This service might be interesting for an EASA flight school or private operators seeking for the freelance IRE(A) examiner for En-route Instrument Rating skill test.

 ⚠️ What is EASA EIR skill test ✈️

En-route Instrument rating skill test is the checkride - verifcation of the operational-related theoretical knowledge and subsequent flight with an EASA examiner

Pre-requisites of EIR skill test ✅

An EASA EIR skill test for initial obtain of enroute instrument rating is carried out after successful completion of the flight training provided by the EASA flight school. You as a trainee has to be recommended for the EIR skill test by the flight school. The flight training required to attend prior skill test shall be either:

  • flight training for a single-engine EIR: 15 hours of IFR time under instruction; and
  • flight training for a multi-engine EIR: 16 hours of IFR time under instruction (at least 4 in multi-engine aeroplane)

The holder of a single-engine EIR who also holds a multi-engine class rating wishing to obtain a multi-engine EIR for the first time, shall complete a course at an EASA flight school comprising at least 2 hours IFR time under instruction in the en route phase of flight in multi- engine aeroplane.

Examination of Instrument rating - related Theoretical knowledge at the National Aviation Authority (CAA) has to be successfully passed before attending the Enroute instrument rating skill test.

Background of ✈️ Enroute Instrument rating skill test

The enroute instrument rating skill test reffers to paragraph  FCL.825(e) and AMC1 FCL.825(e). The IR skill test shall be done in aircraft only. The en-route instrument rating skill test schedule is described in  AMC1 FCL.825(e) to Part-FCL Regulation (EC) 1178/2011. 

After the completion of the flight training, the Exam candidate shall pass a EIR skill test in an aeroplane with an EASA Examiner - IRE. For a multi-engine EIR, the skill test shall be taken in a multi-engine aeroplane. For a single-engine EIR, the test shall be taken in a single-engine aeroplane. A candidate for the Enroute instrument rating shall demonstrate to the flight examiner IRE (A) ability to perform the procedures and maneuvers appropriate for flight according to the IFR. 

An Exam candidate shall pass all the relevant sections of the EIR skill test. If any item in a section is failed, that section is failed. Failure in more than one section will require the Exam candidate to take the entire test again. An applicant failing only one section shall only repeat the failed section. Failure in any section of the retest, including those sections that have been passed on a previous attempt, will require the applicant to take the entire EIR skill test again. All relevant sections of the EIR skill test shall be completed within 6 months. Failure to achieve a pass in all relevant sections of the test in two attempts will require further training. Further training may be required also following a failed skill test. There is no limit to the number of skill tests that may be attempted.

Should the Exam candidate choose to terminate a en-route IR skill test for reasons considered inadequate by the EASA examiner, the Exam candidate shall retake the entire skill test. If the skill test is terminated for reasons considered adequate by the EASA examiner, only those sections not completed shall be tested in a further flight.

At the discretion of the EASA examiner, any manoeuvre or procedure of the skill test may be repeated once by the Exam candidate. The IRE examiner may stop the skill test at any stage if it is considered that the Exam candidate’s demonstration of flying skill requires a complete retest.

An Exam candidate shall fly the an aircraft from a position where the pilot-in-command functions can be performed and to carry out the test as if there is no other crew member. The EASA examiner shall take no part in the operation of the aircraft, except when intervention is necessary in the interests of safety or to avoid unacceptable delay to other traffic. Responsibility for the flight shall be allocated in accordance with national regulations.

Conduct of EIR ✈️ skill test

The purpose of the enroute instrument rating skill test is to simulate actual en-route IFR flight. The route to be flown is chosen by the EASA examiner. An essential element is the ability of the EIR Exam candidate to prepare the en-route IFR flight as itself using normal pre-flight analysis (briefing). The Exam candidate shall be able to prepare flight, analyze IFR-related threaths and submit the IFR flight plan. He is also responsible for flight planning and ensures that all required equipment and all documents, certificates and materials required for the flight are on board the aircraft during the checkride with examiner.

Minimum descent heights/altitudes and the transition points should be determined by the Exam candidate and agreed by the EASA examiner.

The duration of entire IR multi-engine skill test is approximately 3 hours in total. The checkride with Examiner takes approximately 1 hour up to 1 hour 30 minutes of the flight time. The rest of the time is used for the flight preperation (route planning, briefing, debriefing) and oral theoretical knowledge examination. Neverthless, the EIR skill test flight time shall not be less than 1 hours.

An EIR Exam candidate shall indicate to the EASA examiner the checks and duties carried out, including the identification of radio facilities. Checks shall be completed in accordance with the authorised checklist for the aircraft on which the test is being taken. During pre-flight preparation for the enroute instrument rating skill test the Exam candidate is required to determine power settings and speeds. Performance data for take-off, approach and landing shall be calculated by the Exam candidate in compliance with the Operations manual or flight manual for the aircraft used.

Content of Enroute Instrument rating ✈️ skill test

Before the actual flight, expect several questions to verify your theoretical knowledge by EASA examiner. You can expect the questions in accordance with GM1 to Appendix 6 on following topics:

  • Air Law
  • IFR Flight planing and IFR Flight monitoring
  • Meteorology

Actual flight with EASA Examiner consists of following sections.

  • Section 1 - Pre-flight operations and departure
    • Use of flight manual (or equivalent) especially a/c performance calculation, mass and balance
    • Use of Air Traffic Services document, weather document
    • Preparation of ATC flight plan, IFR flight plan/log
    • Pre-flight inspection
    • Weather Minima
    • Taxiing
    • Pre-take-off briefing, Take-off
    • ATC liaison — compliance, R/T procedures
  • Section 2 - General handling
    • Control of the aeroplane by reference solely to instruments, including: level flight at various speed, trim 
    • Climbing and descending turns with sustained Rate 1 turn
    • Recoveries from unusual attitudes, including sustained 45° bank turns and steep descending turns
    • Recovery from approach to stall in level flight, climbing/descending turns and in landing configuration
    • Limited panel: stabilised climb or descent, level turns at Rate 1 onto given headings, recovery from unusual attitudes
  • Section 3 - En-route IFR procedures 
    • Transition to instrument flight
    • Tracking, including interception, e.g. NDB, VOR, RNAV
    • Use of radio aids
    • Level flight, control of heading, altitude and airspeed, power setting, trim technique e Altimeter settings
    • Timing and revision of ETAs (En route hold — if required)
    • Monitoring of flight progress, flight log, fuel usage, systems management
    • Simulated emergency situation(s)
    • Ice protection procedures, simulated if necessary
    • Simulated diversion to alternate aerodrome
    • Transition to visual flight
    • ATC liaison and compliance, R/T procedures
  • Section 4
    • Not applicable
  • Section 5
    • Setting and checking of navigational aids
    • Arrival procedures, altimeter settings
    • Approach and landing briefing, including descent/approach/landing checks
    • Visual landing
    • ATC liaison – compliance, R/T procedures
  • Section 6 - Flight with one-engine inoperative (OEI)
    • Simulated engine failure during en-route phase of flight
    • ATC liaison – compliance, R/T procedures

Pass criteria ✅ of the EASA EIR skill test

The Exam candidate shal during en-route instrument rating demonstrate the ability to:

  • operate the aircraft within its limitations;
  • complete all manoeuvres with smoothness and accuracy;
  • exercise good judgment and airmanship; apply aeronautical knowledge; and
  • maintain control of the aircraft at all times in such a manner that the successful outcome of a procedure or manoeuvre is never seriously in doubt.

The following limits should apply, corrected to make allowance for turbulent conditions, and the handling qualities and performance of the aeroplane used:

  • Height: Generally ±100 feet
  • Tracking on radio aids: ±10°
  • Heading: all engines operating ±10° with simulated engine failure ±15°
  • Speed: all engines operating +10 knots/–5 knots with simulated engine failure +15 knots/–5 knots

Privileges ✅ of the EASA En-route Instrument rating

The privileges of the holder of an en-route instrument rating are to conduct flights by day under IFR in the en route phase of flight. The privileges of EIR may be extended to conduct IFR Night flights the en route phase of flight if the pilot holds a night rating in accordance with FCL.810. The holder of the en route instrument rating may only commence or continue a flight if the latest available meteorological information indicates that:

  • the weather conditions on departure are such as to enable the segment of the flight from take-off to a planned VFR-to-IFR transition to be conducted in compliance with VFR; and
  • at the estimated time of arrival at the planned destination aerodrome, the weather conditions will be such as to enable the segment of the flight from an IFR-to-VFR transition to landing to be conducted in compliance with VFR.

Since the privileges of the enroute instrument rating are only to be exercised in the en route phase of flight, iaw AMC1 FCL.825(a) holder of an EIR should:

  • at no time accept an IFR clearance to fly a departure, arrival or approach procedure;
  • notify the ATS if unable to complete a flight within the limitations of their rating.

Conditions for exercise of En-route Instrument rating

To comply with FCL.825(a)(2), the holder of an enroute instrument rating should not commence or continue a flight during which it is intended to exercise the privileges of the rating unless the appropriate weather reports or forecasts for the destination and alternate aerodrome for the period from one hour before until one hour after the planned time of arrival indicates VMC. The flight may be planned only to aerodromes for which such meteorological information is available. When filing a flight plan, the holder of an enroute instrument rating should include suitable VFR to IFR and IFR to VFR transitions. In any case, the pilot needs to apply the relevant operational rules, which ever are more limiting.

  • A suitable VFR to IFR transition is any navigational fix:
    • to which the flight can be safely conducted under VFR; and
    • which is acceptable to ATS if available.
  • A suitable IFR to VFR transition is any navigational fix
    • to which the flight can be safely conducted under IFR;
    • at which VMC conditions exist; and
    • from where the flight can be safely continued under VFR without having to follow instrument arrival or approach procedures.

Validity of EASA En-route Instrument Rating

In accordance with FCL.825(g)(1) the EASA en-route instrument rating is valid for 12 months since the end of the month in which the skill test with examiner has been successfully passed.