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Private Pilot Oral Exam Questions

Posted by on June 27, 2010 21 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog Tags : , , , ,

My home office is an absolute mess and Mrs. Askacfi has finally had enough. She has let me know that it is time to clean my desk.  As a result of my recent organizing efforts I stumbled upon a old printout that helped me prepare for my Private Pilot Checkride. The title on the top of the page says it all, “Questions from an actual oral exam – Private Pilot”

“I sat in an oral exam for a private pilot checkrider on 11-24-98. The examiner asked the applicant the following questions.  Your questions may be much different.  Be aware that many of the questions asked were a result of the applicant’s answers to the previous questions.”

Here are the questions:

Private Pilot Oral Exam Questions:

  1. Is the information on your 8710 form correct?
  2. Did your instructor review the areas that you were deficient on your written test?
  3. Explain which documents must be on board the aircraft.
  4. What invalidates the airworthiness certificate?
  5. Which of the required documents on board an aircraft has to be in view?
  6. What are the required inspections for your aircraft?
  7. What are your private pilot privileges and limitations?
  8. What is a flight review?
  9. Do you need to log flight time?
  10. What are the various v-speeds for your aircraft?
  11. What would you want to maintain a Vy climb for a while after takeoff?
  12. When might you need to slow down below maneuvering speed?
  13. What is the effect of high density altitude on aircraft performance, and what three things contribute to high density altitude?
  14. Have you ever had carb ice? When do you use carb heat?
  15. What is the spin recovery procedure for your aircraft?
  16. Can you intentionally spin your aircraft according to the manufacturer limitations?
  17. Explain what you would do if a large aircraft departed just as you were coming in to land?
  18. What is the maximum allowable baggage your can put in the baggage compartment of your airplane?
  19. What are the various anti- or de-icing components on your aircraft, and which one is each (anti-or de-icing?).
  20. When would you use pitot heat?
  21. What is the total fuel on your aircraft, and how much of that is usuable?
  22. How are the fuel tanks vented to allow for air to replace fuel that is used?
  23. What powers the flaps?
  24. Would the engine quit if you lost electrical power?
  25. How would you identify an electrical failure?
  26. What are the required instruments and equipment for day VFR flight?
  27. Could you fly the airplane if a piece of non-required equipment was not operational? If so, what would you need to do?
  28. Could you fly the airplane if a piece of required equipment was not operational? If so, what you would need to do?
  29. What are the night VFR equipment requirements?
  30. Explain hypoxia and its symptoms.
  31. Explain hyperventilation and its symptoms.
  32. Explain the supplemental oxygen requirements.
  33. What would you do if you smelled exhaust fumes in the cockpit?
  34. Why do you have to avoid alcohol and certain over-the-counter drugs with respect to flying, when you are allowed to drive with, for example, immediately after having a few drinks?
  35. Explain the effects of excessive nitrogen in the blood.  Why might this be significant for you as a pilot?
  36. Where do Class A, B, C, D, E and G airspaces exist and show me them on a chart (if possible).
  37. What do you need to get into Class A airspace?
  38. What do you need to do to get into Class B airspace?
  39. What do you need to get into Class C airspace? Class D?
  40. If you called Flint approach control facility to enter Class C airspace, and the controller responded with “Aircraft calling Flint, standby,” could you enter the airspace? Why or why not?
  41. What are maximum elevation figures (on a chart)?
  42. Explain Military Operations Areas…where can you find information about specific MOAs depicted on your chart?
  43. How did you get the weather for today’s flight?
  44. Can we make today’s flight safely?
  45. What were the winds aloft?
  46. Any NOTAMS?
  47. How can you get windshear reports?
  48. Explain airmets and sigmets.
  49. Would you consider a sigment dangerous?
  50. Why did you choose 4500 as a cruise altitude?
  51. Explain the hemispherical rule. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_level)
  52. How would you activate your flight plan once airborne?
  53. Explain how your arrived at your computed heading and groundspeed for the first leg of the trip.
  54. Explain why you chose the checkpoints that you did.
  55. How will you determine the active runway at your destination (an uncontrolled airport)?
  56. What if you call the unicom and nobody answers?

Want some more practice for the oral exam?  I found this video on Google Video taken of an actual oral exam being conducted:



  1. Sample pilot oral exam questions - Golf Hotel Whiskey on Jul 01, 2010

    […] cleaning out his home office, one of the bloggers behind the AskaCFI blog stumbled upon an old copy of “Questions from an actual oral exam – Private Pilot.” He then noted that: I sat in an […]

  2. Brian on Jul 20, 2010

    Excellent post. I checkrode on 8/17/04…a lot of those questions looked familiar, and I surprised myself on knowing them, turns out I had forgotten that I knew that! Other questions though, all I could think was “I USED to know that”…

  3. Captain Rick on Sep 21, 2011

    Interesting seminar attended for designated pilot examiners included a statement that all oral practical test standards should be able to be completed within two hours. On one hand I found that complicated ratings might require more time and investigation of the applicant’s capabillities and on another the content and perameters of performance are to be assessed as a snap shot on the day examined. With careful preparation for giving a Private Pilot Single Engine Land exam I set up a PowerPoint presentation, not to hasten the oral evaluation process but to be all inclusive as to the task and areas of operation I am charged to find in place prior to flying with an applicant for his certificate. I found that all the areas of operation and tasks listed for the oral and prior to an actual flight test can be accomplished in anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. It all depends on the applicant’s competence and compliance understanding when delivering proof of knowledge and explainations about general aviation, generaly speaking. A working knowledge is all that is required because the rules and equipment last year are improved and updated each anniversary by the FAA. The best answer to having a Private Pilot oral exam go smoothly is to be prepared and speak openly about how operation of an aircraft safely and within the rules is accomplished. The fact that you plan to follow up after recieving your certificate by “walking the walk” with competence and compliance is all that you need to sell to the examiner on test day.

  4. yevgeniy n konikov on May 29, 2012

    please send me answers

  5. Mika yi Chen on Jul 24, 2012

    wow….nice post, i rly want answers too

  6. Dennis on Jul 26, 2012


  7. Ray on Aug 05, 2012

    Awesome Post!
    Any help/answers you can provide would be appreciated!


  8. Kraig on Aug 27, 2012

    would appreciate answers

  9. John on Sep 04, 2012

    great to be able to go over questions could you send answers to check my answers

  10. Paul Tocknell on Sep 04, 2012

    Ok guys. I’ll try and get some answers posted.


  11. Rick Friedman on Oct 04, 2012

    Great insight, and just what I was looking for. (An example of questions asked.) For me, I find searching for the answers (and knowing where to look) is a big part of the learning process and helps me really learn and understand the material. Cheers!

  12. Dennis Ratlief on Jul 28, 2013

    The questions are great, providing answers that us new pilots should already know is possibly not so good.

    I also let a lot of this information slip from my memory and need to return to the student manual. Working hard and long to perfect the basic maneuvers is ok, but if you don’t pass the oral, you don’t fly.

    Cross wind slips and brushing up for the oral exam and I hope I am ready to go.

  13. Bill Neiner on Mar 13, 2015

    Please send answers.

  14. Jairo on Apr 13, 2015

    The answers are for us to find out in that way we study just a little bid

  15. Naveed on Apr 14, 2015

    Please share the answers.

  16. fjb on Mar 31, 2016

    anyone get the answers.

  17. JAN RYD on Feb 11, 2017

    C’mon folks. Any of you who are serious about passing your private should already know that the examiner won’t expect you to know all answers. They WILL expect you to know most of the answers, and give you an opportunity to find the ones that you dont. No you can’t just Google it. Dont be lazy, Get familiar with the FAR/AIM.

  18. Mat on May 01, 2017

    I know all the answers, but only after failing once…cause depends on your character, and if you start to be nervous you could start to fail even in things you know perfectly.

  19. Ali on May 07, 2017

    please send me answers

  20. CARLOS Wild on May 07, 2017

    Hi I know this post is old but did you ever provide answers. I wanted to cross-check mine.

  21. kyungjun kim on May 10, 2017

    please send me answers

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