Re-Testing After Failure - 14 CFR 61.49
When undertaking a practical test, there are three possible outcomes: Pass, Fail, or Discontinue. While the desired outcome is always a “Pass,” there are instances where it results in a “Fail” or “Discontinuation.” In this article, we will focus on the scenario of a “Fail.”
What is considered as a "Fail"?
A practical test is deemed a “Fail” when the applicant does not meet the standards outlined in the appropriate Practical Test Standards (PTS) or Airman Certification Standards (ACS) for any Area of Operation. (Refer 14 CFR 61.43.)
Per 14 CFR 61.49, if an applicant fails a practical test, he/she must receive additional/necessary training time from an authorized instructor (as required) and receive a logbook endorsement before attempting to retest for the practical test.
In the event that the additional training time involves flight training, it should be logged in compliance with 14 CFR 61.51.
What is a Practical Test?
It is important to note that a practical test encompasses both the ground/oral portion and the flight portion, with no separation or distinction between the two. Refer to 14 CFR 61.1.
To provide guidance on the required endorsement, a sample endorsement is available in AC 61.65H – endorsement number A.73 on page A-19.
Now, the question arises: What constitutes additional/necessary training time?
Additional/necessary training time refers to the training time that an authorized instructor deems appropriate. Although your student may have failed the “ground,” “oral,” or “flight” portion, it is up to you to determine the training requirements. Once you have made that determination, provide the necessary training, issue an endorsement, and then guide your student to reattempt the test. It is important to note that the Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) does not have authority over the determination of additional/necessary training time. The role of the DPE is to assess the applicant’s capabilities, while your role is to train them.
Refer to Ragland (2015) Legal Interpretation here.
By incorporating these clarifications and explanations, the article provides a more comprehensive understanding of the endorsement and training requirements for retesting after a failure.