Commercial Check Ride Expierence

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Bonchie, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Took my Commercial check ride today (ASEL).

    Here are my thoughts.

    Oral:

    - He followed the ACS standards to the letter. Had them pulled up and was checking them off.

    - I was more prepared for the oral than I gave myself credit for. He did point me to the FARs a few times for more obscure stuff but overall, I was able to answer well into each string of questioning without having to look stuff up. Weak point was knowledge of the magnetos. I knew what they did, how they started, etc. but didn't really describe what they are very well. That was the only section he mentioned

    - Overall, the depth of knowledge was less than I expected and the oral took about 1.5 hours. Commercial private privileges, route, sectional, weather briefing (including surface analysis, identifying types of fronts, etc.), airplane systems, and a touch of E6-B work just to show him I sort of remembered how to do it.

    - Used my iPad. He was all for Foreflight and showed me how to do some stuff I didn't even know. That saved me a lot of headache as I was able to calculate everything in Foreflight and didn't have to do a navigation log the old fashioned way.

    Flying:

    - In the plane, dead reckoning to the first checkpoint (with a mix of pilotage as we had a road to follow). Diverted to an airport about 86NM away, found two or three landmarks along the route to ensure I knew what I was doing. He made me turn off location services in my Ipad and I couldn't use the onboard GPS so no cheating. After about 10NM, we headed to the practice area.

    - Started with slow flight, no problem. Stalls. He said the FAA permits one stall to the drop now, so we do the power off all the way. Power on stall to the stall warning. Accelerated stall to the warning.

    - He chose to do the lazy 8 and not the Chandelle as the ACS says he can pick one. I was well within standards the first time but he wanted to see more rudder usage. So we did it again and nailed it again. I was in an old 172H that is just a dog, so I made sure to let him know it wasn't going to actually do Va to enter the maneuver. He was fine with that.

    - No steep spiral. He chose the steep turns instead. No problems. Probably lost 50 feet on one but within standards.

    - Engine fire. Got to 140mph with a 30 degree turn, went through my flow and he called to level at 2000. Then I picked a field, did one spiral and lined up. Worked out fine.

    - Now that we were low, next was eights on pylons. Previously, I had used a highway to practice. He had me use a field, but I was able to find two points, put the wind behind me to start, and nailed it. Given that's the one I was probably out of standard the most during training, I was really happy with how I did it.

    - Headed back to the airport for the pattern work. I was nervous because he specifically said I could not do a go around on the power off 180. I know a lot of other DPE's allow it, but I wasn't going to argue with him. He helped me out though by letting me do my short field as a power off, so I basically got a practice run to get a feel for the winds.

    - Speaking of winds, they weren't ideal. 80 degrees off gusting up to 15 knots. That made everything more challenging than most of my training flights. But discontinuing for a crosswind probably wouldn't instill much confidence in the DPE given I was going for a higher rating. It was 90+ degrees and bumpy the whole way as well. Basically the kind of day I was praying it wouldn't be.

    - We did the short/soft field takeoffs + normal landing, short field landing, and soft field landing. The soft field was crap. Winds were everywhere and I bounced it. Managed to keep the nose up though after I came back down and he didn't say anything about it.

    - Power off 180, nailed it on the 1000 foot marker. Didn't even need the 200 foot buffer. With that said, a 172 is easy to manipulate and get down. Those who did this in slicker retracts were given much more of a challenge.

    - Taxied back, "you passed," and that was that. His only area of improvement in the debrief was using more rudder in my turns.

    Overall, the ride was easier than I had built up in my mind. There were a few times I could of let my nerves get the best of me, especially in the scorching heat and the gusty conditions, but I maintained throughout.

    Obviously, flying for money is cool, but as far as a learning experience, the commercial made me a much better pilot and much more comfortable flying at the edge of the envelope. I had gotten really comfortable flying straight lines IFR and this was a much needed boost in my ability to fly the airplane. I found the lazy eights and power off 180s to actually be a lot of fun to do.

    Now to go do a 3 day course and get my CMEL done. CFI? Who knows.

    EDIT: And for anyone interested, I put about 14 hours of dual in to get prepared. I had done the dual cross countries and solo work over the previous year.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  2. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    CONGRATS! and thanks for posting
     
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  3. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Heh. I just re-bought an e6b, taking the written this weekend. Thanks for your writeup.
     
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  4. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Best kind of conditions for a checkride, at least you have an excuse if something looked a little rough! The examiner is aware of the conditions, and will probably give you a little leeway if a wind gusts ruins an otherwise perfect approach.

    On a calm day, you have no excuses! :D
     
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  5. Jim_CAK

    Jim_CAK Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Thanks a lot for writing this up. I hope to take my com ride in the next month or so. Although I have not completed the ride yet - I also think the preparation was a great learning experience. I should have done this years ago. I am interested to hear how your Multi engine experience goes. I plan to get the multi as soon as I get through the commercial single.
     
  6. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    This was nice to read. I almost bit on the king course deal for Oshkosh but decided I’ll shoot for the Black Friday deal. I have the old book that I plan to read. A lot of that stuff doesn’t change.
    Congrats!!
     
  7. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congrats!
     
  8. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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  9. BarryCooper

    BarryCooper Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congratulations. Langley told me he had a student pass his Commercial today. Must've been you!
     
  10. Lance F

    Lance F En-Route PoA Supporter

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    That’s great. Good work.
     
  11. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Congrats.
     
  12. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    Congrats! Thank the Lord I passed mine last September.

    Where are you going to do the multi add on?
     
  13. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Congrats!
     
  14. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not sure yet. Taking a breath this week and will start looking. I have a bookmarks section in my browser of various accelerated courses I've saved over the years. Will start there.
     
  15. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah, that was me! Is your Cherokee the one at HKS I see in the first hanger?
     
  16. simtech

    simtech En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Congrats, this makes me want to do my commercial now.

    @Bonchie are you in the Jackson area? We should have a MS POA meet up. Though there is not many here I don't believe. @BarryCooper @ktup-flyer And I believe that is all....
     
  17. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah, I am. Most of my flying the past year has been out of HKS via training or CAP. Before that, I was in a 182 club at Raymond.

    You close by?
     
  18. simtech

    simtech En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yep, I'm out of KSTF, Starkville.
     
  19. PA28

    PA28 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Massive congrats! and thank you for sharing your experience :)
     
  20. Justin M

    Justin M Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congrats and thanks for sharing.
     
  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Late but congrats! It’s a fun one. All stick and rudder in the airplane. And new regs to learn.

    The ride sounded very standard, and that’s nice to hear. So many internet stories of weird rides.

    So your 172 was a TAA? That whole thing is kinda neat. I wanted to do my SE Comm in my 182 before the TAA allowance, so I needed a retract and that meant doing the ME first.

    Kinda interesting doing it backwards, since there’s different requirements for the ME ride vs the SE.

    Again, congrats. If you’re serious about wanting to teach, now is the time to do it while all the techniques your instructor used on you to get you to learn all of that, are fresh in your mind. But you have to flip mindset over completely to not fly a checkride but teach everything up to and through a checkride. Mind flip. But easier done when the material and HOW it was covered is fresh.

    Ready to stand at a whiteboard and teach someone who just walked in the door and doesn’t even know where the oil cap is on their car, aircraft systems? Teach the aerodynamics of all that flying you just did?

    If so, and more of course, then hop on the CFI bandwagon quick. You’ll love it. If you don’t want to teach, think seriously about not doing it. That’s the big decision.

    Have fun!
     
  22. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    No, it was a 1967 172H.

    They got rid of the complex/TAA requirement on the check ride last year. You can do it all regular old fixed gear now. You still have to have at least 10 hours dual in a complex or TAA with the complex endorsement completed before the ride.
     
  23. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congrats!!

    Nice post. I am looking to wrap up my commercial rating within the next month. Between work and family, time is always an issue. I've had roughly 14 hours of dual. Just need to fine tune my Lazy Eights and steep spirals... Good luck if you decide to get the CFI rating!

    Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk
     
  24. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Ahhh right. Now it’s just time in one of those. Got it.
     
  25. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    What’s involved with a multi add on after getting comm in a single? Is there another checkride?
     
  26. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    Yep. Look at the Commercial ACS where it's marked AMEL.
     
  27. NotarPilot

    NotarPilot Filing Flight Plan

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    Congrats! Great post... most pilots anticipate the commercial check ride much to be much harder than it really is. Passing a check ride is always a great sense of accomplishment.
     
  28. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Congrats!!



    The “no pilot left behind act” lol

    Talk about the clown world of the FAA, take the things which are a proven issue like forgetting to lower the gear, IIMC, stall/spin and dumb it down or just eliminate it from testing, while you take things that arnt a issue like pilots with add crashing left and right because “squirrel”, or adding the emergency decent, sigh .


    But ether way, congrats on your CPL and good luck on which ever ride you pick next.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  29. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Ejection Handle Pulled

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    To borrow a John Wayne saying, "Ya done good there, pilgrim."
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Actually look in the add on table in the appendix. The main stuff labeled AMEL is for an initial ride.