Commercial Pilot Practical Test

Commercial Pilot Practical Test


Commercial Pilot Practical Test / Plan Of Action

Here are the endorsements needed for the Commercial Practical Test:

I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received and logged training time within 2 calendar-months preceding the month of application in preparation for the practical test and [he or she] is prepared for the required practical test for the issuance of commercial pilot certificate.

I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the subject areas in which [he or she] was deficient on the commercial pilot airman knowledge test.

I certify that [First name, MI, Last name] has received the required training of §§ 61.127 and 61.129. I have determined that [he or she] is prepared for the commercial pilot practical test.

And this is very important, you need to have ground time logged. These is no minimum number of hours, just be sure that you have ground time logged. Your instructor also needs to sign your IACRA application online.

*****NOTE***** An applicant for the Commercial Pilot Practical Test must have the instrument time logged per 61.129 i. Just having the instrument rating, does not necessarily mean that the applicant has the required instrument time.

Here are my guidelines/questions that most FSDOs/FAA Inspectors will ask before they allow you in their office or meet/fly with you. This is due to the Coronavirus of 2020:
“When was the applicant last out of the country?”
“When was the applicant last in contact with any person that has been out of the United States recently (since January 1, 2020)?”
“When were classrooms, briefing rooms, common areas that we would be utilizing last disinfected/sanitized?”
“When was the aircraft last cleaned for the purpose of disinfection and sanitization? How was that completed?”

Both the examiner and the applicant will wear some type of mask during the entire test.

If you are an applicant at a school that has had one or more students test positive, here are the guidelines for a practical test with Harry:
Classroom table must be cleaned with Clorox or alcohol prior to the test.
Mask will be worn at all times.
Hands must be cleaned with hand sanitizer.
Applicant will use their own computer to sign the IACRA application.
Aircraft controls and all knobs, switches, and buttons must be cleaned with Clorox or alcohol before the flight.
Applicant must provide a Covid test report (test must have been within 7 days of the practical test) showing negative results.

Harry has had the antibody test (July 21 2020) and the nasal swab test (July 23 2020). The antibody test was negative as of July 22 2020.

The FAA longer requires applicants for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine rating to provide a complex or turbine-powered airplane for the associated practical test. Click here for more info


Once I receive the applicant's information form and PLT codes, send them their scenario

Incorporate PLT codes in to my Plan-of-Action

Print Flight-Profile to take on flight

Verify approval for test in DMS

When I meet the applicant, start with completing my application form, collecting required documents, and have applicant sign my application form.

Open FAA checklist for the DPE

When reviewing the student's log book, be sure to confirm that he/she was properly endorsed for all solo time. Click here to review the endorsements

After printing the temporary certificate, Notice of Disapproval, or the Letter of Discontinuance, I will print a copy of this form and have the applicant sign it


1. Be on time
2. Physical testing environment: Ensure privacy. Eliminate possible interruptions/ have calls held, etc.
3. Psychological testing environment: Show genuine interest in the applicant. Be polite, courteous, receptive. Manage your prejudices. Keep personal or business problems to yourself

1. Access all levels of learning: rote, understanding, application, correlation. Correlation: should be the objective of aviation instruction.
2. Scenario situations are one of the evaluator’s better tools for more comprehensive testing and will, to the greatest extent practicable, test the applicant’s correlative abilities. Scenarios also aid in evaluating pilot judgment, knowledge, and skill.
3. Characteristics of good oral test questions: reliable, valid, usable, objective, comprehensive, and non- discriminating.
4. Oral questioning may continue throughout the test.

Upon initial contact with the applicant, I will complete the necessary portions of this form and email it to the applicant to have him/her complete it and return it to me. Once I receive this form, I will make the appointment

Once the appointment has been made, I will direct the applicant to this section of my site to download the appropriate scenario

The applicant will also be directed to download and review this Practical Test Checklist from the ACS

On the day of the practical test, the DPE will print this checklist and 2 copies of the endorsement page

Here is my page for the ACS documents

Here is my question and answer page

When the applicant is with you for the practical test and they are reviewing the online 8710, you the examiner should take control and be sure that the applicant accepts each page and does not just close each page. This is very important. Take control of this and guide the applicant through this process.

Print the Knowledge Test from IACRA and compare the numbers with the original.

After reviewing the 8710 in IACRA, you have a chance to return the 8710 to the applicant to correct any issues.

Have the applicant sign a printed 8710 in front of you. This is for your file.

In IACRA, explain in detail in the remarks/comments section any special issues. Also in this section you can explain exactly why an applicant failed so that the next examiner has the details.

You can start each checkride with the PAVE and I'M SAFE checklist.

At the completion of the checkride, the DPE will keep the original test results. You return the original only if you discontinue the test or the applicant fails the test.

Flight Profile:
Preflight Assessment
Flight Deck Management
Engine Starting
Before Takeoff Check
Communications, Light Signals, and Runway Lighting Systems
Traffic Patterns
Normal Takeoff and Climb
Start off on assigned cross country towards 2 or 3 checkpoints
Pilotage and Dead Reckoning
Navigation Systems and Radar Services
Diversion - Trigger Event - divert to an alternate I pick via pilotage/Dead Reckoning plus ATC
Normal Approach and Landing
Soft-Field Takeoff and Climb
Soft-Field Approach and Landing
Short-Field Takeoff and Maximum Performance Climb
Short-Field Approach and Landing
Power-Off 180° Accuracy Approach and Landing ***See note below.... Touch down at a proper pitch attitude, within 200 feet beyond or on the specified point with no side drift and with the airplane’s longitudinal axis aligned with and over the runway
centerline or landing path

Power off 180 FAA Figure

Go-Around/Rejected Landing
Leave from alternate towards practice area for other maneuvers
DPE will select Steep Turns or Steep Spiral
DPE will select Chandelles or Lazy Eights (see notes below)

Eights On Plyons

eights on pylons

Eights On Pylons FAA Figure

FAA Airplane Flying Handbook Ground Reference Maneuvers

FAA Airplane Flying Handbook Pylon Eights Flymall Newsletter post

Slow Flight *** See Slow Flight in Q&A section SAFO 17009 & SAFO 16010.....Select an entry altitude that will allow the Task to be completed no lower than 1,500 feet...Maintain the specified altitude, ±50 feet; specified heading, ±10°; airspeed, +5/-0 knots;
and specified angle of bank, ±5°.

Power-Off Stalls...Select an entry altitude that will allow the Task to be completed no lower than 1,500 feet
AGL (ASEL, ASES) or 3,000 feet AGL (AMEL, AMES). Maintain a specified heading, ±10° if in straight flight; maintain a specified angle of bank not to exceed 20°, ±5°, if in turning flight, until an impending or full stall occurs, as
specified by the evaluator.

Power-On Stalls
Accelerated Stalls

Airplane Flying Handbook Accelerated Stall

Spin Awareness
Systems and Equipment Malfunctions
Magnetic compass turns
Emergency Descent

Lesson plan on emergencies

Emergency Approach and Landing
Lost Procedures towards home base airport
After Landing, Parking and Securing

*******Notes >>>>> Per the March 2019 Initial DPE training class an applicant can do one or two go arounds when attempting a landing. It is up to the examiner as to how many go arounds are allowed. >>>>> An applicant can also stop a maneuver and restart it if the applicant feels the maneuver got of to a bad start. For example, on a steep turn if the applicant is climbing or descending too much during the entry, the applicant can stop the maneuver and restart the maneuver.

Lazy Eight - On a lazy eight ask the applicant to state their heading, altitude, and airspeed at the beginning of the maneuver and then ask them to state their heading, altitude, and airspeed at the end of the maneuver. If they are not within the ACS tolerances, the applicant has just told you that the maneuver was not completed per the ACS and therefore the Area Of Operation or Task was unsuccessful.

*****Note >>>>> The FAA does not recommend that you do a touch and go on a Practical Test.

*****Note >>>>> Power Off 180 - Per a March 2019 DPE training class, a go around on this maneuver is not allowed. If the applicant see that he/she will not make the spot, the Area Of Operation is unsatisfactory.

PracticalTest PlasticCertificate
Detailed Information
Detailed Description
Have the applicant bring a paper copy of the 8710 form signed by his/her instructor. For a practical test inside the 24 hour notification window, it is ok to do the test - the FAA will approve it when they have time. As the DPE you will not be able to do the post activity report until the FAA approves the test.
Today in Aviation History
January 18, 1911: Lt. Eugene Ely, USN, becomes the first person to successfully land an a/c on a ship when he lands his Curtiss plane on the deck of the armored cruiser Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay after taking off from Camp Selfridge.