Checkride – a practical flight test which stresses out almost all the student pilots. After months of flight training and ground school, it’s the last thing to pass after which they have their new pilot certificate. Are you hoping to pass this FAA graduation exercise on your first try? How can you overcome your nervousness and show the FAA examiner everything you have learned both in the air and on the ground. Check out the below 5 tips which can help you in passing the FAA checkride with skill and confidence.
Preparation is very important
Prepare the PTS (practical test standards) thoroughly, the minimum altitudes for each flight maneuver in particular. Before you appear for your FAA checkride, complete your preparation early i.e. some days before your test day. Find out about your examiner and also discuss with other pilots who might have received their license through that same examiner. It is possible that you may find certain aeronautical areas the FAA examiner asks more questions on. And if you are going to appear for your flight test at some other airport and not your regional airport, then make sure you take at least few practice flights there. Be familiar with the taxiways, runways – learn as much as you can prior your test, and prepare yourself with all the flight test knowledge.
Don’t stress too much
Many students’ studies even the night before their checkride test day. If you want your checkride to be better, then you should stop studying and get a good 8 hours of sleep. There is no use of overcrowding your head with new information at the last minute. Sleep early and wake up relaxed and refreshed and eat healthy breakfast. Reminisce about the flight training, your first solo, your spot on maneuvers, your best take-offs and landings. Prepare yourself mentally and remember that you have reached this point because you have sufficient knowledge about your training.
Get your paperwork ready
Many pilots make the mistake of appearing for their FAA checkride without all their important paperwork in order. Make sure to go through your 8710 airman certificate application and then make your flight instructor to do the same. Check your airport directory and sectional charts and make sure they are current. Make sure you get at most two weather briefings: one briefing for the morning of your flight test and one at the night before. Double check your logbook and CFI and make sure everything is current, neatly filled out and in proper order. You wouldn’t want to aggravate the FAA examiner and leave a bad impression. Make sure you start your checkride on the right foot.
Know the Route
Make sure to understand the route for your flight plan that the examiner asked you to plot and also the route to an alternate airport. You should know everything about the routes be it airspace requirements or altitude minimums, even though you won’t be flying the entire strip of the plotted course. Prepare a sheet with all required frequencies of nearby airports as well as prepare emergency plans based upon an in-flight emergency anywhere near those routes.
Know the basics out and out
Give equal importance to both the oral part of your flight exam as well as even to the flying portion also. Your examiner doesn’t expect you to know everything, but he or she will just check how good you are at the basics of the aeronautical knowledge. Make sure you know the basics inside and out because you don’t want to give the examiner a reason to fail you by not knowing the basics. Also, even before you appear for your checkride make sure to identify and work on your weak points. The examiner will also ask you situational and hypothetical questions where he does not just want right answers but he also will be interested in knowing whether you know why your answer is correct. It’s okay to not know everything but it’s really not okay if you went for your checkride without preparing the PTS study material.