FOR A CHECKRIDE
DESIGNATED PILOT EXAMINER
This page is set up to provide information and assistance to those
on taking a checkride in the near future (pilot applicants), as well as
CFIs (especially recommending CFIs). Hopefully the
will be helpful in preparing for your checkride, and making
your checkride easier. Following the recommendations and directions
here will also make sure that the eligibility and paperwork
requirements are met. In addition to the General Info
I've set up different pages that are specific for each certificate and
rating for which I was authorized to conducts checks. There
also links to other specific documents and information.
GENERAL INFORMATION APPLICABLE TO
ALL CHECK RIDES
I. PREPARATION---Its only
natural to be stressed
and a little apprehensive about taking checkrides. Most of us
(and probably everyone) experience that feeling. I take
checkrides a year and still get stressed and nervous about taking them.
By being adequately prepared, you'll find
that the checkride will be less stressful. In fact you'll
probably come away learning something from it. Remember, most examiners
don't want to fail applicants, and in fact, genuinely want the
applicant to pass. However, for many reasons, they canot pass
applicant if he/she is not safe, and does not meet the ACS or PTS requirements.
PREPARE YOURSELF. One of the most important things for preparing for
checkride is preparing yourself for it--- physically, mentally,
emotionally, and of course be up to speed in terms of the
required knowleged and skill.
1. Be well rested and (to the extent possible) free of any
stress and distractions.
Try to make sure you've eaten before the checkride.
3. Postpone the test if you are sick or not
Dress comfortably. Shorts & T-shirt type apparel (or
you're comfortable is) is perfectly fine. No extra points for fashion
It's suggested that you arrive at the testing sight in plenty of time
to adequately prepare yourself for the test. Also (if
plan on not having any
commitments for several hours after the planned
completion of the test (just in case there are any unexpected delays or
B. PREPARE THE AIRPLANE- The airplane must be (legally) airworthy and
approprite for the checkride.
Review the logbooks with your instructor a couple of days before the
flight to make sure all required inspections and ADs are complied with
and that you can easily find them. NOTE: Most examiners will
issue a Notice of Disapproval (pink slip / failure notice) if you show
up with an unairworth aircraft.
It’s recommended that you thoroughly preflight (and maybe flight test)
the airplane immediately before the scheduled check so that you have
time to resolve any mechanical issues (or arrange for a backup
airplane) prior to the test beginning. If the FBO/flight
or the aircraft’s schedule does not allow for this, you can schedule
the airplane approximately 90 minutes after the scheduled appointment
time. For the purposes of the flight planning, most examiners
will allow you to use
generic POH/AFM for the make and model of the plane being used for the
flight test. You will need however, the empty weight and
for the airplane you are using.
3. If a GPS equipped aircraft will be used on a checkride for
an Instrument Rating or ATP, the unit must be IFR
certified, and the navigation database must be current.
4. Ensure that
the aircraft is legally airworthy. This
required inspections and other maintenance requirements have been
performed, and there are no inoperative items that have not been
addressed in compliance with FAR 91.213.
5. Ensure the
aircraft’s logbooks are available and properly endorsed. You will need
to bring them to the test for examination. It’s recommended that you
tag or mark the required inspections and maintenance items for easy
PREPARE YOUR PAPERWORK- In order to get off to a good start, the
paperwork needs to be right. If it's not, the process will take longer,
or the check may have to be postponed.
1. The use of IACRA
is strongly encouraged for the application process (and may be required
by the examiner). If IACRA
be used, make sure you bring a printed completed application
anyway, in case
there are problems accessing or completing the IACRA application
process. If you (or your instructor) elect not to use IACRA,
ensure that the application (8710-1) is properly completed
signed. Sign using Blue Ink.
This makes it easier for FAA personnel to determine that this is an
original document.. The application should be typed or
(editable) PDF version of the 8710-1 form is available here.
Check this page
8710-1 related errors and issues.
2. Ive prepared three (3) checklists that
that you meet the eligibility requirements for the test. You (and your
instructor) are welcome to use them. They
I used this form to help identify any issues
your identity, documents, or the test that may become an issue in
establishing eligibility to
take the test. By doing so prior to the test date, any such issues can
be identified and resolved ahead of time. Feel free to use it
your examiner doesnt have one of his own. Note that FAA
requirements on some of the issues here change over time, and this
form may not be up to date (I won't be updating it).
Appointment Checklist- Word document
protected form (ideal for email or faxing)
This checklist will list the houly
requirements, as well as the required endorsements, and flight/ground
training that must be logged. Select the checklist apporpriate for the
certificate or rating you are to be tested for. Please note
that it will
be helpful (and save time) if you add up the column totals in
your logbook pages.
1. Private Pilot (SEL)
2. Instrument Rating (SEL)
3. Commercial Pilot (SEL)
4. Commercial Pilot (MEL)
5. ATP (SEL & MEL).
Note that this has not been updated in accordance
to the change in the FARs.
6. Multi-eingine Add-on (Private Pilot)
7. Single-Engine / Multi-engine Add-on
c. Checkride Checklist-
This is essentually the same checklist thats contained in the
front of the PTS or in the appendixes of the ACS, except that I've added a few items.
D. PREPARE FOR THE TEST.
The test will be conducted as per the appropriate new Airman Certification
Standard (PTS). NOTE: At this time the FAA is
the PTS to the ACS. Therefore some certificates / ratings are
using the PTS whhile others are using the ACS. You can view
appropriate ACS or PTS here.
HINT: Be sure to read thru the appendices in the back of the of
ACS for informtion specific to your checkride.
For additional information regarding the ACS /PTS CLICK HERE
You need to be familiar with this document,
be knowledgeable in all of the AREAS OF OPERATION and their TASKS
appropriate for the certificate and rating you are seeking.
instructor should have trained you in these areas and tasks to the
standards listed, and reviewed these items with you, in detail, prior
to the test.
NOTE: One of the services I offer is a comprehensive ACS/PTS
as well as a practice simulated checkride.
II. WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
A. DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY-
The first thing the examiner will need to do (after collecting the
fee) is to verify that you’re qualified to take the
This process involves checking your application
(more on that later), and identification, as well as the aircraft log
books (the aircraft must be
legally airworthy in order to fly). The examiner will then
give you a Pre-test
Briefing (similar to this) ,
and then begin the oral portion of the test.
(below) for the requirements specific to the
certificate/rating that you are seeking..
2. If you’re a foreign national or a non-native English speaker, a
and short English language will usually be administered at this time
accordance with AC60-28).
3. You should notify the examiner prior to the day of the
checkride IF any of the following apply:
a. You hold a foreign pilot certificate,
seeking an additional rating, certificate, or removal of limitations.
This also applies if you are seeking a certificate/rating
on a foreign pilot certificate.
b. If you hold a dual citizenship.
c. This is a re-test or a contunuance of a test.
d. If you had a name change
e. If a simulator / flight training device was
used to meet the requirements for the certificate/rating.
f. If you are using an aircraft not belonging
to a flight school or club.
g. If you've been convicted of a drug-related
h. If you name is not exactly
same on your doocuments (medical, pilot certificate (including
student pilot certificate) , photo ID, and written test
there was a flight plan assigned, it will be reviewed in detail, and
will likely be a substantial part of the oral. There will
questions selected from each task in the PTS/ACS, as well as on any
questions missed on the knowledge (written) test. There are
trick questions. If you're well prepared (using the PTS/ACS) you
should have no problem. I would suggest that you bring all of
reference materials (POH/AFM, FARs/AIM, studying materials,
etc..). While most of the oral exam is closed book, there are
some limited items that may be able to be looked up. Checkout
(below) for the specific certificate/rating for more info on the oral
C. FLIGHT TEST
Assuming the oral goes well, after a short break, and a pre-flight briefing
you will move onto the flight portion. Again the PTS/ACS is
per the ACS, perfection is NOT the standard. It may help to
visualize this part of the test as an opportunity to show off your
skills, and try to have fun doing so. Checkout the links
(below) for the specific certificate/rating for more info on the flight
portion. Be sure to checkout the "Special Emphasis" listed in
the applicable PTS/ACS.
DURATION: Depending on which certificate/rating you're testing for, the
you can expect the process to take anywhere from 4-6 hours (including
breaks, briefings, and the required paperwork). Being well
prepared, and having the paperwork right will keep the time to a
III THE TEST--ADDITIONAL INFO AND TIPS
A. A. GENERAL INFO AND HINTS
1. Throughout the test....
a. The examiner will be using
Plan of Action (POA) (used to organize the practical test)
b The examiner may be taking
notes for the
c. Oral questioning will continue
throughout the test
2. Three possible outcomes are:
1) PASS = Temporary airman certificate
2) FAIL = Notice of disapproval of application (Credit may be given
for AREAS of OPERATION and TASKS completed)
3) Letter of Discontinuance - Issued in the event the test cannot be
completed once it has begun. This is not a failure, and credit will be
AREAS of OPERATION and TASKS
3. The test may be discontinued at anytime by either the examiner
or the applicant.
4. The failure of one or more TASKS will result in the failure
of the associated AREA of OPERATION, and therefore a failure of the
In the event of a failure of a TASK /AREA of OPERATION, the examiner
may elect to continue the test with the concurrence of the
applicant, in order to complete as many
TASKS/AREAS of OPERATION as possible or practical.
If a TASK (maneuver or question) doesn't go well, I suggest
put it behind you and try to continue with the check (if given the
option) in order to get as
much credit as possible.
If possible, I suggest that you arrange for the instructor who endorsed
you, to be available to clear up any paperwork or qualifying issues
that may arise. I’d also suggest that you have your
another) flight instructor available in the event of
failure. If it’s just a matter of cleaning up a couple of
time and schedule permitting, the instructor could (potentially) immediately provide
the additional necessary training, re-sign you off, and IF
the examiner is agreeable, the
re-check could be completed that same day).
Instrument Rating, Commercial, or ATP applicants: --If a Flight
Training Device is to be used, the examiner may need a copy of the
Authorization for that device prior to the flight
check.. Note that the number of tasks allowed to be performed
a FTD are very limited. See the appropriate ACS/PTS appendix.
9. Foreign Students/ Applicants
address on the 8710 and medical certificate should be you home address
(permanant mailing address)...not the school's address. If
certificate mailed to the school (or somewhere other than your home
address) it should be noted on a separate pice of paper. If using
is a place to indicate such.
b. It's is highy recommended that you allow (as a
2-4 weeks between the expected date of your checkride and your return
home This will allow
some addition time in
case your course
completeion and checkride is delayed for any reason.
c. If you hold a dual citizenship, you must first
cleared by the FSDO before taking the practical test.
d. If you are applying for a US
(restricted) license based on a foreign license:
1) The foreign license and
medical must be
current, and, any limitations on it will apply to the US restricted.
2) A current letter of
(issued with the last 12 months) from the FAA Airman Certification
Branch (AFS-760) is required to take the test.
Re-tests----In the event of a failure on either the oral or flight
portion, a retest will be required. Unless you felt that you
treated unfairly, or there was a personality clash, I'd
that you do the retest with the same examiner. The reason for
this is that even though you can reieve credit for those portions of
the test complted successfully, many examiners are leary to
this credit if the test was started by another examiner (due to due dilligence and potential liabitly
issues). In that case, you will most likely end up re-doing
most of the test over again.
IV ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & LINKS
A. INFORMATION RELATIVE TO SPECIFIC CERTIFICATES & RATINGS
3. COMMERCIAL PILOT
MULTI-ENGINE ADD-ON RATING (Private / Commercial)
SINGLE-ENGINE ADD-ON RATING (Private / Commercial)
ALL CERTIFICATES / RATINGS- COMMON ERRORS- For information
about what I've found to be common weak areas, or reasons for failures.
INFORMATION--- CFIs click here