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CFI Check Ride

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AM Aviation
Dec 5, 2001
I received info from the DPE that during my oral I have to give a lesson (simulated) to a commercial student on Lazy Eights, an intro to the emergency descent/Forced landing from 3500 ft, and Eights on Pylons. I have all of the lesson plans worked out, but any info on this matter will be greatly helpful.

When your done with the lesson, don't ask if they understand. Ask them questions about what you just told them to see if they understand. Back when I did my cfi I busted the oral because I asked if they understood...goodluck
I don't think anyone would argue that the initial CFI checkride can be a serious pain in the arse, but just relax and look at it as one more learning experience.

My examiner didn't tell me in advance what the lessons were that I'd be teaching, but as I recall he did give me about 10 minutes to organize everything and put up some info on the board.

Good advice from Cactus about asking questions to see if they understood; don't think my examiner would have busted me for that, but who knows...

I think the big difference between the CFI oral and all others up to that point is that it's less of a situation in which the examiner asks a simple question and you give a simple answer.

For example, during my lesson on steep turns the examiner stopped me and said, "I don't understand why I get pushed down in the seat during the steep turn. Why does it feel like everything is heavier?" So, obviously I discussed load factor and drew the standard aero diagram of lift (total, vert, hor) vs opposing forces (load, wt, cent force).

Also, use whatever resources you have available to you. If he asks you a question you don't know the answer to, do what you'd do as an instructor, "Well, Bob - good question. Let's look that up - I think the AIM has a real nice picture of exactly what you're talking about..." As an instructor I do that pretty frequently; people ask really weird questions sometimes, so I just help them find the answer.

Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck!
Go in there looking good and with lots of books and teaching aids.
you may not know everything but knowing where to find the info helps as well.
I agree with the above post...

I went into my CFI ride with 3 bags loaded with every manual, book, and advisory circular I could think of...Don't forget the PTS either, & after august 1st make sure they are the new ones!
And, in addition .......

Make sure you bring every FAA book there is under the planet. Particularly those referenced in the PTS. Don't even consider pulling out Kershner or something else as your reference. Take it from someone who knows. Using anything other than FAA materials is a guaranteed bust on your oral.

I very much like the idea of treating the examiner as a student. Don't stop talking and teaching from the moment you shake hands with the examiner until the time you shake hands with him with your Temporary in your hand.

Good luck with your practical.
The FOI and PTS state it is acceptable to bring out books from other sources. I brought my own text to the CFI, and my own + my flight school's to the CFII checkride. Rod Machado and William Kershner are respected authors, too.

Both examiners spent time going over my books and asking a few questions. Their questions were from my "Things to Remember" section which had one-liners like "night cross country planning" or "checking credentials" or "thunderstorm flying." Great stories of things that all happened to a friend of a friend. . .

"Let's find out together." "I honestly don't know, but can find out." "Good point, I'll study on that some more." Said too often means a bust, said at the right time means not busting because examiners are there to weed out the bluffers.

And, finally, don't worry. Your students will ask far more off-the-wall questions than an examiner will, and be truly interested in the right answer because they will live or die by it. :eek:

Jedi Nein
Wellll . . . .

All I can say is I busted a CFI oral because I didn't bring or use FAA books during my presentation. This was long before Practical Test Standards, but the lesson learned made an indelible impression on me (Law of Intensity).

Just what the examiner who busted me told me: The FAA materials are the final word on how it wants something done.
I think it's been over six months since I dragged out my only checkride bust story, so here goes.

I had my intial CFI completed. The FAA examiner was very pleased with my performance, and told me that the ride was one of the best he had ever seen. I was on cloud nine. I had talked him through every step without being prompted to do so. I knew 99% of the material cold. I looked up only two items during the oral. I was a happy camper.

Fast forward, two months.

I was once again over-prepared for the II ride, and was scheduled with the same examiner. I had checked the PTS, and seen that coverage of the FOI material was "optional". I felt that since this was the SAME EXAMINER, he would walk right by the FOI material (which I had COMPLETELY ignored, and instead had focused on "instrument" knowlege...) and go straight to the instrument material. OOPS. This thorough guy BEGAN with the FOI stuff, about 60% of which I remembered. He stopped the oral after about five minutes.

Lesson learned: if they CAN ask something, they WILL ask it!

Two weeks later, I went to a DPE who can do the II and MEI ride, demonstrated an unparalleled knowlege of the FOI and the instrument knowlege, and began giving instruction the next day.

As an aside, the same FAA guy was sitting next to the DPE when I returned for my MEI three months later. He was there to check on the DPE, observed the oral, and went home. I asked him if he had any FOI questions for me as he was leaving, and he just smiled...
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Be prepared.

On my CFII ride with the FAA a number of years ago, I a brought along a mountain of reference material. The inspector told me to prepare a lesson on ILS approaches. No problem, I think as I reach for the FAA Instrument Instruction book. The inspector stopped me and said no aids, I had to prepare the lesson from memory. Ouch! Not very real-world in my opinion, but I really wasn't in a position to complain.

I passed the oral (barely), and then spent the practical test flying under the hood from the right seat on a hot summer day with lots of convection. I was one sick puppy, but managed to survive and passed the ride.

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