A friend needs to go for instrument and commercial check rides and can't find designated examiner that is local. Can she schedule one at the nearest FAA office?

  • $\begingroup$ Why doesn't she ask them? $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Jul 14, 2017 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any question how to find designated examiner? $\endgroup$
    – vasin1987
    Jul 14, 2017 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Simon closed at this time. $\endgroup$ Jul 14, 2017 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


In theory it's possible to contact the local FSDO and ask for a checkride with an FAA inspector, and it's free (see here, here, here). But personally I've never heard of anyone doing it and I can't even find anything on the FAA's website about it.

The FAA's statistics show that in 2016 there were 34,156 initial checkrides with DPEs but only 465 with FAA inspectors (two thirds of those were for ATP), so it's very unusual. That file also shows pass rates by DPE vs. inspector, by the way, and despite some online horror stories it looks like the pass rates were broadly similar.

FWIW, it's fairly common for candidates to travel/fly several hours to a DPE (see the FAA's locator tool), either because there isn't one available locally or because they want to use the 'right' one. I don't know what your friend considers "local" and how far away she's already looked, but she may want to just look further away. Of course flying somewhere adds some costs but if she's doing IR/CPL then it's probably a relatively minor cost compared to what's she already spent on training and it's another excuse to fly (if she needs one!).


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