examination of an airman from the FAA. The list can, and does, go on.
Hopefully this will never happen to you. But if it does, it isn’t the end of the world. Pilots survive, and even learn from, requests for re-examination all the time. For more information and tips on responding to requests for re-examination, please read my article: The 709 Ride.