OK, I need some help for a friend.


A Friend of mine just passed his written test today & is planning on taking the flight test next week or the week after. What I would like help from you all is this. Can you tell him your about flight test for your private pilots license? I have tried giving him some thought of what it was like for me.
Not only would it help him but it might be fun hearing about everyones experience.

Thanks in advanced.



Rock chalk Jayhawk!


Make sure you are carrying current charts!

On the cross country portion of my PP check ride the examiner said “let me know when we cross these railroad tracks” as he pointed to my sectional. We drive along for about ten minutes when he asks “are we there yet”. “They ought to be right down there” I reply. “They used to be, they moved them last year”!

Other than that it went without a hitch. I honestly can’t remember the name of the examiner that gave me my instrument ride, but I will never forget Rodney Elg in Rhinelander, Wisconsin!


Unless the examiner is a real twit he will not mind a question or two if there is any chance of ambiguity. Most won’t even mind doing a bit of teaching, as long as your friend hasn’t completely blown a maneuver that is.
By the time you get to the checkride you’ve done all the stuff there is to do. If your instructor is any good he/she will have been harder on you than the examiner will be . Your friend is the PIC on the flight, don’t be afraid to exercise that right. Most examiners I’ve been with love the phrase “are you sure about that?”. They may be right but usually they are trying to see how you handle doubt. Are you going to second guess yourself or are you really sure.
After the PP checkride your friend will have a license to take friends out while he scares himself. That’s how it was put to me many moons ago.

good luck to him, but he shouldn’t need it.



Short and sweet advice.

Read, and re-read the PTS.



Reading and re-reading the POH might be a good bet as well.



And to further expand on this, USE checklists from preflight to shutdown :smiley: After all, PIC doesn’t stop after landing.


And don’t forget your clearing turns.


Two things I remember about my checkride. #1 was the weather. After a good two hours of being grilled in the oral exam, it was time to go up. It was a hot, sunny June day. I checked the weather and saw red thunderstorms on RADAR near the route of my planned x-country. I flat-out refused to fly - PERIOD! We postponed the flight for the next morning. I awoke to dense fog out my window. I decided to go ahead and drive out to the airport hoping the fog would burn-off soon. As I got nearer to the airport, things seemed to improve but it still didn’t look good. When I got to the airport, things weren’t so bad there, but you could still see low clouds all around. The examiner arrived shortly after I did and he asked me if I was ready. I was very surprized to hear that and I questioned him and told him I didn’t think it didn’t looked good.

He looked at me and then looked up and all around the airport and said, “The ceiling’s better than 2,000 feet and I can see for at least five miles!”

I mentioned the low clouds obscuring the surrounding mountains and we’d need at least 5,500 feet to clear the mountains for the cross-country.

He agreed and said, “Let’s go up anyway. We’ll go as far as we can on the cross-country and turn back to do the maneuvers.”

I asked him if he was deliberately trying to trick me into going so he could fail me and he assured me that he was not. I stated to him for the record that in a real world situation I would wait for better weather. I then asked him if he had current approach plates in his bag and he said he did, so I said, “Let’s do this thing!”

The only other thing that stands out in my mind was that after we did all the maneuvers, he told me to go back to the airport. On the way back, I was thinking about how we hadn’t done an emergency procedure :confused:

Well, we got into the traffic pattern and he told me to do a short field landing, so I prepared for that. As we got just past the numbers on the downwind leg, he pulled the power and told me that I just lost my engine! I started talking myself through the procedure (as my instructor told me I should do through all of the procedures). “First I setup for best glide speed - 65 knots…”

The examiner actually shouted at me: “TURN THIS AIRPLANE TOWARD THE RUNWAY!!!”

I was like, “Yeah… okay… I guess that works too…” :blush:

The rest of the test went fine. :wink:


Honestly, the best advise is just to relax. The DE isn’t going to try anything tricky, Make sure he knows what is expected of him by know the PTS!!! As long as he stay with the limits…I see know reason why he woldn’t become a Private Pilot


That’s the jist right there. Yeah the examiner might be a bit intimidating, and the nerves will be there, but I wish I would’ve relaxed . Granted I did fine, but I could’ve flown alot smoother.
You don’t bust until you bust. If you enter a maneuver and you don’t like the entry, don’t wait for the examiner to bust you, tell him/her you’d like to restart.
On the oral, for private, I was grilled on the sectional chart. I almost missed a question I was asked about KIND. “Does KIND have
Special VFR available?”. I looked and the nerves were in effect, I didn’t see anything, and my “logical” thinking told me, well it’s a class C airport, a city the size of Indy ought to have SVFR for sure, so I answered yes, and mercifully my examiner asked “you sure?”. I luckily saw it right away the second time, NO SFVR. They like to ask those symbols that we hardly ever use.
One saying I never really heard until after getting my PPL, was the PPL is a license to learn. They know that you’re probably somewhat new to aviation. As long as you can safely fly within the regs and not destroy others or their property, they’ll understand you don’t have 10000 hours and this is where you’ll gain your experience. Keep that in mind and relax
that’d be my 3cents.


I found the ground part to be much harder than the flying…

Study all the symbols on the charts! Look for the obscure ones!
Look at the Airport Facility Directory- I didn’t spend enough time in the AFD in my training. My examiner was asking if our alternate did any skydiving operations and if so, what were the hours… Stare at the map all you want- no hours listed.

Flying comes naturally by now!


if he hasn’t done it yet - have go to the AOPA forums - and just read the reports - he might even find one from the DPE he is gonna use!!

forums.aopa.org - I think.