How Often Are Checkrides Actually Delayed?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by SkyChaser, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hypothetically, I'm getting closer to checkride time. (Hypothetically only because the weather has not been conducive to fulfilling the requirements I have left.) As it is getting closer to that time where everything freezes solid, I am hopeful that I can finish training before that point. I've been poking around the aviation corner of the internet (when I'm supposed to be studying...) and it seems like a lot of pilots end up getting their checkride delayed/rescheduled or cancelled. That made me curious. Does this happen as often as it seems based on the stories you can find? What's the longest time lapse you know of between the first scheduled checkride and when it actually happened?
     
  2. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Weather is the most likely delay. And then DPE schedule (since student usually jumps through hoops to be there)

    Sometimes the plane you trained it gets some need for love (maintenance)

    But the stars do align and we get our fancy little plastic cards!

    Patience.
     
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  3. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I did my oral in November after getting pushed back almost a month and did my flight portion in January due to weather.
     
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  4. DoubleD

    DoubleD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There is some selection bias going on here. You're not likely to hear about the check rides that go as scheduled.
     
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  5. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    my commercial check ride is scheduled for Friday morning. this is windy's forecast for Friday. the ONLY thunderstorm anywhere in the entire fargin country is over Charlotte. why? well because that's when my check ride is scheduled, of course!


    upload_2020-9-23_22-45-10.png
     
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  6. Sierra_Hotel

    Sierra_Hotel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had to renew my CFI sign-offs because, at the time, it was a minimum 2 month wait around here for a ride. Found a DPE a couple of hours away that could get to me in a month (initially) with the caveat that he was a corporate pilot and that took precedence. 3 months and a number of reschedules later and I had completed the oral but had to finish the flight with the original local DPE I'd tried to get in with. Was a massive pain in the ass process but it finally worked out.
     
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  7. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here's hoping the forecast is wrong, and good luck on your checkride if it works out! :)
     
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  8. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    It was only my private that got delayed. My instrument my commercial my seaplane my multi and cfi all went with no weather delay.
     
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  9. G-force

    G-force Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My PPL check ride was delayed 3 times because weather. It happens.
     
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  10. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    Longest one I have been involved with is my instrument students using a CAP plane did his oral and then discontinued due to the winds picking up when time to fly. The next day CAP grounded their airplanes due to Covid-19. FAA all but told examiners to stop doing checkrides. I think it was 8-10 weeks before he was able to complete his checkride.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
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  11. Jim K

    Jim K Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I managed to get both mine done on the scheduled day. Weather was very marginal for my ppl, we had juuust enough ceiling to get it done. It was November and there was ice on the ground. If you think about it, the number of days you don't have at least a 2500' ceiling is pretty small. It's worse in the winter, but maybe 1/10? 1/8? My instrument checkride day was, ironically, one of those days, but we still squeezed it in during a brief window.
     
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  12. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did the oral portion but the ceilings were too low for the flight. We bumped it to next day and it was fine. The DPE had a two week trip starting the next day so I had to make it count.
     
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  13. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    That's okay cuz you'll be a day late arriving for your checkride anyway
     
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  14. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    I like to say it takes a minor miracle to pull off a practical test... the schedules of two people must sync up, the aircraft must be available, the weather satisfactory, no mechanical issues, no health issues. Then the applicant's endorsements and aeronautical experience requirements must be in order, the aircraft logbooks must indicate a legally airworthy aircraft, and last but not least no personal emergencies rear their heads. I've had each one of those act as showstoppers in the past.

    Personal anecdote. Recently there was a young man who had been patiently waiting for a couple of weeks to get on my schedule. Timing was tight; he had to head off to college within a matter of days of the scheduled checkride. Wouldn't you know it, the morning of the practical test, the weather was beautiful, his airplane was fresh out of a 100 hour inspection and he was raring to go. But unfortunately, I was up all night with arm pain -- must have pulled my shoulder in the gym. Not only could I barely move my left arm, but I was exhausted. I had no choice but to cancel. He went off to school and we scheduled for the practical tests two weeks later, when he'd be returning back to northern NJ. The day before his return, he reached out to say that the school was quarantining due to a couple of COVID-19 cases so he would not be able to keep the appointment. The saga goes on... sometimes that's the luck of the draw.

    Or, you could be like the gentleman last week who called 5 minutes after I had a next-day cancellation, and completed his activity the next morning in good weather with no issues.
     
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  15. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The Gods are angry at you. You musta done sumpin bad
     
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  16. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I think the biggest delay for me was my MEI with the FAA. The original examiner had to cancel for personal reasons, and not a lot of folks could do a ride in a Grumman Cougar, so it took a couple of weeks to get back in the pipeline.

    But every other checkride has been on time, IIRC.
     
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  17. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    My Private checkride got postponed for some reason I don’t remember.
    My first 135 ride in a Baron was postponed due to an emergency revocation that the fed had to deal with.
    Most of the other 80 or so went as scheduled, although the last 60 or so have leaned heavily towards simulators. Weather cancellations are rare there. ;)
     
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  18. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

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    I took a weather discontinuance (rapidly decreasing visibility in smoke and increasing winds at the same time) after the ground portion of my commercial and then flew a week later. I had a paperwork issue at my private and was able to correct that and finish it the same day. My instrument went exactly as scheduled.
     
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  19. Htaylor

    Htaylor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Was this you??? ;) :D Student-Pilot-Crashes-Simulator.jpg
     
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  20. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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  21. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    My Glider Commercial/CFI checkride was delayed when I was notified by the FAA that the examiner (an actual FAA examiner) had been involved in an incident while getting current to perform my checkride. Delayed my checkride about two weeks, still did the check ride with the same examiner. For some reason he seemed a bit nervous as I elected to do my spot landings on the numbers to minimize ground handling of the glider.

    https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/R...tID=20001205X00573&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=TA
     
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  22. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Line Up and Wait

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    I had 2 delays due to weather. I think it was about 6 weeks total between the first scheduled date and the actual checkride.
     
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  23. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ....aaaaaaand pushed out to sunday.
     
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  24. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Delays are common, especially for weather. You will want wx better than you might accept for a lesson to be sure you can fly, and land, well within standards.

    Also, lessons can be tailored to wx conditions. You might elect not to do a xc and stay local, for example. Or a low ceiling might constrain you to ground reference maneuvers.

    Not so with a checkride. The weather has to be good enough to do it all. Fly a couple of xc legs, go high enough to do stalls, etc. So you will want light winds, calm air, high clouds - on the same day you, the DPE, and the plane are all available.

    Sometimes it takes a few attempts for it to come together.
     
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  25. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

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    My Private, Instrument, and Commercial checkrides were pretty easy to schedule with no delays. Getting the commercial seaplane ride, however, was a months long odyssey. Lining up plane availability, my availibility, and the DPE’s availibility was a challenge. The way it finally worked out was that I picked him up and dropped him off at his home field in my plane on the way to and from where the Lake Amphibian was located. That was the only way to get all the pieces together in the same area of space time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
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  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Have had delays on half of my checkrides. I’m a weather magnet. Had one airplane break. The airplane broke after a previous weather discontinuance. LOL. I’m pretty used to my checkride luck and am always mildly surprised when the whole thing happens in the time allotted. Every instructor I’ve had said it would t happen again, and every one agreed I wasn’t kidding when I said it is 50/50 with me later. LOL.

    Took a couple of months to find time to go back to Nebraska and finish the Instrument ride. Oral was completed. FSDOs didn’t like cross FSDO stuff back then. Supposedly a non issue nowadays. Even with the changes I doubt a partial could be switched to a new examiner without starting over, but haven’t looked into it. Most would refuse anyway.

    That’s probably worth noting. If weather is iffy and you’re both going to show up to see how it goes... or happen to be there already...

    Finish the oral on a crap weather day if you can. Completed tasks are completed tasks. Doing the oral while the weather acts stupid outside is a good use of the down time.
     
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  27. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I have taken 14 check rides and one was delayed for ~two weeks. I did not count any recurrent events.
     
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  28. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    That many type ratings? :eek:
     
  29. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Wow. That's the most attempts I've ever heard of someone needing. Did you eventually pass?
     
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  30. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Yeah. Money talks.
     
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  31. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I can’t keep a job for too long. I get bored and the grass starts to tickle my feet.

    I counted it up again. I was wrong. It’s 13. I only have 4 type ratings. I don’t think that a lot. I know plenty of people with more.
     
  32. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    @SkyChaser Just remember: Mother Nature hates checkrides!

    Good Luck!

    -Skip
     
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  33. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Checkrides are delayed 100% of the time that they don’t happen on schedule.

    fortunately, they’re never delayed when they’re on schedule.

    So apparently the best way is to pick a checkride that will happen on schedule. :p
     
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  34. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I got lucky. All my checkrides happened as scheduled. The only time that I thought one was going to get canceled was my upgrade ride at Endeavor. There was a blizzard in February in Minneapolis but luckily the examiner lived locally so we didn’t have to worry about his flight getting canceled.
     
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  35. friskygeek

    friskygeek Filing Flight Plan

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    ... then there's me - who called off my own PPL checkride 2 days before it was scheduled because I didnt feel like I was 100% ready with my shortfields. Wouldn't you know it, the day of my supposed checkride it was ( you guessed it) clear skies and calm winds all day. The DPE was very accommodating and even said that I should good ADM calling it off if I didnt feel 100% comfortable, but Im pretty sure I would have passed if I had gone ahead with it...

    The new date of my checkride is in 4 weeks and I just know its gonna be a ****ty LIFR day... Such is life. Hey, Ive trained almost 2yrs for this including the usual personal and COVID delays, surely I can wait a few more weeks. Delays happen...

    f.
     
  36. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You got me beat. My PPL ride was delayed only once. We got the oral done, but the weather did not support the flight portion. My CFI and I filed to get back to the home field. Went back a while later when the weather cooperated and did the flying part. Passed.
     
  37. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had 2 checkrides postponed.

    Private ride was due to maintenance problems found during the pre-flight, and multi commercial postponed when one engine failed on the plane during the checkride before mine.
     
  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Candidate before you got a real engine failure, eh? LOL. That’s fun.
     
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  39. whitepines

    whitepines Filing Flight Plan

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    Got all signed off and ready to go, then hit a stretch of bad weather where no one was flying VFR at all, let alone XC. Rescheduled at least three times, finally just took the oral in crummy IFR conditions. Looking at all the moving pieces and getting worried about further deteriorating fall weather then I kept the checkride scheduled for early morning of the first day of "good" weather afterward, naturally with significant crosswinds and no time to practice anything, and promptly blew the short field landing task. Passed a week or so later after going up every day to practice in crosswinds, gusty winds, etc., though that short time slot would not have been available if I hadn't knocked everything else out earlier.

    Probably made me a better pilot in the end, but I have to agree, a checkride even happening is a minor miracle. A checkride happening while the student still has peak proficiency can be a major miracle! ;)
     
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