Georgia or Alabama DPE recommendations for PPL?

Grant

Active Member
Long story short. I took a PPL check ride for SEL in March of 2011 with Bob Harless and passed. I flew my Cessna 150 for 80 hours all over Georgia and then in March of 2012 the Faa sent me a letter saying the checkride was not done properly and I would need to be retested.

The FAA contact person Linda Wigglesworth gave me three options: 1. take the free review with them in 2 weeks in Albany GA or take it later at Cobb county airport. 2. Surrender my license and 3 Have it taken from with with a mark on my record.

I explained my situation and told her Albany was too soon and I did not feel comfortable doing the test at Cobb county. She said that was my only two options. I later found out people were being tested in Eastman. I was not offered this.

I chose #2 since she did not give me any other options. I would have done number 1 but due to some unfortunate circumstances there was no way fro me to prepare for the checkup in two weeks and I did not feel conformable flying into Cobb county much less being tested there.

Now I am ready to take my required 3 hours prep and take another checkride. The only problem is no one knows anything about any other DPEs in our area. Everyone was sent to Bob Harless from my area. I need a nice and fair DPE that is not trying to bust my butt on every little thing. I don't want one of those DPEs. A PPL is a license to learn!

I prefer a class E/ G airport to do the check ride and a fair and nice DPE. I talked to one DPE from GA and he was an ass in my opinion so I will not go to him. I heard another guy was very strict and he is located at a towered field.

Here are the names of some i have considered based on locations. I do not know anything about these people. I am based in Americus GA. Any suggestions for good DPEs in the Tri state area would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Grant

EMIN, DANIEL JOSEPH

RILEY, WILLIAM K.

MANN, JOHN ERNEST

SMITH, WILLIAM SWINTON JR

SULLIVAN, DAVID W.
 

motormadness24

Well-Known Member
Billy Smith hands down. I send applicant after applicant to him and never had an issue yet knock on wood. You can either go to SSI or RYY for his rides. PM for further information and I can also give you more info on another DPE that's even closer to you, but not on your list.
 

Houston

Well-Known Member
I won't say that is the strangest story I've ever heard, but it's right up there near the top. I'm so sorry that is happening to you. I wish I could help.

You're in one of those positions that really stinks. You have every right in the world to complain. Part of me feels like recommending that you get in touch with the Regional Administrator and let him know that you aren't getting a fair shake. You should get a free check ride from the FAA and they should make every effort to come to you. It wasn't your fault that the DPE was in error and the DPE worked under their supervision. Unfortunately, people are people and that sort of approach might result in a check ride that none of us could pass.

However, one thing I would do is ask the DPE for some money back. I'd write him a letter explaining all of the additional expense you went to because of his error and ask for something back (at a minimum, the fee that he charged you). In that same letter say something along the line of "I hope you will take this opportunity to reimburse me for the requested amount because if you don't, I'll be forced to file in small claims court for the full amount of the expense this has cost me and that is substantially more than what I am requesting to settle this out of court."

I wish you the very best of luck. You've had enough bad luck that you deserve a lot of good luck in the future.
 

grchase90

That's assistant to the Chief!
Dang man that sucks! I'm actually from the Oglethorpe area but all my checkrides have been done up north where I go to school. I have a good flying buddy down in Cairo and I'll ask for his recommendation tomorrow. Welcome to JC! Pretty cool to see another guy on here from central GA
 

Rotor2Wing

Unapologetically American
Billy Smith hands down. I send applicant after applicant to him and never had an issue yet knock on wood. You can either go to SSI or RYY for his rides. PM for further information and I can also give you more info on another DPE that's even closer to you, but not on your list.
Billy Smith did my private helicopter years ago and was awesome. I can also say that I did my SEL with Ben Carr in Collegedale, Tn and he was just as fair as Billy was. Ben pulls out the PTS and just goes down the list. He will go as fast as you want to go and will give you every chance to dig yourself out of a hole if you get in one. He's very quite during the flight portion just tells you where to go and what to do. Billy on the other hand liked to BS a lot while flying giving you a good distraction but also teaching you something. My ride with Billy has been almost 10 years ago but remember it well. Good Luck and btw neither of these guys lay traps or do trick questions.
 

Grant

Active Member
Everyone tested by Harless from 2010 forward has to be retested by the FAA. Harless lost all of his certifications. He is not offering refunds for the check rides. He said he does not have the funds. It would cost more to try to get it than the cost of the exam.
 

Houston

Well-Known Member
I understand your delemma, but I'd check into the legal aspect a bit further before deciding not to sue. Every county is different, but small claims court can be relatively simple and not cost a lot to utilize. There is also the possibility of getting a group of people together and looking for an attorney who might take the whole group on a contingency basis.
 

Grant

Active Member
I heard of one student that went to Billy and had a 2 hour ground portion and 3 hour flight portion. Is this typical of Billy? This was in the 90s
 

Rotor2Wing

Unapologetically American
I heard of one student that went to Billy and had a 2 hour ground portion and 3 hour flight portion. Is this typical of Billy? This was in the 90s
I think my ground and flight were about 1.5 each but like I said we did a lot of BSing it wasn't all talking about things in the PTS. I wouldn't even try to guess how a private SEL ride could last 3 hours in the air.
 

motormadness24

Well-Known Member
Billy's orals are typically between 45 minutes and maybe just over an hour but that really depends on prepared the applicant is. Flight is pretty standard with most of my students logging 1.2-1.5.
 

Grant

Active Member
I was finally able to take my check ride with Billy yesterday at SSI. I passed again! My flight was right at 1.5 hrs. Ground was about an hour. He was very professional. He was pretty quite during the entire process but nice. I hate test like this so much. It was such a relief to pass it! I had a 9 knot direct crosswind to deal with to!
 
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