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Checkride is scheduled!


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Holy crap.

It's finally happening.

A year and two months, 60 glorious hours of flying, countless hours of studying, and lots of hard-earned cash later, my Private checkride is scheduled. Had the weather been more cooperative, it probably would have happened a month or two ago, but what can you do. We low-timers are servants to the weather gods.

So the date is June 5th, which is next Sunday. My instructor feels confident in my flying and ground, so I'm feeling pretty good. I'm going to use my remaining days to study my arse off anyway, and hopefully get at least one flight in before the ride.

Do you veterans or recently-licensed pilots have any tips for the big day? Any sacrifices that have proved particularly appeasing to the weather gods? Any areas that you felt unprepared for or that the examiner spent more time on than you expected? It's comforting to know I can bring and reference books, but I want to know what to expect as much as possible so I don't have to look unprepared rifling through the FAR/AIM.

Your advice is, as always, super appreciated!

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Congratulations! My PPLH was also on June 5th a few years ago. It is a great feeling to get that first license out of the way. My personal experience was that the private check ride was the hardest by far. You had to know an awful lot about a WIDE range of subjects and regulations.

 

If your instructor has endorsed you, then you are likely ready for the ride. Here is my one piece of advice. BE The PIC. Taking on that attitude is crucial in my opinion. Not some "I know it all" cocky attitude mind you. Just BE the PIC.

 

Have an excellent ride, and let us all know of your success on June 5th!

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My first piece of advice is this: Relax! The night before the check ride, don't study. You know it all, so losing sleep and stressing out won't do you any good. Watch your favorite movie, eat a good meal and go to bed on time. Wake up early enough to get a decent breakfast, and again... RELAX.

 

Also, during the flying portion if you're not sure what the examiner wants you to do, ask him to clarify. I did a perfect shallow approach and run-on landing when I took my PPL ride. Took it all the way down to the wrong taxiway. I should have double-checked with him that that's where I should have gone. He didn't fail me, but I'm sure he could have if he wanted to.

 

My PPL was a few years ago so I don't really remember what all we talked about. All I know is it was a really short oral exam, and I was nervous as heck when I shouldn't have been.

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My hands were so sweaty that I had trouble keeping the throttle down in the auto. In retrospect, a golf glove for my left hand may have been a good idea?

:lol:

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Congratulations! I totally agree with ADRidge try to relax. The standard is not perfection, your examiner expects you to perform to certain standards of a private license, and "usually" they are pretty understanding. You don't have to know all the answers word for word, as long as you know where to find the answer. Some good advice that I got which allowed me to relax a bit was "what is the worst that could happen? You fail?" oddly helped a bit, even though at that time I'm sure I could have thought of worse consequences. Good luck, and enjoy it!

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Congratulations! My PPLH was also on June 5th a few years ago. It is a great feeling to get that first license out of the way. My personal experience was that the private check ride was the hardest by far. You had to know an awful lot about a WIDE range of subjects and regulations.

 

If your instructor has endorsed you, then you are likely ready for the ride. Here is my one piece of advice. BE The PIC. Taking on that attitude is crucial in my opinion. Not some "I know it all" cocky attitude mind you. Just BE the PIC.

 

 

 

Excellent advice, the examiner is wanting to see your "command ability". You need the mindset that the other person is not an examiner but someone you are taking for a ride. He wants to see that you are in control of the helicopter and your environment. If you are not sure what he wants, ask.

 

Most examiners are not there to bust you and are very understanding about the situation you are in.

Most will be as much instructors as checkers.

 

Good luck.

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All this advice above is really great advice. The only other thing I can think of would be don't try to BS anything. If you get asked something your not sure about or don't know be honest and tell the examiner you don't know. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

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1. read the PTS

2. Relax

3. Enjoy the flight back home knowing you are now a helicopter pilot. Remember the private is your first license to learn

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All this advice above is really great advice. The only other thing I can think of would be don't try to BS anything. If you get asked something your not sure about or don't know be honest and tell the examiner you don't know. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

 

Taken from the guide mentioned above.

 

When asked a question and you honestly don’t know the answer, NEVER say “I don’t know”. Simply say, you’d like some time to think about it and if it’s okay with him, you’d like come back to that question later on. At that time, he may suggest you go ahead a take a look at your reference material and find the answer. This is a green light to crack the books. Remember, you can’t possibly know everything, but you must know where to find it and this is where you demonstrate that skill.

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...All great advice. This is one of the really good uses of this forum. To be able to take advantage of the amazing community of pilots and to know that you are supported and among friends.

 

The Private Pilot Checkride is probably both the worst one and the easiest one. It's the worst because it's your first and it is a great mystery what is to come. And when it's over you think to yourself "what was I so nervous about?" :-)

 

Along the lines of "please try to remember to relax", I would also say that it should be fun. As long as you are not with one of (those types) of examiners...the checkride can also be an educational experience. Be sure to ask lots of questions of your examiner if you don't understand what he is asking.

 

Think of the experience as a fun challenge and a celebration of how far you've come and how much you've learned.

 

Best wishes!

Lou

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Thanks so much for all the replies, guys. It's a little daunting going into the first checkride (of many I hope!) without having realistic expectation to prep myself, but it's comforting to hear your advice and support. I feel pretty well-prepared in general. There are always little things I forget or areas I don't feel 100% on when looking over the FAR/AIM or study guides, but that's normal, right? Plus, it's unfortunately been a crazy week that hasn't afforded me much study time. I will get one last flight in on Saturday before the ride, so stick skills should be as tight as ever. Keep your fingers crossed for me - I'll let you know how it goes!

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I feel pretty well-prepared in general. There are always little things I forget or areas I don't feel 100% on when looking over the FAR/AIM or study guides, but that's normal, right? Plus, it's unfortunately been a crazy week that hasn't afforded me much study time. I will get one last flight in on Saturday before the ride, so stick skills should be as tight as ever. Keep your fingers crossed for me - I'll let you know how it goes!

 

Totally normal. No one is expecting you to be perfect for your PPL ride. Your instructor would not sign you off if they weren't confident you can pass.

 

Good luck.

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