Becoming a DPE: Essential Steps to Becoming a Pilot Examiner

Becoming a DPE: Essential Steps to Becoming a Pilot Examiner

Are you interested in becoming a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE)? This article will guide you through the essential steps to becoming a pilot examiner, including the qualifications, training, and certification required. Whether you are a seasoned pilot looking to expand your career opportunities or a new pilot aspiring to become a DPE, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the necessary information to achieve your goal. Read on to learn more about the exciting journey to becoming a DPE.

Education and Experience Requirements

To become a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), there are specific education and experience requirements that must be met. These requirements are put in place to ensure that DPEs have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively evaluate pilot applicants.

Pilot License

One of the main requirements to become a DPE is holding a valid pilot license. This can include a private pilot license, commercial pilot license, or airline transport pilot license. Having a pilot license demonstrates that the individual has gone through the necessary training and testing to safely operate an aircraft.

Flight Experience

In addition to holding a pilot license, DPE candidates must also have a certain amount of flight experience. This typically includes a minimum number of flight hours, which can vary depending on the type of pilot license held. Flight experience is important as it provides DPEs with the practical knowledge and skills needed to evaluate pilot applicants effectively.

Training Courses

To become a DPE, individuals must also complete specific training courses that are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These courses cover topics such as evaluating pilot applicants, conducting flight tests, and maintaining the standards set by the FAA. By completing these training courses, DPE candidates gain the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their duties effectively.

Application Process

To become a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), the first step is to submit an application to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The application process involves providing detailed information about your qualifications, experience, and training as a pilot. It is important to carefully review the requirements and ensure that all necessary documentation is included with your application.

Submit Application

Once you have completed the application form and gathered all required documents, you can submit your application to the FAA for review. The FAA will assess your qualifications and determine if you meet the criteria to become a DPE. This process may take some time, so it is important to be patient and follow up with the FAA as needed.

Pass Written Exam

After your application has been approved, you will need to pass a written exam to demonstrate your knowledge of aviation regulations and procedures. The exam will test your understanding of key concepts related to pilot examining and will determine if you are prepared to move on to the next step in the certification process.

Oral and Practical Exam

Once you have successfully passed the written exam, you will need to complete an oral and practical exam with an FAA inspector. During this exam, you will be evaluated on your ability to conduct pilot examinations, assess pilot skills, and follow FAA guidelines. It is important to prepare thoroughly for this exam and demonstrate your proficiency as a pilot examiner.

By following these essential steps in the application process, you can work towards becoming a certified DPE and play a crucial role in the aviation industry.

Training and Certification

To become a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), individuals must undergo specific training and certification processes. These essential steps are crucial in ensuring that DPEs are knowledgeable and qualified to conduct pilot evaluations.

Attend Training Seminars

One of the first steps in becoming a DPE is to attend training seminars. These seminars cover a wide range of topics related to aviation regulations, evaluation procedures, and examiner responsibilities. By participating in these seminars, individuals can gain valuable insights and knowledge that will help them excel in their roles as DPEs.

Pass Evaluation Flights

In addition to attending training seminars, aspiring DPEs must also pass evaluation flights. During these flights, candidates are evaluated on their ability to conduct thorough and accurate pilot evaluations. This process ensures that DPEs have the necessary skills and expertise to assess pilot competency effectively.

Receive Certification

Once training seminars have been completed and evaluation flights have been passed, individuals can then apply for DPE certification. This certification is granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is a formal recognition of an individual’s qualifications to serve as a DPE. With this certification, individuals can begin conducting pilot evaluations and assisting in the certification of new pilots.

Overall, the training and certification process for becoming a DPE is rigorous but essential in ensuring that DPEs are well-prepared and qualified to fulfill their roles effectively.


In conclusion, becoming a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) is a rewarding and challenging career path for experienced pilots. By following the essential steps outlined in this article, aspiring DPEs can navigate the certification process and gain the necessary qualifications to conduct pilot examinations. From meeting the experience requirements to completing the application process, each step is crucial in achieving the goal of becoming a DPE. With dedication, perseverance, and a passion for aviation, individuals can embark on this exciting journey and contribute to the aviation community as a certified pilot examiner.