When my grandfather reached a certain age, he had to go for a driver test to keep his driver’s license. Are there any checks or tests for airline pilots, after a certain time, to demonstrate that they can still hold their license and safely fly an airplane ?
Question asked by Pauline.
Airline and commercial pilots constantly undergo competency and medical checks, to maintain their pilot license.This is from the time the license is issued. A pilot license, or an Aviation Document, is a booklet type document, similar to a passport. It has three sections in it. The first section describes the privileges of the license for which the pilot has qualified, the second section is to record pilot competency checks, the third section is to record medical certifications, which validate the license.
Once a pilot has qualified to fly under certain meteorological conditions, or how to fly a certain type of airplane, to maintain those privileges, pilots must regularly demonstrate their ability and competency to do so. Every six months, airline pilots and pilots employed in many other commercial operations must demonstrate in a sophisticated flight simulator, which is an exact replica of the type of airplane they fly, that they can safely operate the airplane under normal and emergency conditions. These flight simulator sessions are conducted by a Transport Canada approved check pilot and at times also monitored by a Transport Canada inspector. In addition, every twelve months, pilots must also demonstrate, to an approved check pilot, or a Transport Canada inspector, their performance on a regular revenue flight. This is called a Recurrent Line Check.
For the Pilot License to be valid, pilots must pass a medical certification examination, conducted by an Aeromedical doctor, approved by Transport Canada. Airline and Commercial pilots must regularly undergo this examination. Pilots under 40 years of age every 12 months, pilots 40 years of age and over every 6 months.
Failure to pass any of the competency or medical checks could jeopardize a pilot’s job, or possibly his or her career.
A bit more about Captain Dan:
Captain Dan Baz enrolled in Flight School at the age of 16.
He has completed studies in Aircraft Engineering and Master of Business Administration. He has been at the controls of many different types of aircraft, from single engine Cessnas to large intercontinental jets on global routes.
Over the last four decades he has flown thousands of hours up in the blue sky.
Have a question for the Captain ? Send it to Captain Dan Baz email@example.com Every week a question from the readers will be selected and answer posted in this column.