Archive for November, 2015

Commercial Pilot Checkride Year 2007

Monday, November 9th, 2015

These are notes from a commercial pilot checkride, maybe around 2007. Location and examiner unknown. It was in the local DC metro area.

Oral: Explain airspace dimensions and VFR weather minimums. ATC light gun signals. ADIZ/SFRA intercept procedures and what frequency to use and what code to squawk. What code to squawk if your radios went dead going into BWI? Commercial pilot limitations (difference between Part 91 and 135 ops). Know aero-medical factors (hypoxia, hyperventilation, alcohol/drugs). Explain runway markings. LAHSO. Know how to get a ferry permit to bring your airplane home if your annual is overdue (get permit from FSDO signed by an A&P with IA). Know required instruments for VFR day and night flight. Explain spin recovery procedure. Be able to describe all of the commercial maneuvers. In the chandelle, where is the pitch angle the greatest? Same thing with the Lazy 8, know where is the pitch angle the greatest? What to do if the pylon creeps ahead of you during eights on pylons.

Flight portion: Remember to brief the examiner on seat belt and shoulder harness use. A soft-field takeoff with an obstacle. Be able to intercept a VOR radial. Be prepared to divert to an airport of the examiner’s choice. Demonstrate slow flight, power off and power on stalls. Pylon 8s and chandelles. Do clearing turns! You will do an engine out approach and landing.

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CFI Checkride KESN Year Unknown

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

The examiner may do research on your instructor to make sure he/she is qualified, current, etc. This examiner’s exams are open book and that he wants you to focus on teaching skills at the student pilot level.

Be prepared to discuss the FAA’s new web interface ACRA and IACRA. Information is obtained on the FAA web site at: This examiner is passionate about this new tool (his former colleges helped develop) so I would recommend becoming very familiar with not only the use of ACRA but the whole history behind it, why it came to be, who uses it, etc.

Oral Exam

Part 61 of the FAR inside and out. I used no other part of the FAR. He presented several unrealistic scenarios that required lots of research. Know that Advisory Circular 61-65D (instructor endorsements) is old (know date) and the FARS are more up to date and should be referenced. All requirements and endorsements for student and private pilot. Why a tail wheel AC requires shorter runway length. Why it is better to have your passenger in the back seat (aero dynamically). Record retention for a CFI. Teach how to scan to a new pilot including collision avoidance and how to know if you are on a collision course. Coriolis effect and its effect on AC and balloons. Have a weight and balance prepared- he looked at it and had no questions. Know everything about wind sheer, its effect on AC and how you would teach it to a student. Know how to do a performance chart for take off and why it is important to always know how much runway even if at Dulles (he presents an accident scenario for this).Teach a Chandelle. FOI- Frank was very opinionated and told me he had a problem with FOI so he only threw out the word Rote a few times. However, I used several of the Levels of Learning and Principles of Learning throughout my discussion. He did want to know about positive and negative transfer of learning and the difference between behavior and cognitive learning. Resources available to transition a Private Pilot to complex and HP (airplane flying handbook Chapter 13). Here are some topics that were not covered: ADIZ, FRZ, Intercept Procedures, Weather, Airport Markings, light guns, airspace, NTSB, lift, medical, systems, stalls, spins, VFR equipment


Immediately prior to the Checkride, he told me what to expect. He described several scenarios all of which were repeated in the plane. Scenario 1- Teach a 1 hour student to start the airplane. Scenario 2- Teach a low time student a soft-field takeoff. Scenario 3- Teach a high time student pilot level turns. Scenario 4- Teach a private pilot a Chandelle. Scenario 5- Demonstrate a steep turn. Scenario 6- Teach a low time private straight and level under the hood (Frank wore the hood). Scenario 7- Teach the traffic pattern to a student pilot. Scenario 8- Demonstrate a short field landing (he picked the 50′ obstacle (FORD Dealer) and said to put it on the numbers) Scenario 9- Frank pulled the power and wanted me to demonstrate the emergency procedures. I picked a field and he pointed to a grass strip that his friend owns. He said he has permission to land so I was prepared to land. About 100′ above, he said to go-around. Scenario 10- Demonstrate a trim stall. Scenario 11- Demonstrate s-turns on a road. Scenario 12- Teach a private pilot 8’s on pylons. Scenario 13- Land with a slip and know the ailerons should be into the wind. He only checked the airworthiness certificate and registration. He gave me a 3 minute debrief and said I forgot to do a clearing turn prior to the first maneuver and my teaching was good however I made it too complicated for the beginner pilots. For the level turn scenario for the student pilot, he used a bicycle turning description as an analogy to an airplane.

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CFI Checkride Summer 2005 KESN

Saturday, November 7th, 2015


The test in general: Goal is to test the sufficiency of instruction and to see whether you have the communications skills necessary to be a good flight instructor. The examiner may discuss who would be pilot in command in the event of a real emergency during the flight. Oral: Flight instructor roles and responsibilities. Know endorsements for student and private pilots, and where to find the language (AC 61.65) and corresponding requirements in FAR Part 61. Decision making and the role of sound ADM in accident prevention. You may be given a photocopy of a fictitious third class medical and asked to fill out the endorsements on the medical to make it a student pilot certificate. You may be asked to review a completed 8710 application for errors. You will be given different scenarios (student pilot, etc) and asked what endorsements are required for this type of flight or that type of flight, etc. How can you ensure that your student operates safely while conducting solo operations (restrictions in 90-day endorsement). You may be presented with NTSB report summaries and asked to review each one and discuss some of the issues in each incident/accident, what the pilots could/should have done differently to prevent the incident/accident, and how they could have handled the emergency better once it was in progress. Here are the case numbers : IAD99LA068 (9/21/99, Cessna 172 at Potomac), IAD98LA099 (8/22/98, Mooney at Kentmorr), IAD99FA051 (6/28/99, Cessna 172 at GAI). Pretend the examiner is a student pilot with only a couple of hours, and teach him weight and balance. Pick one Performance chart and describe to the examiner how to use it. You may be asked to prepare a lesson plan for a student whom experience level will be given to you by the examiner.


Engine Start and Taxi. Soft field takeoff. Short field approach landing. Chandelle. Power-Off Stall. Trim Stall. Straight-and-Level flight by reference to instruments (hood work) – the examiner may wear the hood and do the flying. On all maneuvers you may be asked to demonstrate or critique. Steep Turn. Emergency Approach and Landing. Eights on Pylons . S-Turns. Pattern entry. Slip to a Landing. Post-Flight procedures (engine shutdown/securing).

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CFI Checkride Nov 2015 KGAI

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

Nov 2015 CFI Checkride at KGAI

Oral portion:

He started the oral by asking me what endorsements do I need to have in my logbook for the checkride? Next we did the required paperwork.

Next I rolled the dice for parts of the PTS, both oral and flight.

FOI – I got task E (instructor responsibilities) and task B (the learning process). He asked me what are my responsibilities as a flight instructor and he asked me about professionalism. Next we moved to the learning process. I was asked about the laws of learning. We talked about motivation, effective communication and barriers to learning.


Next we moved to technical subject areas and a roll of the dice gave me runway incursions and avoidance. 14 CFR, publications,  and logbook entries and endorsements.

For runway incursions I just showed him all the material that I had in my binder, told him about the importance of safety during taxi, I used the Tenerife accident in 1977 as an example.

Next we moved to 14 CFR, he asked me what is Part 1 and what is NTSB Part 830. We talked about A/Cs.

Next moved to logbooks and endorsements. He asked me what endorsements and logbook entries I should give to a student pilot.

The next task was preflight information and I got certificate and documents and airworthiness requirements. We talked about ARROW. He wanted me to show him in the airplane logbook all the required inspections.

Next task was preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight: he asked me to prepare him a lesson on power on stalls.


Flight portion:


He asked me to teach him how to start the engine (explained him step by step the checklist), then he took the controls and started to taxi, he taxied too fast and without his hands on the yoke and waited for me to correct him. He told me to teach him a short field take off.  I explained to him what to do and he did the take off. He flew the plane until we left the SFRA.  After leaving the SFRA he asked me to teach him and show him steep turns. Next he told me to teach him a chandelle. I did a chandelle and he did one.  Next he reduced the power to idle and told me that we have lost the engine. I was asked to teach him what to do. We made it to the field I selected and did a go around.  We did the emergency descent because we were high from the chandelles.

Next he told me to teach him 8s on pylons while he flew the maneuver. From that we flew to KDMW. I took the controls and he told me to do a power off 180 to land on the 1000 marker. After that we taxied back to the runway and he told me to teach and show him a soft field takeoff. Next he told me to teach and show him s-turns.  Next he told me to teach and show him a power off stall. Then we talked about trim stalls and flew back to KGAI. He told me to show him a normal landing and to land on the centerline.


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Private Pilot Checkride Nov 2015 KGAI

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

The PPL check ride is divided to two parts- Oral exam and Practical one.

First – the Oral Exam:

Go deeply into the same material on the written exam. Make sure you have a good understanding of “why” doing any step! I used a lot of good short videos on YouTube to understand better any problematic issue.

Sit down with your charts, look for any unfamiliar symbol, look over the times table by the sides of the chart, practice by yourself to find any towers/restricted areas operational times by the tables.

Go over the plane with the A&P. Ask him to explain some of the aircraft systems.  For example, how does the fuel get to the engine from the fuel tank?  Have him/her explain the basic operation of the engine.  Know how the yoke is connected to the elevator. Be able to locate required inspections in the aircraft maintenance records – log books.

Be very familiar with the POH. This contains operational limits for your aircraft as it also has the performance tables. Make sure you are able to locate most anything in the POH.

Be very familiar with all airport signage. There are several online training aids to assist you in learning these.  In the WFIA forum found by going to, click on the WIFA logo upper right corner, click on WIFA forum, and under WIFA ground school view the slides for ground lesson 4 (Harry has all of the airport signage in this presentation).

We started the Exam by going over all of my documents. He will review your log book to verify that you have the proper experience. He will review your medical certificate and other FAA documents.

Be sure to bring with you the following:

* IACRA Documents

* ID

* Logbook

* Medical Certificate

* Your Charts

* Airport Facility Directory


* Your aircraft maintenance records

* Plotter & Flight Computer

He started the exam portion with cards showing airport signage. I was asked to identified each one by its formal name and classified it to “Sign” next to the pavement or a “Mark” on the pavement. We continued on by limits questions: Weather, Airplane, Inspections. Next I was asked question that needed an explanation, for example:

  1. What happens if a fuel tank vent becomes clogged?
  2. I was asked to explain how the stall horn works?


Next we moved on to the navigation part of the test. We opened the sectional and then started going over different scenarios for some flights:

  1. Flying to Tangier Island (eastern Washington D.C.), what would your steps be to land there?
  2. You are flying 2000 feet along the coast north of Atlantic City (next Philadelphia) and would like to land in Millville, explain your options.
  3. You plan to land in Sky Bryce (about 60NM west of Dulles), what are the different airspace classes during your approach into Sky Bryce?
  4. Which airspace class is Webster Naval Outlying Field (KNUI)?
  5. Explain the P-40 Area, how can you look for the current status?
  6. Go over the Washington SFRA and rules.

The oral exam was about 2 hours, the atmosphere was “Educational”, instead of “Testing”.

The Practical Exam Part:

The airborne exam is mostly a safety check of your flying skills. It is better for you to show good control during all the landings than lose 150 foot by steep turn maneuvering.

First part was the pre-flight checklist. This examiner showed me the elevator balance weight located inside the elevator. Be sure to keep your checklist out during the flight and use it.  Nobody rush you.  Do not forget to set your timer for the cross country portion.  I climbed to my cruise altitude, and then turned to my heading towards my first check point.  After reaching my second point I was asked to calculate my current GS and my planed flight time to the final destination.  We deviated from the cross country to the practice area. First I went under the hood and did a climb, decent, and turn by the instruments.

We did the following maneuvers:

* Slow Flight Clean configuration.

* Power off Stall

* Power on Stall

* Lost procedures using the VOR.

* Engine out over an open field

We went to Carroll County Airport. I got the weather there. We did a short field landing at KDMW. I did a short field takeoff and then a soft field landing. All landings were full stop.

Leaving KDMW I did a soft field takeoff then turn and intercepted the 218 radial from EMI to KGAI. Once established on the radial he told me that I had a broken throttle cable or stuck throttle – fixed at 2300 RPM. Questions were: How should I decent? How should I land?

Should I keep to the same destination? Should I inform ATC? I descended with the yoke using flaps to reduce my speed or to keep my speed low.  I could use the mixture to control engine RPM.  Landed back at KGAI!


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