The new Private and Commercial Airplane PTS requires pilot examiners to use scenarios during the checkride. Please note, that the same requirement is in the Instrument PTS for both Airplanes and Helicopters. I've been using scenarios for many years. The main advantange to using them is I can test several areas and task from the PTS in one scenario. This greatly cuts down on the amount of time you spend with me during the checkride. For example, one situation might be you're planning to fly through Class C airspace. I might present a METAR and a TAF that shows the current weather to be below VFR minimums. The applicant must determine the weather is below that for VFR flight and figure out when it would be safet to continue with the flight? Not only does the applicant demonstrate Airspace knoweldge but also demonstrates weather knoweldge as well.
Some scenarios may continue on in to the flight part of the checkride. For example a situation that goes from VFR to flight into IMC conditions is one of the deadiest situations that could happen to a VFR pilot. An instructor and/or an examiner can get quite creative with each scenario, but I caution everyone about loading up a student. It's easily done and can quickly over-come a student. If an examiner wanted to, he/she could load up the student to the point of failure. I make it a point to use only one scenario at a time. Anouther issue is the solution needs to be realistic to the students experiance level. I dont' expect a new private pilot canadate to respond to a scenario the same way an ATP canadate would. For example, take the VFR into IMC situation. An ATP could easily get an IFR clearance and continue on but a VFR Private pilot doesn't have that option and needs to have anouther plane.
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