An Aircrew Program Designee (APD) or a Designated Flight Engineer Examiner (DFEE) is designated to conduct certification within a specifically-approved Aircrew Designated Examiner (ADE) program. An ADE program is associated with an operator which conducts its own program of airman qualification. It is the preferred program for conducting the certification of flightcrew members for complex part 121 and 135 operators.
- APDs are issued authority to conduct various evaluations based on the FAA's need for and ability to manage the APD. The regulatory basis for the designation of an APD may be found in 14 CFR parts 121 and 183. The FAA considers APDs with certification authority to be examiners as the term is used in 14 CFR part 183.
APD and DFEE Eligibility
An APD/DFEE candidate must first:
- Be employed or under contract by the operator for which they intend to do certification.
- Be recommended by the operator as an APD/DFEE candidate.
- Be qualified as a check pilot or check flight engineer (FE), as appropriate, for the operator.
- Must possess the appropriate airman certificate, class rating, and type rating, if applicable.
Individuals that meet the eligibility criteria listed above will be evaluated on the following criteria before proceeding with formal training:
- Have a reputation for integrity and dependability within the industry and the community.
- Have a history of cooperation with the FAA, and a good record as an airman regarding accidents and/or incidents.
- Must possess an above-average level of knowledge, ability, and experience.
- Must have a good record of compliance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR).
- Must be an FAA-approved proficiency check pilot or check FE, as applicable, for the operator for the aircraft in which the APD/DFEE candidate is to perform examiner duties.
- To perform examiner duties in an aircraft in flight, APD candidates must also be an FAA-approved line check pilot-all seats and proficiency check pilot-aircraft for the operator for that aircraft.
- Should have served as a check pilot or check FE for a minimum of 1 year (APD candidates – preferably 6 months as a proficiency check pilot) before designation as an APD/DFEE. Check pilot/check FE experience in other types of aircraft and in service with other operators may be credited at the discretion of the Principal Operations Inspector (POI) and the Aircrew Program Manager (APM).