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Preparing for a Checkride

It is normal to be a little apprehensive for a checkride. We strive to create a stress-free environment as possible. One of the best ways to make

the ride go as smoothly as possible is to prepare yourself, your materials, and the aircraft as well as possible for the upcoming event.  

There is no reason that the checkride should not be a low key and enjoyable event. You've worked hard to get here. Your instructor has faith in your abilities


Preparing your self...

1.  Rest as well as you can the night before the checkride.

2.  It's a good idea to have no other obligations the day of the ride.

3.  Eat before the ride. You can snack during the oral if needed, and there will be a chance to have a snack before the flight

4.  Postpone the test if you are sick. You will not be at your best.

5.  Try to arrive a little before the checkride to get your paperwork in order and have some chill time.

Prepare your paperwork...

1.  Have your logbook ready, (meaning that all columns are totalled),  with tabs on the key flights and signoffs

2.  Have your IACRA application filled out and signed by your instructor. It's not a bad idea to have a paper copy already signed by your instructor as well just in case the government website is down.

3.  Know your FTN number and your IACRA Login Information (Your logbook is not a bad place to keep this information)

4. I repeat ....Make sure your logbook is totalled up and pages are signed.

5.  Have your medical, basic med info and such ready.

6.  Have your knowledge test with you. (If one was required)

7.  It is a good idea to have your instructor on hand or at least on call for any last minute issues with signatures or endorsements

8.  The examiner weighs 200lbs. You should work a weight and balance calculation to verify that we are legal for the flight. This will be examined and collected by the examiner.

9.  If a cross country is required, go ahead and pull weather for the flight and be prepared to talk about it.

10..  Current issued government ID. An expired driver license or passport will not work.

11. Current pilot certificate

12. Recency Requirements met

13. Disapproval notice or Letter of Discontinuance (if applicable)

14. Approved school graduation certificate (If applicable)

1\5. Examiner's Fee

Prepare your aircraft...

            1.  Have your aircraft logbooks ready and be ready to show that this aircraft is airworthy and appropriate for the test.

            2.  Hava a clean windshield.   This is a busy airport and we are busy doing a checkride.   Looking out for other aircraft is essential to safety     

Prepare your personal equipment and documents for the checkrides

1.  View limiting device if applicable

2.  Current aeronautical charts

3.  Computer and Plotter

4.  Flight plan form

5.  Flight logs

6.  Current FAR/AIM, Chart Supplement (AFD), and other appropriate publications.

7. Ensure that the aircraft logbooks are handy and that all maintenance records are readily available.


Beginning the Checkride

1. The test begins with ensuring that you, the applicant, and the aircraft are both eligible to participate in the checkride. 

2. The exam fee is collected by the examiner and the checkride officially begins.

3. The examiner will then give a checkride briefing explaining that you have rights and should offer the applicant a chance to review the Pilots Bill of Rights. After which the oral portion of the exam begins.

Notes: Please advise any of the following prior to the checkride date.

1. You hold a foreign pilot certificate, and are seeking an additional rating, certificate, or removal of limitations.

2. If you hold a dual citizenship.

3. If you are re-testing - you must bring your 8040-5.


Applicants will review:

1. The flight plan assigned for the checkride (if given).

2. Questions from ACS for the applied for checkride. 

Notes: There are not any trick questions during the Oral exam. If any question(s) are confusing make this clear to the examiner so that they may properly test your knowledge of the applied test. Additionally, if any part of the test is unsatisfactory it must be discontinued.



Applicants will review:

-The ACS guide for their applied test.

Notes: Just as with the Oral the flight can end with the student requesting, the examiner, or an unsatisfactory maneuver. The options are to either continue and complete as many maneuvers as possible or to discontinue the checkride immediately. The recommended method is to continue the flight so that the applicant may have a good chance to complete other maneuvers that they are capable of.



1. Pass - A Temporary Airman Certificate valid for 120 days will be issued.

2. Fail - A Notice of disapproval of application will be issued. Credit may be given for Areas of Operation and tasks completed.

3. Letter of Discontinuance - Issued in the event the test cannot be completed once it has begun. This is not a failure, and credit will be given to those Areas of Operation and Tasks completed.


Weather Conditions

Daylight & VFR conditions are required for all tests except:

1. Tests for an Instrument Rating, ATP, or MEL add-on (can be conducted at night).

2. Tests for ATP can be conducted at night, under VFR.

FTD Usage

-For Instrument Rating, Commercial, or ATP applicants: If a Flight Training Device is to be used, I need a copy of the Letter of Authorization for that device prior to the flight check. Note that the number of tasks allowed to be performed in an FTD is very limited. Refer to the appropriate ACS.


Foreign Applicants

-The address on the 8710 and medical certificate should be your home address (permanent mailing address) and not the school's address. If you wish to have a certificate mailed to the school (or somewhere other than your home address) it should be noted on a separate piece of paper. If using IACRA, there is a place to indicate such.

-It's is highly recommended that you allow 2-4 weeks between the expected date of your check ride and your return home. This will allow some additional time in case your course completion and check ride is delayed for any reason.


Test Situations

Failure / Discontinuance

-Failures are recoverable and can be quickly corrected. If your instructor is nearby, or readily available they can provide the necessary re-training later in the day or week. This allows for a quick re-test while the applicant's knowledge is still fresh. 

-In any case, ensure that you have the proper paperwork when returning from a failure / discontinuance.


-Go home and celebrate the fact that you have gained a new rating and can move onto the next step in your training.


We hope that you will have a good testing experience and that you choose to use our services again in the future. 

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