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6 Answers

INITIAL CFI CHECKRIDE

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Flight Instructor

I'm going for my Initial CFI Checkride in 1.5 weeks, flying a Piper Arrow.  Does anyone have any good tips?  KMKC  Kansas City FSDO.  02/22/2012

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6 Answers



  1. Bill Trussell on Feb 11, 2012

    You should review the logs for the aircraft you are going to use against all the required inspections to ensure that the aircraft meets all the requirements.  Mark the logs with sticky notes citing the regs that the entry satisfies.  This will demonstrate  you are well prepared for the ride.  Make sure you get them all, like the ELT inspection and the like.  If the aircraft does not meet the requirements you are not going very far.
    Be prepared with lesson plans that can be modified to meet the needs of the scenarios given to you.  You will be acting as PIC during your checkride so do not forget to brief the examiner prior to departure and on arrival prior to landing.  They like to slip out of their shoulder harnesses just to see if you are paying attention.
    Be ready to modify your teaching style to meet the needs of the student they are protraying.  They will like to see how you adapt to changing scenarios.
    Other than that, the checkride is straightforward assuming you are well prepared.  Get plenty of rest leading up to the checkride as it will likely be a long day for you but very rewarding when it is all done.
    Good luck from all of us!

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  2. Earl Kessler on Feb 11, 2012

    Bring all of your study materials along. If a question comes up you can’t answer immediately, excuse yourself while you research the answer and take your time. You are there NOT to prove you have all of the answers, but to show that you have the resources to mindfully research the question and come up with the right answer. Don’t try to wing it. If you are unsure, don’t guess, be Zen-like, focus your energy on quietly researching and be ready to show how you got to the solution. The examiner is not there to intimidate you but just as an impartial judge. Most of all, if you do it right, it should be an enjoyable discussion about a topic you love.

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  3. Tom on Feb 13, 2012

    All I can suggest is know your FOI, That’s where I got got burned first time. And do not throw answers around, Like said, if you aren’t 100pct sure, check for correct answer.

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  4. Pete Kemble on Feb 14, 2012

    FOI, 61-65E, FAR/AIM, AFH and the PHAK. There’s not much I can add that hasn’t been written about initial CFI rides (I did mine a little over a month ago at the Boston FSDO).
    Mine was also in the arrow, so for something particular to that…know the numbers, know the proper recovery sequence from a stall (lower the nose, full power, 3rd notch, gear, Vy, rest of the flaps IN THAT ORDER), be able to demonstrate an emergency gear extension (pull the breaker, get below 87kts), and finally be able to explain how the prop works (http://www.mccauley.textron.com/von_klip_tip_cs_propeller.pdf)
    Also – never stop talking in the plane. Teach EVERYTHING. 
    As for the oral, mine was on the easy side. Things he brought up that were my weak spots / didn’t know about were Special Type certificates, Special flight waivers, i.e. getting permission to fly something otherwise not airworthy / experimental (sorry I can’t be more specific…) MELs from the FSDO, and KOELs. 
    Be prepared to teach something on the spot – i.e. have all your lesson plans complete! Mine was on stalls since there’s a million directions it can go in.
    In retrospect; I was nervous, didn’t know what to expect. In hindsight, was a pretty relaxing day for the most part, I was well prepared, so it wasn’t too bad at all. My instructor knew I was ready, my inspector could tell I was too. Simple as that. 
    You’ll do fine – over prepare, and have fun with it. Practice teaching on friends / co-workers.
    That was my experience, and I’m a product of part 61 training. Now, if you’re going to a FSDO next to a 141 “pilot mill”?…best of luck 😛

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  5. RPM on Mar 12, 2012

    So…how did it go? I came across this searching for the same thing. I’m about 2 weeks out and going to the KC FSDO as well.

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  6. Julie Maier on Apr 12, 2013

    I took my CFI initial a few days ago, and passed the oral portion. It was just about 5 hours long. I brought in all of my resources (PHAK, AFH, POH, FAR AIM, etc) and i was told by the examiner he knew i knew how to read and was not allowed to look in the resources for information that i should know it. I told him for the principle of primacy i would not teach my student wrong information the first time around, and he still replied with the fact i should know everything that he asks. I was quite shocked. He also had me come up with a lesson plan there on the spot, which he gave me as much time as i needed to prepare..which was fair.

    Also, i had the older version of the PTS, which was not a factor because i studied very hard and knew 95% of what was asked. Just a tip: print out the newest version of the PTS off of the FAA website.

    After the oral was completed, we went to fly one of the two planes i was going to use for the checkride. (152 for maneuvers, and 172RG for the takeoffs and landings). I was asked to do a secondary stall, and didnt know how to perform one since we never did one in primary training, but that was on me i should be responsible to know how to do one. I know now. The landing coming back in he wanted me to be in a full stall upon landing, which again i was never trained to do that for safety reasons, and i didnt think it was even practical to perform one then because it was gusting and variable to 20 knots.
    I was failed, and asked to do the re-check at a later time and he wants a full stall upon landing. It says in the PTS to be at mimimum controllable airspeed upon touchdown, but i never thought to actually full stall it. i will be doing the re-check next week and should not have any problems finally completing this checkride. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up as to what i was asked to do during the flight portion.

    Also, i was asked to do 2 chandelles, steep turns, power on and off stall, steep spirals to emergency land- took it down to 500′, 8’s on pylons, turns around a point, explained how aerodynamics had played a part in all of the maneuvers, slow flight with turns and climbs descents, and we changed runways during the descent to land.

    oral he asked everything line by line whatever was in the PTS.

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