TATC File No. P-3151-60
MoT File No. 5802-067515



Robin Carl Lamb, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-2, s. 7.1(1)(b)

Review Determination
William Thornton Tweed

Decision: January 18, 2006

I confirm the Minister's decision to issue Captain Robin Lamb an unsatisfactory assessment on his A-330/340 pilot proficiency check.

A review hearing on this matter was held Tuesday, November 8, 2005 at Robson Square in Vancouver, British Columbia.


On May 20, 2005, the applicant failed a pilot proficiency check (PPC) on an Airbus 330/340.


The facts of the matter were not in dispute. Captain Lamb did not object to nor did he provide any evidence to challenge the evidence of the relevant facts as stated by Captain John Dixon Sturdy, the Air Canada Check Pilot who conducted the ride.

The PPC was a scripted ride conducted in a simulator. On departure an engine fire was simulated. Captain Lamb allowed the nose to pitch up beyond the prescribed amount and in spite of a prompting from the first officer, he failed to stop the climb at the prescribed acceleration altitude of 1,500 feet. The script provided a second simulated engine failure on the same side. The crew set the aircraft up for a two-engine out same side approach. The captain programmed the incorrect airspeed, 3 knots faster than the current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The landing was completed within the prescribed parameters.

A second departure was made and again there was a simulated engine failure on departure. The engine was re-lit and the crew continued for a CAT III approach. Notwithstanding several prompts from the first officer and an elapsed time of approximately 10 minutes, the captain did not return the thrust lever for the re-lit engine to the appropriate thrust. As the crew prepared for the approach Captain Lamb took out the incorrect chart for ground and taxi and responded to a prescribed prompt in a manner inconsistent with the SOPs. The landing was carried out and the appropriate exit was used.

After a break Captain Lamb was advised the ride was a fail and the ride was terminated.

Captain Lamb expressed his displeasure with his company's change to Jeppesen charts and admitted that he had not reviewed the new charts in preparation for his ride.

There was also evidence that he was under considerable stress as a result of personal events. He did not ask to have the ride rescheduled.


The applicant admitted it was not a perfect ride but felt that the errors were minor in nature and did not warrant an assessment of a failure.

The Minister pointed out that the PPC was conducted in accordance with a script and that the procedures were carried out in accordance with the Approved Check Pilot Manual.


The check pilot made his determination in a manner consistent with the Approved Check Pilot Manual. In particular, the applicant knew of the changes to the charts and knew or should have known his company's SOPs. The applicant had not reviewed the new charts and he did not follow the SOPs. As well, the failure to correct the power setting notwithstanding several prompts to correct the situation, was reasonably determined to be a loss of situational awareness. All of which are failure items under section 10.4 of the Approved Check Pilot Manual.

Every pilot has a duty to assess themselves fit to exercise the privileges of their licence, CARs subparagraph 404.06(1)(a)(i). If Captain Lamb's personal circumstances made him unfit to assume the role of pilot-in-command, then he had an obligation to excuse himself from the ride.


I confirm the check pilot's decision and the Minister's Notice of Suspension.

January 18, 2006

William T. Tweed
Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada