Practical guide - Assigning pilots to oversight tasks

The Practical Guide on ‘Assigning pilots to oversight tasks’ is made available on EASA website. This document is the outcome of the Working Group established following the ‘Proposal for a Competency Framework for the Competent Authorities' presented by EASA to the Management Board meeting 2016-02.

This practical guide (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Guide’) identifies four practical steps for competent authorities when developing procedures for oversight and approval tasks that require pilot competence. This Guide builds on the much wider framework of the EASA Aviation Inspector Competencies mentioned above and touches upon those elements that require ‘technical expertise’ of the inspector for certain specific tasks. The Guide describes in details the following four steps:

Step #1

The task analysis according to the applicable implementing rules (IRs), acceptable means of compliance (AMCs) and guidance material (GM) defines when pilot competence is needed for approval and oversight activities to be performed by a national aviation authority (NAA). A limited number of tasks require the competence of a qualified pilot. The Guide provides for a common understanding of the task analysis and explains how to relate it to the applicable IRs, AMCs and GM, and to the ICAO ‘Manual of Procedures for Operations Inspection, Certification and Continued Surveillance’ (ICAO Doc 8335). This step aims to facilitate demonstration of compliance. 

Step #2

Whenever specific pilot competence is required, the NAA will have to identify a qualified inspector pilot. To facilitate this step, the Guide provides a description of aircraft clustering. This should enable the NAAs to assign qualified pilots to a range of aircraft operations in a standardised manner. Aircraft clustering will ensure maximum flexibility by grouping aircraft of similar characteristics so that a single inspector can perform oversight tasks for all aircraft in the same cluster.

Step #3

If the clustering of aircraft does not help to identify the appropriately qualified inspector pilot, the next step is to consider the appropriate team composition. This means that the NAA might designate a competent pilot, who is not necessarily a qualified inspector, to support an inspection task. For example, a senior examiner may act as subject-matter expert reporting to the inspector who is responsible for the oversight. Team composition refers either to a single team conducting an on-site inspection or to a team whose subject-matter expert (the qualified pilot, in this case) will perform the technical tasks on-site and report to the NAA inspector in charge who will then review the documents off-site and determine a course of action in relation to the oversight. This will allow the NAA to adapt the team size to the organisation size for the on-site inspection.

Step #4

If all the above does not help to identify the appropriately qualified pilot, the Guide provides advice on the use of pool of experts and the issues related to the managements of resources.

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