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  • Private Pilot Q & A's

    I have a few questions for you guys who are Private Pilot certified..

    Im just shy of getting the Private, all I need is solo and dual XC's, and quite a bit more of ground... I have 60hrs (59.7 to be exact I think).

    I got the red gleim book to prepare for it, and I know I'd say quite a bit, maybe 80% or more of it already.

    As far as the ORAL, thats what Im worried as hell about... any tips, or some example question... how long did it last?

    And the actual checkride, how was yours... hard? Were you nervous.. ect..

    Thanks guys
    Ryan Davis
    Admin, FlyerGuide.Net
    www.flyerguide.net

  • #2
    OK, I live and die by the Gleim computer software for your written exam. It's the same as the book, but I gaurentee you high 90's if you study using that software. If your comfortable with the book that's great, but if you want to ace the exam go with the software. I worked at an FBO for 3 years and saw many poeple go through the private pilot program, and everyone who used that software scored high 90's.
    For the oral exam, I suggest buying the ASA Private Oral Exam Guide. It's a blue book, any pilot shop will have it. It basically has every question that could be asked in your oral. If you read through the book a few times you'll have it down. The oral can either be extremely hard or easy as cake. I know people have spent 14 hours in total during the oral portion of the exam, and others who have spent 30 minutes. It all depends on how well you study, so it's completely in your hands how easy the oral portion is. In my personal case, my examiner was big on if you don't know the answer, you sure as hell better know where to find it. So that's how mine went. If I didn't know the answer, I just had to find it before I was asked another question. I think most oral exams are like that. I'm pretty sure an examiner wont end your oral exam after you get a certain amount of questions wrong, unless you're getting insanely simple questions wrong repeatedly.
    As far as the checkride goes, everyone is nervous. But if you want to make a career out of flying, it's just one out of many many checkrides you will have throughout your life, so get used to them. The best advice I can give, is don't try to slide things by the examiner. If you're supposed to be at 70 kts on final and you're at 75, get to 70!!!! The examiner know's what's going on, even if he doesn't say anything about it. Second, know matter how crappy you're doing, don't get down on yourself. If you're still flying, and your examiner hasn't ended the flight yet, you obviously haven' failed yet. So keep plugging along and do your best. But the part about being nervous. I was nervous as hell, and it made me focused. So let it focus you. If you're well prepared and you're still nervous it's only natural. If you're nervous because you don't know everything then keep studying! Good luck with everything!

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    • #3
      The examiner up here is pretty leanient, if you make a minor mistake and realize what you did, and tell him, he usually lets it slide and moves on. And as far as the oral goes, hes usually quick and bases it off how well you do on the written and checkride. 14hrs though? Theres no way... thats unheard of... Ive heard of 3hrs and, and as little as 20min... but not 14hr.
      Ryan Davis
      Admin, FlyerGuide.Net
      www.flyerguide.net

      Comment


      • #4
        14 hours yes... it happened, it spanned over a few days of course.

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        • #5
          Ryan, while you probably wont get much out of it, studying the red gleim book is probably the easiest way to pass the written.

          As for the practical test, I reccomend you grab a copy of the Practical Test Standards (PTS). The PTS is a small book filled with all the possible things that can come up on the checkride (oral and flight). What I always do to study for a checkride is go through the whole book looking at each task. If the task says "aviation weather"-Forecasts and you feel you need review on it, get every book or other resource you have together and go to the index. Look up aviation forecasts and read up on them. If you feel you have a good grasp on something, still look it up, go over a few of the main points and then move on.

          I'd highly reccomend turning what you find into an outline. I started doing this later in my training and I wish I had started it sooner. You'll find as soon as you finish your checkride a lot of info will just dissapear. This outline would be a great review for later on.

          And as always, if you have any questions feel free to post them here. We're not gonna do the studying for you, but we'll at least help.

          Comment


          • #6
            I was pretty nervous before my P.P.L flight test, even more so than my C.P.L test lol. My test was just after lunch time, I knew I had to eat a good lunch otherwise Iíd be hungry during the test. I wasnít able to eat much at all because of my nerves, but in hindsight the test is nothing to be nervous about really. The examiner (the C.F.I) was really cool and laid back.

            Itís been a while since I sat the test and you live on the other side of the world so specific details about my test are probably irrelevant. Just try and be as relaxed as possible and treat it like any other flight. One thing that made me feel better before the test was that some people would surely have failed the P.P.L then gone on to become airline pilots, so failing isnít the end of the world.

            Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Messerschmitt Man
              One thing that made me feel better before the test was that some people would surely have failed the P.P.L then gone on to become airline pilots, so failing isnít the end of the world.
              Yup, nerves can kill you, I've unsatted 2 stage checks just because I did something stupid because I was nervous. Just fly it like its a regular flight and you'll be fine. Your instructor wont sign you off unless you're ready. Thankfully I have yet to unsat an oral, I freakin hate those.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by screaming_emu
                Thankfully I have yet to unsat an oral, I freakin hate those.
                I think this is where one difference is between NZ p.p.l and U.S.A p.p.l.

                In NZ for P.P.L; theory wise we need to pass 6 multi choice questions exam's (70% or more), before the flight test. With the flight test we can expect to be asked all manner of question's but it's informal like there's no specific oral section. In other words you'd be examining the engine (pre-flight) and the examiner would ask a few questions regarding the engine etc. Also in my flight test I had to do a mock W&B and flight plan.

                The oral exam in America sounds pretty intimidating.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Messerschmitt Man
                  I think this is where one difference is between NZ p.p.l and U.S.A p.p.l.

                  In NZ for P.P.L; theory wise we need to pass 6 multi choice questions exam's (70% or more), before the flight test. With the flight test we can expect to be asked all manner of question's but it's informal like there's no specific oral section. In other words you'd be examining the engine (pre-flight) and the examiner would ask a few questions regarding the engine etc. Also in my flight test I had to do a mock W&B and flight plan.

                  The oral exam in America sounds pretty intimidating.
                  here we have a written exam (well, its on a computer, but its called a written/knowledge exam) then you have an oral exam that is usually 2-3 horus for a PPL applicant and then the practical test.

                  the one I'm not looking forward to is the one at the end of my CFI course (this semester) where our school just made a rule that the oral MUST be at least 3 hours

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                  • #10
                    I had a very cool DE. Hour and a half oral, 1.0 on the hobbs for the flight portion.


                    If you keep up on the Gleim book you'll be fine. Know your airplane inside and out. Don't take the checkride until you're comfortable with all of the maneuvers in the PTS. It's really not that hard, and you'll likely over-prepare and come out thinking it was a piece of cake.
                    My photos on jp.net

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