Pre-Solo Written test

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by DesertNomad, Nov 15, 2022.

  1. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    How far in advance of soloing are CFIs here giving their students the pre-solo written test?

    Do you let them take it home or are they doing it all it front of you?

    Mine had me do it in front of him, but I can't see myself doing it that way. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  2. dmspilot

    dmspilot Final Approach

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    I give it to them when we start working on landings, or close to that point. They take it home. Goal is to not wait until the last minute nor give it too early and overwhelm them. I also want them to have a couple weeks to work on it.
     
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  3. William Pete Hodges

    William Pete Hodges Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    It was awhile back but I had to pass the written test in front of a Procter. At the time the Washington ADIZ was relatively new in effect and our flight school decided no solo with out a passed written test on file. If memory serves I went to a flight school in Manasas to take the test. As I got closer to flight competency they steered me towards taking the test. I soloed a week after completing it 2004.
     
  4. IK04

    IK04 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    When did this test requirement begin? It was not a requirement when I was a full time flight instructor...
     
  5. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    It was a deal as far back as 1991; here it is in the FARs.

    § 61.87 Solo requirements for student pilots.

    (b) Aeronautical knowledge. A student pilot must demonstrate satisfactory aeronautical knowledge on a knowledge test that meets the requirements of this paragraph:

    (1) The test must address the student pilot's knowledge of -

    (i) Applicable sections of parts 61 and 91 of this chapter;

    (ii) Airspace rules and procedures for the airport where the solo flight will be performed; and

    (iii) Flight characteristics and operational limitations for the make and model of aircraft to be flown.

    (2) The student's authorized instructor must -

    (i) Administer the test; and

    (ii) At the conclusion of the test, review all incorrect answers with the student before authorizing that student to conduct a solo flight.
     
  6. IK04

    IK04 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Was there a noticeable trend or cause for this requirement to be made?

    Was there a perception that students did not know these things early on their training?
     
  7. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    I have no idea.
     
  8. Walboy

    Walboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I give it at the end of the lesson prior to the lesson I expect them to solo. It's not a terribly difficult test which I let them do at home. The test I give is designed to reinforce what I think is really, really important (and satisfy the regulations) to take a couple of laps around the pattern, not stump the chump.

    I've seen some tests that are ridiculously detailed and difficult. Seems silly to me.
     
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  9. Brad W

    Brad W Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I vaguely recall that maybe I had to do some sort of test. Mine would have been in late 1990. I'm not entirely sure....but what I'm remember was just a little home brewed handout that the flight school had put together. Nothing overly involved and nothing overly hard. I would classify it as an open book pop-quiz
    But what I'm thinking about could also have been one of the many rental checkouts I've done at various places over the years....
     
  10. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My CFI gave me the test to take home when he expected me to solo at our next session. Then wx blew us out for the next two weekends, then he took an airline gig and I had to wait to get on another CFI's schedule. She flew with me once or twice and was ready to sign me off for solo, but couldn't find my exam. Apparently the first CFI never put it in the file. So she gave me another copy, sent me home, and said "next week, wx permitting, you'll solo." But of course the winds were blowing a gale so I didn't get to solo, and of course she then took an airline job so I had to switch to another CFI. But he didn't have availability right away, so it about six weeks before I could get on his schedule. A few flights to refresh and I finally soloed.

    So, in the final arithmetic, I first took the pre-solo exam about three months before I soloed.

    Yes, I'm still bitter. :)
     
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  11. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I see the requirement for a knowledge test, but is there a requirement for it to be a WRITTEN knowledge test?

    (Believe it or not I'm not trying to be argumentative, just genuinely curious)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  12. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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  13. Walboy

    Walboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Definition of knowledge test is in 61.1. "...can be administered in written form or by a computer." It applies for knowledge tests for ratings and airman certificates. The solo requirement is a step required for a private pilot certificate.
     
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  14. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    I like to add questions that would determine if they have been studying FARs, POH, PHAK. I give about 50 questions take home, and can usually tell if they googled the answers.
     
  15. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    For me, generally within a week or two before the solo flight.

    Open book, and taking it home permitted.
     
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  16. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    I suppose it depends a bit on the scope of the test(s). Mine are two 25 question multiple choice tests, a make/model test and the pre solo test. Both are take home and usually assigned around lesson 7. A third emergency procedures test is closed book.
     
  17. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pattern Altitude

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    Can be is not MUST be.
     
  18. Country Flier

    Country Flier Line Up and Wait

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    I got my PPL in 1995…I did not take a pre-solo test. Guess my license isn’t valid lol.
     
  19. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I soloed in '98 and I don't recall a pre-solo test. Certainly not a written one.

    Of course, if asked by an appropriate authority, I will express my utmost confidence in my CFI having crossed all ts and dotted all is. The absence of a paper trail could solely be explained by records being cleared since then.
     
  20. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "Can be done this way or that."
     
  21. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think take home/open book is fine. The presolo knowledge test covers rules and equipment. Like a written checkout quiz, I want them to know how to look things up. That's part of the learning experience to me.

    Timing. I think it should be given far enough along that the material is relevant but relatively close to solo so it's fresh. I don't think in terms of a specific date.
     
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  22. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pattern Altitude

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    That does not preclude other methods. If they mean ONLY those two methods, they need to specify only and use the SHALL. Regulatory speak.
     
  23. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I disagree due to the context but what the heck. If you want to do it orally, go ahead. I'll go with the 30+ year old FAA usage and what I see as the plain meaning of the sentence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
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  24. texasclouds

    texasclouds En-Route

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    Written, corrected, signed that they have been reeducated on missed questions, and file it for future reference.
     
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  25. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    FIFY
     
  26. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Good way to provide compliance with the regulation if ever required.
     
  27. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That was the same for me. -Skip
     
  28. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But more important, you're a stubborn old git that got the job done!
     
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  29. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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  30. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pattern Altitude

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    I would have to read that entire section. But I deal with Federal regulations every day. And several times I have gone head to head with various agencies about what their regs actually said, not what they wanted them to say. I won every time. :)
     
  31. Walboy

    Walboy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I should have quoted the whole sentence. The way I read the sentence it has to be either written or computerized. I should have known better to even attempt to answer a question as it leads to the enevitable nit picking when all I was attempting to do is be helpful.

    Knowledge test means a test on the aeronautical knowledge areas required for an airman certificate or rating that can be administered in written form or by a computer.
     
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  32. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You spelled inevitable wrong....:cool:

    But yeah, I feel ya.
     
  33. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
     
  34. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    My instructor made me write my pre-solo test. 60 questions . I based it on owners manual of my 172 and did an online search of other flight school pre solo tests.
    Then I went out and did the required 3 take offs in pattern and full stop landings.
    Pretty exciting for me back then at age 80 with 3rd class medical in hand. :)
     
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  35. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Then you know as well as I do context is king.
     
  36. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You were being helpful. And you are right. It's simply a definition of what a knowledge test is, not a directive of what to do. Someone choosing not to read the whole sentence and focusing on only a few words within it is not your responsibility.
     
  37. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pattern Altitude

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    I understand you position. And I agree that the FAA MEANT to say it had be to written or on a computer. But that is NOT what they wrote.

    And, unless you want to fight the battle, it is easier to do it written on on a computer. But if you wanted to fight it, I am pretty sure the FAA would lose.

    The other way to read what they wrote is, the pre-solo test must be able to be given both in written form or on a computer, but that those methods are not required. :D
     
  38. TinmanJones

    TinmanJones Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm a LOOOOONG time student. About 4 weeks ago I took the written "pre-solo" test (Part 61 school). My CFI was in the building, but not sitting with me to as I took the test. After I completed the 3 page test, he and I sat and went over every single question and answer, adding to and taking away from my answers as we discussed them. He signed the test and told me to hang on to it for the future. I've not had a flight since that day, thanks to weather and my CFI having a surgery procedure that will keep him out until sometime in December. Maybe, one day, I'll finally get that solo endorsement. haha I know it'll eventually come, it'll just continue to cost me a fortune between now and then.
     
  39. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We will need to agree to disagree.
     
  40. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Don't feel bad .My LOOOOOGN time student venture started in Dec. of 1970 with a one-hour introductory flight that hasn't seen the end yet. LOOOOONG story but I think I see the light at the end of tunnel. ;)