Three Pilot Examiners where sitting around drinking coffee on a rainy Saturday. With the checkrides scrubbed for the day the guys started comparing notes. The biggest problem that sets them off is when the applicant shows up and they're not qualified, missing endorsements or don't have the proper paperwork (knowledge test, medical cert) with. They all agreed that this is the fault of the recommending flight instructor. It truthfully does not start the checkride off on a good note.
One suggestion is to develop a checklist. Include the requirements, endorsements and stuff to take to the checkride. There's a list in everyone of the PTS. Some instructors have pre-printed endorsement stickers that they use. There more current than some of the log books. (I have a Word doc that is set up for stickers, email if you want some). If you discover your applicant is short a requirement or two, call the examiner ASAP. Most examiners are busy, don't waist their time. Most likely they can fit in another ride or go home and mow the lawn. Any way, If you have any question feel free to call your friendly, neighborhood Examiner!
Instrument pilots flying RNAV-equipped aircraft should expect to hear some slightly different phraseology from air traffic controllers beginning June 3.
In an effort to avoid confusion about when pilots should perform a hold in lieu of a procedure turn at certain initial approach fixes, controllers will specifically tell pilots they are cleared “straight in” during approach clearances. Also, instead of beginning approaches at an initial approach fix, pilots of RNAV-equipped aircraft may be cleared to an intermediate fix as long as it is on the final approach course and three miles or more from the final approach fix.
“Where adequate radar coverage exists, radar facilities may vector aircraft to the final approach course, or clear an aircraft to any fix 3 NM or more prior to the FAF along the final approach course,” according to the FAA policy statement. “If a hold-in-lieu of procedure turn pattern is depicted and a straight-in area is not defined, the aircraft must be instructed to conduct a straight-in approach if ATC does not want the pilot to execute a hold-in-lieu-of procedure turn.”
Under the new rules, a pilot on a RNAV approach should expect to hear a variation of the following clearance:
“Cleared direct (initial or intermediate approach fix), maintain at or above three thousand feet until (initial or intermediate approach fix), cleared straight-in RNAV Runway One Eight approach.”
The eight-page FAA document also allows controllers to clear pilots for localizer approaches when ILS glideslopes are known to be out of service, and it removes all references to microwave landing systems.
An FAA/industry working group has recently drafted new Airman Certification Standards (ACS) documents that aim to provide a more integrated and systematic approach to airman certification testing and training. These documents specifically address knowledge and flight proficiency requirements for the private pilot certificate and instrument rating. They also support the FAA’s goal of reducing fatal general aviation accidents by incorporating task-specific risk management considerations with the flying skills outlined in existing practical test standards. Given the importance of this effort, the working group asked the FAA to establish a public docket (Docket Number FAA-2013-0316) for review and comment. In addition to the previous link, you can also access the documents by entering the docket number in the search menu when you go to www.regulations.gov. There is a link on the right menu bar for submission of comments. As comments post, they will be available for review in the same docket.The deadline for comments is May 24, 2013.