Commercial Pilot checkride

Commercial Pilot checkride Dec 2015

DPE asked me to prepare a flight plan from GAI to ALB. The case scenario was a commercial flight with me as PIC and 3 passengers on a basic VFR day.

Oral exam:

The entire exam was as commercial decision making oriented. We started on commercial privileges and limitations. Next we reviewed my flight plan and talked about my decisions for the flight. We discussed emergencies that could happen along the way and my responsibility for the passengers.

Few Examples:

My plan was a straight line course which crossed over mountains before arrival into Albany. I planned to cross the area about 1500 ft above the mountains.

  1. Is that a high enough altitude to fly in case of engine failure? We calculated the glide distance and the ability to glide to other airports.
  2. We talked about the airspace classes along the way. Clearance, VFR conditions, SVFR.
  3. Weight and Balance for the flight, Zero fuel, Gear retract changes, Reserves.

CPL privileges:

  1. Part 121, part 135, can I be hired for private owner to fly his own airplane? Can that person can fly passengers and charged them using his own airplane.
  2. Flights a commercial pilot can do with a third class medical.

The examiner wanted me to find various answers in the FAR & AIM.

Others issues we talked about:

Medical factors, oxygen requirements, vision issues (night & day), Airplane systems, Maintenance records, recovering from spin or stall, landing and takeoff distances

Last part was weather. The examiner asked me to brief the weather by the “Big Picture”, not just METAR and TAF. I printed out the surface maps and used various websites including PIREPs.

The oral part was about 3 hours.

The Practical Exam:

I filed a SFRA flight plan.

Before we got in the airplane the examiner asked me to brief him as a passenger about the flight, I talked about: Emergencies, Seat Belts, be quiet during T/O and Landing, weather issues and passenger behavior.

We started with a Soft Field T/O then I started off on the planned cross country. I navigated by the sectional map till my 2nd point. I calculated my ground speed using timing.  After reaching the 2nd point the examiner simulated engine roughness and diverted me to the nearest airport (York on my case).

On the way to York we did:

Landing Conf. Slow Flight

T/O Conf. Slow Flight

Climbing and turning during slow flight

Stalls during turns


Mid-flight Power-Off

Later, we headed to York. AT York I did a Short Field Landing, taxi back for a Short Field T/O and stayed in the pattern for Power-Off Accuracy Landing.

We started back to GAI. On the way back we did 8s on pylons.

The Practical test was 2.2 flight hours.

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