Flight examiner

What they do

Flight examiners determine whether people learning to fly airplanes and helicopters are granted pilot licences, ratings and/or endorsements. They must have extensive experience as a pilot and flying instructor before training as a flight examiner.

They conduct assessments in line with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) Flight Examiner Handbook to ensure student pilots meet the requirements of the grade of licence, rating or endorsement being sought. Flight examiners support continuous improvement by engaging with flight schools to discuss widespread training issues.


Working conditions

Flight examiners conduct flight assessments both in classroom/office settings and in the air. Whilst in the air, conditions may be cramped, noisy and turbulent.
Flight examiners may work during the day and evening, and under different weather conditions, to assess trainee pilots under various flying circumstances. They may also be required to work weekends.

Tools and technologies

Flight examiners mainly use dual-controlled aircraft during flight testing. Flight examiners use CASA testing forms to determine whether trainee pilots demonstrate sufficient competency to pass. Flight examiners use computers to develop assessment tools, organise their examination schedules and update flight test management systems regarding test outcomes.


How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a flight examiner, you must first hold a Flight Instructor Rating from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for the grade(s) of flight examiner endorsement(s) you are seeking. You then need to gain a Flight Examiner Rating from CASA, with flight examiner endorsement for one or more endorsement grades. Examples of endorsement grades are the commercial pilot licence flight test endorsement and the night vision imaging system rating flight test endorsement.

To obtain a Flight Examiner Rating or additional flight examiner endorsements (where you already hold a Flight Examiner Rating) you must meet CASA’s experience requirements, hold a current CASA Class 1 medical certificate and complete the CASA Flight Examiner Rating Course (FERC) for a minimum of one endorsement grade. To apply for the FERC, you must have successfully completed a flight instructor rating proficiency check within the previous 24 months.

The FERC consists of five phases, including e-learning modules, a one-day face-to-face classroom session, practical flight testing competency development, an interview and a flight test. Each phase must be successfully completed to progress to the next phase.

Further information is available from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.


Required registration and licensing

To work as a flight examiner in Western Australia, you will need to hold a Flight Examiner Rating from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority