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2 Answers

Really need advice

Asked by: 2359 views Private Pilot, Student Pilot

Hey everyone, ok so this is about the most dejected I've felt on my entire journey to get my PPL, and I could really use some advice.

So, I had some personal stuff happen and I had to postpone taking my PPL Checkride.  I also moved 1100 miles.  It happens.  After not flying for about 3 months I just couldn't take it called up a local FBO and went on a 1hr flight with a CFI there and we talked about finishing my PPL and what it would cost.  Cost was unfortunately a really big issue for me.  They didn't have any planes I'd ever flown before so I was going to have to get checked out in one of theirs redo a ton of stuff, then rent and do my long XC and it honestly was going to be cost prohibitive.  


My old CFI had a suggestion, I went back to my old FBO and we borrowed a friend of his' plane and granted I wasn't familiar in it at all, but he I was just paying for gas.  I managed to get together some money and knocked out the only PPL requirement I had left and set up the appt. with the DE.  Ended up having to spend a ton of money to be able to rent a plane to take the checkride in... Aced the written, aced the oral... couldn't take the actual checkride because of issues with the plane... so wasted more money on a rental plane for nothing.  Now the weather has been so bad if we took off the DE would hand me the pink slip that second.  And the worst part is the weather is gorgeous... lol, the wind is just gusting to like 30 kts.


The DE I scheduled with and took the oral with isn't available after today, so I have to pay another DE to take a test I've already taken and passed, plus the practical either way.  If I go back home I have to get checked out in an even different aircraft, rent the plane, fly to the DE and back, which really isn't an option because I simply can't afford it.  If I wait around here much longer and hope the weather gets better (which it isn't supposed to on any free day for a DE) I probably get fired... or do I try to fly to a DE farther away where I don't know the area, waste more money on the rental, and risk failing because I get lost in some random place I've never been (yes I realize one could argue you should be a good enough pilot not to get lost, but you get my point.  Why set yourself up for a harder test?)?  Of course it's Sunday too so I've only even been able to get in touch with 1 DE in a 150 mile radius.

I guess I'm so frustrated because I'M FINISHED!!! I did everything!  Not to mention how much money I just spent the past week... and now I can't afford to take the test I've already paid for!!!!  And retake the super stressful 1/3 of it that I already passed!  And I'm even more infuriated because the checkride should be so easy, I've been flying since I was like 10, just never got the PPL, I have time logged in complex a/c, high performance, low wing, high wing, tail draggers, aerobatics!, I've flown in snow, landed on icy runways, etc... I can fly!

Anyway, I'm obviously just halfway venting, but I really am seriously open to any and all advice any CFIs might have.  I mean quitting literally with like all 10 toes in the door seems crazy, but I just don't see how I can make this happen.  It hurts even contemplating giving up on something I worked this hard for, especially when I've already finished it, but I really can't see any other option.

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2 Answers

  1. Brian Curry on Jan 19, 2014

    You have had some really bad luck. First thing I would recommend is get settled at your new home. Then embark on the process of completing your private license. It sounds like you have an completed all the Private Pilot requirements, and have the proper endorsements.

    The endorsements you will need again will be, “3 hours in preparation for the practical test within 60 days”, and ” Flight Proficiency/Practical test endorsement”. It sounds like you can earn these with your previous instructor, or work with a new instructor at the place you live now. I would recommned the latter. I think your need to build your flying activities in the place you live now, and that includes doing a checkout in a new plane, and working to building the trust and confidence of a new instructor. Once you have this trust, getting the endorsmnets is possible, and that instrictor will almost certainly have a DE he knows that can give you a check ride.

    I have a student that is in a similar position. He came to me already solo’ed, with almost 70 hours in his log book. I have checked him out and solo’ed him in a PA-28. We have flown one long dual cross country, and one night cross country. He has flown one solo cross country, and will need to fly one more. Then we need to polish his GRM, steep turns and landings. And then checkride. I see this happening in March. We live in the NorthEast, were weather is always a delaying factor. If he can do it, so can you.

    Good Luck,


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  2. Kris Kortokrax on Jan 19, 2014


    It sounds as if you did the oral recently. If you passed the oral and could not finish the practical because of an issue with the airplane, the DE should have issued you a Letter of Discontinuance which would give you credit for having passed the oral. That letter is good for 2 calendar months after you took the test. (I know the reg reads 60 days, but the reg needs updating. Everything else to do with the practical is based on 2 calendar months)

    See 61.43 (e) & (f). If you have trouble convincing your DE to give you the letter, take the matter up with his Principal Operations Inspector at the FSDO. You should be able to schedule with any other examiner, present the Letter of Discontinuance and not have to repeat the oral.

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