Getting Started

Log bookTo better prepare for your Checkride, we have outlined some important steps to complete before your exam.  As always, your flight instructor, or CFI, will guide and prepare you for the practical test.  He or she will confirm all FAA requirements are met and are in order.  Additionally, when you schedule your check ride appointment, an email confirmation will include a reminder of the necessary items to bring with you.  If you'd like to see a calendar or schedule a checkride, just click on the orange tab anytime.  After the page opens, find the examiner in your area, and then go to their individual calendar.  It will then take you to the calendar where you are able to view availability.  Even if you want to view availability but not confirm the date right away, just close the window when you are finished looking around.

As with any test or exam, good preparation leading up to the checkride will avoid any surprises or issues the day of your exam.  The initial part of your meeting for your checkride will involve 10 or 15 minutes going over the airman application, required documents, and endorsements.  Occasionally, there may an item overlooked and will need to be corrected.  Of course, there are some requirements that just can’t be fixed at the time of the checkride resulting in rescheduling another day.  An example may be that the night flight time requirement is short 1 hour.  Hopefully, everything is in order and the exam can begin.  Here is a basic list of items below that should be brought with you for your checkride.

Those items include:

  • Pilot certificate (if applicable)
  • Medical / Student Pilot certificate
  • Photo ID and your logbook(s)
  • Knowledge test results (original copy)
  • Aircraft documents/log books or Maintenance records
  • Also please complete application thru IACRA 
  • Your login info and FTN from IACRA
  • Exam fee
  • Reference Materials and Manuals 

IACRA

When getting started or preparing for a check ride, IACRA will be part of this process.  In an effort to reduce errors and expedite the certification process, the FAA created IACRA (Integrated Certification and Rating Application) online application system.  IACRA is now considered mandatory in most situations by the FAA when applying for a new pilot certificate or rating with only rare occasions when reverting back to the paper application is necessary.  The website has evolved over the years and become much easier to use.  Of course, there are some occasional hang ups when imputing your information.  Fortunately, most all flight instructors are familiar with IACRA, and they will assist you with the application when the time comes for your check ride.  Click the IACRA link below to travel to the official IACRA government site.

IACRA

IACRA Common Errors...Worth Reviewing!

The IACRA web-based application is designed to catch many errors that were made on the paper applications used in the past.  Here is a short list of errors I've seen when someone shows up for their check ride, and I begin to review the online application.  Please refer back to these with your instructor, CFI, while completing this process.

  • Spelling errors and typos.  Remember...IACRA does not know how to spell proper names such as Cleveland, OH or your first and last name.
  • Middle names being left off the application.  Even if you don't use your middle name or you just use the middle initial, the FAA needs your middle name if you have one.  If you do not have a middle name, you can check that box indicating No Middle Name.
  • Category and class incorrect.  For whatever reason, IACRA will default to "airplane single engine sea" and may sometimes revert back to that while you are filling out the application.  At the end of the process, please confirm the proper category and class is listed for the certificate you are seeking.
  • Hours not recorded correctly in Pilot Time section.  Just make sure all the requirements for time are met, and the logged time is listed in the proper category (night, x-country, etc.)
  • Once your CFI signs the application electronically, only certain changes can be made to that application.  If any errors are found on the day of your check ride, a new application must be submitted fixing the error and possibly you CFI signing it off again.  This process does take time, and more importantly, if the CFI is not available, we may not begin the practical test.  IACRA has added a fix to allow some errors found to be corrected without the CFI involved, but this still requires additional time.