Questionable Weather for IFR Checkride

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Penguinforce, Feb 18, 2022.

  1. Penguinforce

    Penguinforce Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2020
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Denver, CO

    Display name:
    Penguinforce
    Hi all. I have my IFR checkride scheduled this upcoming week but the forecast on that day has been the same for a few days, which has not really changed: partly cloudy to cloudy in the morning with snow developing in the afternoon or potentially earlier. I will have to call my DPE the night before my exam to discuss this but am I allowed to request to at least complete the oral portion for the following three scenarios, if A. 100% chance we will not fly due to forecasted weather, B) 80% chance we may not be able to fly or C) 50% or less we wouldn't be able to fly?

    Currently, its forecasted to have morning highs of 42, dipping to 20 by the afternoon. Obviously the storm is moving into the area as the day goes on, but I don't want to say the wrong thing and fail the checkride
     
  2. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    15,860
    Location:
    Oakland, CA

    Display name:
    Bro do you even lift
    you won't be the first checkride where weather came into play. my commercial was broken up, we did the oral one day but wx came thru (as we expected) so we did the flying portion another day. communication is key. not a big deal.
     
    Penguinforce likes this.
  3. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    7,991
    Location:
    A Rubber Room

    Display name:
    Cli4ord
    Wait for a perfect day to do both. No turbulence, low winds, adequate vis and ceiling.
     
    Penguinforce likes this.
  4. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    12,824
    Location:
    New England

    Display name:
    PaulS
    I don't cancel plane rides until the morning of for weather. The forecasts aren't that reliable. I'm sure the dpe is used to this and feels the same way.
     
    Jim K and Penguinforce like this.
  5. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    13,327
    Location:
    Florida

    Display name:
    Right Seater
    Of course you are allowed to ask, and you should. Of course, the examiner can also refuse.

    And remember, you may gain points with the examiner for cancelling rather than making a bad Go-Decision.
     
    Pi1otguy and Penguinforce like this.
  6. RussR

    RussR En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,995
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Display name:
    Russ
    The DPE deals with this all the time. You are hardly unique (sorry!), so just call them and figure it out.

    However, DPEs are not supposed to start a checkride without a reasonable expectation of being able to complete it. I don't know why, and that rule doesn't make sense to me, but it's in 8900.2, the DPE guide. So if the weather looks good enough, so you start but then it goes downhill, that's okay (and actually the way I'd prefer to do checkrides, I've had two like that and it was great to get the oral out of the way one day and do the flight another). But if the weather looks bad before you start, you can't just say "let's just get the oral done".

    From the 8900.2C:
    "The intent of the designee must be to complete the entire practical test in one day. Designees must not schedule the test to be planned as a multiple-day event."
     
  7. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    28,198
    Location:
    Michigan

    Display name:
    White Chocolate
    How long has that been around because my private and commercial rides were both scheduled with known garbage weather. The private, I did the oral and we did the flight portion about 50 days later. The commercial I should have deferred the flight portion, but didn't, and paid for it.
     
  8. dmspilot

    dmspilot Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    5,013

    Display name:
    Display name:
    I am not seeing how that passage from 8900.2C prohibits starting a test that was already planned and scheduled as a single-day event if the weather is bad. The weather could improve. And the weather was not known when the test was planned and scheduled.
     
  9. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    1,100

    Display name:
    BLW2
    brings a side question to my mind.... and it has been far too long for me to recall this....

    What would happen if it was IFR but well above minimums...could or would a DPE do the ride?
    I guess it would require the DPE to be current since the student is not yet rated.... oh never mind...answered my own question ;)
     
  10. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    2,351
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho

    Display name:
    Brian
    The requirement that the Examiner not start the test if there is not a reasonable chance of completing it is fairly new.

    My understanding and a bit of my own speculation is it came about due to some of the DPE issues in the news the past few years.
    Essentially the FAA has significantly increased their oversight of examiners. I understand it used to be that the FAA just coordinated the the DPE when the wanted to sit in on a checkride to see how the examiner was doing.
    Now the examiner has to give the FAA something like at least 24hrs notice before they start a checkride. This is so the FAA can randomly drop in on any checkride they might be doing. This is kind of pain when examiner show up at a checkride only to find out the applicant doesn't meet the requirements for the check ride and he is done in 30 minutes. He can't call his afternoon guy or the guy that he couldn't schedule in for 2 weeks and say Hey I am done early, want to start your checkride early?

    I am not sure how not allowing 2 part checkrides fits into that but my speculation is that it may have something to do with it, maybe just because the FAA wanted to keep the scheduling system simple.

    My understanding is that new rule has been causing issues for some of the DPE's in warmer area's during the summer. In the past they would do the Oral in the Afternoon when it was to hot to reasonably fly and then complete the flight portion the next morning when it was cool. Now they have to start the Oral at ridiculously early times so they can fly while it is still cool outside.

    To the OP's question I think calling him the night before if there is an 80% chance or less of the weather being acceptable for a checkride just shows good judgement and planning on your part (He can, in part, check weather and decision making off of the list of things he needs to evaluate). But as another poster mentioned often a weather check again the morning of the check ride may be when to make the final decision.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
    Penguinforce likes this.
  11. RussR

    RussR En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,995
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Display name:
    Russ
    Not sure, but it is pretty recent. I had a checkride in 2013 that was intentionally done over 2 days, so I'd say it's more recent than that at least.
     
  12. RussR

    RussR En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,995
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Display name:
    Russ
    I suppose that's an examiner and FSDO interpretation thing and maybe varies. I'm not a DPE.

    I could see it being interpreted as "sure you tentatively scheduled the checkride 2 months ago. But now it's the day before, and now you're actually confirming your schedule, so the rule applies." I don't know, it's a guess. But I've had DPEs tell me straight out that the FAA won't let them intentionally split checkrides any more due to this paragraph.
     
  13. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    2,174
    Location:
    Northern NV

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    To do a one-day CFI ride with a 6-hour oral in the summer here, the oral would have to start at 3am.
     
  14. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,975

    Display name:
    mondtster
    As far as I know, the expectation that the DPE is not to start a practical test if there isn't a reasonable chance to finish it has been around for at least a decade. I know some examiners who seem to have a much looser interpretation of this rule than others, which may be partially due to the variance between FSDOs and how closely they are monitoring the DPEs activities. I've never had to split one of my own checkrides but I have had to reschedule a couple of them and it took several tries to get a day that would work. My instrument checkride was done on an IFR clearance and in actual conditions, but that was before such activities were strongly discouraged.

    About the only thing the OP can do is call the DPE the day before or the morning of the checkride and see what the options are. Hopefully they're not booked so far out that a weather event on the day of a checkride becomes a major setback.
     
    Penguinforce likes this.
  15. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2021
    Messages:
    1,846

    Display name:
    Albany Tom
    For what it's worth, I scheduled my private checkride for a day that was schedule to be a bit windy. I don't mind a little wind, but we weren't going to fly it if it wasn't safe, of course. It was pretty windy when we started the oral, but things calmed down maybe an hour after, so we didn't have to defer it. It was no problem.

    So my thought is that it's fine to schedule if you and the DPE think there's a decent chance of good weather, and you're both comfortable with deferring if you change. You just have to be prepared to participate in that decision on the day of the checkride. If you're ready for your checkride, you need to be ready to make that type of go/no-go decision anyway.
     
    Penguinforce likes this.
  16. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2014
    Messages:
    357
    Location:
    South Carolina

    Display name:
    Frank
    I did my IFR checkride yesterday and the winds were wicked. I had scheduled my ride about 4 weeks earlier and when the day came I thought the DPE would put it off. Instead he texted that he would see me at 1300 so I headed over to kflo where the winds were reported 17 gusting 24. It was difficult to hold altitude and course headings, so bad that I would be flying along trimmed up at 2000’ and then a blast would put me at 2200’. The added stress of managing the turbulence and fighting the controls caused me to mess up in a few other areas such as atc communications. What made the ride a little easier is that I had done some IFR practice in turbulence and wind. That preparation made it a little easier to endure the checkride under tough conditions. Bottom line. Don’t be afraid to go up and train in bad conditions. You never know what the weather will be on the checkride day. When the ride was over the DPE said he expected better altitude holds but under the conditions it was acceptable. I passed, and on the way back to the home drone atc gently reprimanded me for not reporting altitude on my missed approaches. “Roger that”.
     
    Pugs, Penguinforce and Albany Tom like this.
  17. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,480

    Display name:
    mryan75
    Good for you. Congrats. I did my IR ride in November, and honestly, it was the worst weather I’ve ever flown. Passed.
     
  18. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    7,991
    Location:
    A Rubber Room

    Display name:
    Cli4ord
    6 hour oral for a IR practical?
     
  19. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    669
    Location:
    NE Illinois

    Display name:
    Terry
    @Possum you are saying ATC waited until after you dumped off the DPE to give you that insight on the holds?

    I assume you didn’t have to hold on your flight home.

    They actually read the note in your flight plan and gave grace?
     
  20. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2014
    Messages:
    357
    Location:
    South Carolina

    Display name:
    Frank
    I did fail to give my altitude on one of the missed and departure had to ask my altitude. After the ride, I took off and was heading back to the home airport, then was told to contact departure. It was female controller who gave my instructions on departure. A few seconds later a male controller called me and very mater of factly told me to give altitude when speaking with approach/departure. Perhaps a supervisor? Anyway they knew I was on a checkride because we had traffic issues trying to do the ils and had to ask for the ils several times. My guess is they probably ran out of patience. I cancelled flight following as soon as I could. When I got back home and called my cfii with the story I got a real good chewing out. Lesson learned.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2022
  21. kaiser

    kaiser Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2019
    Messages:
    864
    Location:
    Chicagoland

    Display name:
    The pilot formerly known as Cool Beard Guy
    I’d say go for checkride. Once you complete your oral, check the weather. If the weather is no good, demonstrate your risk management skills by making a no-go decision. Officially it’s a discontinuance. Type up the letter and have you/DPE sign it. Then rebook for the rest of it.

    I had to do that for my PPL, and I’ll likely have to do that for my commercial.

    FYI: for a discontinuance, the student must declare it
    5B900A55-A4B1-496F-A7AA-DCCE36AD63DB.jpeg
     
  22. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    669
    Location:
    NE Illinois

    Display name:
    Terry
    @Possum your CFII chewed you out after passing the IR practical?

    I say congratulations sir. Forgetting to say altitude in that situation . . . Forgivable (IMO). A simple “432 echo Romeo say altitude.” Works. I’m sure it would have clicked as the stress came down.
     
    Possum likes this.
  23. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2014
    Messages:
    357
    Location:
    South Carolina

    Display name:
    Frank
    The CFII was happy about me passing but not so pleased with the ATC reprimand. He is a great instructor but by the book. ATC phraseology is something he always insists you get right. A good day for me and one I’ll never forget. I will say the winds were way above my personal minimums when I took the ride.
     
  24. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Messages:
    3,353
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ and Ensenada, Mexico

    Display name:
    rgbeard
    I’m glad the winds were above your minimums but not seemingly above your maximums.

    ;-)
     
  25. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2014
    Messages:
    357
    Location:
    South Carolina

    Display name:
    Frank
    Ha!!! Looks like I need to work on both ATC AND POA communication. (It was very windy).
     
  26. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    833
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Display name:
    Challenger1
    I had to cancel my IFR check ride 3 times with 3-4 weeks between appointments. Finally it's mid Dec and the weather early is MVFR. Spend 3+ hours doing the oral in the morning. The DPE said it had to be VFR to take the checkride. I was ready to file but no. So for 3 hours I figured I would have reschedule the flight. The clouds lifted for about 4 hrs just enough for the check ride and the flight back to my home airport. Took about 4 months to get the check ride done.

    Good luck with yours.

    Like said, the DPE is interested in your weather decision making. If it is not safe you are not going to get them into the plane.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2022
  27. Penguinforce

    Penguinforce Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2020
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Denver, CO

    Display name:
    Penguinforce
    Thanks for all the opinions and help. I’m happy to say I passed my checkride! Of course nothing goes as planned on a checkride and the weather did deteriorate during the flight portion. And of course not only did my final approach include an rnav approach and circle to land on a runway I’d never landed before due to bad winds, but my dg failed on the final approach (not the examiner blocking it, it actually failed). But I was told my the dpe if I can do it on a checkride, I can do it in real life haha! Thanks again everyone :)
     
    kaiser, Albany Tom, JoshN and 2 others like this.
  28. Sierra_Hotel

    Sierra_Hotel Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2019
    Messages:
    702

    Display name:
    Sierra_Hotel
    He clearly said for CFI. 6 hours is still pretty extreme, though. I think mine was 4 hours with one of the more thorough DPEs around here.
     
  29. Pugs

    Pugs Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,129
    Location:
    Maryland

    Display name:
    Pugs
    He must not have a vast set of experience outside the local area. While ATC is very consistent on some things, and should be, I see a lot of variation on expectations just up and down the east coast. More than I ever heard hanging out on UHF in the military. Congrats on the checkride though!
     
    Penguinforce likes this.
  30. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2021
    Messages:
    1,846

    Display name:
    Albany Tom
    Congrats! And nice catch on noticing the DG was out.
     
  31. Wagondriver

    Wagondriver Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2020
    Messages:
    428

    Display name:
    375Taylor

    That happened to me. I was at a 10 day course, I was ready for the checkride on day 9 but the instructor hadn't scheduled the checkride. I had to stick around an extra couple days for the ride. But, morning of the ride it was 2200' overcast. We could complete the whole checkride under VFR conditions except for the ILS, that required going up to 2400'. The DPE wouldn't do the checkride if it was actual IMC.
    I was not happy, two extra days of rental car, two extra nights of hotel room, and it was the beginning of covid and couldn't find anyone near home that would do a checkride. I finally found a DPE to do it, but the recency of instruction had expired and I had to do another 3 hours with an instructor before I could do the checkride. I got it done but what a mess!
     
  32. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    22,160
    Location:
    Catawba, NC

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    Bad planning on the instructor's part. My PIC 10 day course had the instructor scheduled for day 10 before I started (scheduling is rough most places). I actually was done on day 8 (we did the IARCA and everything).

    While it is not prohibited to have the examiner be PIC for a checkride, the FAA strongly discourages it.
     
  33. Rich Holt

    Rich Holt Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2021
    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    SC

    Display name:
    holtyrd
    I'm nearly positive that IR check ride was conducted in actual IFR conditions, but I was wearing foggles so... let's just say that I passed and the DPE asked me if I was going to file back to the home drome or wait it out.
     
  34. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    22,160
    Location:
    Catawba, NC

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    It's at the discretion of the examiner. As I said, the FAA discourages but doesn't prohibit this.