Preparing For Your Flight Test

How to Pass Your Flight Test.

Flight test day is a stressful day, and being confident that you are ready goes a long way toward alleviating that stress.  Adequate preparation is the key to passing your flight test, and one key to preparation is to be fully aware of what is expected of you. The appropriate Flight Test Guide is your source for that information.  Every word in the Flight Test Guide is important, but pay particular attention to the Aim, Description and Performance Criteria for each flight test exercise.  Use these sections as checklists as you prepare for your flight test, and make sure every sentence is familiar to you and is something you normally do when performing that particular exercise.  Work with your instructor to fill in any gaps before you contact an examiner.  Practice, review and rehearse, and then practice, review and rehearse some more.  Being “just good enough” is not good enough.

Remember, examiners want you to pass, but are bound by the standards in the pertinent Flight Test Guide.  Your time spent in preparation will pay off.

On flight test day, your job is to do what you have been trained to do.  Fly the airplane exactly as you have learned.  DO NOT make up any new procedures or methods to try out on your flight test.  This may sound obvious but it has come up enough times to be noteworthy.  Also, do not try to assess your own performance during the test.  Leave that to the examiner.  You just concentrate on flying. If you think you failed an item, put it behind you.  Take a few seconds to refocus, and carry on. You may be right, but you could just as easily be wrong.

The flight test is not a race.  You may take some time between exercises to gather your thoughts and mentally prepare for the next exercise.

Please review the Problem Areas for PPL/CPL and Instructor Rating, and Advice for Instructors links above for more specifics on errors and omissions that tend to come up frequently.

After your flight test, I will give you and your instructor a very thorough debriefing. Regardless of the outcome if the test, you will definitely leave smarter than when you arrived. Be prepared to take notes.

Tip: don’t tie your Cub to the fuel truck.