You’ve learned how to operate a plane, read all the material, studied and re-studied the coursework – now, it’s time for your check ride. As the pinnacle of your flight training, the oral exam and check ride will determine whether or not you become a certified private pilot. Your heart may be racing, sweat soaking through your shirt, hands clenched. But, if you take the proper steps to prepare for the occasion, you can relax knowing that you’ve set yourself up for success. So, let’s get started – here’s how to prepare for your upcoming private pilot oral exam test prep.
A check ride is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) examination that you will undergo to receive an aircraft pilot’s certification or an endorsement for additional flight privileges. In terms of a private pilot’s certificate, the checkride will be split into two parts: an oral exam and a practical flying test.
You can expect the oral exam to last about two hours. You’ll sit with an FAA-designated pilot examiner (DPE) who will quiz you on a variety of topics, from air regulations to flight planning to decision-making in the air and everything in between. You will be given scenarios and will be expected to talk your examiner through them.
Once you finish the oral exam portion of the check ride, you’ll move on to the practical flying test, says private pilot oral exam test prep. You’ll assume the position of pilot-in-command, while the DPE acts as a “passenger” and exams your skills on the ground and in the air. Your airworthiness will be graded on your performance of take-offs and landings, several different flight manoeuvres, emergency procedures, and more.
The first thing you need to do to prepare for your private pilot oral exam is to cross off a few administrative duties and gather some items, including:
- Collect engine, airframe and propeller maintenance logs
- Gather the proper logbook sign-offs and endorsements from your instructor
- Complete the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application
- Collect current and up-to-date publications and documents such as the FAR/AIM, Airport/Facility Directory and sectional charts
These are crucial for getting your pilot’s license. The private pilot oral exam test prep examiner will send you home if you present out-of-date publications, incomplete forms, or logbook endorsements.
Tips on Preparing for your Oral Exam
The oral exam is a crucial component of your pilot training and, ultimately, will determine whether or not you obtain your private pilot’s license. Follow the tips below to get ready for one of the most important events in your young flying career!
- Since the oral exam is “open-note” highlight important information or use sticky page flags to track specific sections that are likely to be discussed, staying neat and organized will make the information easier to find and inspires confidence.
- Study the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application, and browse online to find practice quizzes, flashcards, courses and video seminars that will provide you with preparation questions.
- Ready your flight plan, METAR weather reports and the latest weather information from the weather briefer. You will probably be asked about the winds and temperatures aloft forecast, so be prepared.
- Do not rush through either the oral exam or practical test. Instead, “Reset” the aircraft and your mind before each manoeuvre. Count to 10 and breathe. The examiner will appreciate you carefully considering your next moves far more than you rushing into a task.
Now that you have these tips and insights on preparing for your upcoming private pilot oral exam test prep, you can confidently go through the examination.