This was our Photo of the Day on Friday, August 31, and while it’s not a very exciting image all by itself, it depicts an important aspect of a pilot’s checkride: the aircraft logbooks! If you wait until the morning of your checkride to review them, Murphy’s Law says you will find something that the examiner will not like: a missed 100-hour inspection, a pitot-static inspection that isn’t logged. Until you get that straightened out, no flying for you.
I asked the Facebook audience to share useful tips for taking checkrides, and here’s what they said:
I got a friend who was an examiner to give me a pre-checkride for my private. We ironed out some last-minute areas that I was weak on and my instructor hadn’t fixed. Just another set of eyes… and yes, I did pass my checkride the first time!–Christian Roberts
Maybe it seems like common sense to some, but I really appreciated my instructor walking the plane with me at the end of my training, making sure I actually knew what all of the antennas on the airplane did, and then he quizzed me the next lesson.–Brittney Miculka
Don’t be afraid to delay the flight. For my commercial checkride it was windy, gusting, and a line of dark clouds was rolling in. Decided to wait on the flight after passing the oral.–Mike Borkhuis
Double-check the weights. I was 15 pounds off on my empty weight during my checkride. I used the previous weight rather than the new one.–Neil Bradon
Tab or paper clip each page in your log book upon which you meet an individual requirement of a particular certification. IE; Tab the page where your 50th X-country hour is logged for your IFR ride. Tab where your 5 solo hours of night are completed for your Commercial etc etc. Doing so will make it easy for the DPE to locate each specific requirement thus not making him have to thumb through the entire log looking for one requisite. Treat that DPE like a king and spoon feed him everything so it’s as easy as you can make it for him to pass you.
CLEAR THE AREAS WHEN DOING MANEUVERS AND TELL HIM YOU ARE DOING SO. It’s amazing how many PPL, IFR and even commercial candidates don’t do this simple thing.
Additionally, paper clip your written test results, government issued ID and medical and or pilot certificate all together along with his payment and stick it in folder so its easy for him.
Finally…do your IACRA ahead of time so he does not have to wait for you to pour over your log computing Solo from PIC time etc etc.
There are more tips I can offer but these will go miles for you and are easy to do.
Finally (I mean it this time)- Come PREPARED. Study and know the material! —Cm Thrasher
Presentation and preparation is key. Highlight your sectional for a quick glance at information. Be confident.--Mario Merendon
Sectional, AF/D, FAR/AIM….and a proper flight plan is a must….–Cap Sandeepan Das (I think Cap means make sure you bring all these to your oral…)
Talk to someone else who has taken a checkride with your examiner. Examiners usually do very similar checkrides with small variations.–Nicholas Anhold
[A]nswer your questions with confidence. Stay calm. They are examining whether it not you can fly safely and have good ADM. And have fun, after all you are flying.—Jason Taken
Relax, enjoy meeting a professional pilot who would like nothing more than to sign your certificate. Also, your instructor didn’t sign you off without knowing you have what it takes.—Jack Britton
Don’t panic if you think, or even know, that you messed something up. No one will ever fly the perfect checkride! You just need to do well enough to pass–so put errors out of your mind and just focus on the next thing the examiner asks you to do. Good luck–you WILL pass!--Jeff Stephenson
Just remember the DPE is more scared of you than you are of him/her.–Matt Everett (I think Matt meant this tongue in cheek, but I know for a fact that my examiner was not more scared of me than I was of her.)
As always, if you missed out on this conversation you are invited to share your checkride tips in the Comments section below. Future checkride-dreading pilots will thank you.—Jill W. Tallman