Flight Test Problem Areas, Instructor Rating

The oldest aircraft I have flown. This is a 1940 J3 Cub.

Here is a short list of some weak areas that tend to occur frequently on instructor rating flight tests.

Overall organization

Poor preparation of teaching area.

Teaching aids not present or not used.

Necessary publications (POH, FTM etc.) not present or not referred to.

FIG not used, not present or candidate not familiar with it.

Failure to fully manage student’s activities and time.


Generally poor preparation.

Weak knowledge of topic.

Poor introduction.

No review of previously learned material.

Ineffective review (should be procedural or operational).

Re-teaching instead of reviewing.


Instruction not appropriate to student’s level of expertise or understanding.

Weak interaction with student.

No student activity.

No verification of learning.

No summarization and no review questions.

Lecturing instead of interacting.

No questions asked of student.

Incorrect techniques and procedures taught to student.

FIG not used. No adherence to “essential background knowledge” section.

Teaching without the appropriate FTG in mind.

Reading a Powerpoint presentation.


No idea what a pre flight briefing is for.

No adherence to format in FIG.

Making it up as candidate goes along.

No assignment of pre flight duties to student.

No checking of student’s pre flight activities.

No review questions about today’s material.

Re-teaching instead of reviewing.

Inappropriate review questions.

Seems obvious that candidate never does a PFB (deer in the headlights).

Flight proficiency

Incorrect procedures, speeds or techniques used.

Failure to recognise that a spin has spiralled.

Not flying to CPL standards (this is code for “crappy flying skills”), especially in these maneuvers: steep turn, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 22, all takeoffs and landings. Get out there and practice, people!

Teaching proficiency

Poor management of student’s time.

Too much coaching.

Not enough coaching.


No engagement with student.

Too eager to intervene.

Hands and feet all over controls.

Incorrect procedures taught.

Unable to teach instrument flying: no organised method or lesson plans (this is a big one).

Analysis of student performance

Weak knowledge of flight test standards.

Missing basic common errors.

Failure to take control for debriefing.

No repetition of student practice.

Failure to consider student’s level of expertise.


The proper way to go to the airshow.