Prepping for your Checkride

In Todays Episode Jason Shares With You Some Great Ways To Prep For Your Checkride.

Text transcript

News & Notes

Something really exciting and I email about it. Just releasing our 2013 EAA AirVenture OshKosh schedule. A lot of great things happening here in We, first and foremost, we’re going to exhibiting this year up in OshKosh, Booth “2115”. Better known inside of the Hanger B. The bendix king hanger. We have all our books, myself, my beautiful wife; my wonderful team is going to be up there. For a chance for you to come by and say hi and share your stories and take some pictures and get some books and will be going to do this very Radio Show Live from inside of there. So we’ll be working on that from a technical aspect as well in the near future. So that’s inside of the Hanger B. Also for my media out there. Wednesday we’ll be doing press launch. First off to feed the media and also get our message across what is all about and sharing some great stuff about what we’re doing in the coming months and help creating more pilots. More specifically helping them financially and share about how we doing that. Friday, we’re speaking. We basically own pavilion #8. At 8:30, we’re doing “5 Ways to Fly Safer”. At 10 o’clock “How to Handle Inflight Emergencies”. Maybe you’ve seen that YouTube Video. At 11:30 “Secret to Perfect Landings”. Kind of a presentation based of my new known best selling book by the same title “The Secret to Perfect Landings” all that’s on Friday on OshKosh and on Pavilion 8. What I am most excited about is. I am very blessed and fortunate to share with you is in Saturday evening from 6:30 to 7:30. Our good friends of AOPA have really help us a lot with helping make the good pilots gathering because a good pilot is always learning. It really works out very well because the AirShows is gonna end. There’s kind of a low period. Whether there’s nothing happening and then there’s the Night AirShow. We decided to step up and let’s have a fun get together. There would be food, drinks, friends and fun, you know. All the good stuff. There we are giving away great prizes. Again, special thanks to AOPA for making it all happen. Helping us organize that. So really excited. Great chance to get together with other like minded pilots. I really do leave out that a good pilot is always learning. That will be a fun time to hangout there Saturday night 6:30 to 7:30 at OshKosh. That’s it for the News & Notes.

What is Pilots Inner Circle that I am listening to now? Pilot Inner Circle is part of Flight Training Radio. Please visit and learn more at

How to Prep for your Checkride

Summertime is a big time for checkride. Lot of people making the new year’s resolution to become a pilot. In summertime because work gets in the way previously and everything else. Summer time comes around. Work schedules lighting up. Things get little bit easier sometime for some. It become a big checkride time with a lot of students especially inside the Online Ground School that I am talking within weeks of a checkrides. So I really wanted to take a moment and share with you some tips for prepping for that checkride. Listen, this are tips whether your private, your instrument, your ATP checkride, it doesn’t matter. These are great General tips for prepping for that checkride. So I broke it down with two segments.

First, let’s talk about the Oral Exam. The oral exam is what everybody work the most usually. Just the idea of sitting down with that examiner going. They could ask me any question they want and you are right. But at the same time you got to understand. You are not required to know it all. That’s why I’m always saying “A good pilot is always learning”. You are not expected to know it all. You are expecting to continue learning. You are expecting to know where to find the answers. You don’t have to know it all. But I’m going to give you some great tips on walking on that Oral Exam confident. Having a really good Idea what going to be ask of you. Certainly, on that checkride.

The first tip, I don’t find people sharing, this is crucial, is to focus on the subject codes. Focus on the incorrect answers on the written test. One thing a lot of people I realize don’t recognize is on your written test. You just pass your written test. Assuming you did not have 100%. I had a lot of students get a 100% a lot of them are Online Ground School Members. Assuming you didn’t though. Any questions you got incorrect we’re going to appear on that certificate as a subject code. You say incorrect answers subject code H.234. It’s going to give you the incorrect subject codes. Well if you were a great pilot. You would go up and you would dig up. What those subject codes are “Oh, I got a question wrong on VOR navigation. Oh I got a question wrong on right of way rules”. And you would know what questions you got wrong what areas to focus on because you know what? That examiners going to look at that written test. He does done this and she does done this so long and say the thing over and over. They just know from memory what does subject codes are, what those numbers mean, what they correspond with and where do you think they’re going to start to questioning that on the questions you got wrong on that written test. So do yourself a favor. Dig up that written test and look at those subject codes. I mean you can google those subject codes and figure out what they are. There are most written test prep books. That’s not a big deal and love this sort of stuff because you’re going to know. Because that is when the examiner is going to start the question. So focus on the incorrect answers on the written test.

The second thing is this, is “Know where to fine anything; everything”. Again, you don’t have to know the answers, all of them. But you got to know where to find them. For example if the examiner ask what are the required VFR night instruments? Well you’re gonna think. Well you know I can name four of them. I know there’s probably another but I’m not quite sure. You know what? I know it’s part 91. 91205 kind of rings a bell. You know what? I know it’s on Far Aim. I know how to use the Far Aim and I can use that. Okay? Please, Please, Please don’t ever show up to your checkride with the Far Aim still on the wrapper. I share that from experience because I’ve seen students do it before. They show up they’re going to look something up in the Far Aim. They had to give out their pocket knife to cut the strand wrap on their neatly package Far Aim. I mean if that’s the case. At least drag it behind the truck on the way to the checkrides or something it looks like you use it. That Far Aim should be highlighted, tabbed. It should be have the snap out of it because you use it so much and dug up so much stuff in it.

Know how to use it

Know how to find stuff

Know where to find anything

No matter what question they ask. You got a book that you can find the answer and I will share with you guys. For every checkride I did. My fellow pilots make fun of me because I would walk with my checkride with two big milk crates. A little plastic crates of books. I have to make 3 or 4 trips from the car to bring my entire aviation library. I would put it all down and I settle it all up. The examiner look at me like “Wow! Do you know everything in there?”. Well I said “I don’t know everything but I know where to find anything that you are going to ask in those books”. I’ve been through in my mouth. So bring your aviation library and knowing where to find stuff is super super important.

Next tip I have for you related to the oral exam is this “Don’t dig yourself into a checkride pitfall. My students out there who like to talk a little bit too much. It’s nothing wrong with that but it’s kind of like just reading the headlines in the newspaper. You know, you don’t have to be dangerous by doing that. I mean I give you an example. The examiner ask you about the oxygen levels and you explain. You give them the right answer related about the oxygen levels. And that we show to stop.

However we continued on and said “Yes”. The reason we have this because we could get hypoxic while we’re flying. And stops for a second and “Oh, hypoxia? That’s interesting”. What are the four different types of Hypoxia? And you stop for a second “Four different types of Hypoxia? What is this guy talking? I have no clue what he’s talking about”. And there you have it the classic checkride pitfall. All the gentleman wanted to know what are our oxygen requirement in non pressurized aircraft and you gave the right answer and show it stop there. He didn’t ask about hypoxia. He didn’t ask you why we had oxygen requirement. He just wanted to know the raw data. What were the numbers? What you want to know? If he wants to know going to hypoxia, Volunteer that information. Once you bring up a subject like that. It’s an easy segue for the examiners. They are almost always gonna go to it and when they ask you a question like “What are the four types of hypoxia?”. You sit there and go “Oh, why did I bring this up?”. I remember reading this a long time ago but I don’t know. Don’t dig yourself and do a checkride pitfall. They ask for the answer. Giving them clear concise answer and be done with it. Okay? You are not carry on conversation. A lot of times just happen because student find dead time or dead space in their conversation with the examiners to be awkward. It is a very nervous situation when you are nervous. Your natural tendency is to do what? Usually talk or babble. Whatever it may be.

This is a questions and answers sections. Not necessarily a conversation. Giving their answer let them think the next question and just be quiet. I don’t mean to be so blunt but it’s the honest truth. Don’t dig yourself into a checkride pitfall. You guys if you and I don’t mean to plug my products but if you guys haven’t read or check out “Pass your Private Pilot Checkride” or “Pass your Instrument Pilot Checkride” my two other selling books. Highly encourage you to check out. We have a great E-Book, Audio Book Combo. You got the EBook you download it through your Ipad. The Audio Book put it on your Ipad or your Iphone. Anything will play Mp3 for student. Plug it into your car on the way to work. Plug them while you are in the gym. Literally, I ask a question. I pause for a second and think about the answer and give you the correct answer. How you should answer it. On your actual FAA Checkride. It is 6 hours of mock checkride prep effectively any possible question. All the question is nothing that I made up. They are all question from actual FAA checkride from all over the country. I’ve set in on hundred of checkrides, interview, hundred of student who passed their checkrides and compiled all their questions into one easy to read book. Pass your Private Pilot Checkride & Pass your Instrument Pilot Checkride. You go to Click on Pilot Shop. Look at the store. You can find it there. You can also find it on Amazon all over the place. So quick plug for that.

So tell a lot of student. Listen if you just make it to the Oral Exam and the flying part is easy because the flying part is what we all love. They are maybe a few things you worry about. I probably had a funny idea what those might be. I’m going to share those with you here. If you can make it to the oral exam. That’s half the battle. Getting to the airplane. Things usually in your favor. Still a few thing that can be screwed up but the most important aspect of this flight is this. You are the Pilot in Command and that checkride examiner wants to and needs to be treated like a passenger. Treat them like your first passenger. Like your taking your spouse flying. Whatever it may be. I mean give them a departure briefing. A lot of students think this is silly but literally when they get in the airplane. Show them how to fasten and unfasten their seatbelt. Show them how to close the door. Half of time you got to show me how to close the door. Some people slam the door. They barely pull the door. You guys have flown different aircraft. You know what I’m talking about but treat them as if they were a passenger. Give them a departure briefing. Give them a proper emergency briefing. Like”Hey in event of emergency. You know I am your Pilot in Command in this case. This is how your seatbelt works when we land safely. This is one of the emergency exit. This door. That blocks the security. You could use my door. You got a baggage compartment.” Explain this sort of stuff to them. Treat them as if they were a passenger because that’s what effectively trying to simulate.

Other two things related to the flight. It’s super important. I share this with you because I’m afraid maybe somebody has shared it with you yet. The first is this.

Turning stalls

If you haven’t done a turning stalls. I pray that your private pilot checkride is not the first time you do want. Because that was the case for myself. I have done power on stalls, power off stalls and very comfortable stalls. There’s no big deal. I was flying Cherokee 140 with a little hershey bar wings. When that thing broke, it broke like falling like a tower of terror. It would break. We got up there to fly. Slow flight, steep turns and everythings going well.

The examiners “Okay, show me a turning stall with a 50 degree bank to the left”.
I look at him and I said “I don’t think we are allowed to do that.”
He said “What do you mean you are not allowed to do that?”.
I said “I never done one before so it must not allowed to do it”.
He goes “Do you mean your instructor didn’t show you a turning stall?”.
I said “No”. You know what I’ll give you a pass and I’ll talk you through it.

Thankfully he was on a teaching mode in that case but my private pilot checkride was the first I ever did a turning stall. This isn’t just the Florida thing. Just talking with an online ground school member named James out in California who’s prepping for his checkride. Guess what the checkride examiner he spoke with said “Listen just so you know we are going to do turning stall so be ready for that”. Thankfully he got a heads up and of course I talked with James previously. About turning stalls so his ready for it. His instructor as well had help him out or instructing him in turning stall so don’t let the first time on your checkride that you __18:46_ a turning stall. Please go out and practice this stuff. The maximum bank that you can demonstrate is 50 Degrees so it’s nothing major. Just know turning stalls. If stalls are something that make you nervous guys you need to spend a day just doing them. Obviously you don’t like breakfast of something but you need to build up your confidence because stalls will be a checkride buster possibly. If you are not comfortable and remember this for those who have a stall phobia. Remember this. We practice stalls to practice recoveries not practice to get onto the stall. They could care less how you get into that stall. That certainly I’d like to make it more realistic so I do follow a certain system that makes stall realistic but that’s not the important part. The important part is how you will recover. More importantly how did you recognize the warning sign. The stall warning horn the stall warning light and this goes on. The controls getting mushy. You need to feel the onset of the stall feels like before you get to a break. Another important thing to ask your checkride examiner “Hey! We are gonna do a stall and the full stalls. Take it on the sloppy control. Take it on the warning horn and then recover. Take it to a full break and recover. Ask him that. Some instructors. It really depends on the date. Depends on how familiar they are on the aircraft but certainly that something to ask as well.

The last thing to share with the flight is Landing on Center Line. Guys I hate to bear of the bad news and you guys know I tried to be very positive and very uplifting but the truth to the matter is this if you cannot land on center line. You just won’t pass your checkride that day. Be an off day. Be a centerline day. That is a huge checkride buster. Why? Because landing incidents. Specifically crosswind landings incidents. Even more specifically landing incidents where you may hit a little on the pavement, off the pavement and impact runway sign for light rising year after year. The FAA has specifically reach out designated pilot examiner DPE’s. And said “Hey! You can’t be passing this guys if they cannot land on center line. What is the definition of center line landing? Oh I really want that nose wheel peel that enough that white paint on that center line. You know typically you honestly keep the center line in between to main wheels. The main wheels shouldn’t touch the center line. Keep the center line between two main wheels. You’re gonna be a-Okay in that case but guys you have got to be able to land that airplane on center line. If that something you are struggle with. Spend a day working on your landings. Don’t shy away from windy or gusty conditions. It’s certainly something to focus on and you guys haven’t pick up a copy of the book of The Secret to Perfect Landings. You can go to Check that out. Great Ebook. Great Videos inside of the Book to help you landing on centerlines. Landing is all about site picture guys. Landing is all about where you put your eyes. If you are consistently landing to the right or left, certainly land on center line. There’s something wrong with what you’re doing and you need to work to fix that.


Jim has a question regarding on the IFR, the checkride. Focus points for the IFR checkrides. Jim most importantly and again the general tips really apply to what I mention to previously. But it comes to IFR checkride. IFR flying is so procedural. You need to focus on your procedures. You know, everything from your approach briefing to your pre landing check needs to be done at a certain time and I totally understand. A lot of times you could hit an approach after an approach after approach like there’s any down time. That’s just how you able to operate. The best tip I can give for you is for you to get a real solid approach brief down path. So you gonna do it the same way each and every time. Right? Super important in regards to that. Speaking of IFR flying are brand new CFII. Larry Daimon who helps thing in chimed in. He can’t emphasized enough the question. Talk about the question about the checkride will be scenario based and you need to apply that information to the scenario. Larry is exactly right because think about it you spend most of the time for the written test which is very much ABC kind of road stuff and now you are entering to the checkride which is much a real world test where they going to ask you question scenarios, basic questions. It’s important that you can relate to those certain scenarios. That is where flight training is going now. Scenario based stuff. Larry also said “Also if you go passed the PTS minimum and you want to retake the exam. Let say you are doing steep turns private pilot steep turns +-100 feet of the altitude where you started and you jumped up 125 feet. It’s better to announce that to the designated pilot examiner. The checkride examiner said “Oops, I am 25 feet high and I am fixing that”. Because if you just try to play it cool and be quiet and go “I hope he doesn’t notice.” He’s going to think that you are not paying attention you are not even scanning your instruments or watching altitude or you don’t even care for that matter. It’s important to say “Oops that just pop up on PTS but I’m correcting it. I’m bringing a little bit of power back or I’m trimming down and let it those coming down horizon a little bit more. Tell them what you are doing to fix it. Let them know that you are the PIC. You are making that ultimate decision. You are working to fix the situation. Great questions and great comments guys. I really appreciated that. We really excited to meet so much of you up on OshKosh especially at saturday night at that good pilot gathering. Were going to have a lot of fun. Looking forward to meeting so many of you and see many of you guys out there. I hope you enjoy the radio show program. Ground school members don’t forget we have a weekly workshop webinar this evening we are talking about VOR Navigation. So really exciting webinar planned. So guys enjoy the rest of your day and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions and most importantly remember that a good pilot is always learning.

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