Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




flyingm2
01-23-2019, 06:05 PM
CFI-Initial Checkride (Airplane) 01/06/2019 Write-up
By: Matt M.
Note: The write-up below is from my CFI Initial checkride. Do not use any of this information for training or for checkride preparation. Always refer to your CFI, the PTS and other study documents for preparation.

Oral Exam:
0900, Saturday, January 5, 2019: I arrived at the airport about 15 minutes prior to start- and my DPE was already in the conference room, set up and ready. I have done 2 checkrides with this particular DPE before, so we were not strangers to each other. I shook his hand and began getting out all of my materials for the oral. I brought: Lesson plans I had borrowed from a friend, outlines for those lesson plans that were made by me from scratch, AC 61-65H, FAR/AIM (most important one), Airplane Flying Handbook, Aviation Instructor Handbook, notebook paper, and my MacBook. He looked at my ID stuff, checked my endorsements**, chose all of the stuff we were to do all day from the PTS, and we began.
He gave me a scenario that he said we would use for the entire oral, which turned out to be quite true. The scenario was this: you have a 23-year old female from Sweden, she is 105lbs, 5’11”, 4-year degree, she also has a biker boyfriend tattoo guy on probation. She tells me “I want to learn to fly and become an airline pilot”.
The first thing he asked (which really threw me off) was about how she, being a non-US citizen, would obtain the ability to flight train in the United States. I ended up looking up an AOPA article and went through the procedures. We went over a lot of professionalism items concerning the situation like remaining professional in the cockpit and assuring that as instructors our two main goals are safety and being professionals. He also asked about good assessment and good critique for the student. This part lasted about 30 minutes.
After that we moved into endorsements and requirements for student pilots, so I opened up my FAR/AIM to 61.87. We talked for about 15 minutes about items and regulations for student pilots. We talked about endorsements required for a solo XC into a Class Bravo, however I assured to the DPE that as a CFI there will never be a time that I would (even with the training) allow a student solo to Class B/KCLT.
We then moved in to Navigation and Flight Planning (DPE let me choose this from the subject areas). He told me to open my sectional and teach him all about how to plan a flight from HBI-ILM. I described choosing good way-points, and my thoughts on that. I explained the airspace on the route of flight, and special use airspace near FAY.
Next, we spent about 30 minutes talking solely on Runway Incursion. This was a big portion of the oral, and is a required section from the PTS. He had me teach him about it and led me into what I didn’t hit on with questions. I explained looking outside, sterile cockpit, etc. Anything you could possibly think of for it.
After that, the pizza came so we took a lunch break. We both ate in the conference room and watched magic trick videos on YouTube on the break!
After lunch we talked about Operations of Systems. This was about 20-30 minutes and went over everything listed under that section of the pts. Systems wasn’t a high point for me, but I felt prepared enough for what he asked me- fairly basic stuff about engine, prop, electrical systems, flight controls, and other things like anti-ice vs de-ice.
Lastly, I taught him my lesson on Chandelles. I felt very prepared as I had already made up outlines that were 100% my own. I gave an intro, what it was, why, and then how we do it. He seemed to enjoy it, and I had fun while teaching it. Before the maneuver I even asked him a question “Now what do we do before we start ANY maneuver?” He laughed and we both said, “Clearing turns!” at the same time.
After that, the oral portion was complete. Total time was about 4 hours, 4.5 including lunch. The winds at HBI were across the runway at 19knts so I postponed the flight to the next day, Sunday. I explained to Greg my reasoning that as a prospective CFI, I wouldn’t take a student up for maneuvers in that kind of wind. He agreed. I flew back home with my instructor and flew back to Siler City (did oral in HBI-Asheboro) the next day.

Flight Portion (Sunday 1/6/19)

The flight portion was different from what I thought. It was definitely more thorough that what I originally thought. I flew 100% of the checkride, taught all of the maneuvers I performed, and he also asked me common errors from students on each task. He also really emphasized the importance of scanning for traffic and visual scanning.
These were the all items that I flew and taught- chronological order. Clearing turns in between each maneuver.
o Taxiing
o Normal Takeoff
o Power On Stall (full)
o Cross-Control Stall (imminent)
o Straight Climbs, Climbing Turns
o Chandelles
o Explained 5 different emergency malfunction items that I would tell a student to be aware of.
o Emergency approach and landing (from 5,500)- We were only 3-4SE of SCR, but wind was from NW, GS was about 45knts, so I descended and entered a normal traffic pattern. He explained I had good energy management and used my altitude wisely.
o Go Around
o Eights-on-Pylons
o S-Turns Across a Road
o Unusual Attitudes
o Normal Landing
o Soft Field Takeoff
o Soft Field Landing

My Best Advice to You:

I’m sure you have all heard the stories about long orals and disapprovals on the CFI checkride and I want to let you know that the reality is different…This is a big checkride, no doubt, but If you do your preparation and prepare you will be just fine. I know I sound like a broken record, but it is true. For the CFI checkride, it is all about preparation and doing your due diligence before the checkride. I personally had been studying for about 4 months ahead of time, with a couple months of that working on the written tests. The last part of November and December however, I considered checkride prep and met with my instructor no less than once per week for ground and fly, also. Endorsements/regulations on certificates and Runway Incursion were the two biggest areas on my oral, but do NOT overlook the FOIs. Another piece of advice is that you do NOT have to know everything, just know where to look it up- just like with my example of the alien student program. Lastly, make sure and don’t overlook anything though, and never assume anything on this checkride.

My experience with my CFI checkride was great! My DPE was awesome and my checkride was fair. My oral was about 4-4.5 hours and my flight (the next day because of weather) was about 1.8. Looking from a whole it seems like a lot, but it went by quickly. The reward of passing my checkride (and on the first try!) is a great feeling, and I am looking forward to and excited about giving back to the aviation community by instructing!

My goal with this write-up is to ease the nerves of future CFIs going in to their checkride- I hope that it will do just that. Whether you are preparing for your big day or just wondering what a CFI initial is like in 2019, I wish everyone blue skies and safe flying always! Please email me with any questions.

All the best,

Matt M.
[email protected]
CFI- 01/06/2019


Flaps8posrate
01-24-2019, 05:11 PM
Great write uo!!
You’ll do well as an instructor!!

JamesNoBrakes
01-24-2019, 05:34 PM
I like hearing that the oral was a reasonable amount of time (for a CFI check).


TiredSoul
01-24-2019, 08:23 PM
Good stuff Matt, congrats!

USAFFlightEng
01-28-2019, 12:00 PM
Congrats on the pass! I also passed my initial CFI on the 19th after busting the oral the first time in December. My DPE was very big on weather knowledge and wanted me to explain a lot about fronts and air masses which was not something I had studied anytime recently and he could tell. My oral lasted about 5 hours with a lunch break and lots of BS'ing on various aviation topics. Recheck oral was about an hour of weather grilling and going over aviationweather.gov and 1800wxbrief products. My flight sounded very similar to yours except my DPE flew a little bit to include the emergency descent and landing while I talked him through it and critiqued his performance. We did a power off stall right into an elevator trim stall and steep spiral being about the only difference in maneuvers.

kaputt
01-28-2019, 05:25 PM
Congrats on the pass! Really good write up for those of us working toward the check ride.


My DPE was very big on weather knowledge and wanted me to explain a lot about fronts and air masses which was not something I had studied anytime recently and he could tell.
It's such a shame the FAA can't figure out how to standardize this stuff more. One DPE is big on weather, the next is huge on FOI, and the next is all in on soft field landings because his great uncle killed himself at a wet grass strip.

Kstoves
01-28-2019, 06:10 PM
Congrats on the pass! Really good write up for those of us working toward the check ride.



It's such a shame the FAA can't figure out how to standardize this stuff more. One DPE is big on weather, the next is huge on FOI, and the next is all in on soft field landings because his great uncle killed himself at a wet grass strip.

I think it’s the reality that comes with testing someone on a ton of information in a relatively short time. Lots of discrepancy is inevitable

theonlyski
01-31-2019, 05:43 AM
Congrats on the pass!


He gave me a scenario that he said we would use for the entire oral, which turned out to be quite true. The scenario was this: you have a 23-year old female from Sweden, she is 105lbs, 5’11”, 4-year degree, she also has a biker boyfriend tattoo guy on probation. She tells me “I want to learn to fly and become an airline pilot”.

My third private student was a 100lb 17 year old Italian girl (non-citizen) working on her 4-year degree who wants to be an airline pilot (though her boyfriend isn't a biker from what I know).

You'd never think that case would come up, but sure enough, they're out there!