How to fail a checkride.

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by brcase, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. brcase

    brcase Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have been prepping some students for checkrides and visiting with some local DPE's a bit.
    As a result I have come up with some actual ways applicants have failed their checkrides.
    Also a few that I would have failed when doing practice checkrides.

    Here the list I have so far...

    Private/commercial:
    Not know how to calculate a wind correction angle, or even explain what a wind correction angle is.
    Not be able to accurately identify the type of airspace you are flying in (Class E vs G)
    Identify the wrong town as your checkpoint.
    Spin the airplane during Stall demonstration
    Enter Class C airspace before establishing communication with approach.

    General comment from one of the DPE's, "just not demonstrating positive command of the aircraft"
    example: it takes 5 minutes to lose 300 feet to get on the altitude you are supposed to be on.
    example 2: consistently not land on the center line of the runway.

    Instrument:
    Identify the step down fix wrong and descend early on the approach
    Identify the step down fix wrong and descend early on the approach (I know 2 applicants that have done this)
    Fly the hold backwards
    Turn into the unprotected side of the hold.

    Practice checkride failures:
    Not know how to calculate landing and takeoff distances for your airplane
    Set up radios after taking off and have a near midair with another airplane because head was in the cockpit and ignoring other airplane radio calls. (instructor/examiner had to take over to avoid)
    instrument: Not know how to interpret ATC holding instructions, not on the GPS.
    instrument: Use straight in minimums instead of circling minimums for a circling approach
    instrument: fly a right hand pattern at an airport with left a hand pattern for the circling approach.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
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  2. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    "What's an ACS?"
     
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  3. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Umm ... so yeah. Hmm. Not sure how to respond or comment. I guess my biggest question is how would an applicant get signed off for a checkride with a skill set that weak.
     
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  4. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Line Up and Wait

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    As a prep for my instrument checkride some of the reasons are humorous. On paper it’s hard to imagine making those mistakes but flustered in the testing moment, I could see some some goofy things happening. I read the minimums to myself our loud three times so I don’t make a silly mistake.
     
  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    You’d be amazed how many instructors teach the same hour over and over again. An applicant can shine on the stuff he’s been doing, but weaknesses show up pretty quickly outside that environment.
     
  6. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Reasonable question from a Sport Pilot student. Sport still uses PTS. :)
     
  7. sarangan

    sarangan Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Such a list would be useful if it contained unusual or uncommon causes of failure. But these seem to be negative of what is on the ACS. ACS says one should know how to calculate wind correction angle. Not knowing that is obviously a cause for failure. ACS says you should know the airspace. Not knowing is it cause for failure. So what is interesting about these points?
     
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  8. TheBoatDude

    TheBoatDude Filing Flight Plan

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    When you say “calculate wind correction angle” do you mean working the actual formula? Or just using an E6B?
     
  9. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    That seems rather harsh. :p
    Failing to recover from the spin; now THAT should be grounds for failure. ;)
     
  10. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    What was interesting to me was how obvious these failure points are. Identifying the wrong fix on a step down or flying a hold wrong??

    and if these people are failing because their instructors are doing the exact same one hour plan over and over again and the students can't actually handle new situations, then how is an IR pilot ever supposed to actually do a proper cross-country and use their license and airplane for the purpose it was built; to go cool and fun places. Shameful and pitiful
     
  11. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    For CFI Applicants ----

    Class G airspace Knowledge, Airspace Knowledge in General, Aerodynamic knowledge, Ability impart knowledge as opposed to simply "tell"
     
  12. falconkidding

    falconkidding Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ive had 3 students fail out of 5. One forgot to do a clearing turn before slow flight. One landed 10-20 ft short on the short field. One on the oral cause he couldnt explain how a sfp worked. All are good safe pilots and way more knowlegeable and skilled then most flight reviews i do but just messed up one thing. Its a bit frustrating. Now i have a 40% pass rate as a cfi with guys i would send my family up with. All just for little stuff. Dpe could have reminded him once about clearing turns. Could have probably counted the short field i thought it hit the edge. Or could have not failed the guy cause he didnt know about special flight permits. I covered them when i mentioned 91.205 and inspections but only in passing.

    DPEs are so different ive seen some do the bare minimum my multi comm oral was maybe 10 minutes and that was mostly him talking about his plane. Others go all out my co workers commercial asel was a 3.5 hr oral. Seen the same for ppl exams orals from 30 min to 4 hrs. Some get away with murder on the flight others like my one guy had to come back do a 90 degree clearing turn do slow flt and land .2 on the hobbs.
     
  13. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Airman Certification Standards. FAA's replacement for the PTS.
     
  14. Salty

    Salty En-Route

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    Sounds like you need to send your guys to a different DPE. Or there is more to the story of the failures. None of those are bad enough to be a failure on their own, IMO.

    Not knowing about special flight permit is on the student, not you, but again, not a failure unless the student couldn’t figure out how to figure out the answer, that might be on you or the student.
     
  15. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    My instrument instructor, and my DPE, actually were at odds on this one on circling approaches...My instructor said "Always do left hand pattern for an airport with left hand pattern"...my DPE was critical of this, and said "During low visibility, ALWAYS overfly your runway before circling, so a right hand pattern will sometimes be appropriate".
     
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  16. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Yeah, boy! One time a CFI stopped sending applicants to me because I told his student it would be a good idea to take a simulated checkride with a different CFI for practice. When I gave mock checkrides, I'd write down any and everything that could possibly indicate weakness, even if it was passable. Legal length tablets were required. :) I can't believe some CFIs are so insecure they won't have their students do this.
     
  17. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    I agree. The DPE I normally work with will give plenty of chances and overlook a lot of things before failing an applicant. Despite this, you hear of a number of students (not all mine) who come back after a failed checkride saying “everything was going great up until the point I failed.” When you ask the DPE how the checkride went the story is almost never the same, and you get a whole list of things that were overlooked to allow the checkride to continue to the point it did. Because of this experience (and others), I’ve come to the conclusion that pilots are often rather poor at self assessment and believe their knowledge and skill level to be greater than it really is.

    I’ve taken quite a few checkrides with several different DPEs across the Midwest and always thought they were relatively easy. I used to think that the Midwest DPEs were just easier to pass a checkride with, based on reading checkride stories online. After instructing for a while, I no longer believe this is true. I’ve worked with students from all over the US and am convinced that there are quite a few flight schools and DPEs out there who will pass anyone if they pay enough money. Actions like this only hurt everyone in the long run.
     
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  18. Walboy

    Walboy Line Up and Wait

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    Nah, not really. Don't you know most pilots are from Lake Wobegon, where everyone is above average?
     
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  19. falconkidding

    falconkidding Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Weve tried a few different dpes they all have their quirks. The feed back we always get is yeah he did great on everything just needs to come back and do w/e maneuver they failed. My guy who failed on his short field the dpe had him do another and he nailed it still failed him. Clearing turn guy was home free did all the other maneuvers and on the way back dpe said do slow flt and my guy forgot to do clearing turn. All the dpes around here seem to be by the book literally which i mean you cant argue with but still wish they would give these guys a break.
     
  20. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    Here's another one for you...

    A former girlfriend failed her commercial oral. She was asked to describe the fuel system on the airplane she was using. She describe the fuel system for a totally different plane. When the DPE pointed out that she didn't describe the correct system, she started arguing with him since obviously she knew one of the fuel systems. The argument apparently got a bit heated and she stormed off without bothering to get her pink slip. Not sure if she ever did get her commercial ticket.

    Did I mention... EX girlfriend??
     
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  21. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    If ignoring the PTS/ACS to give guys a break is OK, there's no reason to have a PTS/ACS.

    As both an applicant and an examiner, I’d take a known standard over an unknown standard any day.
     
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  22. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Yeah, during my Instrument check ride I nearly turned the wrong way on the course reversal. As I was flying outbound, I was sure I had seen a hold-in-lieu and was preparing to perform that procedure. As I was checking my time turn back in, I glanced down at the chart one last time to confirm my minimums only to see that it was really a standard course reversal. After a brief moment of shock, I turned the opposite way I had been planning to turn, and brought it in home for my last successful approach of the ride. I think the DPE was happy to see me catch my own error.
     
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  23. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    That DPE is objectively wrong. There is a reported certificate enforcement action that sanctioned a pilot (suspension, if I recall correctly) for making right turns when circling to land at an airport with a left traffic pattern.
     
  24. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    Ok...and oops, I had it backwards. It was my instructor that said to overfly, not the DPE.
     
  25. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    In fairness, I might have it backwards, too. The pilot may have been making left turns at an airport with a right traffic pattern.
     
  26. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I have never heard of either of these “rules”.
    A circle gives you a soecifed protected area.
    I’ve always been of the mind of circling for the best “view”. IOW, if the captain is flying make left traffic. If the FO is flying make right traffic.

    That said, most, if not all, circles I’ve done have been dictated by ATC. IE.. “circle north”.
     
  27. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    91.126(b)(1) Each pilot of an airplane must make all turns of that airplane to the left unless the airport displays approved light signals or visual markings indicating that turns should be made to the right, in which case the pilot must make all turns to the right
     
  28. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    Since @PPC1052 pointed it out, I looked it up, and he's right. The FAA takes the word "must" as a one-way kind of word, not open to interpretation.
     
  29. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Yeah... always assumed that as VFR.
    Circling IFR is a wee bit different.
     
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  30. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    It’s actually silly to say all turns to the left on a circle unless the the indicators say otherwise.
    There are several dodlegged approaches that qualify as a circle. Nobody expects you to overfly and reverse course.
     
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  31. falconkidding

    falconkidding Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You can "ignore" the standard and still follow it. It just says applicant demonstrates the ability to clear the area. DPE could say hey I know you looked for traffic but remember lets do clearing turns as well. Applicant will mentally freak out and not forget it again. What good does it do to fail someone and say hey we're gonna land fill out some paper work then climb back up and do a clearing turn.

    Same if someone lands slightly long on a short field or slightly firm on a soft. You say hey we'll count that as your normal landing make this next one count. Not saying you give out ppls but if someones done every other task to standard passed the knowledge part and brain farts on something use judgement and work something out the ACS gives examiners the room to do that.
     
  32. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    I can't find the reported opinions, but I discussed them once before here: https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...uncontrolled-field.103937/page-6#post-2313735 But the case is Adminsitrator v. Dibble, I think.

    edit: on further review, those cases dealt with turns to final that the NTSB/FAA found to be sufficiently close in to violate 14 CF 126(b) (or it's predecessor.) The logic seems to still apply-- you can't make wrong turns close in, and that would apply to a circle to land. Here is an IFR magazine article on this issue that cites to a couple of FAA advisory opinions. http://www.ifr-magazine.com/issues/33_8/features/Which-Way-to-Turn_1277-1.html In short, I think it would not be wise to circle to land the wrong direction at an uncontrolled airport. If there's ATC, work it out with them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  33. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Well, it's different if you are approaching a towered airport. Then you do what ATC says. No different if there is no ATC tower. 91.126 specifically applies only in Class G where there is no tower. Whether IFR or VFR is irrelevant.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  34. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/practice_areas/regulations/interpretations/data/interps/2009/murphy - (2009) legal interpretation.pdf

    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/practice_areas/regulations/interpretations/data/interps/2015/murphy - (2015) legal interpretation.pdf

    They are specifically discussing IFR, and saying "must make left traffic" if that is traffic direction at the field.
     
  35. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Airspace is protected on both sides as far as I know.
     
  36. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    It's under "Flight Rules" not "Visual Flight Rules".
     
  37. IK04

    IK04 Pre-Flight

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    Since we are discussing turns to land during a successful instrument circling approach procedure to visual conditions:
    Remember that the aircraft is to remain at the MDA for the circling approach, usually 500-600 feet above the Field Elevation. You are NOT in the pattern and you are expected to make turns as necessary to maintain visual contact with the landing runway and avoid obstacles. That is a pilot discretion and will be different for the speed flown based on the approach category. Inside the protected circling radius, the pilot may turn any way necessary to get lined up on final while keeping the runway in sight. There is a guaranteed 300 foot obstacle clearance and a radius between 1.3 and 4.5 SM, depending on approach category used.
    Left turns are for VFR traffic patterns, in other words...
     
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  38. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Where did I go wrong?
    I lost a check
    This examiner just hen-pecks, and
    I would have stayed up and flown all night
    Had I known how not to fail a ride

    :cornut:
     
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  39. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Clearly you are a book person, and not an actual “doing it” person.

    Circling is protected on all sides.
    By your definition if an Alpha approach comes in from the right it’s wrong to adjust and line up because that would be a right base.

    Anyone that has done it for real will have a different take on that one.

    Done this as a pro for 30 years without issue.
    All the airspace is protected, and it will be noted that “circling NE prohibited” if need be.
     
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  40. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    @IK04 , @Kritchlow , did either of you read the Chief Counsel's opinions I posted above? I'm not saying I agree with his opinions, but you two seem to have your own (other) interpretations...