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CFI Check Ride Experiences

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Well-known member
Jan 11, 2002
Just thought it would be fun to share experiences of CFI checkrides and any off the wall experiences.
This may not reflect positively on me but what the heck. My worst soft field landing, which was like an aircraft carrier landing, was on my initial CFI ride. When I pulled off the runway I immediately started critiqueing everything I did wrong on the soft field. I then talked about how I could improve things for the next time. The DE was silent for a minute, and he then said, "Good Critique, lets go back to the ramp."

To my amazement, I wound up passing!
My CFI examiner asked during my demo of 8's on Pylons what the purpose of the skill was. I said div. of atten. a/c control, ect. bla bla bla,

He said Horse $hit. Watch this. He took the contols and said "when I was in Nam we had a gun on the side of the plane, and we shot anything that moved, look see that guy, ba, bab, ba ba!!!! Dead!!!". He continued with sound effects and all. Crazy old man.
On my ride, with a Fed, I turned out onto the taxiway going the wrong direction. Had to turn back into the ramp and 180 the aircraft so I was going the right direction. Got a tounge lashing from the tower too. I'd never made the mistake before, and haven't made it since. :)

Still passed, first attempt.

Also, of all the checkrides I've been on, I can only think of one examiner that didn't swear at some point during the ground or flight.
I had a long CFI ride. I initially was supposed to fly from Myrtle Beach, SC to Columbia, SC (FSDO) to do my ride with the feds on a monday. I was going to go up the night before and get a hotel room so I could be fresh and study a little with no distractions. Well, level threes and fours blocked my route (1-800-wx brief told me I could go north to virginia and then swing around the back side, about 3-4 hours for a 1 hour trip, no thanks) Well, she had already gone home for the night so I had to get up early and call her. Luckily the wx at CAE was IFR so we wouldn't be able to do the ride anyway. After I got her on the phone I explained that I would not be coming in that day and rescheduled. This certain examiner is known to be a real harda** anyway but said "Good decision making."
When I finally got there a week later the oral lasted 8 hours with only one 15 min. break. I was told to keep all books put away except for the PTS for reference. The flight only lasted 45 minutes with a normal take-off, trim stall, steep turns, chandelles, turns around a point and soft field landing. All went well and I passed. However, after sweating in the SC summer heat and that grueling oral she only got on me about ONE THING. Her sermon lasted for over a half hour about safety, proper radio procedures, etc. on this: After landing I was told to contact ground, so when I taxied off I flipped the radio up to ground about ten feet before I crossed the hold short line. THAT is what she complained about. No wonder some of the other guys had such a hard time. I had studied non-stop for three weeks because I just KNEW I was going to fail. Biggest monkey I ever got off my back.
For somebody who's taking the CFI ride in a week and a half, this is not a happy thread. Especially that eight hour oral, Jetstream, geez. But I suppose that after hour three or so one gets fairly comfortable with the process, and by hour six you must be too tired to care. Yikes. Keep em coming.
The oral went fine. While doing the preflight I noticed she was looking at her watch a lot. I faintly remembered she was taking the next day off (Friday) and was going on vacation on a lake some where...

We departed and flew to the north... After dodging traffic for 10 minutes I started a chandelle. She had her eyes glued to the panel and I was looking for traffic because it was so busy out. My roll out was too "choppy" and that was the end of the ride. She said "It would be cheaper for me to fly back to the airport rather then continue the flight". Mind you she looked at her watch no less then 15 times on that flight.

I took the retest with a DE who was a very nice gentleman except the checkride was rescheduled 8 times!!!!!!!! Mostly due to WX and his flying schedule.

Anyway that's my story and now I'm not flying at all because of that D-head Binlauden fkn up our lovely aviation economy :)

Did my CFII (or is it CFIAI) first

Not as odd as you think. Did my "II" first for various reasons. It was interesting, and the DE wanted to impress upon me that I was "not marketable" because I didn't possess a CFI. I earned that certificate about 10 days later......

I studied and studied and studied and still remember things after 10 years (it might have been longer, but after a few beers, time becomes irrelevant.)

And yes, they really do expect you to be familiar w/ the FOI.
Failed the initial practical after 6 hours of oral exam and several lesons taught. Everything had gone fine, including a question about weather reports. I'd been asked to name every weather report by memory, and the valid times of issuance for each. I responded that I didn't have it memorized, but would look it up. I began to reach for the reference, and was told don't bother, that's what the examiner wanted to hear.

After six hours, I was told to stop, and that I would be failed for not having known the weather info, several hours earlier. I was sent home. I returned a few weeks later on a new schedule, with the texts on weather at the time, all but memorized. I was asked if I had studied that material, and when said yes, the examiner said, "good, we don't need to talk about it. Let's go fly."

We spent an hour and a half in the air, half of which the examiner flew because he didn't get a chance t fly much. We spent a good share of the flight looking at fields, and discussing ag aviation, and agriculture in China (two surprising unrelated fields, by the way).

When we returned, I was issued the certificate. I was told that I would have passed the first time, but it was close to the end of the month, and the examiner had been under pressure to fail X percentage of his applicants. I was told that he needed to meet his stats, and I had been unlucky enough to be one he failed to meet those stats.

It's the only check or exam I've ever had an issue with, out of my career. The only failure, or difficulty. That examiner made his stats for the month, and I got a failure that stays with me for life. Fair trade, but typical FAA.
I'll make this quick since I already posted on this thread. On my MEI ride, we took off and found a big hole in the broken layer to perform all the high altitude maneuvers. About 20 minutes later when we wanted to head back we were above an undercast. Except there was one tiny hole in the undercast layer. The examiner says my right engine is on fire and eventually I do an Emergency descent. He told me to go through this tiny hole going 140 KIAS and sinking like a greased grand piano. I said, "What?." He said, "Yeah, come on we need to get back." So we went through the hole and got underneith.

Pretty Nutty now that I think about it.

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