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took last ride with instructor and he cleared me for private pilot check and helped me set up check ride. He forgot to sign endorsement and left for airlines, He is not answering my calls and the company he worked for, Oracle, is telling me I will have to fly with new instructor charging me for 3 hours to get endorsement. what recourse do I have besides small claims court to finish this out?

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    $\begingroup$ When you come here to ask for assistance, it really looks bad that you can't use capitalization and small things like articles (the endorsement, the airlines, etc) correctly. Yes, someone else can (and possibly may) edit your post to clean this up, but they shouldn't have to. This isn't a text message thread. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 1:20
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    $\begingroup$ Life lesson: The easiest solution is to do the three hours and get it behind you. We too often consume ourselves with wanting things to be made right, instead of laser-focusing on what is the best outcome for us. In life, when jilted, seek your own best interest, not fairness—they are rarely the same. If you do decide to pursue it, it matters whether you paid him or Oracle. Whoever’s customer you were is the party that “owes” you flight instruction in return your $, and owes you resolution. If he was an employee, your gripe is with them, and their gripe is with him. $\endgroup$
    – Max R
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 2:37
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    $\begingroup$ @RalphJ, good points, but there are far worse offenders on this site... $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 15:04

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I'm sorry to hear about this, Jake, but you should know after having received probably a good half-dozen or so endorsements for your knowledge test, solo, x/c solos, and more that if your instructor didn't endorse your logbook for the practical test, you are not "cleared", regardless what he may have told you. Assuming this was done under Part 61 there are only the minimums in 14 CFR 61.109. Similarly if the instruction was done under Part 141. I'd continue to try other ways to get a hold of your previous primary instructor and get that endorsement.

Aside from that, I'd raise the issue with Oracle and see what they can do to help you on the cost piece. However, I'd strongly advise approaching this conversation less confrontationally than this post - I don't see raising the threat of small claims court doing you any favors. To set expectations, I'd also not assume that 3 hours is what it will take to earn the practical test endorsement from a new CFI. That endorsement is theirs to give, and if they feel your previous instructor did not adequately prepare you, they may want to spend more time with you before they endorse you. Of course it could be fewer than 3 hours too.

IANAL but should you choose to go to take this to small claims, I struggle to see how this would turn out favorably for you. There is too much missing context, but I think the likely response from your primary instructor and the flight school would simply be that you had not earned the endorsement. I don't think any court could force the endorsement to be given. On receiving any kind of compensation, I think they would argue that any decisions you made stemming from the alleged promise would be considered unreasonable reliance on said promise.

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