USE OF FAR/AIM ON CPL ORAL EXAM

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by GAL LEON, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. GAL LEON

    GAL LEON Filing Flight Plan

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    hi guys ,
    im currently studying for my check ride and I couldn't get a straight answer from my instructor .
    1. is it legal to use FAR/AIM to answer the examiner questions ?
    2. when is it too much using of FAR in a check ride ?
    3. if its legal to use FAR/AIM on an exam , can it be used on a computer or should it be an hard copy. ?
    4. any recommendations or suggestions on how to memorize and study for the exam ?

    thank you all ! ,
    Leon
     
  2. ttexrbomb

    ttexrbomb Pre-Flight

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    Yes, you can refer to the FAR/AIM on your check ride oral, but you can’t use it for the written.

    But I would encourage you to become very familiar with the FAR/AIM prior to the check ride. Whereas you can refer to it legally, if you have to refer to it often, it may have a negative impact on your check ride.

    I’d go through and tab the FAR/AIM as an exercise. By doing that, it forces you to read it and you’ll be able to recall key sections easier.

    Good luck.


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  3. ttexrbomb

    ttexrbomb Pre-Flight

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    It does not matter if the FAR/AIM are digital or book.


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  4. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    How did you do it on your Private/Instrument check rides?
     
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  5. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It was a long time ago I had my CPL check ride, personal computers hadn’t been invented yet. I was asked a question I didn’t remember the exact answer to, probably just what the ‘number’ was. I grabbed the FAR book and went right to about where it was. Didn’t have to start at the beginning, xxx.1 and start searching. When he saw I knew where to go he said ok and moved on to the next question without answering that one. That was then and that particular examiner so take this with a grain of salt.
     
  6. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member PoA Technical Administrator

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    The written is closed-book.
    The oral is open-book. If you're not sure about something, you can look it up, and in fact an examiner might want to see that you know where things are in the regs, or the POH.
    Get a bunch of "sticky tab label" thingys and sticky-tab-label the hell out of the book, if you've got a physical one.

    That being said, some things you should know "cold". I think a good rule of thumb is, memorize the things that you'd need to know "in the airplane in the moment". Like: what to do in various emergencies. V-speeds from the POH. Airspace rules. Weather minima. Right-of-way. Spin recovery. Stuff like that.
    Know where to look up the other things, things that you'd need to know "the morning before the flight". Like: when do medicals expire. When must the ELT be changed out. Fuel reserve for a VFR flight at night. Takeoff distances from the POH. CP privileges and limitations. Stuff like that.
     
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  7. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    You are applying to be a commercial pilot. You should be prepared to answer any Part 61 or 91 regulation question the examiner has without FAR reference.
     
  8. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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  9. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    It's up to the DPE how much he'd let you look up. If you stumble on something like cloud clearance requirements and had to look it up, I 'spect he's not going to be impressed.
     
  10. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depends what else you stumble on.

    Everybody has brain farts. I want to see that they can figure it out for sure without POA.

    The best ones are when you point at the answer in the book but they refuse to read it. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  11. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It "should" be obvious that "you can look it up" does not apply to everything. That applies to both volume and and content.
     
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  12. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I referenced the FAR/AIM on my checkrides if I forgot an answer. It’s better than BSing your way through a question
     
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  13. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    I had one question on my commercial oral that I needed to look up in the FARs. By chance, the night before I had happened to read that particular thing and highlighted it in the FAR. I'm not sure I would have found it otherwise.
     
  14. Bonchie

    Bonchie Pattern Altitude

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    Get post it tabs and mark the major sections you'll need for easy reference.

    Part 43, Part 61, Part 67, Part 91 (I'm sure I'm forgetting some) are the major ones for the CPL oral. The key areas within those will be medical requirements, proficiency requirements, what's legal to do as a commercial pilot, and maintenance/required equipment. Know 91.205 and why you need it. Contrary to popular belief, they are not supposed to ask about 121/135 operations but just know what they apply to and look them up if he/she asks.

    My general feel is that if you can answer the 1st and 2nd parts of the tiered questions they typically use (and those are usually pretty easy), you aren't going to get dinged for looking up anything past that. Also, things that you'd have time to look up in real life you are typically given more leeway on. If you don't know cloud clearances, that's an issue in the plane. If you don't remember if 91.205 requires an attitude indicator for VFR day, just look it up. That's what you'd do in real life.

    As far as the AIM goes, make sure you know where to go for weather questions, as the details of those are often the hardest to remember off hand (i.e. maybe you don't remember that an AIRMET Sierra covers mountain obfuscation because you live in the flatlands). I also got the scuba diving question, which seems to be getting asked a lot.

    EDIT: Whatever you do, do not BS. Say you don't know and look it up. Even if you feel like you are doing that too often, it's still preferable to making something up because that's when you paint yourself into a corner and fail.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  15. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member PoA Technical Administrator

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    My nomination for auto-correct of the day!

    "That's one confusing AIRMET..." :)
     
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  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Everyone loves the tabs thing. I did not, and will not, tab a FAR/AIM.

    For some it helps immensely. For me it’s a distraction. The book has a table of contents and that’s how I’ve always studied. Look at TOC and rattle off everything you know about that section. Then turn to it and check. Fill in stuff you forgot.

    After studying like that, you get to know where things are inside each TOC topic.

    That’s just me. If tabs make you read it and give a good warm fuzzy about finding esoteric stuff in it, go for it.

    Anyway, as others have said — you need to study enough that you have a broad understanding of the whole of the material, you know critical rules and regs that should be memorized, and that other regs exist “besides those” or “in conjunction to those” and where to look them up.

    Anything you think you should know cold because you need to know it aloft, memorize. Cloud clearances for example. You’re not going up and looking those up in flight — cheat sheets on your commercial clipboard notwithstanding.

    Anything basic to the type of rating... example “is a private pilot allowed to be paid?” memorize. An example of where you might not memorize are the exemptions to that rule. “Generally not but there are a few exemptions for charity flights and... something with glider!towing... I’ll look up the others, just a moment. But normally no. I can accept only a pro rata share of the flight costs from a passenger when we have a common purpose to fly somewhere. Let me get those exemptions for you...”

    Does that help make sense of it? Definitely no harm in having it memorized. And be teaching for that book ANY time you let your voice sound like you’re questioning your answer.

    Honestly even the best candidate might forget something under pressure. Reaching for the book ONCE for a critical memorization item won’t impress the DPE but won’t be a huge deal if you’re nailing everything else. “I know I should have this one memorized but I’m drawing a blank under pressure here, I’m going to make sure my answer is correct.” And don’t be flipping around after that like you don’t know where it is. Know the regs well enough that you know it’s a Part 61 or 91 answer and roughly where it is in the Part.

    Frankly if you are poor at finding it in the book, you’re better off memorizing it. You’re showing mastery of things you are required to know... or know where to find them, relatively quickly. The
    more you fumble around with the book on relatively simple questions, the more the DPEs eyebrows go up wondering how well you prepared for this.

    Hopefully that sheds some light on how to manage this. The knowledge required is massive and DPEs understand you’ll not know something and might need the book but most don’t expect you to reach for it for anything straightforward. They will dig into details sometimes to see when you run out of info in your head.

    Examples of digging might be, say, asking what you need to do sightseeing flights as a commercial pilot. Besides the obvious stuff, pilot certificate, blah blah... the DPE is checking to see if your really really read the reg and saw the requirement for an LOA from the FSDO. That’s fairly “deep” or will stump someone who never really read it.
     
  17. flyingron

    flyingron Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Lots of obfuscation on these forums... maybe we need an AIRMET POA.
     
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  18. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    These days having an electronic (i.e. "searchable") ECFR or AIM seems to be a real advantage for applicants willing to harness the power. It is perfectly acceptable to bring a hardcopy of 14 CFR and the AIM, and "tab" those out, if that's the preference. But it seems like an electronic copy goes farther in a shorter amount of time. Just my personal opinion, of course.

    Perhaps in the oral portion of the practical test for a particular certificate, Human Factors is discussed, including hypoxia. Most applicants can, or should be able to, rattle off the supplemental oxygen requirements of 14 CFR § 91.211. But how many can find the AIM recommendation on which altitudes to use supplemental oxygen, both day and night?

    Pretty easy to find it if you type "hypoxia" in the search field of the FAA's online AIM.

    For private pilot applicants, I also keep a fun question in my back pocket about the currency of publications when he/she appears with a hard copy AIM. "Is that the most current AIM?" The applicant will typically take a look at the book, note the title -- usually "FAR/AIM 2019," and say, "Yes, it's the 2019 version." I'll reply, "So they only update the AIM and the regs once per year?" Of course, the FAA updates the CFRs, the AIM, its handbooks, and other publications regularly. The online AIM shows its most recent publication date was August 15, 2019, as of the writing of this post.
     
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  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The electronically searchable pubs are a great time saver! And thanks for the heads-up on the new AIM revision.
     
  20. nj-pilot

    nj-pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    *bringing this thread back to life*
    I'm not really asking a question as much as making an observation: how much content a student has memorized vs. how much is acceptable to refer to the FAR/AIM during the oral portion of a checkride seems to be subjective.

    I think the collective wisdom here (which I respect by the way) is that the less you need to refer to it, the better (instills confidence and shows that you took seriously the effort to learn the material).

    The subjectivity means that I'm getting different (sometimes conflicting) direction from different CFIs - that's a little frustrating.
     
  21. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I was told by the CFIs who prepped me for both IR and CP rides that the DPE will ask questions (in terms of scenarios) and if you know what you're talking about and sound confident, they'll move on. If you're hesitant or wrong, then they'll dig.

    On my recent CPL I was wrong on how far off the altimeter can be and still be legal, he questioned my answer and I went digging in part 43 to find it. After I did that, he asked a few more questions on the topic which checked what I'd just read and we moved on.

    On the other topics, I gave correct, confident answers, and he moved on.

    YMMV.
     
  22. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When you’re 6 hours into the oral, you’ll know you’re looking up too much stuff.
     
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  23. Dry Creek

    Dry Creek Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Another way to look at it is that you're reducing the cost-per-hour for the DPE!
    Glass half-full kinda' thinking.
     
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