Flight Training - May 2021 - 20

PREFLIGHT CHECKRIDE 101

BY NATALIE BINGHAM HOOVER

CHECKRIDE ROLES
WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE?

" SHOULD WE DO A GO-AROUND? " PUT

this down on the list of things never to
say to your examiner on a checkride. It's
not that you shouldn't do a go-around on
a checkride. In fact, it's a required task on
the private, instrument, and commercial
practical tests. But you should not ask the
examiner to make the go-around decision.
That's your call. On a checkride, the applicant is the pilot in command, unless there
are extenuating circumstances. While this
may seem strange considering the examiner has a zillion hours and the applicant
likely has less than 100, FAR 61.47 states,
" the examiner is not the pilot in command
of the aircraft during the practical test
unless the examiner agrees to act in that
capacity for the flight.... " In other words,
on a checkride, you're the boss, and acting
like it will go a long way toward helping
you earn your certificate or rating.
There are lots of ways that you, as
the applicant, can demonstrate you are
ready to be the pilot in command. On the
walk-around, if you notice a discrepancy
of some sort, make your own decision considering what you know about required
equipment, or go grab a mechanic to
discuss the issue. Once you have made up
your mind about the flat spot on the tire or
the missing static wick, keep the examiner
in the loop on the airworthiness of the
aircraft you are choosing to fly.
You can also prove you are ready to
hold that pilot certificate by grabbing the
ARROW documents before the examiner
asks to see them. It does not exactly build
confidence when the examiner must
climb around in the backseat searching for
a weight and balance sheet because you
have no idea where it is. During the flight,
please do not ask the examiner if he or she
would like for you to do a clearing turn.
Just go ahead and do it, because that's
the way to safely prepare for a maneuver.
If you don't understand a radio call from
ATC, just ask them to " say again, please, "

JARGON
ARROW

20  FLIGHT TRAINING MAY 2021

rather than turning to the examiner for
clarification. By all means, be courteous
and open with the examiner about your
decision making processes (thinking out
loud is great here!), but do not expect
them to make the decisions for you.
Remember, for most checkrides,
the DPE is only there to serve as an
observer. Although they must hold a flight
instructor rating, the FAA does not allow
teaching during the checkride. So, it's in
your best interest to save your aviation
related questions for after you have passed
your checkride. In the post-flight debrief,
the examiner will likely have some good
tips for you, but until then, self-reliance is
key. Also, the DPE is not a tour guide or a
human GPS. Take responsibility for your
own navigation using your map or navigational aid, and don't ask the examiner
for directions if you can't remember how
to get back to the airport. The DPE is also
not to serve as a crewmember, so good
cockpit organization is a must. Don't ask
the DPE to hold the controls while you
look for a pen or chart.
There are, however, a few ways the
DPE is authorized to help the applicant.
They can, and will, act as safety pilot
if you are under simulated instrument
conditions, or they can hold a checklist
or an iPad for you if you need your hands
free. In the case of an actual emergency,
expect the DPE to step in and do whatever
is needed to get on the ground safely. Barring those situations, it would be best to
behave as if no one is even there. Remember, as PIC, you are the final responsibility
for safety in the aircraft. This is your
chance to show off your skills, so be
assertive with decision making and don't
rely on the DPE as anything other than a
friendly passenger in that seat next to you.
NATALIE BINGHAM HOOVER is an FAA-DPE and
chief flight instructor of a busy flight school
near Memphis, Tennessee.

This mnemonic helps pilots remember the documents that must
be on board an aircraft: airworthiness certificate, registration
certificate, radio station license (international flights), operating
limitations, and weight and balance information.


http://efirc.com/ft

Flight Training - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - May 2021

Contents
Flight Training - May 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - May 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - May 2021 - 2
Flight Training - May 2021 - 3
Flight Training - May 2021 - 4
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Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - May 2021 - Cover4
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