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Initial CFI Checkride

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Well-known member
Mar 25, 2005
I have my Initial CFI checkride next week with a person out of the Long Beach FSDO. I just wanted to know if anyone has taken their checkride with someone from there or had any pointers for the ride. I'm pretty nervous and don't really know what to expect.
I've never had a check w/the FSDO in cali.,but I did in Florida. The best advice I can offer is something I'm sure you've been hearing for a while now, and that is just trust in your training and try to relax. Plan on a fairly lengthy oral and the flight portion isn't usually longer than an hour and a half. Just remember that you have to try to teach him/her something they already have a great deal of knowledge about(hopefully) so don't try to b.s. him/her. Try to have your FAR/AIM, logbook or any other useful items marked so you can easily back up your answer to questions. Get a good night rest and eat a full meal before going in. PM me if you have any specific questions I'll be glad to help.
I had a ton of lesson plans premade with me and my examiner let me refrence them. (flordia FSDO)maybe write notes in your P.T.S.
All I can say is if you find yourself not talking during the flying portion, then you need to...not that I took mine in CA (it was in AZ), so I don't know what your guy will be like. Also, do not try to impress the guy with your vast knowledge on everything - if its anything like mine, he's going to be looking for you to put things into a simple light. Remember, you're going to be teaching primary students who know nothing. The more simplified you can make your explanations - the better. Good luck...it is the most difficult checkride out there, which is why a lot of people don't pass on the 1st time through.
In my experience the checkride depends much upon the individual examiner. I took my ride in Illinois and different examiners have there different ways. My examiner put me through a 10 hour oral exam, and a 2 1/2 hour flight. Yet others I know that went throught the same FSDO got th oral done in 2 hours and the flight done In 1. The other person was not god's gift to student either. My advice is study your butt off and bring every FAA book you can find to the exam. The examiner I was with once through someone out of the oral for not bringing enough books.
Pictures, photo copy pictures of everything and make a binder full of lesson plans. when he asks about lazy eights bust out your lesson plan show him the picture and get to explaining. Turn his questions into discussions, I got my examiner to answer half of his own questions this way. Dont let them get you flustered, keep your cool and offer to look anything up you dont know. Know your regs. FOI, responsibilities all that technical stuff down cold. Besdies that just practice teaching everything under the sun, get the wording simple and effective. The flight is a breeze, I would concentrate about 5% of your effort on the flying portion the rest on the oral. good luck and let us know how it goes.
Thank you all for the useful suggestions. I have been continuing to study and am ready to just get this thing over with. I’ve heard horror stories of people with ridiculously long orals and am just afraid of talking myself into a hole. Please continue to give any more suggestions if you have them.

One more thing, I was looking through all my records and documents to make sure I have everything and came across an inconsistency. I never received an endorsement to take the FOI written exam, however already took it and passed it. The regs stated that I would need this endorsement. I really hope that won’t be a problem.
kneeshoe said:
I never received an endorsement to take the FOI written exam, however already took it and passed it. The regs stated that I would need this endorsement.

Nope. You don't need an endorsement to take the FOI or FIA knowledge tests. Confusing, I know. This is probably designed to be your first entanglement with the FAR's relating to training. Part 61. As an instructor, you must know Part 61 like a Pilot has to know Part 91. These are your everyday operating rules.

You are probably looking at 61.183(d) "Receive a logbook endorsement...on FOI listed in 61.185." If you look at 61.185, it says, "Must receive and log ground training on...FOI."
Then look at 61.183(g)"Receive a logbook endorsement on 61.187." If you look at 61.187(a), it says, ""The applicant's logbook must contain an endorsement certifying that the person is proficient to pass the test."

That last part, "...certifying that the person is proficient to pass the test", is the language used in all the other "endorsement" requirements for practical and/or knowledge tests. But that language is not present in the eligibility requirements for the CFI knowledge tests. The 61.183(d) endorsement is simply stating that you have given training in the FOI subjects, which is a required endorsement for the practical test. The endorsement should state that training was done, but does not have to make the statement that he is considered proficient to pass the test. However, the 61.187 endoresement for the practical test, which does make the proficiency statement, includes 61.187(b)(1)(i) fundamentals of instructing.

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Thanks for the interpretation nosehair. That's a relief, I'm glad I have everything in order. Can they make the regs any more confusing!?!
Another Question

I know for other checkrides I have taken, I needed to have logged 3 hours of flight training within 60 days of the checkride. Does that also apply to the CFI initial checkride? I don't ever recall coming across that.

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