How forgiving is a DPE?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Sport Pilot, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If I make a mistake on my checkride, is it over? Do they allow a certain amount of mistakes? How often can I use my FAR AIM?

    Any guidance, suggestions, or constructive criticism would be appreciated.

    It is difficult to not overthink my upcoming checkride as I have never experienced this before.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    Depends upon how prepared you are when you show up.

    A good DPE will take into account a nervous applicant. Also, the DPE is looking for if you don't know the answer, at least you know where to look it up.
     
  3. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thank you Doc. I have read over the FAR AIM 3 times and have marked everything with tabs. I am not using it as a cheat sheet, but there is so much information to know. I just want to be prepared and have it available.
     
  4. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I recommend talking thru what you're doing. I think those guys want to see that you are safe and have a safe thought process over nailing a maneuver 100%. too steep on your steep turn? "looks like I'm a little over 45*, let me correct that".....drop the nose too much on a stall recovery (oh I forgot you don't do that anymore)? "oh, I normally have a smoother recovery and don't drop the nose as much". probably stupid examples but u get what I'm saying...

    EDIT: of course just nailing your maneuvers works as well....
     
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  5. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    eman1200,

    Ok. So if I mention and correct my over banking on the steep turn, mention and correct for the stall horn on the slow flight, mention and correct altitude deviation on my s-turn, he would still be ok?
     
  6. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    You need to be going over all of this with your CFI.
     
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  7. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sorry for the rudimentary questions;I am nervous.
     
  8. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Think of it this way. The oral portion is a conversation. They have the experience to stump you at any time so knowing where to go get the answer is a fully correct answer in any case beyond the basics.

    In flight a mistake is not a mistake unless it exceeds the limitations mandated by the ACS. Can't keep your bank angle within 2 degrees in steep turns or altitude within 20 feet? Not a mistake until you exceed the standards.

    My checkrides have been very fair and matter of fact in those ways.

    Nervous is normal as is stress. Don't let it lead to analysis paralysis and you'll be fine.
     
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  9. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    No need to apologize, unfortunately this is PoA.

    If you make a mistake in a maneuver, and you recognize it and correct it, then move on. I assume this is a Private check ride. He's not looking for absolute perfection, he's looking that you are safe and can recognize when something is not going right and make the correction.

    Calm down, take your time, don't rush. Make sure you understand clearly what the DPE is requesting, if not, ask him to clarify.
     
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  10. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Take a deep breath, be confident, but not cocky. Look at the oral portion as just a chance to discuss all the cool stuff you have been learning with someone who’s uber interested in it. Show a pilot in command attitude.

    on mine we loaded up to go and he didn’t clip his lap belt, pre start checklist I politely called him on it. He said he didn’t need it as pax for taxi. I could not recall the chapter n verse rule on it. I took a deep breath and said “I cannot recite that chapter and verse but I am Pilot in command of this flight and I need you to clip your shoulder belt before I start the engine.”

    I was told by more than one old salt I passed my ride right there if I didn’t blow the maneuvers- that in a tight spot I showed professional PIC attitude and to be overly safe than lax.

    deep breath- you got this...
     
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  11. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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  12. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Appendix 5 of the ACS defines satisfactory vs unsatisfactory performance. In the examples you mentioned, the bold bullet points cover it.


    Satisfactory Performance
    In accordance with 14 CFR part 61, section 61.43, satisfactory performance requires that the applicant:
    • Demonstrate the Tasks specified in the Areas of Operation for the certificate or rating sought within the established standards;
    • Demonstrate mastery of the aircraft by performing each Task successfully;
    • Demonstrate proficiency and competency in accordance with the approved standards;
    Demonstrate sound judgment and exercise aeronautical decision-making/risk management; and


    Unsatisfactory Performance
    Typical areas of unsatisfactory performance and grounds for disqualification include:
    • Any action or lack of action by the applicant that requires corrective intervention by the evaluator to maintain safe flight.
    • Failure to use proper and effective visual scanning techniques to clear the area before and while performing maneuvers.
    • Consistently exceeding tolerances stated in the skill elements of the Task.
    Failure to take prompt corrective action when tolerances are exceeded.
    • Failure to exercise risk management.
     
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  13. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    not exactly. you don't want to point out every mistake u make, and you WILL make mistakes. gotta come up with a happy medium. really just so the DPE knows what's going on in your head. your maneuvers on the checkride will not be perfect. but if U don't like something, u can be sure the DPE is wondering to himself "what is he going to do to fix it?". so, let him know and fix it.

    again, everyone will say 'relax'. it's true, but it's also hard to do. if you're signed off, you'll do fine.
     
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  14. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    You’re going to make mistakes. Promptly correct them and you shouldn’t have any issues. If you are making mistakes on every maneuver then you should probably get a few more hours of practice but a mulligan here or there isn’t a deal breaker.
     
  15. Domenick

    Domenick Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I encourage you to read Captain Levy's Checkride Advice.

    A checkride is both a skills/knowledge test and an attitude test.

    The DPE is required to tell you the moment you have failed the ride. Even if you feel a maneuver was totally blown, unless the DPE immediately informs you of your failure, you are still in the game. If the DPE does fail you, they will ask if you want to continue. You won't feel like it, but you should continue. During your second checkride you will only be required to demonstrate those maneuvers you failed in the first ride.
     
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  16. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    Likely OK. But there is a limit to how many excursions from textbook performance limits you can make. Your CFI won’t endorse you for the check ride until he is confident you can pass, and he likely knows the DPE and his style of examinations. Remember, his criterion for passing you is “the successful outcome of the maneuver Is not in reasonable doubt.”

    With regards to reading the FAR/AIM, categorize all items into two categories: Items which must be committed to memory, such as emergency procedures for an in-flight engine fire, and items that you can look up on the ground.

    Post-checkride, you are not going to fly around with the book with thirty index tabs sticking out.

    Good luck! We are all counting on you!
     
  17. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I flew my instrument checkride with the same DPE I did my private with less than a year prior. He said "wow your flying has really improved" o_O Did I suck that bad really? Maybe I did but it was nice to see that I had gotten better and that whatever his opinion was the year prior that it was good enough for a certificate!

    Looking forward to a virtual toast to your success.
     
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  18. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude

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    No need to be nervous. You are well prepared, otherwise your CFI would not have signed you off.

    I too am a Sport Pilot and I can tell you that I was nervous too. No need. The DPE will try to calm you and give you an oral examination to test your knowledge first. It is open book, and you can certainly tag the FAR/AIM and refer to it. Remember that most LSA have instruments defined in the POH, so TOMATO FLAMES (FAR 91.205 I think) may not apply.

    But it is important to know the POH for the aircraft you will be doing a checkride in.

    And it will be important to have done proper flight planning for the destination your DPE has asked you to plot for a cross country, including weather. I recommend getting a full briefing from 1-800-WX-BRIEF the night before, and an abbreviated briefing the morning of (or a full briefing if you prefer.) Be sure to write down the briefing time and what was advised as this will be important to demonstrate to your DPE.

    As for how forgiving the DPE will be... most understand that you're nervous as others have stated. Given that, they will also look to see if you will correct the error before they have to step in. When I did my checkride, I briefed the DPE that I will vebalize all my moves before performing them, and I did so. This way there was no ambiguity in what I was trying to perform. For example: When asked to do a short field landing, I stated that I was going to land on the numbers. But on final, I saw I was going to be a little long (but within 100 feet, so OK for the checkride) of the numbers, so I announced a go-around. The next approach, I advised and demonstrated a slip to bring the aircraft down right on the numbers and nailed it. My DPE counted that as several maneuvers.

    I think the questions and maneuvers have changed since I got my certificate, but this was a very helpful video for me:

     
  19. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    You should know the important regs off hand. Such as airspace, vfr weather requirements, what is required for the aircraft to be legal, things like that. If you don't know the answer, say so, and offer to look it up. But if you have to do that for every question you are off to a bad start.

    As far as flying, just fix it if you screw up. My check ride was on a windy turbulent day. I was doing slow flight, hit a bump and the plane stalled. I recovered from the stall, turned to the DPE who was just looking at me. I said, "Sorry about that, I stalled it, can I try again?" He said "sure", I passed.
     
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  20. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    My checkride was perfect so I can't really comment. :)

    Seriously though, I landed too hard on my soft field landing he said, you just buried us in the muck try it again. So I did. I did talk through everything as I was doing it. I know some CFIs recommend against that. Of course that was 30 years ago.
     
  21. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-Flight

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    I was very nervous during my first few check rides and the two things in the earlier threads that stand out are:

    During the oral, walk yourself through the answers as you present them. Like a conversation. In the air on the maneuvers, execute them as best as possible, immediately correcting anything you are doing outside of standards. And enjoy the flying, let the examiner be the judge. Don’t use your own mental resources to judge your fate while you are trying to perform. If you practice enough and perform like you are a private pilot in command, it will all come together.
     
  22. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait

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    exactly on point. during my SPL checkride the following happened:

    - he put me through two simulated in-flight emergencies. i had it drilled into my head by my CFI to expect only one. the first was early in the flight just after we started the XC portion. he turns to me and says, "hey, what's that blue liquid dripping from under the right wing?". I, expecting a simulated engine out emergency, look and reply, "I don't see anything" and continue on the XC. he repeats his question. click! i give him the answer he is seeking and we divert to the closest suitable landing spot which was a small airfield maybe 5-mi away. i knew where it was relative to where we were without needing the GPS or sectional and made a good emergency approach.

    - the second was the expected engine out scenario. as i was taught, I had been scanning the terrain for emergency landing options when he pulled the power. I picked my field and began the re-start procedure while maneuvering for the landing. during the maneuver he tells me that there is a better field off the right and to take that instead. i was taught to not change the selected location without a very good reason so I repeated my choice and continued maneuvering. he again suggested the alternate location. i asked him if he was making the suggestion as my passenger or DPE. he said as my DPE. so i leveled off, turned in the direction of the new field and made a good approach.

    - the last maneuvers were the landings...short field, soft field and normal. i started my short field landing approach but ended up high and fast. I attempted to "make it work" but realizing that was a no-go I announced a go-around. i made a much better approach the second time and executed a very good short-field landing.

    good soft field and normal landings followed but i was certain i had flunked the ride because i had failed to recognize the first "emergency", was directed to a "better" off-field landing area and had blown the first attempt at a short field lamding. i was totally and completely shocked when he handed me my ticket and congratulated me on doing well.

    OP...stay calm, stay focused, follow your training and think. you'll do fine.
     
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  23. AlleyCat67

    AlleyCat67 Pre-Flight

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    The DPE for my private check ride said that I should never state out loud that I'd blown past a tolerance during a maneuver. If I did that, he'd have to fail me. Instead I should just say "correcting", and fix the issue. I guess that's a bit of "don't ask, don't tell" that gave him the latitude to look past a minor mistake. But I'm sure each DPE is different. FYI, there is also a web site called DPE Ratings that gives user reviews for DPE's. There are a very small number who are unscrupulous, and will fail you just to collect an extra few hundred dollars for a retest. Hunt around the web to make sure your DPE isn't one of those!
     
  24. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    You are assuming every CFI is the all knowing and only source of valid info. There are plenty of lax CFI's and not every CFI can possibly know every scenario. This forum is to share other pilot's experience which the OP was asking.

    Long story short that was a chicken s#!t jackwaggon answer.

    DPE is looking for a pattern of competence, not perfection. There are a few insta bust items but a few other mistakes are not gonna sink you. If you do make any "mistakes" just correct, do NOT verbalize. DPE is looking to know you can recognize and compensate without getting phased, not make excuses.
     
  25. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    With where I am at in my training, this has been the most helpful thread by far.

    Thank you EVERYONE so much!
     
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  26. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    No, the original post was questions that any CFI can answer.
     
  27. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    On my private checkride I was so nervous by the time we got in the plane that I completely blew the pre takeoff checklist and forgot to set the DG and left the transponder on standby. The examiner pointed out both while I was climbing out and figured I was done. We did the rest of the ride which seemed to go ok. Landed and taxied in still figuring I'd failed and feeling terrible. As I was getting the plane tied down the owner school came out, looked at the examiner and said well do I kick his *ss or shake his hand? The examiner said I'd probably do both if I were you. That was how I found out I'd passed.
     
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  28. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Google YouTube mock private pilot check ride. I watched 2 or 3 as review the few days before my check ride. It helped remove the mystic a bit.
     
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  29. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Just to give applicants more confidence, the examiner has to tell you about the unsat maneuver at that time. He can’t wait until the end. Appendix 5 of the ACS states (Emphasis mine):

    “The evaluator or the applicant may end the test if the applicant fails a Task. The evaluator may continue the test only with the consent of the applicant. The applicant is entitled to credit only for those Areas of Operation and the associated Tasks performed satisfactorily.”
     
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  30. Jim K

    Jim K Line Up and Wait

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    I was surprised how much leeway my dpe gave. I did pretty well on all my maneuvers, but I had 3 big errors, all of which I thought would end the ride, but didn't:

    I forgot a clearing turn before my turn about a point....I mentioned it about halfway around the turn, and he said the turn I made to get lined up counted.

    Back taxiing for my short field takeoff at an unfamiliar airport, I looked down briefly and looked up to discover I had taxied past the threshold onto the blast pad. I said something like "oh **** I'm past the end of the runway", and he just said "yep". Turned around and did my takeoff, starting on the actual runway.

    For my simulated emergency, he pulled the power to about 50%. I headed for the nearest airport and proceeded with my ABC's, but didn't set best glide as the engine was still running. I managed to lose about 400' while i screwed around. His point was that partial power is just as much an emergency as no power, as its likely to turn into no power at any moment, a lesson well taken.

    I asked about the first two, and he said that I recognized the mistake and corrected it, and his job was to make sure Im safe, not that im perfect.

    My dpe might be atypical WRT the oral, as he didn't want me to look anything up. I offered twice, and both times he said let's move one. I was close enough on those answers, but again not perfect. I got the impression he was only interested in what I knew, not if I was capable of things. Im glad I didn't spend a lot of time tabbing the FAR, but other examiners might be different. If you can find someone who has used a certain dpe, it'd be well worth talking to them.
     
  31. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    pray for rough weather. ;) I don't think I was within standards on anything, but it was such a blustery day, he gave me a pass on everything and said I did a good job in the conditions.
     
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  32. Zhunter

    Zhunter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yikes, I have been concerned up a turbulent day and up/down drafts busting my altitude.
     
  33. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The standards are for a calm day. It is baked into the system to allow for deviations for rough weather.
     
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  34. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    Absolutely. You want a bumpy day!
     
  35. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ehhhhh.....not when there's a 20kt gust factor down the pipe, and you have to guess where to cut the power for the power off 180....

    Of course that was the commercial ride and not the sport/private ride.
     
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  36. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Salty,
    I never thought of that. This will be the first time in my flight training that I WANT bumps and twists.
     
  37. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Line Up and Wait

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    It's easy to overthink it. My checkride was cancelled twice due to weather. I kept flying with my CFI doing mock checkrides and we did mock orals up the wazoo a few days before she asked me what I was worried about and my response was "depends on the day" :)
    The oral was really a conversation about my xc plan. Some of the questions were:

    Why did you choose 4500 ft.

    What concerns for the pilot?

    What are symptoms of hypoxia

    What airspace is Bradley

    What are vfr requirements for Bradley

    What do you need to fly in Class C.

    What is Nashua airspace and what do you need to fly in Nashua.

    If weather was deteriorating enroute how you would get updates

    What is the difference between blue airports and magenta airports.

    On your way you lose all electrical – what is impacted?

    Would you consider this an emergency- divert to Stewart airport

    How would you land at Stewart – observe traffic, enter the pattern and wait for light signal.

    What light signal do you want?

    Could you continue to destination – I wouldn’t

    What would no flaps do to your landing roll – checked POH increase landing distance by 30%

    Asked about VA- gave the speeds at 1900 lbs and gross weight.

    Asked what do you need as a pilot – id, medical, cert also added 3 T/O landings to carry passengers day and 3 full stop T/O landings for night to carry passengers at night.

    Asked about weather for the route – morning briefing was VFR for entire route. Told him based on briefing about moderate turbulence and icing through 2100Z along entire route I would not make the trip based on my current proficiency. Flight portion was scheduled for 1500Z

    For the flight portion Steep turns, slow flight into a power off stall. lost engine emergency. short and soft field t/o and landings.

    For the short field landing he asked me to hit the numbers, I had only practiced hitting the touch down zone so I had to go around on the first attempt and nailed it on the second attempt. After we parked he asked me about the go around I told him I was a little fast and thought I would overshoot he told me he thought I would have made it.
     
  38. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    On my commercial checkride I could not do a turn about a point to save my life because of gusty winds, The DPE said "Let me try," and that was the end of that checkride element.
     
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  39. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just completed my checkride in March and it went faily smooth even with the mistakes I made. Show up prepared to brief your route, the first half is all verbal and if you show up prepared the DPE should see that. My oral review turned into a bit of a back and forth conversation with fun facts, and random anecdotes thrown in once my DPE was comfortable I knew what I was talking about and could find answer when needed. There was more than one time she asked a question and I said I could look it up giving a general idea of where I would start looking and she told me not to worry about finding it as I knew enough to know that I didn't have all the answers and how to find them.

    On the flight I ended up with the calmest weather one could ask for and super high ceilings. I talked through everything I was doing. Feet on the floor, full power, right rudder, rpm is good, gauges are green, airspeed alive, rotate.... Once at my altitude it was pitch down, reduce power, trim, verify checklist. Talk through the steps and it helps solidify what you've learned in your training and it is an easy way for the DPE or even any passenger know what you are thinking or doing. I noticed my altitude climbing at one point so I vocalized that I noticed I was about 100 ft high and was pushing forward to descend. When she asked why I didn't retrim for descent I said I was trimmed close to level flight and would just get to my intended altitude and make minor adjustments instead of messing with it for a simple 100 ft descent. The one big oops I made was on my engine failure scenario. I had overflown the airport TPA by about 500-600 ft and was on my descent to enter the 45 trimmed for a smooth descent when she pulled my power. I had only practiced the engine failure from level flight so it caught me off guard when the plane dropped further and I had to pull back to maintain best glide speed. Pulling back to maintain speed threw me off a little bit and I was afraid it would end my checkride. She let me continue, I executed a great setup for an emergency landing and go around and after my next landing she told me to park the plane and I was a good pilot.

    Don't let little mistakes rattle you too much, you'll be nervous, you'll make some mistakes. Vocalize that you see you are off and how you will fix it, once a maneuver is done it is done. In other words, don't let a minor mistake eat at you for 2 or 3 more maneuvers to the point that your brain gets fried and you fail because you lost focus. A couple of things my CFI told me, if the DPE lets you continue, you haven't failed and if you get flustered and need to reset its okay to tell the DPE you need a second at wings level to clear your brain.
     
  40. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Richard Palm
    During the FIRST takeoff roll of my private-pilot checkride (which was a soft-field takeoff), the examiner informed me that I was doing it wrong. :eek2: As we were accelerating down the runway, I quickly explained that it was the way my instructor wanted it done, and went back to doing it the way I'd been taught. (I wasn't about to try out an unfamiliar technique on the first takeoff of my checkride!) Anyway, I passed.

    I guess I proved that I could handle a distraction! :D
     
    NHWannabe likes this.