IFR Check Ride Questions

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by 2nd505th, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. 2nd505th

    2nd505th Filing Flight Plan

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    I’m beginning toward my instrument rating. I passed the written a while ago and done a little under the hood time, so I’m pretty far off from the actual check ride. However I’ve got a couple of questions that I’m hoping someone can help me with. On the oral part of the exam what constitutes a failure? I mean if I forget one item related to mandatory reporting do I fail? What is the criteria for failure? Also since I don’t have RNAV in my aircraft do I have to know all the nitty-gritty details of our NAV information? This really started to come to mind as I was studying the ACS and came upon RNAV system annunciations and what they mean. I was asking myself do I need to know this stuff since I don’t have RNAV and currently can’t afford RNAV. I understand that they can only test you against the equipment that is in your aircraft, but can they quiz you on it during the oral quiz?

    Yes it means that I’m currently lazy to endeavor to study this at this time. I’m just the type of person who doesn’t really start studying things until I really need to know them.
     
  2. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I’m in the midst of instrument training too, but have not taken the written yet (about 15 hrs in). I would guess everything is fair game. Why would I need to know that holding above 14k msl needs to be slower than 265kts if my plane can’t do even 200kts? So I think the answer is to be prepared to know everything for the oral.
     
  3. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    When I took my IFR the DPE was more interested in the planning than all of the finite details. He told me in advance to plan a trip to an airport. Then when I got to my checkride, he asked me how I did it. When I showed him the brief in Garmin Pilot, he wanted me to explain what all of the different listings were for. IE: NOTAMs, METARS, Area Forecast, etc. Since my plane didn't have GPS I learned the basics about the RNAV information and planned to tell him that I didn't know everything about GPS but if I ever upgraded, I would have to learn it all inside and out before using it. He never asked so I didn't have a problem. He also told me this is an open book test so don't be afraid to look something up if you're not sure. Since I was nervous, I felt like there was no way I passed the oral. I felt like I forgot even the most basic of things and had to look them up. He told me no problem, he just wants to make sure that I'm safe. FYI, you won't remember everything and your DPE doesn't expect you to.

    Now, you're DPE might be totally different and ask how far apart are the stripes on a runway and what are the available frequencies for an ILS? From what I experienced, as long as I went in with confidence and as much knowledge as I could get, it wasn't a problem.

    Good luck!!!
     
  4. 2nd505th

    2nd505th Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks I guess I really tough DPE would want to know the spacing between each of the three white stripes not the 500 feet between patterns of stripes. Ha.
     
  5. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I did this last February, the DPE had a checklist and told me that he was required to cover the areas that he covered. It was a pretty thorough review of the written test. I got a two questions wrong, more nerves than anything else, but pretty minor. I scored a 95% on my written. Then we got into weather and the cross country he had asked me to plan that morning ( I got the destination a few days before.) We talked about the weather and if I would go, the destination was near the edge of the range for the airplane I was flying. The weather was easy at the destination, it was a definite no go and I told him it would be close on fuel for a legal flight, but I would stop about halfway and refuel.

    I took the written before I started the flying part, then I continually reviewed the written part while I was training. It made it easy on the check ride. This isn't info I'd wait to the last minute to cram, knowing it can save your life, forgetting it can kill you.

    As far as the RNAV stuff, if it's in the written you should know it. But what's in the written is nowhere near what you need to understand and know to use the RNAV gps in an airplane. Things like the different types of rnav approaches and when you can use them, you should know. The buttonology to get things done you shouldn't have to worry about unless you have an IFR gps in your airplane.

    I took my test in a Cirrus Perspective. It had all the bells and whistles and he tested me pretty thoroughly on them. I flew most of the test by hand, he did let me engage the autopilot to get the atis, but that was it through two approaches. The last approach I had to fly coupled. He told me before we took off that if I screwed up an approach he had to flunk me, no do overs. I didn't screw up, so it was fine. Knowing the written stuff will help you as you train, my opinion anyway. Good luck, it's a great rating to have, takes a lot of worry out of most weather when you want to go somewhere.
     
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  6. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    I totally agree with keeping up with the written questions. If you can pass the written going into your checkride, I would bet you can pass the oral pretty easy.
     
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  7. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    not that it means much, but back in 1992 I don't recall being asked anything about LORAN...and if it was, it couldn't have been nothing more than basics/theory.

    In my estimation, anything on the written is pretty much fair game for the oral...and your instructor will make sure you know everything you are equipped for in whatever plane you will be testing in... so keep studying the written stuff, and don't worry.

    I just remembered one question my PPL examiner asked me.... "why do you think the aileron surfaces have those little "V" shaped ridges?" I don't think it was a pass/fail type question...I just think it's an oddball thing meant to get a read on my overall 'balance'
     

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  8. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good advice here. My oral was scenario driven and there wasn't anything that showed up that was really too hard. Frankly, I thought it a bit easier than the PPL oral but it was the same DPE that had given me that a year prior and he saw me a lot out at the FBO so knew I was hard at it.
     
  9. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    It is called a "Practical Test" the DPE needs to determine you have the "Practical" knowledge and skills to perform the tasks in the ACS and meet the standards set forth in the ACS. The Knowledge and Risk Management section of the ACES are just all the things you need to have some understanding an knowledge of. I tell my students the Skills Section should be renamed "How to Fail the Task" or for the optimist, "How to pass the task." This is the section that lays out how well you have to fly, and even a lot of it is just to cover every situation you might encounter on a checkride, for example on the Precision Approach the Skills say "recognize if any flight instrumentation is inaccurate", this allows the examiner to fail you for not setting the Altimeter properly, even if you happen to fly the approach to standards (possible if you are using an un-official MAP (GPS or DME)".
     
  10. Larry Vrooman

    Larry Vrooman Filing Flight Plan

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    It's been a long time (1992), but my oral exam was totally non memorable. If you have a good instructor and you've been keeping him happy, you'll do fine on the oral. He or she knows the standards and the expectations and probably has some insight into your particular DPE's quirks and hangups.

    What was memorable was my checkride. Two of us took our IFR check rides on the same day and I went last. Basically he flew down to KSHL to get the DPE, did his checkride and then refueled. We swapped the aircraft, I did my checkride and then flew the DPE back to his home field. This was basically an all day process on a short winter day.

    By the time my checkride started the weather was going down and at the start everything above 1000' agl was actual IFR. There was also 30 kts of wind at altitude and my first task was to hold on a VOR. I totally blew out on the holding side. The DPE stated "you've never flown a holding pattern in winds like this before" I said "I've never flown instruments at all in winds like this before, Harry (the chief flight instructor) didn't feel it was a productive use of instruction time". The DPE then explained that I blew out on the holding side, so I was still in protected airspace and and not busted the ride. He advised he wanted me to continue and see if I could figure it out. It took me three turns to figure out the crab angles and legs timing for the quartering 30 kt headwind and another turn before the DPE was confident I had if nailed. We then continued with a crosswind VOR approach with a circle to land, followed by another VOR approach a couple ILS approaches, an NDB approach and then ILS and NDB partial panel approaches. At that point we departed FSD IFR for a cross country to KSHL and did an NDB approach there, where it was dark and marginal IFR with the weather rapidly dropping to actual IFR conditions. As we taxied in he had some minor comments and as I shut down he advised that I should go file an IFR flight plan to go home while he typed up the paperwork for my instrument certificate.

    That's when it got interesting. There was no icing reported, but the conditions were such that it was possible. The cloud tops were however at around 3800 ft and I filed IFR on top. The wind was 30 kts on the nose and it was a long slog in a C-172, but it was glass smooth and very relaxing after the long checkride. As fuel was not available by the time we arrived at KSL, I had carefully planned the fuel, planned my alternate downwind, and included the required minimum reserve. However, I was still commensurately low on fuel when I arrived back at FSD, which turned out to be a good thing.

    As I approached FSD I listened to the ATC chatter and a few minutes before I reached the IAF for the ILS 21 approach a 737 reported "trace" icing. That got my attention, and I realized that ATC was also keeping aircraft high and having them stay above the clouds and then descend through the outer marker rather than maintain 3100'. (It didn't alarm me, it probably should have but as a newly minted instrument pilot you still don't know enough to realize what you don't know.) ATC did the same with me, but about 60 seconds after descending through the OM, and about 2 minutes after starting the descent into the cloud deck, I noted I had to maintain a lot more power than usual to maintain 90 kts on the glideslope. I pulled a flash light out of my pocket and shined it out at the leading edge and noted significant ice. I'd flow much of my instrument training that winter in actual IFR and I'd seen "trace" ice before. This wasn't that. I was now about 1600 ft below the cloud tops and given the amount of power needed to maintain the glide slope it was obvious the aircraft was not going to climb back above the clouds.

    I added full power and increased the approach speed, to both reduce the AoA and also reduce the time on approach. I also accepted that there would be no missed approach possible. As I approached the inner marker and decision height I had to start converting excess speed to altitude to try to maintain the glideslope, and at best glide speed I had to start watching the GS needle slide out of the bottom of the donut. At that point I broke out at about 200' and had the runway approach lights on the nose. I barely made it over those lights to land. If I'd have been able to refuel in Sheldon, I would have, and that extra fuel would have probably added enough weight to put me in the approach lights on landing.

    Harry was still at the FBO waiting for me and we both noted over an inch of rime ice on the wing and significant ice on the after I taxied in and shut down. He was as mortified as I was that'd I'd picked up that much ice in just 4 minutes in the clouds. We debriefed and he explained that pilots often reported trace ice when there was significantly more ice as anything greater than trace ice would close the airport to any aircraft that was not certified for flight into known icing conditions. He also advised that what might be trace ice to a 737 is much more significant to a GA aircraft. I indicted that would have been great information to have that morning, as I'd have most likely skipped the approach and flown to my alternate.
     
  11. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

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    Shoot me an email and I'll send you several different outlines for acing the oral. Sbestpa@aol.com www.obxflight.com
     
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  12. belbert

    belbert Filing Flight Plan

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  13. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    fun story Larry Vrooman...scary though. I'm glad it turned out to be a good memory!

    I'm not so sure how well I would have handled that coming out of my checkride, as I vaguely recall being fairly well wiped tired.
    I do wish though that I would have been forced into some IMC early on like that....right up till the icing anyway. Would have been a real confidence booster.

    I did my PPL checkride at a different airport...so I did get to make my first PIC flight going home with fresh ink like that. student solo sign-off to fly from JGG to ORF. Did the checkride, then dropped the DPE off at PVG
     
  14. Tokirbymd

    Tokirbymd Filing Flight Plan

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    Just finished mine. Tip- have all paperwork setup in tabbed binders. Shows organization. If you get off on the right foot makes the DPE want to pass you. Don’t do like th guy ahead of me and quibble and waver over the Xc that was supposed to have been planned ahead of time. You won’t know everything but that’s ok. Don’t panic if you don’t know something and screw the rest up. Although there is a checklist for what they need to ask it seems like there is a bit of latitude for the DPE. They just want to make sure you are a safe pilot.