Anatomy of a Checkride

Paul Hamilton is one of the first persons to become a DPE (Designated Pilot Examiner) for sport pilots. As a full-time author and sport pilot expert, he writes books and produces DVD's for Aviation Supplies and Academics (ASA). Now Paul has graciously agreed to answer your questions here. Thanks Paul! For more information about Paul, please visit www.Paul-Hamilton.com and www.Sport-Pilot-Training.com.

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Jim Stewart
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Postby Jim Stewart » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:31 pm

Got it.

bryancobb
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Ohhhhhh!

Postby bryancobb » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:20 am

A light bulb just went off in my head!
I see where the confusion is caused.

When the FAR says "Clear of Clouds," that doesn't have anything to do with the SKY not having any clouds! And... It has nothing to do with visibility.

"Clear of Clouds" means that the PILOT must not fly INTO an existing cloud but he can fly right up close to one. This term is in the same group of "distances from clouds" as "1000' above, 500' below, and 2000' laterally."

Visibility can be more than 3 MI and legal for Sport Pilots, with clouds all over the place.
Bryan Cobb
Sport Pilot CFI
Commercial/Instrument Airplane
Commercial Rotorcraft Helicopter
Cartersville, Ga
bryandcobb@att.net

ArionAv8or
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Re: Ohhhhhh!

Postby ArionAv8or » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:11 am

bryancobb wrote:A light bulb just went off in my head!
I see where the confusion is caused.

When the FAR says "Clear of Clouds," that doesn't have anything to do with the SKY not having any clouds! And... It has nothing to do with visibility.

"Clear of Clouds" means that the PILOT must not fly INTO an existing cloud but he can fly right up close to one. This term is in the same group of "distances from clouds" as "1000' above, 500' below, and 2000' laterally."

Visibility can be more than 3 MI and legal for Sport Pilots, with clouds all over the place.


But you would still have to be BELOW 1200' to fly up next to a cloud. Anything over 1200' and you must maintain the 500/1000/2000 as per 91.155. Thank you for clearing up the 61.315 question. I knew it was 3 MI Vis but I wasn't sure where to find it.

bryancobb
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No

Postby bryancobb » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:55 pm

No you would not have to be below 1200! You WOULD have to be in Class G airspace.

Here in the east half of the US, I think ALL Class G is below 1200 or 700 depending on blue or magenta on Sectionals.

Out west however, there is some Class G that goes all the way up to 18,000.

You can tell if the sectional charts appear to be earthtone and don't look bluish like the ones we are used to.

If you fly IFR in these areas, you in a non-radar environment and must do all of the compulsory reporting etc.
Bryan Cobb

Sport Pilot CFI

Commercial/Instrument Airplane

Commercial Rotorcraft Helicopter

Cartersville, Ga

bryandcobb@att.net

comperini
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Re: No

Postby comperini » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:25 pm

bryancobb wrote:No you would not have to be below 1200! You WOULD have to be in Class G airspace.


The "clear of clouds" limit is also found in class B airspace.

He's right about the class G thing though... in Class G, the only times you can excercise the "clear of clouds" deal, is when you are in Class G, *and* no higher than 1200 AGL. If you are in class G, but more than 1200 AGL, then the cloud clearance requirements start going up

To make the table in 91.155 "sport pilot" compatible, just cross out the "class A" line from the table, and replace any "1 statute mile" with 3.

ArionAv8or
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Re: No

Postby ArionAv8or » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:19 pm

comperini wrote:
bryancobb wrote:No you would not have to be below 1200! You WOULD have to be in Class G airspace.


The "clear of clouds" limit is also found in class B airspace.

He's right about the class G thing though... in Class G, the only times you can excercise the "clear of clouds" deal, is when you are in Class G, *and* no higher than 1200 AGL. If you are in class G, but more than 1200 AGL, then the cloud clearance requirements start going up

To make the table in 91.155 "sport pilot" compatible, just cross out the "class A" line from the table, and replace any "1 statute mile" with 3.


Thank you comperini, I did not even notice the Class B, but then again I do not fly there very often. I have included the 91.155 table link again that shows the cloud clearance requirements. Like you said comperini, jusst cross out the 1MI Vis and make it a 3 MI Vis and I believe you are good to go.

bryancobb
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cORRECT

Postby bryancobb » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:53 pm

You are correct gentlemen!!! I stand corrected.

I haven't looked at the VFR minimums in awhile.

When I pulled up the table, I had to shake my head. I said What-The-Heck? That's not what it used to say.

Well I don't care if it has changed since Sprt regs were enacted or if I WAS JUST PLAIN WRONG. I know the what is correct now.
Bryan Cobb

Sport Pilot CFI

Commercial/Instrument Airplane

Commercial Rotorcraft Helicopter

Cartersville, Ga

bryandcobb@att.net

ArionAv8or
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Re: cORRECT

Postby ArionAv8or » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:24 am

bryancobb wrote:You are correct gentlemen!!! I stand corrected.


With all the knowledge you pass on to us I think we will let you slide just this once, LOL JK! We are all human, besides it not like they really make reading and understanding the FARs easy. Look here, then look there, but this trumps that unless the moon is full on a Tuesday and then if you fly on a Thursday you have to read that section backwards, blah blah blah. You get my point, if you don't look at everything you will often miss something.

rsteele
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Re: cORRECT

Postby rsteele » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:29 am

ArionAv8or wrote:
bryancobb wrote:You are correct gentlemen!!! I stand corrected.


With all the knowledge you pass on to us I think we will let you slide just this once, LOL JK! We are all human, besides it not like they really make reading and understanding the FARs easy. Look here, then look there, but this trumps that unless the moon is full on a Tuesday and then if you fly on a Thursday you have to read that section backwards, blah blah blah. You get my point, if you don't look at everything you will often miss something.

Wouldn't it be great if someone created a hyper text document from the FARs so you actually read all the references in line?. Hum, should be doable using Perl. Sounds like work for a summer intern. Of course the visibility and cloud clearance stuff would still take an A.I algorithm to figure out.

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Paul Hamilton
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Postby Paul Hamilton » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:11 pm

WOW. Sorry I missed this discussion. It has been nonstop instruction, checkrides and filming for new upcoming HD videos.

Check out some of my latest flying footage:

Latest Flying footage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38ACIMhmxOI
Flight simulator http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGNeEqOaru8
Flight review flying http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-1z3n1NHmg

As I have to explain to my wife that while at the airport all day every day flying, not just eating lunch at different airports every day. LOL.

I will try and provide my input as a DPE for this subject and some of the comments listed in this discussion.

First, I am surprised a sport pilot checkride can be accomplished in 1.6 hours. Maybe we are saying just the flight portion??
Typically, it takes on an average 3 hours to get through the basic tasks of the oral, and minimum 1 hour for the flight portion of the checkride. I would say 4 hours would be more accurate from what I know. My shortest oral was 1.5 hours where the applicant covered all the tasks short and sweet to a long and grueling 5 hour oral where the applicant had to look up some things in the book to exhibit knowledge on the frequired tasks. Examiners MUST go through the required tasks outlined in the PTS for it to be a valid checkride.

The breakdown of the checkride is simple, the oral first and than the flight. Typically the ORAL goes through the PTS areas of operation “Preflight Preparation”, basically in the order listed, and then the flight areas of operation, the rest of the PTS. Note that things are mixed up with different order with tasks combine to be more efficient and flight tasks also covered during the oral as discussed later.

Also note that the FAA recommends unofficially, which I agree, to cover flight safety items in the oral (before the flight), such as takeoff techniques/speeds, slow flight, stall, spin awareness/avoidance, flight into IMC, radio communications, landing no wind verses x wind, etc.

Why cover this orally before you go flying? Simply to make sure you do not get into an aircraft unless the pilot can describe safety aspects of how to fly. I personally do not want to put myself at risk by flying with someone who cannot answer these questions. In any sport pilot checkride, the oral MUST be completed before the flight portion. It is pretty easy to tell how someone will fly by asking “how do you fly” and “what would you do” if…….

Next subject diversions:
The problem with doing diversions during checkrides is that applicants usually know the area pretty well. I feel part of training is going to different airports during the training process. Going somewhere and training how you typically fly is fundamental to modern “scenario based training”.

http://sport-pilot-training.com/hamilto ... ort-pilot/

At least this is how I suggest training and I feel is the best option as described on my training system. If your instructor is simply doing maneuvers near your airport ask for some cross country experience right off. Fly somewhere and have breakfast. Offer to buy breakfast (most instructors like “free food”). See some new country. I feel every effort should be made to take a student somewhere new, go to a new airport. Feel comfortable going places.

Next subject Go arounds and basic safety/special emphasis areas:

Yes the coyote on the runway in my “Sport Pilot Checkride DVD” always comes up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpnANWRpfBw

Whether there really was a coyote on the runway or not, if an examiner tells you there is a problem with landing, and you land anyway. Clue – Failure. It really does not matter if you see it or not, nothing wrong with a go around. If there is any question, not landing and doing a go around shows good pilot judgment. Landing when there is a question shows bad pilot decision making a lack for safety. This is an easy failure.
Another example: You are on a cross country trying to maintain altitude and course. The examiner says “I think I see an airplane and it is not moving”. You look, you question him/her. You still see nothing. Do you say “I do not see anything I am going to continue this course any way” because you do not want to deviate from your cross country tolerances? Clue # 2 – Failure. The examiner is testing you ability to deviate plus your ability for collision avoidance. However, if your examiner tells you to do something stupid or dangerous, think about what would you really do. For the checkride, the applicant is PIC.

If the examiner tells you to do the stall maneuver below 1000 feet say “I am going to gain some altitude first to have enough clearance”. If the examiner tells you to do your performance maneuver into terrain, make sure you have clearance, etc.

Next visibility 3 miles and airspace:
I am amazed there is any question what so ever about 3 miles verses 1 mile visibility for sport pilots. As a sport pilot, you have the limitations of 61.315 3 miles, end of story. It is required to know this to solo, it is on the knowledge test, and it is one of my first question on the checkride. What are the privileges and limitations of a sport pilot. Page 16 of the Sport Pilot Checkride book.


A book or something to make the order of learning regulations and checkride easier to study:
And finally, if someone wants a book that goes through the regulations basically in order, my “Sport Pilot Checkride” book does exactly this. This is why I wrote this book was to put everything in order and make it simple.

If you want all the information to pass the sport pilot checkride, plus have a reference for the Checkride, the “Sport Pilot Checkride” book does this. Each question relating to the PTS has a reference to the FAR’s. It basically puts everything in order. It even has an example of an examiner “Plan of Action” page 267 which lists all the tasks in order for a checkride.

http://www.ap-stores.com/p-50-sport-pil ... -book.aspx

The “Sport Pilot Checkride DVD” shows you what it is like to go through a checkride and what the examiner is thinking. How to pass a checkride and what will fail you. Yes the “coyote on the runway” in on the video. The other popular segment is the unprepared applicant which is based on a true story where the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

There should be no mystery as to what a checkride will entail. Yes every examiner is different but they must all go by the PTS which the checkride books follows exactly.

To fail a checkride, you must be out of tolerance for one of the specific tasks.

Hopefully this will provide a perspective on these subjects from a sport pilot examiner.

Sincerely,
Paul Hamilton
Paul is a Sport Pilot CFI/DPE and the expert for ASA who writes the books and produces the DVD's for all pilots flying light sport aircraft.
See www.SportAviationCenter.com www.Sport-Pilot-Training.com and www.BeASportPilot.com to Paul's websites

ArionAv8or
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Postby ArionAv8or » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:27 pm

As I stated in my original post, just the flight portion of my checkride was 1.6 hours, I believe the other posted was 1.5 hours of just flight time. This did not include the prep time, 45 minute oral test, written test, etc...

As for me the only question was the "clear of clouds", which I believe we successfully answered throughout our group discussion.

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Paul Hamilton
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Postby Paul Hamilton » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:12 pm

I just posted some diagrams of airspace i did for the FAA handbook which should help understand the G and E airspace.

http://aviation-elearning.com/airspace/
Paul is a Sport Pilot CFI/DPE and the expert for ASA who writes the books and produces the DVD's for all pilots flying light sport aircraft.

See www.SportAviationCenter.com www.Sport-Pilot-Training.com and www.BeASportPilot.com to Paul's websites

bryancobb
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Location: Cartersville Georgia

keep

Postby bryancobb » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:17 pm

I'M JUST GONNA KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT... NOT SAYING A WORD!
Bryan Cobb

Sport Pilot CFI

Commercial/Instrument Airplane

Commercial Rotorcraft Helicopter

Cartersville, Ga

bryandcobb@att.net

ArionAv8or
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Re: keep

Postby ArionAv8or » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:10 am

bryancobb wrote:I'M JUST GONNA KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT... NOT SAYING A WORD!


CHICKEN!

bryancobb
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What Type

Postby bryancobb » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:16 am

(insert name here) ___________________is a Sport Pilot CFI/DPE and the expert for ASA who writes the books and produces the DVD's for all pilots flying light sport aircraft.

What category of person would perform the keystrokes needed to create this text...and then hit enter>
Bryan Cobb

Sport Pilot CFI

Commercial/Instrument Airplane

Commercial Rotorcraft Helicopter

Cartersville, Ga

bryandcobb@att.net


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