Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By Merlin83b
#1664080
Following on from a discussion I had with a friend the other day...

Who can check out a new member to a group? On the assumption that the new member is suitably qualified with appropriate difference training etc, then is there any requirement for the person doing the checking out/type familiarisation to be an instructor? One could argue that a longstanding member of the group who is intimately familiar with the aircraft would be better placed to introduce the new pilot to the aircraft.

Obviously if there is an official difference to be trained then it has to be an instructor, but that's not the question I'm pondering.
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By defcribed
#1664086
If the person concerned is suitably qualified then there's no such thing as a 'checkout' from the point of view of aviation regulation. They are qualified to fly that class of aeroplane and may do so without receiving any 'training' from an instructor or anyone else on that particular model.

Your group rules or your insurance policy may require something, but you'd have the check the wording. It falls into the same category as checkouts prior to renting at a particular establishment - not a legal requirement but a case of 'their trainset, their rules' and possibly an insurance requirement.
By Maxthelion
#1664092
Our group requires checkout by an instructor. That said, I explored this in a recent thread and the consensus was that a checkout for someone already qualified for the class of aeroplane in question required only 'familiarisation training' which is different from 'instruction' and so does not require an instructor.

In practical terms, someone in the group who is good with people and is good on the type in question is often a better bet than a random instructor, as the existing group member will be familiar with any idiosyncracies of the aeroplane in question.
#1664096
Maxthelion wrote:...for someone already qualified for the class of aeroplane in question required only 'familiarisation training' which is different from 'instruction' and so does not require an instructor.


Anything required is purely down to your group rules or your insurers, not a regulatory matter. The clue is in the 'already qualified' part of your sentence.

:D

My limited experience in and around the GA training establishment has shown me that many people struggle to differentiate between what is a legal requirement and what might be, for a variety of reasons, thought by some to be such a good idea that they act as though it is a legal requirement.
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By johncondor
#1664132
In our group we would discuss each case on its merits. We did have someone join with a lot of experience on type. He actually had about three times as much time on type as the rest of the group put together. Fortunately he also needed to renew his SEP rating so he managed to combine the two requirements in one flight.
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By Balliol
#1664152
Aside from the legalities - There are plenty of accident reports (and probably many more unreported) where people have broken aircraft and themselves with confusion over PIC and command responsibilities, cross cockpit gradient issues, inappropriate or non existent intervention / guidance from ‘instructor/passenger’ so I recommend any ‘check outs’ are not treated lightly and are thoroughly worked out.
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User avatar
By Rob P
#1664183
My 'group' (Me and Gareth) faced this problem /issue when Gareth joined.

I did his 'checkout' and basic familiarisation, he logged P1, I logged nothing.

The initial brief I gave was "You are P1, it's your aeroplane. If you need me to take over just tell me. If anything goes wildly wrong with the aircraft I will take control and you won't argue"

Worked out just fine.

Rob P
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By Lefty
#1664186
Rob P wrote:My 'group' (Me and Gareth) faced this problem /issue when Gareth joined.

I did his 'checkout' and basic familiarisation, he logged P1, I logged nothing.

The initial brief I gave was "You are P1, it's your aeroplane. If you need me to take over just tell me. If anything goes wildly wrong with the aircraft I will take control and you won't argue"

Worked out just fine.

Rob P


Sounds sensible and pragmatic to me.
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By GolfHotel
#1664229
While reviewing a prospective new member it was clear his expectations of the group were very different than the others. He was expecting the group to have an instructor who would check him out on the aircraft. We did have an experienced instructor in the group but he had less hours on type than the prospective member. The prospective member was coming from another group flying the same type. I had flown with the other two members, both of whom had about 4 times as many hours as me. i'd shown them the speeds and settings etc. Following that we had swapped seats and they had given it a go. With the prospective member being current on type and around twenty times my total hours I agreed to him flying from the left hand seat. He has been an Airbus captain for 15 odd years and told me he didn't think he would be happy with a right hand stick. His experience included hundreds of hours in taildraggers, and a few on type. He was current on type. Anyway he flew a lovely circuit, far neater and better than I could, but he scared the crud out of me with the landing. On the second attempt we got it on the ground. He was most upset when I said I didn't think we were right for him. I got quite a sharp email back. I'm sure he's a safe pilot and would be happy to fly with him again. But we should both have picked up on the mismatch.

The moral of the above? Be careful and listen for warnings. We were not the group for him. His expectation was that we would look after him. But our ethos was much more self reliant. I didn't listen to the warning that he though he needed an instructor.

One size will not fit all. Carefully work out what is best for you.
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By PeteSpencer
#1664243
Its also not a bad idea to check whether the new member is financially fit to be a member though this requires an element of detective work and a crystal ball.

I recall one new member who was also doing the CPL/ATPL/MEIR route and was clearly becoming stretched. At one AGM, when we had to vote a monthly and hourly rate rise and he threw his toys out of the pram, and decided to leave the group.

Those who live in E Angular will know that there is a dearth of pilots and on average over the last 25 years it has taken 12-18 months to sell a share, during which time the monthly fee still has to be paid, or in the case of inability/refusal to pay has to be deducted from the final sale price.

He was asking an unrealistic price and we ended up with a 'fire sale' amidst recrimination.

Peter
User avatar
By foxmoth
#1664260
peter,
Hopefully that was all in your group agreement in which case it is his fault for asking an unrealistic price.
As far as who does a check out goes it really depends on the aircraft, legally anyone in the group can do it as long as it does not need differences (tailwheel/VP props etc.), who is in the group and who is joining, as said, it may just need an experienced group member or it may need an instructor, on something like a Pa28 or Cessna a suitable instructor should be easy to find, on some other less common types you may need to look a bit more carefully at who you get to do it, the LAA coaches list is a good starting point there.