The following info is from: http://www.flighttrainingcoalition.com/Final%20Checkride%20Preparation.htm
After all the flying is done,
all the ground instruction complete, and all the stage checks
satisfactory, there is still one crucial step left to complete.
That is to prepare the paperwork and ensure that the student has
all the items that an examiner will need in order to conduct the
practical test. Nothing is quite as frustrating for all those
involved as to have a checkride not happen due to a paperwork
detail, a missing signature, or document. It is important
that both the flight instructor and applicant be knowledgeable
about these requirements, so let’s see if we can explain some of
the less well understood components of final checkride
Towards the end of the textual
information section of every Practical Test Standard is page
entitled “Applicant’s Practical Test Checklist” which lists
everything the applicant needs for the test. Let’s examine
this list item by item in order to re-acquaint ourselves with
The first section is entitled “Acceptable
Aircraft” and is shown below.
Logbook Record of
and AD Compliance
This list reflects the requirements of
61.45 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The regulation states,
among other things, that the applicant must supply an aircraft of
the applicable category, class, and type for the checkride. It
goes on to state that the aircraft must be capable of all required
tasks. This answers a lot of questions. For example, if the
airplane is not equipped for instrument flight then it may not be
used for a private pilot flight test, which requires the
demonstration of instrument flying skills. If there is a question
about the use of a specific aircraft, refer to 61.45 and ask the
examiner for a final ruling if still in doubt.
It is obvious to most that the
Airworthiness Certificate, Registration, and Operating Handbook
must be available, but less obvious is why we must furnish the
aircraft maintenance records. The explanation goes like
this. On every flight test where the applicant furnishes an
aircraft, it must be an airworthy aircraft, and therefore the
applicant must be able to prove airworthiness by means of aircraft
maintenance records that meet the requirements of Part 43. One
often missing item is a ELT inspection endorsement which is
separate and at a different interval from the ELT battery
replacement requirements. Also an Airworthiness Directive
compliance checklist must be furnished that lists all AD’s for
that aircraft with compliance shown where applicable.
Interestingly, a 100 hour inspection is not specifically required
for a checkride, because although the aircraft may be a rental,
the flight test is not a “for-hire” flight. There may be
recurring AD’s requiring attention every 100 hours, however, so
take care that these have been complied with in such a case. One
final word on airworthiness; the aircraft must also pass a visual
inspection. An examiner or inspector has a perfect right to not
get into an aircraft that they consider un-airworthy based on a
The next section of the
Applicant’s Checklist is Personal Equipment, which is listed
Airport Facility Directory, and Appropriate publications
Remember the view limiting device if
instrument tasks will be required. It is not up to the examiner to
remind the applicant about this. Charts must be current and a
flight computer and plotter should be available. Can we use an
electronic computer? No device is specifically prohibited,
although the whiz wheel may be a better tool in the airplane. Even
though it may not be appropriate, I have seen some examiners
demand the use of the manual computer. The rest is fairly self
explanatory. Make sure that all publications are current, and if
the instrument tasks using an IFR approved GPS will be performed,
ensure that the GPS database is current. Outdated Data and
publications send an unfavorable message to the examiner.
The final area of the applicant’s
checklist is Personal Records.
Photo/Signature ID issued by a US or Foreign government
Medical Certificate (any class is OK for any checkride)
FAA Form 8710-1, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application
Knowledge Test Report (original with raised embossed seal from
with appropriate Instructor Endorsements (think three)
8060-5, Notice of Disapproval (if applicable)
School Graduation Certificate (if applicable)
Fee (if applicable)
Starting with Identification, this must
be a photo ID with a signature that is issued by a government
agency. It must be current and valid. A driver’s license is most
common. At least a valid third class medical
certificate is required as well as a valid pilot certificate. One
problem that comes up occasionally is the difference between the
duration of a 3rd class medical and a student pilot
certificate. Even though these documents are typically printed on
the same piece of paper, they have different durations. The 3rd
class medical is valid for 36 calendar months for those under the
age of 40 years, while the student pilot certificate is only valid
for 24 calendar months. In rare cases where pilot training has
taken longer than two years, an applicant may show up for the
checkride with a valid medical but an expired student pilot
certificate. The checkride cannot start until this is remedied,
and the examiner may not have the proper form or authorization to
issue a new student pilot certificate.
8710-1 APPLICATION or IACRA
(IACRA website is: https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/Default.aspx
(on line) Airman Certification and/or Rating Application)*
* The online application system is the
future. Please use this system unless unable to do so for some
reason. It takes a little effort to get registered but it makes
everyone's life easier in the end and will result in getting your
permanent pilot certificate more quickly. If unable please contact
me. See below for 8710-1 instructions.
Next, let’s look at the 8710-1 form
which is the practical test application. It is best for the
instructor and student to fill this out together so that errors
are minimized. Instructors have been known to sign the bottom of
the form, hand it to the student and say “Here, fill this out
and bring it to your checkride.” This is not a good practice and
usually results in errors that must be corrected prior to starting
Let’s start with the form itself. These
days the form is usually printed from a computer file. A PDF file
for the 8710-1 can be downloaded from the following link: http://forms.faa.gov/forms/faa8710-1a.pdf
. The form must be an exact duplicate of the
printed FAA form and must include the shaded sections in area III,
Record of Pilot Time. Apparently some printers don’t print the
shading, or print it in a pink or green color. Forms with these
and other printing defects will be rejected because FAA Airman
Records division archives these forms on microfiche, and the
shaded areas must photograph clearly for a legible copy.
It is best to have the front and back of
the form printed on one sheet of paper. This can easily be done by
printing the current page only (making sure that the windows
curser is on page 1 of the form), taking the paper out of the
printer and putting it back so that it will print on the other
side, moving the curser to the second page and printing this page
only. The form contains an instruction sheet and if the
instructions are followed exactly, there will be fewer errors. In
brief, here are some common mistakes that can be avoided with a
On the very top of the form: Check the
boxes that apply including what type of checkride (private,
commercial, instrument, ATP, etc) and what category and class
of aircraft is being used. Don’t check the Private box in
addition to the Instrument box for an instrument checkride.
Box A should include three names or two
names followed by the notation NMN, which signifies no middle
name when no middle name exists. If a Hispanic name includes
the mothers name after the fathers, as is often the case, it
looks like four names. Actually it is only three names because
the fathers name followed by the mothers constitutes one name.
It should be written as: fathers name (space) mothers name,
first name, middle name.
Place of birth is city and state, or if
outside the USA, city and country.
if other than US should be the name of the country, i.e.
Denmark not Danish.
Height should be in inches and eye and
hair color should be spelled out, even though they may have
been abbreviated on the medical certificate.
Yes, a student pilot certificate is a FAA
pilot certificate and it has a number that typically starts
with two letters like FF or EE. Include these in the
certificate number. The issue date is the date on the pilot
certificate, not the day of the previous checkride.
The medical examiners name should include
MD or whatever type of medical designation is included in the
examiner name block of the medical certificate.
In area II of the 8710-1, at least one
box should be checked including Box A.
If box C is checked (graduate of an
approved course) the date should be the date on the graduation
certificate. This is important because the entire test must be
completed within 60 days from this date in order to use the
graduation certificate in lieu of part 61 experience
requirements. Part 61.71 spells this out. Unfortunately there
is no remedy if the 60 days have passed except to meet part 61
requirements for the certificate or rating sought.
Box D must be checked and filled out
anytime eligibility for the test is dependent on a foreign
pilot certificate. For example, a pilot who holds a FAA
restricted Private Pilot Certificate based on a valid
foreign pilot certificate, and who is testing for a FAA
instrument rating, must check Box D. In addition, if this box
is checked, the pilot must have previously submitted the
“Foreign Pilot Identification Form” to the Airman Records
Division of the FAA in Oklahoma City. Contact your local
Flight Standards District office or www.faa.gov. for more information. Do not delay
submitting this form, it can take up to three months to
receive the required letter of authorization to take the
checkride. This letter must be submitted to the examiner.
Area III should include all pilot time.
Only the pilot time required for the test must be entered, but
it is best to have all pilot time recorded here. Some day if a
logbook is lost or destroyed, the pilot can request a copy of
this form from the FAA and use it as an aide to reconstruct
the lost logbook.
The applicant must sign and date the
application and note whether he or she has previously failed a
test for this certificate or rating.
The recommending instructor must sign and
date the form in the applicable area on the back of the form.
The instructors name and certificate number must be legible,
and the date should be the same or later than the date entered
by the applicant on the front of the application.
These are the most common areas of
confusion that are seen on the 8710-1 form.
KNOWLEDGE TEST REPORT
The original copy of the knowledge test
report must be presented at the time of application. Make sure
that the test report has the testing center embossed seal, which
is required and is sometimes missing.
The examiner must verify all the required
times in the pilots flight record or logbook and this flight time
must be logged in accordance with 61.51. There is a real problem
on commercial checkrides with missing experience, so it is best to
locate each requirement of appropriate aeronautical experience in
the logbook instead of assuming that “it must be there
somewhere”. Also a missing instructor endorsement of a dual
flight disqualifies it as instruction received. You may round down
the required numbers but never round up. 2.9 is not three. A 248NM
cross country flight is not 250NM, and make sure that
straight-line distances are used for mileages when required.
Next, let’s check required logbook
endorsements. It is easiest for the instructor to “think
three”, meaning that if there are less than three endorsements
for any checkride, we should ask ourselves if something has been
omitted. It is true that the instructor may word
endorsements as he or she sees fit, and may combine all the
required statements in one endorsement. But why not make it simple
for the examiner?
The three are:
A logbook or training record endorsement from the
instructor who prepared the student for the required knowledge
test (if required), or reviewed the home study course that the
student used to prepare for the test.
An endorsement from the instructor who has accomplished the
required training and can attest that the student has met all the
aeronautical experience requirements, and is competent to perform
at the level required for the certificate or rating sought.
An endorsement that states that the student has had
training time within the preceding 60 days, that the student is
prepared for the test, and has been found knowledgeable in areas
shown deficient on his or her airman knowledge test.
This third endorsement is often missing
and some instructors don’t seem to understand that it is
required. It reflects 61.39 and is always required when an
endorsement is required for the checkride. Advisory circular AC
61-65D has the requirement for this endorsement buried in the
Prerequisites for a Practical Test paragraph, and perhaps this is
why it is so often overlooked. The appendix of this AC has sample
endorsements for every other conceivable need except this one, go
Anytime a complex or high performance
airplane is used for the flight test, the applicant must be
endorsed appropriately, and if it has been more than 24 months
since the last checkride, there must be an endorsement for the
successful completion of a flight review.
If the checkride is a retest, make sure
that the notice of disapproval is available. The examiner must
have this in order to give the applicant credit for any previously
passed areas. Also, a new application must be filled out, and one
additional endorsement must be entered in the logbook.
If the applicant is testing based on
graduation from an approved course, the graduation certificate
must be presented. Make sure that the flight school has issued a
graduation certificate that meets the requirements of part 141.95.
Some schools don’t include all the required information and
statements on part 141 graduation certificates.
Finally, make sure that the examiners fee
is available at the start of the checkride. The fee should be paid
when the examiner requests it, which should be sometime before the
official start of the test. If the school is paying the checkride,
make sure that arrangements have been made to pay the examiner at
Ensure that all aeronautical experience requirements have
been met. If there is any question about this, call the examiner
and ask for clarification.
Fill out the 8710-1 form carefully and neatly in ink or
using a typewriter or computer. Follow the instructions, and once
again call the examiner to resolve any questions. Make sure
instructor and applicant have signed and dated the application.
Bring the original copy of the knowledge test results and
make sure that it has the testing center embossed seal on it.
Bring the graduation certificate, notice of disapproval, or
letter of discontinuance if applicable.
Bring the valid letter of authorization received in
response to the Foreign Pilot Identification form, if applicable.
Check the logbook for at least three instructor
endorsements (under most circumstances).
If the practical test requires a navigational problem
(private, instrument, commercial do), have the flight planning
complete by the appointment time.
Do weight and balance and takeoff and landing distance
calculations. For multiengine tests, calculate single engine
climb performance, single engine service ceiling, accelerate/stop
distance and accelerate/go distance. If unfamiliar with any of
these calculations, remedy the situation prior to the test.
Have a complete weather briefing printed out including
charts listed in the PTS if available.
Have all appropriate aircraft maintenance records
Have an acceptable view limiting device available.
Bring a valid photo ID, pilot and medical certificates.
Make a final check of all the items in the PTS Applicants
Practical Test Checklist.
In this age of increased international security, it
doesn’t hurt to have copies of passport and visa if the
applicant is not a US citizen. In some cases it may be required.
By double checking these items we can
start the practical test smoothly and quickly and make the initial
meeting with the examiner friendly and less stressful. Having
every T crossed and every I dotted shows the examiner that the
instructor and applicant care enough about the practical test to
do their homework. This saves time and effort at checkride
time and helps everyone involved to focus on the task at hand, the
FAA Practical Test. Good Luck and safe flying.