Private Checkrides: Not to much progress made in correcting the issues described earlier this year. Oral wise, Weather still seems to be the biggest issue and a number of applicant don't know how to recover from a spin. Flying issues: Several recent applicants have had problems demonstrating slips. Continuing problem areas are crosswind take off/landings, as well as, correctly doing a soft field landing.
Commercial Checkrides: Orals. Weather issues as stated earlier this year continues to be a weak spot and new to the list is Aircraft System knowledge. Since we don't have to test in complex airplanes any more, most applicants are showing up in fixed gear Cessna and Piper products. All that is great and all but I have discovered that we may have forgotten to review the systems of the airplane we've been flying in a lot. I've been told a lot of goofy stuff. Did you know the turn coordinator is powered by the static system in a new 172 or that carburetor heat on a Warrior is electric? All new to me.
Flying: Over all I have had several great applicants! The flight portion is pretty easy if an applicant has had good training. Of the checkrides that have not ended successfully, the common factor was they where not prepared in accordance with the FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook and the ACS. For example, one applicant did the Lazy 8s with adding and reducing power as the airplane climbed and descended.
Multi Engine Checkrides: We've had pretty good progress on previous errors (like feathering the wrong prop). One trend that has reared its ugly head, is not following (or even using checklist). One applicant failed to insure the gear was down before landing. It could have been caught if he used his checklist.
Instrument check rides: Oral: Weather knowledge, RNAV Chart procedures and missed approach procedures. Flying: Holding, Circling and missed approach procedures.
Initial CFI check rides: Just call me. There's not enough space on the internet for me to cover that.
Helicopter Checkrides: Overall, not much to complain about. See my past posts for a good review. Instrument helicopter rides. I have the same issue on instrument airplane as I do instrument helicopter (except for the circling procedures).
Call if you want to discuss in more detail.
We've been hearing about it for months and it is finally out! N8900.485 - Removal of Designated Pilot Examiner Geographic Limitations and Other Restrictions
Per the Notice, Geographical Limitations and other Restrictions removed becomes effective Oct 2, 2018.
Here are a few Specific point that will affect all DPEs.
a. No Geopgrapic Limitaions: With a few restrictions, a DPE may test anywhere in the US or its territories.
b. Initial Flight Instructor Tests: Initial CFI applicants may contact the DPE directly to schedule an initial CFI check ride. Note: The DPE must have the authority to conduct initial CFI rides.
c. Number of Tests Allowed Daily. DPEs are allowed to conduct up to three tests per day without additional approval and that there will be no limit on the number of retests that can be conducted per day. Initial tests, discontinuances, and continuations are all considered practical tests. There is no limit to the number of administrative applications a DPE may process in a calendar-day (e.g., foreign pilot applications, second-in-command (SIC) type rating applications, student pilot application reviews, etc.).
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call
Well, I haven't posted in awhile. I'll spare you the details but lets just say its been a crazy spring and summer. Let me get down to what you want to know.
Check rides stuff.
A few changes have been made to the private, instrument and commercial ACS. Rather than spend a bunch of time typing, I recommend getting a current copy from FAA.gov and review it for yourself. There is a page that summarizes the changes in each ACS.
Ground: Basic weather knowledge. For example, cold vs warm front. Required equipment. Stall and spin knoweldge (big hint, know how to recover from a stall & spin). Airspace; Class C, B and TFRs. Effects of being outside the Weight and Balance envelope.
Flight: Stall recovery. Unusual attitude recovery. Engine failure and best glide. Crosswind Takeoff and landing and Soft Field landings. Airport operations at towered and non towered airports.
Ground: Basic weather knowledge, Alternate airport requirements. RNAV approach procedures. GPS and WAAS procedures.
Flight: Holding. RNAV approach procedures. Circling approach procedures (when can you descend below MDA?). Non precision approach procedures (Where is the MAP?).
Ground: Commercial Privileges and limitations. Basic weather knowledge.
Flight: Lazy 8s. 180 Power off accuracy landings. Stall recovery.
Ground: Safety Management. Private/Commercial pilot certificate required training. Required endorsements. Cross country planning. Airworthiness requirements.
Flight: Not teaching and/or flying in accordance with the ACS and the appropriate FAA Flying Handbook.
Automatic failures: (These are situations where the Examiner has no option and most likely will intervene before a bad situation occurs.) Busting airspace or cloud clearances. Busting a Regulation or an ATC clearance. Exceeding a limitation. Any action or lack of Action where the Examiner must intervene.
1. Your habits will present themselves on the check ride. Yep, That's true! Many times I will hear from the applicant and the recommending instructor "We where just working on that" or " I thought we had fixed that problem". One of the laws of learning is "First learned, Best remembered" This is why it is important to teach correctly the first time. It is very hard to correct undesirable behavior once it is learned. The added stress and fixation experienced during a check ride causes the applicant to revert to old habits.
2. Fly like you train and train like you fly. An old military quote. Basically I'll sum it up this way. Fly the way you where taught by you flight instructor. If you are tempted to try something you read on the internet or follow advice from a friend on your check ride, DON'T! The results rarely come out in your favor.
3. Know and follow the emergency procedures for your aircraft. This has been an issue lately on Multi engine check rides. One Multi applicant failed to retract the landing gear during take off which wouldn't have been a big deal if an engine hadn't failed. Unfortunately, the applicant didn't follow the emergency procedure (which called for retracting the gear). Not only did the added drag from the gear help to rapidly slow the airplane, the nose gear steering linkages make the rudder harder to push. The applicant quickly lost directional control of the airplane. The examiner had to recover the airplane.
4. Relax, breath and slow down. This is especially true during emergency situations and during check rides. If you rush, mistakes will be made. Start some self-talk....Ok, fly the airplane, What is happening here?....What do I need to do?....Fly the airplane.....
5. What is the ACS? Airmen Certification Standards. The ACS is the replacement for the PTS. The Private, Instrument and Commercial Airplane check rides are conducted in accordance with the ACS at present time. The rest of the PTS's will be phased out in short order. Keep and eye on the FAA website for updates.
Unfortunately, some instructors are not using the ACS as a training/testing guide and are surprised when their student is sent home with a Notice of Disapproval. The ACS is different than the PTS and there are significant changes. You can grab the latest copy of the ACS more details on the transition at www.faa.gov.
Another Aviation News Talk podcast on check rides.
With the advent of Garmin Pilot, Foreflight and other flight planning sofeware, it seems that basic flight planning skills have been set aside. For example, during a check ride I will ask; "What will our ground speed will be today?", "What power setting will you use to get your planned true airspeed?"' and "What will our fuel burn be?". Unfortunately, I sometimes get the confused puppy dog look? I'll give you a hint to the answers. All flight planning, regardless of using an app or not, starts with the AFM/POH.
Some airplanes have been highly modified since leaving the factory floor. How have these modifications changed the AFM/POH performance numbers? I once had a 1976 C-172 with an Airplaines 180 Horsepower engine upgrade. If I used the factory AFM/POH performance numbers I would have been off on my ground speed and fuel burn by a lot. I had to use the Airplaines AFM supplement to get correct data. This also meant I could NOT use the generic C-172 performance data found in my flight planning app. I had to modify the app data to get accurate ground speed, fuel burn and ETE.
I personally use Foreflight for most of my flight planning. I don't care who's app you use but each app has a couple of common pitfalls. Like, in order to correct winds aloft data you have to have an internet connection AND have an accurate ETD entered. Without this you will have incorrect GS, ETE, ETA and fuel burn. Another issue. How does your app correct for Deviation and Variation? Something we use to think about using a paper flight plan form is no longer discussed. Is this a big deal? It could be if you're not applying the information correctly.
Don't misunderstand me, I embrace and use technology as much as I can. You just have to understand where the pit falls are to keep you out of trouble.
I've been listening to Aviation News Talk since it's started and can highly recommend taking the time. This week Max talks about Check ride Anxiety. Give it a listen!
Max's Aviation New Talk site:
I've attached links to several FAA legal interpretation regarding Commercial Pilot certification regulations. You will see where some of the interpretations talk about helicopter applicants but, in most cases, the interpretation also applies towards airplane applicants as well.
There have been multiple applicants scheduling two examiners for their check ride and then canceling last minute or "no-showing" with one of the examiners. This isn't cool! Not only is this unfair to the examiner, it also screws other applicants who want to get their check rides done.
All examiners are required to notify the FAA of their check ride schedule at least 48hrs in advance. This is usually how we discover someone booked another examiner. The FAA usually (but not always) let the examiners sort this out. In my case, I will make it simple. I will call (or text) and cancel your check ride with me and will not let you reschedule.
Some examiners have discussed charging a scheduling fee. Basically, the thought is to charge your credit card $100 when the check ride is scheduled and then apply that towards your check ride fee when you show up. For example, if the check ride fee is $450, $100 will be charged when you schedule and you'll pay the remaining $350 when you do your check ride. If you no-show or cancel short notice without rescheduling, you lose the $100.
I hope it doesn't come to this, but it may if this double booking thing continues.
I've had a rash of problems that all could have been prevented with a little attention to detail.
1. Applicants not meeting the requirements for their certificate/rating they are applying for. For example: Cross country's that are too short distance wise. Short the number of night landings and/or night time. Missing dual cross countries. For private pilot applicants, logging instrument time in an AATD or BATD (the 3 hrs of instrument must be in an airplane). Instrument applicants no shooting 3 different instrument approaches on the long IFR cross country (contact, visual, PAR & ASR approach do NOT count!). Not filing IFR on the cross country. Not doing the long IFR cross country with a CFI-Instrument. And not having 50 hours PIC cross country. For commercial applicants, try to log one flight to meet two requirements (can't double dip), Logging both solo and supervised PIC towards the 10 hour requirement (this must be either 10 hrs solo or 10 supervised PIC, they can't be combinded). And if you don't have an Instrument rating prior to applying for the Commercial Airplane certificate, you mush have 10 hours of Instrument training from a CFI-Instrument.
2. Several applicants for advanced ratings have shown up without a current flight review. (Really, how does this happen?)
3. Missing endorsements. AC 61.65G was released in August of this year. The most commonly missed endorsement is the 61.39 requirement. Remember, There are two parts to that endorsement that need to be signed off. The second most missed endorsement is the 90 day solo endorsement for student pilots.
4. Missing Registration and/or Airworthiness certificate. Remember the AROW acronym? One airplane showed up with a temporary registration certificate that expired almost a year ago.
5. Aircraft not being Airworthy. One showed up without a current Annual. Several have shown up with AD's that have not been complied with. Almost all where because they over-flew a reoccurring AD. One airplane showed up with AD's signed off for a different type of airplane (The nut plate AD and the Rudder stop AD do not apply to the Cessna 172 series). One applicant showed up with fuel gauges that where not working.
All these things are usually check ride show stoppers and in a few cases the airplane is grounded for awhile. All of these things can be prevented with a little diligence from the flight instructor. I'm not that smart, I catch these things with use of a check list. There is no reason you can't develop your own.