Real Answers from Real Pilots

Checkride

My first checkride for private pilot out at sac exec, getting very excited and nervous at the same time. Do you guys have any tips you tell students on how to remain calm and relaxed? I’m worried about getting caught up with the oral portion, I feel very prepared but I’ve been told they like to pick things to ask and go in great detail to see if I “unravel”. Is it as hard as they say?

Gabriel,

I was never too bothered by checkrides, bit I know that some people are. I would simply encourage you as much as possible to be confident in your abilities and knowledge. You can’t possibly know everything, no pilot does. A lot of examiners like to find a weak area and help you to improve on it, that doesn’t mean that you failed the ride.

Study hard, know your material and you will do fine.

Chris

Gabriel,

Which examiner is your ride scheduled with?

This sounds basic, but the best way to stay calm is to know your stuff.
Don’t mimic what your instructor says. Be skeptical of everything they say.
For your own sake, figure out where the information is coming from. The
more familiar you become with your books, the more confident you will be at
answering questions because you’ll know not only the info, but also where
to find it if questioned by the examiner.

The examiner will have a plan of action based off of the ACS. So, you
should become as familiar with the ACS as you can. Know how the ACS works
too. Don’t just jump right into the material. Read the intro.

At some point your primary instructor should (I say should because I’m not
there anymore. It was mandatory when I was there) schedule a mock check
ride for you with another instructor. Those are very valuable.

When in doubt, keep it simple. The examiner is bound to find something you
don’t know. “I don’t know, but I know where to find the answer” is a good
place to start. Don’t abuse that “card” though.

Tory

Hi Tory, thank you for your response. The test is with a man named Jim Hinson. I definitely know the material, I’m pretty confident on it.

Tory Pilot Mentor
November 27 |

Gabriel,

Which examiner is your ride scheduled with?

This sounds basic, but the best way to stay calm is to know your stuff.
Don’t mimic what your instructor says. Be skeptical of everything they say.
For your own sake, figure out where the information is coming from. The
more familiar you become with your books, the more confident you will be at
answering questions because you’ll know not only the info, but also where
to find it if questioned by the examiner.

The examiner will have a plan of action based off of the ACS. So, you
should become as familiar with the ACS as you can. Know how the ACS works
too. Don’t just jump right into the material. Read the intro.

At some point your primary instructor should (I say should because I’m not
there anymore. It was mandatory when I was there) schedule a mock check
ride for you with another instructor. Those are very valuable.

When in doubt, keep it simple. The examiner is bound to find something you
don’t know. “I don’t know, but I know where to find the answer” is a good
place to start. Don’t abuse that “card” though.

Tory

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In Reply To

Gmejia2509 Gabriel Mejia
November 27 |

My first checkride for private pilot out at sac exec, getting very excited and nervous at the same time. Do you guys have any tips you tell students on how to remain calm and relaxed? I’m worried about getting caught up with the oral portion, I feel very prepared but I’ve been told they like to pick…
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I don’t know Jim. He must be new to that location. As long as you and your
instructor have been preparing via the ACS you’ll be fine.

Tory

Gabriel,

Nerves are fairly common for many people when it comes to testing, particularly if this is your first checkride. I actually find a little bit of nerves is a good thing. It motivates me to study hard so there’s no question as to my knowledge. That and I chew mint gum. I had read years ago the chewing gum helps burn excess energy and the mint wakes you up some. Might be in my mind but I’ve always done that and I haven’t busted one yet sooooo…

Adam