Simply put, it's all about preparation. The more practice you have, the more you've been flying recently, and the more you've studied the required material, the more routine the whole experience will seem.
- Learn The Practical Test Standards (PTS)
These are the rules that tell you what to expect and govern how the Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) will judge your performance. If you know them well, there should be no surprises on the Big Day.
- Learn The Required Knowledge
Of all the books I've tried, the most well organized and comprehensive is published by the government. The FAA publication FAA-H-8083-25, otherwise known as the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (available from Amazon.com in print form), is incredibly helpful. Not only that, but it's available for free on-line. Your tax dollars at work.
- Use VideosIn addition to all the reading, I'm a big fan of using DVDs to reinforce what I need to know. I wrote about this previously in FAA Private Pilot Test Prep DVDs from King Schools vs. Sporty's, but the quick version is this: get the King Schools DVDs. They're a little cheesy but very useful.
- Practice, Practice, Practice.
Simply put, fly a lot. And try to get to the point that you're doing all the required maneuvers well within the tolerances specified in the PTS (see point #1). Then you'll have some wiggle room when it comes to the test day and you're a bit nervous.
Find out what you can in advance about your DPE. Ask others who've had check rides with him or her recently. Are there particular areas that seem to get more attention? Brush up on those.
- Get Organized
Make a list of all the materials you need for the Big Day and have them together the night before. You don't want to be scrambling around looking for paperwork on the morning of your test.
Of course, I had help...
Thanks to the instructors at Amelia Reid Aviation who've been flying with me off an on for the last year or so, especially Jim Grant and Dave Gray. If you're looking for primary flight training or tailwheel transition in the Bay Area, I highly recommend them. Thanks also to Al, the resident mechanical genius, for keeping the plane in flying shape. :-)
Other pilots reading this, please add your comments below. What did you do that really helped in preparation for your checkride.
Others posts about my flight training:
- Citabria Checkride Practice Maneuvers
- What a Difference Six Hours of Flying Makes
- Short Field Landings and Learning Plateaus
- FAA Private Pilot Test Prep DVDs from King Schools vs. Sporty's
- First Solo Cross-Country Flight Completed
- Night Flight Training Completed
- The Long Flight Home in Citabria N5156X (almost)
- Cross Country Flight Planning Fun: Houston to San Jose
- FAA High Altitude Training and Chamber Flight at Beale AFB
- David Clark Aviation Headsets: Highly Recommended
What'd I miss?
Posted by jzawodn at February 03, 2007 06:11 PM