Q. How long will my checkride last?
A. Except for the Initial CFI, most checkrides last an average of four hours. Of course, the checkride time may be a bit longer due to the material we need to cover, traffic around the airport area, and other factors. The Initial CFI usually last about 6 to 8 hours do to the amount of material required from the PTS.
Q. What is the best source of information for what will be covered on my checkride?
A. The FAA Practical Test Standard (or PTS) is your best guide to know what we will cover. There is a specific PTS published for the certificate or rating you are trying to achieve. As always, your flight instructor will also have excellent information and insight for the material covered on your exam.
Q. Should I bring my aircraft maintenance logs, manuals, FAR/AIM and other reference material with me to the checkride?
A. Absolutely! Almost all your reference materials can be used for the checkride. You are free to look something up during the exam, if necessary. Why do we need the aircraft maintenance logs? As part of my prep for the ride I have to make sure your airplane is airworthy to fly, plus you will have to demonstrate that you know your airplane is legal
Q. What if the weather is bad the day of my checkride?
A. If the weather forecast is not adequate for VFR flight, give me a call the night before or the morning of your checkride and we can discuss our options.
Q. For my instrument rating or ATP checkride can we fly in actual IFR conditions to complete the flight?
A. The FAA prefers that we don't.
Q. Will you come to my airport or flight school for my checkride? Or do you require that I fly somewhere to meet you?
A. Almost always, I will plan to meet you at your “home” airport. There are only a small occasions where due to scheduling, it may be more practical for you to meet me somewhere else. However, I try to avoid this as much as possible.
Q. Can I take the flight portion of my checkride first, and then do the oral portion?
A. The FAA guidance requires we complete the oral portion first before heading to the airplane.
Q. During the flight if a task or maneuver is not satisfactory, can I just do it over again?
A. Unfortunately, the maneuver must be performed to the standards outlined in the PTS the first time. However, there are exceptions if, for example, a task or maneuver is incomplete, or there was some misunderstanding of what was to be conducted.
Q. How long do I have to wait before I can re-take my checkride if I failed?
A. There is not required time to wait. However, you must receive additional instruction from your instructor in the area that was not satisfactory. This training would be determined with the help of your flight instructor.
Q. My airplane has an autopilot. Can I use it during the flight on my checkride?
A. You may use your autopilot in limited situations. As a matter of fact on some exams, the use of the autopilot is required to be demonstrated. Most automation that is available to you can be used during the checkride. Just use caution that the automation does not get in the way of flying the airplane or become a distraction.
Q. As a CFI, can I sit in and observe your checkride with my student?
A. I always welcome CFIs to sit in on the checkride if they have time. The only approval needed is from your student. If he or she is ok with it, then that would be fine!