FAQs

We have collected a list of common questions from students as they prepare for their checkride.   To see the answer, just click on the question or scroll down.  As a reminder, certain DPE's and certain exams may not always comply with the standard answers listed here due to certain circumstances.  If you have a question, please let us know and we will add it to the list!  Thank you...

Questions

  1. How long will my checkride last?
  2. What type of checkrides are you able to do?
  3. What is the best source of information for what will be covered on my checkride?
  4. Can I bring my airplane manuals, FAR/AIM and other reference material with me to the checkride?
  5. What if the weather is bad the day of my checkride?
  6. For my instrument rating checkride can we fly in actual IFR conditions to complete the flight?
  7. Will you come to my airport or flight school for my checkride? Or do you require that I fly somewhere to meet you?
  8. Can I take the flight portion of my checkride first, and then do the oral portion?
  9. During the flight if a task or maneuver is not satisfactory, can I just do it over again?
  10. How long do I have to wait before I can re-take my checkride if I failed?
  11. My airplane has an autopilot. Can I use it during the flight on my checkride?
  12. As a CFI, can I sit in and observe your checkride with my student?
  13. How do I log the flight time for my check ride?
  14. Can I use my iPad or other tablet during the check ride?

Answers

Q. How long will my checkride last?
A. Most checkrides last an average of four hours. Of course, the checkride time may be a bit longer due to the material we need to cover, traffic around the airport area, and other factors.
Q. What type of checkrides are you able to do?
A. We have examiners (DPE's) that can conduct most checkrides from Private up through ATP, but take a look under the "Checkride Exams" tab or click here to see more information on the exams, and then under each examiner in your area for their authorization.
Q. What is the best source of information for what will be covered on my checkride?
A. The FAA Practical Test Standard (or PTS), and now in some case the Airman Certification Standards (or ACS), is your best guide to know what we will cover. There is a specific PTS or ACS published for the certificate or rating you are trying to achieve. As always, your flight instructor will also have excellent information and insight for the material covered on your exam. See the helpful links section to go directly to the PTS or ACS that applies to you. Also, explore the website to find other helpful information about what will be covered!
Q. Can I bring my airplane manuals, FAR/AIM and other reference material with me to the checkride?
A. Absolutely! Almost all your reference materials can be used for the checkride. You are free to look something up during the exam, if necessary.
Q. What if the weather is bad the day of my checkride?
A.

If the weather forecast is not adequate for VFR flight, contact your examiner the night before or the morning of your checkride to discuss options. Typically, we will reschedule for another day. You can always check availability by clicking on the DPE link to reschedule a checkride.

Q. For my instrument rating checkride can we fly in actual IFR conditions to complete the flight?
A. Unfortunately, no. We need VFR conditions during the flight portion because you will be acting as pilot in command. If we are in IMC, you would need an instrument rating to act as PIC (which is what you’re trying to get).
Q. Will you come to my airport or flight school for my checkride? Or do you require that I fly somewhere to meet you?
A. Almost always, we try to meet you at your “home” airport. There are certain occasions where due to scheduling, it may be more practical for you to meet somewhere else. However, we try to avoid this as much as possible. Please make any special arrangements with your DPE scheduled for the checkride.
Q. Can I take the flight portion of my checkride first, and then do the oral portion?
A. The FAA guidance requires we complete the oral portion first before heading to the airplane.
Q. During the flight if a task or maneuver is not satisfactory, can I just do it over again?
A. Unfortunately, the maneuver must be performed to the standards outlined in the ACS or PTS the first time. However, there are exceptions if, for example, a task or maneuver is incomplete, or there was some misunderstanding of what was to be conducted. For more information on this topic, check the Blog library to read an article written on this very question.
Q. How long do I have to wait before I can re-take my checkride if I failed?
A. There is not required time to wait. However, you must receive additional instruction from your instructor in the area that was not satisfactory. This training would be determined with the help of your flight instructor.
Q. My airplane has an autopilot. Can I use it during the flight on my checkride?
A. You may use your autopilot in limited situations. As a matter of fact on some exams, the use of the autopilot is required to be demonstrated. Most automation that is available to you can be used during the checkride. Just use caution that the automation does not get in the way of flying the airplane or become a distraction.
Q. As a CFI, can I sit in and observe your checkride with my student?
A.

Unfortunately, no. Due to recent changes to the DPE guidance, no one is allowed to observe the check ride (except an FAA inspector, of course). However, expect a full debrief from your DPE after the test is completed.  Additionally, the CFI is welcome to sit in on the debrief as well.

Q. How do I log the flight time for my check ride?
A. During the flight portion of your check ride, you are acting as pilot in command. When the test is complete, I will sign your logbook and record the flight time. And if this is your Private pilot, Sport pilot, or Recreational pilot checkride, this is the first flight you log PIC!
Q. Can I use my iPad or other tablet during the check ride?
A. Yes, you may use an iPad or other tablet type device for the exam. Keep in mind, there are two critical points that should be considered when using an iPad anytime for flight or flight planning. First, have a back up. And second, despite the convenience it provides, do not allow the devices to become a hinderance or distraction at anytime.