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CFI EOC stage check


AM Aviation
Dec 5, 2001
Total Time
@ 5000
I have my CFI end of course stage check this week, and I would like info on what to consider, or what type of questions I should look forward to on the oral. I have to do the 141 stage check first, and if I pass I go to the FAA. Any comments welcome.



Well-known member
Feb 5, 2002
Total Time
FOIs first and foremeost. Make that straitforward and simple (yet complete) and the rest will go smooth. FOIs are the primary filter device used during the practical to separate who knows their stuff and who doesn't.
Then comes "what makes and a/c fly" they'll look to entice you into an engineering disertation; DON'T DO IT.

If a question seems like an open ended question, get additional specifics from the examiner to narrow down the answer options.


Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
Total Time
CFI Stage Check

May I ask where you're going to school?

I gave a bunch of CFI stage checks when I was at ERAU-Prescott twelve years ago. I tried to approximate the FAA as close as possible when I gave them because the FAA was next for these folks.

FOI. Know it better than your own name. It's not enough just to memorize such things as the Laws of Learning, or Maslow, or the picture of the top of the head opened and the instructor pouring in the knowledge. Know it all. Know what comprises a valid test. Know professionalism. Any stage checker worth his salt will grill you thoroughly and expect you to know the FOI.

Know all the signoffs. Get a copy of the AC that has all the signoffs. Know flight reviews. Know all the regs.

Know the FOI lesson plan format. Be ready to work up a lesson plan on the spot for a subject the stage check pilot will designate.

Know the systems of your airplane and be able to explain them. If you're fresh off your Commercial that shouldn't be too hard, especially if you had to explain and draw them during that oral.

Know the maneuvers cold, and the FAA's way. Be prepared to teach all of them. Don't forget to bring your toy airplane.

Bring all your reference materials to the stage check. Review the PTS for the FAA's opinion of what constitutes reference materials. In other words, no matter how much you like Kershner, the FAA always has the final say on how to do something. It's the FAA's way or the highway.

Good advice from Rvrrat, above. Remember the KISS principle. Don't volunteer information. Come to the point. Give thorough but brief explanations. Don't ever show off to any kind of flight examiner what a know-it-all you are. You don't know it all. No one knows it all. Someone will always know more about a particulary subject than you. Say the wrong thing or too much and you'll invite a nasty inquisition.

Finally, a lot of people gripe about some stage check pilots being unreasonable or too tough. What these students fail to consider that in so doing the stage check pilot is doing them a favor. The stage check pilot has sent students just like you to the FAA and has a good pass rate; otherwise, the school wouldn't designate him/her as a stage check pilot. He/she knows what it takes to pass. View it as an inventory of your strong and weak areas and as a learning experience.

Good luck with your stage check.
Last edited:


Well-known member
Jan 30, 2002
Total Time
Make sure that you take every reference material you've ever had with you. Most people I've seen going into a CFI checkride go in with 3 bags of books. This is just to ensure that if you don't know the answer, you can always look it up. This has been true for every other checkride but for this one, it is essential that you be able to find the answers you don't know. I've heard of guys getting busted just because they couldn't find the answer to a basic question. You have to understand that the FAA does this b/c they know that one day a student will ask you a question you don't know the answer to and if you can't find it (and it's relative to the curriculum), then you may look incompetent to the student.
Don't try to memorize the endorsements. I tried that and the examiner cut me off and said, "These things are always changing so why would you try to keep memorizing it?" Take a fresh copy of the AC 61-65D. Also, be able to fill in an 8710 that a private applicant would need. Be able to find other required endorsements that are not on the 8710 (3 takeoffs and landings at towered airport, etc.....).
Know the airplane really well. I was surprised that I was asked so many quesitons about the plane.
Think before you answer ANY question. Not taking the time to review your answer is the fatal mistake that many people make. If you give an answer off the cuff and it's only partly right or total B.S, then that just opens the floodgates for more probing questions about that subject.
Know the mandatory parts of the PTS. I'm very surprised at the amount of people who fail the oral b/c they didn't know the mandatory stuff. I mean, they tell you what they will DEFINITELY ask you and there is no reason not to know it.
Like someone above said, know what makes an airplane fly and what can cause adverse characteristics. BUT don't try to be an engineer. Know about stability and performance and what affects each.

Prepare for this checkride with proper technical preparation but don't forget the simple stuff like proper rest beforehand. The CFI checkride will be one of the longest, grueling of your life (if you're normal). However, it is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. Chances are you are at a large flight school and you've had good instruction. Use the tools you've learned. Put the effort into it and you'll see the rewards. Good luck.