Completing a checkride in portions?

I’m currently scheduled to complete my commercial checkride in 6 days, at which time I will be tested on everything except the complex aircraft pattern work portion, as the Arrow I’ve been using is down for maintenance.
So, I know a checkride can be completed in portions, but what is the time-frame in which it must be completed? Must it be completed with the same examiner?** My CFI has e-mailed the examiner but has not received an answer. I’m getting anxious because if the time constraints are tight (like 7 or less days) it may not be feasible for me to finish it.

Please help.

Forgot to add, my inquiry may be in regards to a “letter of discontinuance,” but I’m not 100% on that.

I’m quite sure that it will have to be completed with the same examiner, but I don’t know the time frame required to complete the second part. Are there any other schools in the area that have an arrow that you can use? If it’s with an examiner that they’re familiar with they might be able to let you use it for the ride without the hassle of getting formally checked out with one of their instructors.

When I did my Private checkride, the examiner was explaining the process to me as he went along and made note that he was documenting the progress of everything so if another examiner had to complete the testing, I would not have to repeat any portions of the exam. So apparently another examiner can complete the examination.

I don’t know what circumstances would be required to allow a different examiner finish the exam (death, incapacitation, etc.).

Well, I called my FBO back in Waukesha, WI, (The FBO I’ve flown with for my past ratings.) They have a pretty large Part 61 operation, so it’s a good knowledge base for me. After some hunting around they concluded a “Letter of Discontinuance” would be issued due to “maintaince.” The letter is valid for 60 days :slight_smile:

With such a large time-frame I should definitely be able to finish with the same examiner.

You might be right, but I wouldn’t have thought this would be the case. The examiner is judging not only your adherence to the standards for each particular maneuver but also he/she is observing your cockpit discipline and general ability to problem-solve during different circumstances, the result of which is something that is hard to pass on to another examiner on a scrap of paper.
What he may have been writing down are things that he would like to discuss during the post-flight, either good or bad. Also, if you DO botch up a maneuver bad enough to bust the ride but then go on to complete the rest of the flight within standards, on your re-test you would only be required to complete that particular maneuver, though the examiner may ask to see any maneuver again at his/her prerogative. You might bust the checkride again for something completely unrelated to the original bust, like failing to use a checklist for instance.

And no, I’ve never (yet) failed a checkride.

Perhaps it was to separate the oral exam from the flight test - not specific questions or maneuvers. In my specific case, I had completed the oral exam, and when it was time to go out to the plane, I checked the weather and there were thunderstorms building in the area so I refused to go up. I went home knowing that no matter what, I had passed the oral part and would not have to take it again.

Hey Guys
This if from the FAA order 8900.2 which is the designee’s bible. If you go to and search for 8900.2, you can read this. I hope this is not more than you wanted to know. It says that you have 60 days to complete the practical exam if it has been discontinued. It also says to show AN examiner which portion of the practical test was completed.

Practical Test Discontinuance. Environmental, mechanical, or personal situations can occur which could cause the test to be discontinued. In such cases, the examiner should assure the applicant that he/she has not failed the practical test and should attempt to reschedule the test as soon as possible. Some of the reasons for discontinuance of a practical test are weather, mechinical problems or incapacitation of the applicant or examiner after the test has begun.

 a. Incomplete Practical Test.  On the day of the practical test, if
     extenuating circumstances occur, the examiner may elect, with the
     applicant's concurrence, to begin the test anyway with the intention
     of completing the test at a later date. However, when the test is
     discontinued, the applicant must be issued a letter of discontinuance

 b. Letter of Discontinuance. When a practical test is discontinued for 
     reasons other than unsatisfactory performance, FAA Form 8710-1
     or Form 8710-11 and the knowledge test report (if applicable)
     should be returned to the applicant.  At that time, the examiner
     signs and issues a letter of discontinuance identifying the portions 
     of the practical test that the applicant successfully completed.  The 
     examiner should retain a copy of the letter. 

           (1) Within 60 calendar-days of the original date of application,
                the applicant may use the letter to show an examiner 
                which portion of the practical test was successfuly
                completed.  The letter must be included in the applicant's 
                certification file.

           (2) When more than 60 calendar-days have elapsed since the 
                original date of application, the examiner must test the 
                applicant on all Areas of Operation required for that 
                certificate or rating 

Note: A letter of discfontinuance does not extend the validity of a knowledge test.

 c. Examiner Authority to Reexamine.  Whenever the examiner has
     reason to doubt the applicant's competence in areas for which the 
     applicant received credit during a previous practical test, the 
     examiner must reexamine the applicant on all Areas of Operation 
     required for that certificate or rating.

So, you have 60 calendar days to continue the practical test and you don’t have to use the same examiner. (But, you’ll probably be charged another examiner’s fee for the check-ride, if you use another examiner)
Hope this helps
ps. Sorry about the formatting. It looks strange to me.

Don’t forget all the paperwork and the “3 hours dual within the last 60 days” also cannot expire before the checkride is COMPLETE!!! Lets say for example you took your written in August of 2008 and you start your checkride today. Notice of discontinuance is issued on 22 July and will expire, about, 21 Sept. However your written expires on 30 August. In this example, if you complete your checkride on 1 September, it will be reject in Oklahoma City.

Watch those gotchas, they come up more than you’d think. When I did my PPL, the guy after me was retaking his IR practical for exactly the reason above. The Examiner missed it, and OKC rejected the license.

Well I just received my Letter of Discontinuance! All that’s left is power off 180s, short field and soft fields in the Arrow.

Had to laugh! In a previous thread on here I inquired as to what’s important material for the commercial rating. Someone replied something along the lines of “know everything about signage” and few agreed. However, the examiner HIGHLY stressed signage and made me identify about every sign and pavement marking in the book. Furthermore, he sternly advised me to more actively use an airport diagram when taxing, even at extremely familiar airports, as to make it habit. Apparently the FAA is making “signage” a hot topic on the commerical checkride due to a high volume of ground incursions.

What is a power off 180? I never had to do those

fancy new term for “accuracy landing” They’re apparently called “Power Off 180s” now. Same exact thing, new name.

Sounds like fun. I should look at a PTS and see whats new