Pilot Licensing FAQs -Examiners
How many different examiner authorities can I hold at any one time?
The Microlight world operates differently to the SEP world in regards to examiner authorities. Instead of attaining and maintaining authorities with different dates, you ‘move up the ladder’, from ‘R’ (Revalidation Examiner) to ‘GR’ (Ground Examiner) to ‘FE’ (Flight Examiner), so each step up subsumes the previous authorities within it, and maintains all prior authorities concurrently. The highest level of examiner authority is ‘FIE’ (Flight Instructor Examiner), but this can only be attained by existing FICIs (Flying Instructor Course Instructors).
I’ve just got my licence a couple of months ago. Can I become an Examiner to revalidate ratings?
You can certainly apply. Each new examiner application will require the candidate to successfully answer 10 questions on revalidation procedures and scenarios. Following this, the BMAA Panel of Examiners will review the application. Sometimes, an applicant will need references and supporting documentation to demonstrate the need for an additional examiner in their club/school, or if they fall below the usual expected credentials. The first step is to fill in and send an Examiner Application form to the BMAA: Link
I’ve got my ‘R’ examiner authority. Can I renew my own Microlight rating?
No. ‘R’ examiners do not have permission to renew their own rating.
I hold a Microlight ‘R’ examiner authority. A NPPL pilot has brought me his logbook and licence. He has mostly flown SSEA types (for example Jodel), with only 1 hour in an Ikarus C42 over 24 months. However, using the NPPL ‘multiple rating revalidation’ system, his combined hours exceed 12 in 24 months, with an instructional hour in the Jodel. Am I right in saying I revalidate both ratings at the same time?
No. You may only revalidate the Microlight rating, because this is the only class mentioned in your authority. You can take the Cessna hours into account and revalidate the Microlight rating based on the hour flown in the Ikarus, but a SSEA ‘R’ Examiner must revalidate that rating.
I am a custodian of Microlight Ground exam papers, but have broken my leg and am on enforced absence from the airfield. Can the Chief Flying Instructor at the club mark the ground school exams with my permission?
No, unless the instructor holds a ‘GR’ examiner authority for Microlights or SEP (having undertaken Microlight differences training). They may only invigilate exams as a contingency, but not mark them.
Some of my Ground Exam papers are getting tatty. Can you send me replacements?
Replacement papers must be requested in writing to the BMAA, and will only be provided on receipt of the previous papers. Microlight Ground Exam papers are the intellectual copyright of the Civil Aviation Authority, and the BMAA are delegated to provide these on request only when previous copies are returned for destruction. You may be asked to cover the cost of postage and printing if the exams are being replaced for any other reason than universal updates of exam paper sets.
I’ve been asked to revalidate a pilot’s licence, but the Microlight rating appears on the back of the licence rather than the front, in the ‘ratings previously held’ section. Can I still revalidate in the usual way, or does he require a General Skills Test?
You cannot revalidate in any scenario. Once a rating has been printed as ‘previously held’, only the CAA can transfer it to the front of the licence as a current rating. The pilot would normally be expected to complete a GST, and send in his logbook as proof, along with his licence and cover letter, requesting that the CAA make the rating current again.
How long does an Examiner authority run for? When should I renew the authority to make sure there’s no gap?
36 months, to end of month of issue. You can renew up to 2 months prior to expiry without losing currency, and it is sensible to do this. Simply fill in an Examiner application form from the BMAA website and send it in, along with the requisite fees (found in the ‘Instructor and Examiner’ section of the BMAA website).
How do I find out my Examiner authority expiry date?
It will be printed on your authority document issued by the CAA. When you receive this, it’s a good idea to file it and also scan it so it is not lost. If you have misplaced it, you can always e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to track it down for you.
My instructor rating has lapsed, but I’m not flying at the moment as I’m concentrating on ground school through the winter. Is there anything else I need to do?
If you have achieved your examiner authority whilst an instructor, the authority is based on your instructor status, and you cannot simply continue to use the examiner authority while your instructor rating has lapsed. You should write to the CAA for permission if you intend to do this for a significant period of time. Otherwise, you must revalidate the instructor rating before using the authority again.
Despite the instructions, and my warning, a student has marked his question paper. What should I do?
You should contact the BMAA to ask for replacement papers. These will only be sent to you once your defaced papers are received by the BMAA.
On revalidating a pilot’s rating, I see the pilot’s signature line in their licence is blank. Can I still revalidate?
Only after they have signed the licence immediately. Their licence is not technically valid until the document has been signed by the holder!
I’m a SEP instructor and Flight Examiner, and have been asked to clear a backlog of GSTs at a local school. Can I do this?
Yes, providing you have undertaken control type differences training on the Microlight control type you are examining on with a Microlight instructor who is entitled to instruct on that type, and have been made aware of the differences in the NPPL Microlight syllabus. Once the differences training is signed this off in your logbook and you are suitably briefed on syllabus differences, you can exercise your SEP privileges to examine on the relevant Microlights.
I’m a SEP instructor and ‘GR’ examiner. Can I conduct and mark Microlight exams?
Yes, providing you have undertaken control type differences training on the Microlight control type you are examining on with a Microlight instructor who is entitled to instruct on that type, and have been made aware of the differences in the NPPL Microlight syllabus. Once the differences training is signed off in your logbook and you are suitably briefed on syllabus differences, you can exercise your SEP privileges to invigilate and mark Microlight theoretical exams. You can only become a custodian of Microlight exam papers by applying to receive the Microlight ‘GR’ rating.
I’m a SEP instructor and ‘R’ examiner. Can I revalidate Microlight ratings?
Yes, providing you have undertaken Microlight differences training and understand the differences between the two syllabuses.
Someone has presented their Microlight licence to me, but it is a PPL rather than NPPL, and I can’t see anywhere on the document to revalidate the rating. Where would I find this?
UK PPLs are usually revalidated with a Certificate of Experience (or Test), which comes in the form of a sticker in the logbook, with details entered and signed by the examiner. Templates can be found here:
I have a PPL Microlight holder who has presented his logbook and licence, but his rating lapsed two weeks ago. Should I advise that a GST be passed?
Not necessarily. Although the NPPL rating must be revalidated prior to expiry, PPL Microlight ratings on the 13 month cycle can be revalidated at any stage after expiry, providing minimum hours can be sourced back 13 months from the date of presentation. Needless to say, all of these hours must have been flown when the rating was still current.
I need to change my examiner authority sponsorship organisation. Can you tell me what I need to do?
The CAA guidance is: "4.1.4 Amendment of particulars - When making an application for the amendment of the particulars set out on an appointment or re-appointment as a certified examiner or as a person approved to conduct courses of training, the applicant shall pay to the CAA a charge of £47." (Note: correct at time of writing, but this fee may be updated, please check the CAA Scheme of Charges to be certain) You should fill in an examiner application form with your personal details and new sponsor details, but make clear at the top of the form that you are seeking a change of sponsor organisation only. Send this to the BMAA, along with the correct fee either by cheque to 'Civil Aviation Authority' or a filled out payment form FCS1500, and we will forward this to the CAA to amend your sponsor organisation. You should receive the updated Examiner Authority page in due course.