Archive

Posts Tagged ‘checkride’

Student Pilot Code of Conduct

Student Pilot Code of ConductBecoming a pilot is a truly exhilarating and rewarding endeavor. As a newcomer to general aviation (GA) you will be exposed to many new and exciting precepts. This blog will list some of the values associated with being an exemplary GA pilot as illustrated in this Student Pilot’s Model Code of Conduct (Code of Conduct).

Student Pilot

Student pilot is the 1st license/certificate needed for pilot. You do not need a certificate to begin your flight training. You would only need it before you can fly solo.

Student Pilot Eligibility
  • You are at least 16 years old. If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you must be at least 14 years old.
  • You can read, speak, and understand English
  • You hold at least a current third-class medical certificate. If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you only have to certify that you have no medical defect that would make you unable to pilot a glider or balloon
Aviators Model Code of Conduct

The AMCC (Aviators Model Code of Conduct) is for use by aviation practitioners — pilots, mechanics, organizations, and the entire aviation community. Designed to be adaptable by the implementer, it is provided without charge and periodically updated.

The latest version of the code was released in April, 2012.

The Aviators Model Code of Conduct “offers recommendations to advance flight safety, airmanship, and professionalism.” Version 2.0, the latest update in a suite of products that includes model codes for aviation maintenance technicians, flight instructors, glider aviators, light sport aviators, seaplane pilots, and student pilots, includes a new emphasis on professionalism, enhanced focus on safety culture, and an emphasis on flight training and simulation devices, according to Michael Baum, a member of the board.

The Aviators Model Code of Conduct “promotes flight and ground safety, professionalism, and pilot contributions to the aviation community and society at large; encourages the development and adoption of good judgment, ethical behavior, and personal responsibility; and supports improved communications between pilots, regulators, and others in the aviation industry,” according to a news release. The all-volunteer effort offers models of behavior that it encourages members of the aviation community to adapt to their specific needs.

As you pursue the goal of learning to fly, careful attention to understanding safety and excellence greatly enhances the quality of your current and future training (and may even accelerate it). It also helps you to cultivate a philosophy or attitude toward flying that will serve you and society well throughout your flying career.

It presents a vision of excellence for student pilots (whether they are seeking a Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, or Private Pilot certificate) with principles that both complement and supplement what is merely legal. The Code of Conduct is not a “standard” and is not intended to be implemented as such. Some of the provisions of the Code of Conduct have been simplified to accommodate the novice; after gaining more knowledge and experience, student pilots should refer to the Aviators’ Model Code of Conduct in the flight safety section.

The Principles:

The Code of Conduct consists of the following seven sections (each containing principles and sample recommended practices).

  1. General Responsibilities of Student Pilots
  2. Passengers and People on the Surface
  3. Training and Proficiency
  4. Security
  5. Environmental Issues
  6. Use of Technology
  7. Advancement and Promotion of General Aviation
The Sample Recommended Practices:

To further the effective use of the Code of Conduct’s principles, Sample Recommended Practices offer examples of ways student pilots might integrate the principles into their own training. The Sample Recommended Practices (which include selected personal minimums) can help student pilots and their instructors develop practices uniquely suited to their own activities and situations. Unlike the Code of Conduct principles themselves, the Sample Recommended Practices may be modified to satisfy the unique capabilities and requirements of each student pilot, mission, aircraft, and training program. Some Sample Recommended Practices do in fact exceed the stringency of their associated Code of Conduct principles. They are not presented in any particular order.

Benefits of the Code of Conduct:

The Code of Conduct may benefit student pilots and the GA community by:

  • highlighting important practices that will help student pilots become better, safer aviators,
  • suggesting a mental framework for flight training,
  • addressing individual pilot’s roles within the larger GA community, by examining issues such as improved pilot training, better airmanship, desired pilot conduct, personal responsibility, and pilots’ contributions to the GA community and society at large,
  • encouraging the development and adoption of ethical guidelines, and
  • bridging the gap between student and certificated pilots, with the goal of advancing a common aviation culture.
Student Pilots’ Model

Code of Conduct – Principles
1 General Responsibilities of Student Pilots
Student pilots should:

  1. make safety their number one priority,
  2. seek excellence in airmanship,
  3. develop and exercise good judgment,
  4. recognize and manage risks effectively,
  5. adhere to prudent operating practices and personal operating parameters (for example, minimums), as developed with your flight instructor,
  6. aspire to professionalism,
  7. act with responsibility and courtesy, and
  8. adhere to applicable laws and regulations.

Explanation: Code of Conduct Section I serves as a preamble to and umbrella for the Code of Conduct’s other principles. It emphasizes safety, excellence, risk management, responsibility, and lays the foundation for accountability and heightened diligence.

Sample Recommended Practices:
  • Recognize, accept, and plan for the costs of implementing proper safety practices (often greater than expected).
  • Learn to identify prevailing conditions and adapt to changing in-flight conditions as directed by your certificated flight instructor.
  • Recognize the increased risks associated with flying in inclement weather, at night, over water, and over rugged, mountainous or forested terrain. Take steps to manage those risks effectively and prudently without exceeding personal
  • Approach flying with the utmost seriousness and diligence, recognizing that your life and the lives of others depend on you.
  • parameters (see Code of Conduct I.e.).
  • Develop, use, periodically review, and refine personal checklists and personal minimums for all phases of flight operations. Seek the input and approval of these materials by your certificated flight instructor.
  • If the weather doesn’t look good, it probably isn’t – don’t push it.
  • Learn the performance limitations of all aircraft you fly, and how to plan flights and determine fuel requirements.
  • Understand and use appropriate procedures in the event radio communications are lost.
  • Be familiar with The Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). They represent the distilled wisdom of more than 80 years of flying experience.
  • Commit to making personal wellness a precondition of flying.
  • See and be seen. Learn and employ techniques for seeing other aircraft, such as scanning, and techniques to enhance your own visibility to avoid other aircraft, such as the use of radio, lights, and strobes.
  • For cross-country operations, identify alternate landing sites and available fuel along the planned route prior to departure in case deteriorating weather or other emergency circumstances make continued flight unsafe.
  • Exercise great caution when maneuvering at low altitudes.
  • Develop a firm understanding of effective decision-making.
  • Adhere to applicable flying club/school and Fixed Base Operator/flight centre rules and operating practices.
  • Learn the fundamentals well before proceeding to more advanced techniques and maneuvers. Source
Flying Lessons at Aviator Flight Training Academy

The Aviator Flight Training Academy offers a full line of flight training courses to meet the individual needs of each student.

Contact Aviator
Schedule a visit
Speak with a flight instructor, call 772-672-8222.

Why To Consider Sport Pilot License and Begin Your Flight Training

Why To Consider Sport Pilot License and Begin Your Flight Training

How to Become a Sport Pilot
  1. Meet Medical and Eligibility
  2. Pass a FAA Sport Pilot Knowledge Test
  3. Receive flight instruction in an appropriate aircraft.
  4. Pass a FAA Sport Pilot Practical Test
  5. Sport Pilot Certificate Issued

NOTE: (All Category and Class Privileges Endorsed in Logbook)

If you are a FAA Certificated Pilot and Want to Exercise Sport Pilot Privileges:

You need:

  1. Hold at Least a Recreational Pilot Certificate (X-C Training if a Rec Pilot 61.101(c))
  2. Hold Category and Class Ratings for the LSA Flying
  3. (Additional Category and Class Privileges Endorsed in Logbook)
  4. U.S Drivers License or FAA Medical
  5. Current Flight Review
  6. 3 Takeoffs and Landings within 90 days (if carrying a passenger)
  7. Operate only FAA Certificated LSA
  8. Comply with all Sport Pilot Privileges and Limits
  9. Exercise Sport Pilot Privileges
Medical Requirements For Sport Pilot
  • (14 CFR part 61.23/53/303)
  • A Medical or U.S. Driver’s License (Other than Balloon or Glider)
  • A Student Pilot Seeking Sport Pilot Privileges in a Light-Sport Aircraft
  • A Pilot Exercising the Privileges of a Sport Pilot Certificate
  • A Flight Instructor Acting as PIC of a Light-Sport Aircraft
DEFINITION OF A LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT

14 CFR PART 1.1
Light-sport aircraft means an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:
(1) A maximum takeoff weight of not more than–
(i) 1,320 pounds (600 kilograms) for aircraft not intended for operation on water; or
(ii) 1,430 pounds (650 kilograms) for an aircraft intended for operation on water.
(2) A maximum airspeed in level flight with maximum continuous power (VH) of not more than 120 knots CAS under standard atmospheric conditions at sea level.
(3) A maximum never-exceed speed (VNE) of not more than 120 knots CAS for a glider.
(4) A maximum stalling speed or minimum steady flight speed without the use of lift-enhancing devices (VS1) of not more than 45 knot s CAS at the aircraft’s maximum certificated takeoff weight and most critical center of gravity.
(5) A maximum seating capacity of no more than two persons, including the pilot.
(6) A single, reciprocating engine, if powered.
(7) A fixed or ground-adjustable propeller if a powered aircraft other than a powered glider.
(8) A fixed or autofeathering propeller system if a powered glider.
(9) A fixed-pitch, semi-rigid, teetering, two-blade rotor system, if a gyroplane.
(10) A nonpressurized cabin, if equipped with a cabin.
(11) Fixed landing gear, except for an aircraft intended for operation on water or a glider.
(12) Fixed or retractable landing gear, or a hull, for an aircraft intended for operation on water.
(13) Fixed or retractable landing gear for a glider. Source FAA.gov

Sport Pilot License

The Sport Pilot License allows you to fly a two seat Light Sport Aircraft during the day with visual contact of the ground under 10,000 feet above sea level.

The FAA’s Sport Pilot License was developed, with safety as paramount, after many years of consultation and cooperation with flying organizations and aircraft manufacturers.

By eliminating the requirement for night flying, radio navigation and some instrument training, the Sport Pilot license and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) have returned flying to its fun and basic elements. Thus, the Sport Pilot License and Light Sport Aircraft have reduced the time and cost of becoming a pilot by about 50%.

The Sport Pilot License also allows senior pilots to continue flying and transition into LSAs without the need of a medical exam, provided that the pilot has not failed an aviation medical exam previously.

Three Reasons To Consider A Sport Pilot Certificate

By Kyle Garrett

Sport pilot training is one of the most exciting areas of flight training in the US. It is relatively new, but it is a great place to start an adventure in aviation. In the past, flying anything heavier than 254 pounds (the weight limit for ultralights) required at least a recreational pilot certificate. The training difference for a recreational and private pilot certificates is so minuscule, that most pilots opted to hold out for the less restrictive private pilot certificate. That’s where sport pilot comes in.

Sport pilot training offers a quicker path to certification
Sport pilot training is much more flexible than the recreational certificate and doesn’t require as much training as a private pilot certificate. In fact, the required flight hours are half that of the private pilot certificate. There are some restrictions, like no night flying, but sport pilots also have a lot of flexibility. The sport pilot certificate is designed to be a low-cost way for pleasure fliers to get in the cockpit, but it is also a great way to start a pilot career.
Sport pilot training doesn’t require a medical exam. Something unique to the sport pilots is the ability to self-certify medical fitness with a drivers license. You don’t need a medical certificate to fly sport pilot. There is one big potential exception to this rule, you can’t have been denied a medical. That means, if you go to an aviation medical examiner who says you are unfit for flight, you can’t turn around and self-certify your medical fitness. From that point, the FAA says you’ve got to get a medical examiner to approve you for flight just like everyone else.

Sport pilot training puts you in the cockpit of great aircraft
One of the areas where the sport pilot certificate is obviously more restricted than a private pilot certificate is aircraft. Sport pilots are only allowed to fly light sport aircraft, or LSA, which are aircraft that meet a certain standard. Generally, the standard is an aircraft less than 1320 pounds gross weight, with only two seats, and a maximum speed of less than 120 knots. There are several other restrictions, but generally it isn’t a mystery whether a plane is an LSA or not.

There are two major categories of LSA: purpose-built LSA, like the Remos GX or Icon A5, and legacy LSA, like the Piper Cub or Aeronca Champ. These two categories of LSA are very different, but offer interesting perks. The purpose-built LSA tend to be sleek and modern looking and they sport cockpits stuffed with the latest technology. They don’t carry quite the cost of traditional aircraft, like the Cessna 182, but they aren’t cheap either. The appeal is that you can gain proficiency with glass panel avionics, GPS and autopilots more affordably than a private pilot. If expense is your primary concern, the legacy LSA will be helpful. With legacy LSA, which are certified aircraft that meet LSA regulations, there aren’t as many bells and whistles. Many of these aircraft are the old tube-and-fabric, stick-and-rudder standards of yesteryear. The benefit is, they are cheap and simple to operate.

No matter your goal, whether it is to become a professional pilot, Sunday flier, or something in between, sport pilot training is a great way to get started.

Flight Training Classes With Aviator Flight Training Academy

The Aviator Flight Training Academy offers a full line of flight training courses to meet the individual needs of each student.

Contact Aviator
Schedule a visit.

Pilots Must Understand And Evaluate Bad Weather Conditions And Night Flying

Pilots Must Understand And Evaluate Bad Weather Conditions And Night FlyingMany pilots have had the experience of hearing about a weather-related accident and thinking themselves immune from a similar experience. Interviews with pilots who narrowly escaped aviation weather accidents indicate that many of the unfortunate pilots thought the same thing — that is, until they found themselves in weather conditions they did not expect and could not safely handle.

Given the broad availability of weather information, why do general aviation (GA) pilots continue to find themselves surprised and trapped by adverse weather conditions? Ironically, the very abundance of weather information might be part of the answer: with many weather providers and weather products, it can be very difficult for pilots to screen out non-essential data, focus on key facts, and then correctly evaluate the risk resulting from a given set of circumstances.
With improper equipment, ineptitude on the part of the pilot or bad weather, night flying can certainly be dangerous. However, with precautionary planning and with an understanding of night vision shortcomings, night flying can be one of the most pleasant experiences connected with aviation.

About one-tenth of all general aviation accidents occur at night, while fewer than 10 percent of the flying is done after dark. Presuming that night flying is more dangerous than day flying on the basis of statistics is a fallacy. The airplane does not discriminate between light and dark.

Conditions of night flight are different from daytime flying and it is the pilot’s knowledge, or lack of it, combined with a lack of visual clues that present an extra challenge.

A pilot may be subjected to times when the destination airplane lies beyond the rays of the setting sun. Perhaps an engagement becomes a compelling reason to venture out into the black of night.
Flying at night in the mountains is a matter of determining the weather condition to arrive at a personal go/no-go decision. For those who decide to fly at night, an understanding of night vision differences and adjusting the flight operation accordingly, will increase the margin of safety.

Perceive –Process –Perform Risk Management Framework

Perceive: weather hazards that could adversely affect your flight.
Process: this information to determine whether the hazards create risk, which is the potential impact of a hazard that is not controlled or eliminated.
Perform: by acting to eliminate the hazard or mitigate the risk

For many GA (general aviation) pilots, the FAA Flight Service Station (FSS) remains the single most widely used source of comprehensive weather information.

The specific weather information pack aged into a standard briefing includes a weather synopsis, sky conditions (clouds), and visibility and weather conditions at the departure, en route, and destination points. Also included are adverse conditions, altimeter settings, cloud tops, dew point, icing conditions, surface winds, winds aloft, temperature, thunderstorm activity, precipitation, precipitation intensity, visibility obscuration, pilot reports (PIREPs), AIRMETs, SIGMETs, Convective SIGMETS, and Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), including any temporary flight restrictions (TFRs).

A few guidelines for getting weather data from FSS:
  • DO: be sure to get the right FSS. When you dial the standard number, 1-800-WX-BRIEF from a cell phone, this number will connect you to the FSS associated with your cell phone’s area code – not necessarily to the FSS nearest to your present position. If you are using a cell phone outside your normal calling area, check the Airport/Facility Directory to find the specific telephone number for the FSS you need to reach.
  • DO: know what you need, so you can request the right briefing “package” (outlook, standard, or abbreviated).
  • DO: use the standard flight plan form to provide the background the briefer needs to obtain the right information for you. Review the form before you call, and develop an estimate for items such as altitude, route, and estimated time en route so you can be sure of getting what you need to know.
  • DO: be honest – with yourself and with the briefer – about any limitations in pilot skill or aircraft capability.
  • DO: let the FSS specialist know if you are new to the area or unfamiliar with the typical weather patterns, including seasonal characteristics. If you are unfamiliar with the area, have a VFR or IFR navigation chart available while you listen to help sharpen your mental picture of where the weather hazards may be in relation to your departure airport, proposed route of flight and destination.
  • Do: Ask questions, be assertive. Smart pilot ask questions to resolve ambiguities about weather.
The three basic elements of weather are:
  1. Temperature: (warm or cold);
  2. Wind: (a vector with speed and direction); and
  3. Moisture: (or humidity).

Temperature differences (e.g., uneven heating) support the development of low pressure systems, which can affect wide areas. Surface low pressure systems usually have fronts associated with them, with a “front” being the zone between two air masses that contain different combinations of the three basic elements (temperature, wind, and moisture).

What can weather do to you? Temperature, wind, and moisture combine to varying degrees to create conditions that affect pilots. The range of possible combinations is nearly infinite, but weather really affects pilots in just three ways. Specifically, the three basic weather elements can:

  • Reduce visibility
  • Create turbulence
  • Reduce aircraft performance
How do you evaluate weather data?

One approach to practical weather analysis is to review weather data in terms of how current and forecast conditions will affect visibility, turbulence, and aircraft performance for your specific flight.

Perform – Making a Weather Plan

The third step in practical preflight weather planning is to perform an honest evaluation of whether your skill and/or aircraft capability are up to the challenge posed by this particular set of weather conditions. It is very important to consider whether the combined “pilot-aircraft team” is sufficient. For example, you may be a very experienced, proficient, and current pilot, but your weather flying ability is still limited if you are flying a 1980s-model aircraft with no weather avoidance gear. On the other hand, you may have a new technically advanced aircraft with moving map GPS, weather datalink, and autopilot – but if you do not have much weather flying experience, you must not count on the airplane’s capability to fully compensate for your own lack of experience. You must also ensure that you are fully proficient in the use of onboard equipment, and that it is functioning properly.

One way to “self-check” your decision (regardless of your experience) is to ask yourself if the flight has any chance of appearing in the next day’s newspaper. If the result of the evaluation process leaves you in any doubt, then you need to develop safe alternatives. Think of the preflight weather plan as a strategic, “big picture” exercise. The goal is to ensure that you have identified all the weather-related hazards for this particular flight, and planned for ways to eliminate or mitigate each one. To this end, there are several items you should include in the weather flying plan:

Escape Options: Know where you can find good weather within your aircraft’s range and endurance capability. Where is it? Which direction do you turn to get there? How long will it take to get there? When the weather is IMC (ceiling 1,000 or less and visibility 3 nm or less), identify an acceptable alternative airport for each 25-30 nm segment of your route.
Reserve Fuel: Knowing where to find VFR weather does you no good unless you have enough fuel to reach it. Flight planning for only a legal fuel reserve could significantly limit your options if the weather deteriorates. More fuel means access to more alternatives. Having plenty of fuel also spares you the worry (and distraction) of fearing fuel exhaustion when weather has already increased your cockpit workload.
Terrain Avoidance: Know how low you can go without encountering terrain and/or obstacles. Consider a terrain avoidance plan for any flight that involves:

  • Weather at or below MVFR (ceiling 1,000 to 3,000; visibility 3 to 5 miles)
  • A temperature/dew point spread of 4° C. or less;
  • Any expected precipitation; or
  • Operating at night.

Know the minimum safe altitude for each segment of your flight. All VFR sectional charts include a maximum elevation figure (MEF) in each quadrangle. The MEF is determined by locating the highest obstacle (natural or man-made) in each quadrangle, and rounding up by 100 to 300 feet. Source

NIGHT VISION

Even a competent attitude-instrument pilot will need to use his outside vision during a night flight, if only in the transition during takeoff and landing.
What you see, or don’t see, in the dark is dependent on the state of dark adaptation of your eyes.

If you enter a dark area, your vision improves slowly. After six to seven minutes the eyes are 100 times more sensitive than when you entered the dark. Full adaptation takes 30 minutes, at which time the rods of the eye are 100,000 time more sensitive. This is due to the buildup of a photosensitive chemical called visual purple, the key to night vision. Visual purple is dependent on vitamin A (carrots, eggs, milk, cheese and most vegetables). Vitamin A cannot be stored by the body; it is necessary to eat well-balanced meals before night flying.

Although it takes 30 minutes for dark adaptation to occur, it can be lost in a second or two of exposure to bright light. Minimize the use of white light in the cockpit and keep it as dim as possible.

Dark adaptation is an independent process in each eye. If you are exposed t light, close one eye to preserve half your dark adaptation.

SCANNING TECHNIQUES

The cones of the eye, used for day vision, provide peripheral vision. Night vision uses rods. This creates a blind spot in the center of the eye at night. If you detect something with peripheral vision, the natural tendency is to turn and look directly at it. Night vision is impossible at the center of the eye, so a technique called “off-center scanning” must be developed. Look six to 12 degrees away from the object you wish to see.

AUTOKINESIS

A visual illusion may occur at night if you stare at one light for a long period of time. Involuntary muscle twitches cause the light to be displayed on a different portion of the eye, creating false motion, where the light appears to move. Avoid autokinesis by the off-center scanning technique.

NIGHT TAKEOFF AND DEPARTURE

Before departing from a mountain airport at night, firmly fix in your mind the nature of the terrain and obstructions adjacent to the airport. Pilots have no intention of making an emergency landing shortly after takeoff, especially at night, but it does not hurt to survey the terrain during daylight conditions to form a plan of action.

With the interior lights adjusted to the minimum brightness that affords instrument readability, initiate a normal takeoff.
Acceleration error in the attitude indicator will cause an indication of a higher nose attitude than during a regular climb. As a consequence, some pilots have lowered the nose to the normal attitude and have flown into the ground.
The moment the airplane leaves the ground on a dark night, it is enveloped in black. Outside visual reference becomes impossible. Maintain a positive rate of climb based on the airspeed indication, regardless of the attitude indicator display.

CLIMB OUT

If you become disoriented during the climb out, terrain clearance becomes a big concern. Fly toward the rotating beacon. At airstrips without lighting, fly toward any light on the ground.

TERRAIN CLEARANCE

Proper preflight planning includes studying charts and developing a plan of action. Still, at some time during a night flight, you are going to experience a moment of fear arising from your concern about terrain clearance.
If there are any light around, use them. Fly directly toward the light. As you approach this light, select another light. If the light flickers or disappears, there is something between you and the light. Immediately choose another light to fly toward.
If there is only one usable light in the area, a shuttle climb in a holding pattern may be the most prudent course of action.

To perform a shuttle climb, make a 90-degree turn (direction depends on obstructions) and immediately turn the opposite direction for 270 degrees. This is the same as a 180-degree turn, but keeps the airplane confined to a small geographical area.
Before passing beyond the ground light, perform a 180-degree turn back to the ground light. Continue this maneuvering while climbing to a safe en route altitude before proceeding on course.

WEATHER

It is difficult to see and avoid weather at night. The first indication of a cloud may be a glow emanating from the navigation lights, or a brilliant flash of the strobes being diffused throughout a cloud.

VFR pilots should do an immediate 180-degree turn.
Restricted visibility conditions become apparent with the gradual disappearance of lights on the ground or when they become fuzzy and flow.
Remember, the horizontal visibility through a restriction such as fog, haze or smoke is must less than when looking down through it from above.
Pilots get into trouble trying to land at an airport with fog because they fly over and can see the runway, but when on final approach they can’t see anything.

APPROACH FOR LANDING

Distances at night are deceptive, due to lack of illumination and inability of the pilot to judge them by the usual method of comparing the size of different objects. At night, fly towards an airport light and make a standard pattern, rather than attempting a straight-in approach. The perception of distance can be dealt with by flying the downwind leg until the touchdown point is half-way between the wing tip and tail. They turn onto the base leg.
The only way to approach a runway in the mountains at night, with complete safety, is to incorporate the “spot method for landing” technique. The flare and landing is accomplished in the same manner as during the day. There may be a tendency to look too far down the runway, causing the flare to be too high.

NIGHT FLYING TIPS
  • Always carry a workable flashlight (You can recognize the pilot who has flown at night without a flashlight. He’s the one that has two or more flashlights in his bag).
  • Close one eye when exposed to bright light.
  • Force the eyes to view off-center.
  • Blink the eyes if they become blurred.
  • Do not attempt violent or abrupt maneuvers at night.
  • Watch for the disappearance of ground lights or an area of glow around the navigation lights. This indicates enteringinstrument conditions.
  • Remember the deceptiveness of altitude and speed at night.
  • A normal approach looks steeper at night, creating an illusion of overshooting.
  • Distance judgment at night is less accurate than by day. A simple visual assessment can lead to a premature descent. source Night Flying
Pilot Training Program With Aviator Flight Training Academy 259 Flight Hours

Contact Aviator
Schedule a Visit

Passing Your 1st Checkride in Flight School

Passing Your 1st Checkride in Flight SchoolIf you did your research right and chose a solid flight school with FAA approved flight training curriculum and expert flight instructors you are on the right track to getting your pilot license.

The Purpose of Mock Checkrides

You’ve been studying and training hard to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to reach your goal of becoming a private pilot, and your flight instructor just announced it’s time to schedule a mock checkride. Congratulations! This means you are approaching the finish line of your initial training. And by scheduling you for a mock checkride, your CFI is accomplishing two important things: validating his or her opinion that you are fully prepared for the checkride, while providing you with a realistic dress rehearsal in preparation for the official checkride /home/flight-training-programs/individual-flight-training-courses.aspx with a designated pilot examiner (DPE).

Some CFIs conduct mock checkrides with their students in order to get a first-hand glimpse of a student’s performance under a quasi-checkride atmosphere. This can be effective for both student and CFI if the CFI truly maintains a DPE-like role throughout the experience. However, it is often difficult to produce and maintain a realistic checkride environment once a student/CFI relationship becomes as comfortable and familiar as they typically do. But more important, an overly relaxed environment eliminates the benefit of having to perform for a different person—possibly for the first time—all of the checkride’s required tasks.

For a mock checkride to be really effective it must include an entire checkride experience as much as possible—not just a mock flight test. It is unfortunate that some CFIs will conduct a mock checkride that concentrates mainly on the flight maneuvers, spending little time on the oral portion of the exam. And on checkride day, before the practical test can even begin, the DPE’s first obligation is to confirm that the applicant is qualified for the checkride; all too often, that answer is no! So the person conducting the mock checkride should begin by reviewing the pilot’s logbook—including ground and flight training records, student pilot certificate, and any required endorsements—to confirm that all prerequisites for the checkride have been accomplished and properly recorded.

Next, the student should be prepared to confidently present and discuss all required aircraft documents, maintenance logs, and records, demonstrating the proposed aircraft is ready for a safe and legal flight. Students who arrive on checkride day confused about this detail demonstrate an unfortunate lack of attention to this important task.
Since DPEs present scenario-based questioning throughout a practical test, the most effective and helpful mock oral exams will provide the student with a wide variety of scenarios in each area of operation. Doing this more accurately tests the depth of the student’s knowledge, and demonstrates the more realistic testing environment the DPE will create. While a student might be able to quickly and accurately respond to rote questions about airspace rules, for example, a solid understanding of how various airspace and VFR minimums apply to each other (correlation) is quickly assessed by asking a few scenario-style questions. DPEs are well practiced at determining the level of correlative learning through scenario-based questions, so effective mock checkrides should, too.

As for the flight portion, be sure to cover all of the required tasks that will be expected during the real checkride—not just the areas you believe will be the toughest. All too often, an applicant who received an abbreviated mock checkride does fine on everything except the one or two areas that had been overlooked.  Source

Having a mock checkride allows you to discover whether you performed the minimum prescribed PTS tolerances. If you did not, the price of the mock checkride will be worth every penny because it will allow you to work on your performance, correct mistakes and improve your chances of passing the check ride.

Checkride Preparation With Practical Test Standards (PTS)

By the end of your pilot training you’re faced with a check ride. Now its performance time to evaluate what you have learned pertaining to the rating you’re attempting to achieve. You are expected to perform precision maneuvers under the watchful eye of an experienced pilot examiner. The only way you will pass is by studying the material and practicing the maneuvers.

While there is a little room for error, some components are absolutely essential to get right both in the oral portion of the exam and during the flight test. And you can maximize your chances of acing your check ride by carefully studying the Practical Test Standards (PTS), published for each FAA rating.

The PTS is the FAA examiner’s bible. He or she must comply with the rules within the book and cannot test anything that is not included in the publication. There are several sections of particular importance. The first is called “Special Emphasis Area” and it highlights several safety related components that you need to be aware of. For example, one component is collision avoidance. If the examiner notices that you are not scanning for traffic during your checkride, he or she could technically give you the dreaded pink slip.

Other sections to pay extra attention to are the ones titled “Satisfactory Performance” and “Unsatisfactory Performance.” They tell you very clearly what you should and shouldn’t do if you want to pass your test. The PTS also states that you are expected to use a checklist and that it is the examiner’s job to attempt to distract you during the exam to test your ability to divide your attention while maintaining control of the airplane.

If you are applying for an additional rating, there is a table in the PTS that shows which sections of the PTS will be tested. There is also a handy checklist of equipment and documents that you need to bring to the exam. And it doesn’t hurt to go over the examiner’s checklist, too.

By reading the PTS cover to cover, you can make sure that there won’t be any surprises during the checkride. You can download the Practical Test Standards for all ratings on the FAA website, but if you prefer to get the information in print there are several publishers, including ASA and Jeppesen. Source

Top Reasons For Not Passing Your Checkrides
  1. Weather. The most common weakness during the oral exam is an inability to effectively interpret aviation weather charts, reports, and forecasts.
  2. Airspace. Many unsuccessful applicants arrive on checkride day with only a vague, rote level of knowledge regarding the various airspace details.
  3. Emergency landing. The many variables that make each engine-failure scenario unique also make the task of demonstrated emergency approach and landing especially challenging to master. Successful applicants consider several variables—nature of the emergency; altitude available; potential landing sites; and wind and surface conditions—while taking positive and timely corrective actions necessary to maximize the safety of the flight, never placing the flight in any undue, additional risk.
  4. Landings. Much has been said and written about the various landing maneuvers required for the private pilot checkride: normal, crosswind, soft-field, short-field, forward slip, and go-around. But the most important advice is proper practice, and lots of it! Proper means practice it correctly—not sloppily—so you won’t be learning bad habits from the start.
  5. Stalls. Next in line are the dreaded power-on and power-off stalls and spin awareness. While spin demonstrations are not called for on the checkride, most applicants are not only aware of spins, they are terrified of them. Knowing spins are the result of poorly coordinated stalls and stall-recovery attempts, students are often loath to practice stalls.
  6. Navigation. The last problem area on our hit list is, ironically, the first task typically demonstrated after departing the traffic pattern: cross-country navigation using pilotage skills. The biggest problem with this task often comes as a result of selecting inappropriate visual checkpoints along the planned route of flight. Source
Florida Flight School and Flight Training Programs

For more than 31 years Aviator has been the leader in multi-engine flight training. We have provided over 5000 professional pilots to the airline industry, both nationally and worldwide, through our Professional Pilot Flight Training Programs. Our FAA-certified Part 141 approved flight programs provide students with the skills and experience demanded by today’s commercial aviation industry. Aviator is accredited by the ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges).

Our Professional Pilot Program is set in a flight training, structured environment to ensure the student receives the knowledge that is required to be a professional pilot. This program is from 0 hours to over 250 hours, of which 200 hours will be multi-engine time. The program includes Private Pilot Single Engine through the Multi-Engine Flight Instructor Certificate. Cross Country flying is coast-to-coast, if desired.

Schedule a Visit
Aviator CFI, call 772-672-8222.
Contact Aviator