I have been meaning to write about this topic for a while now. Even though I think about Stall/Spin instructional proficiency each time I am teaching and signing off a new CFI initial applicant, but these 2 incidents below still intrigue me, and make me wonder which one was a correct interpretation of the FARs:

  1. In late 90’s when I got my CFI initial, I failed Turning Power ON Stall in-flight maneuver. Not going into details of why I failed; I had to go up with the FSDO inspector in a Cessna 152 aircraft to demonstrate instructional proficiency in Stalls and Spins, as required by 14 CFR 61.183 (i)(2).
  2. In early 2000’s I had a student who was not able to satisfactorily teach spins on the ground to another FSDO inspector (different FSDO). I think he did a fine job, but at the end of the day, the inspector was not satisfied, so the applicant failed in the Stall and Spin area. I gave additional training to the applicant, and flew with him as well, and sent him to the inspector for an in-flight spin test. The inspector refused to do the test in the airplane, and said that he can test the applicant on the ground and does not need to fly and observe in-flight spin entry/recovery etc.

Here is the excerpt from the relevant FAR (14 CFR 61.183):

“Demonstrate instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures. However, upon presentation of the endorsement specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this section an examiner may accept that endorsement as satisfactory evidence of instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures for the practical test, provided that the practical test is not a retest as a result of the applicant failing the previous test for deficiencies in the knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures. If the retest is a result of deficiencies in the ability of an applicant to demonstrate knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures, the examiner must test the person on stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery instructional procedures in an airplane or glider, as appropriate, that is certificated for spins;”

The first FSDO’s interpretation was that the applicant has to be tested, and the test has to be in an airplane that is certificated for spins, and the “as appropriate” in the FAR is there as a distinction between an airplane or a glider. The second FSDO’s interpretation was that the test can be done either in an aircraft, or on the ground, and the “as appropriate” is there to give the inspector/dpe that discretion.

Personally, I believe that the first FSDO’s interpretation is correct.  And here is some more information about Spin Training for CFI initial Training and Checkride.

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  • Pipy

    Yup, I failed an oral question related to stall/spin so I got to come back with a 152 to demo spins in flight for the FSDO examiner. Seeing as how the examiner was an aerobatic pilot on the side, he was more than happy to have me show spins in flight.

    • CFI

      Did he demonstrate one for you as well? Or teach/show off some of his skills to you?