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MY CFII Initial Checkride


Apr 10, 2003
Total Time
I am a newly minted CFII (7/01/03) Just wanted to contribute to this forum in the form of giving everybody an idea of what my CFII Initial Checkride was like.

I took my course and training at Phoenix East Aviation, at Daytona Beach. More on them later.

I guess I am one of the few that got lucky to take my checkride with a DE. While I cannot speak for other DE's or taking the ride with the FSDO I can give some feedback.

First of all, the oral started at 0700 and lasted till 0900. I have heard a lot of people talk about how the oral is 6 hours long and very arduous.

My DE was very very fast, one subject after another, no war stories, just straightforward and kept the oral going. We covered the FOI in depth, as far as Technical Subject areas, we talked about how DME works and my preflight lesson was on the DME arc. We talked in depth about filing IFR point to point (off of airways) and covered the usual other FAR related material, alternates, types of approaches, contact and visual etc.

Overall I was very suprised at how much material we covered in such a little period of time.

The flight was about 1.5 hours and I can say that I have never been busier while flying than during this flight. We did a VOR hold (Ormond Beach if anyone cares), then after established in the hold he had me do ununsual attitudes, mag compass turns, timed turns and slow flight.

Then we did a VOR (VOR 23 Deland) approach off of the same VOR to a circle to land, partial panel. Although the circle to land portion was simulated, we did a long 360 degree turn to sequence ourselves behind traffic on base to runway 23.

We then went to Orlando-Sanford where we did an ILS approach, down to exactly the DH and told me to go missed, we went back VFR to Daytona where he took the controls and I taught him the ILS 7L.

When they say "keep talking" during flights for any rating it really applies to the CFI, so for those of you thinking of becoming CFIs, make sure you make it a point to talk during lessons now. In fact this checkride was so intense that there wasn't a moment that I wasn't teaching during this checkride while demonstrating. It is key to keep situational awareness high and always explaining what you are doing. In your head you may be thinking "I am bracketing my headings so I can track the VOR course" but if you verbalize it you learn more and you also tell your instructor you know what is going on and by the time you get to the CFI stage you are demonstrating how to do the maneuver, and explaining common erros (as they occur).

So everything except the final ILS was demonstration. When he finally took the controls I kept on talking, which he said was good but also to make sure not to overload the student.

Overall I would have to say that while short in duration, my checkride was very intense. There was not a spare moment to think about anything else, it is very important that when you get to this stage that you are able to multitask very well. Tuning, identifying, teaching, commenting all while keeping your scan up.

I honestly felt like this was a instrument test from the right seat with more explanation.

As far as Phoenix East goes as some of you might want to know about their training. I did my CFII part 61, because I wanted to get done with CFII in 4 weeks and do CFI-A in another 4 weeks. At first my instructor had enough time to schedule me for an oral a day, but when we started to get into more advanced topics her schedule began to fill up... so instead of 4 weeks, it took 8 to do CFII... That pissed me off as I would have liked a little more commitment to myself from my instructor but overall her instruction was proficient and accurate. Since it was part 61 there was a lot of individual work on my part.

The equipment at Phoenix East is okay. I flew only C-172 R models and it was okay but I really wouldn't want to fly in actual IFR in a couple of those planes because of consistent problems with gyros. The aux fuel pump was non functional on one of the planes and they made me feel bad for downing the thing. In retrospect however it strengthened my partial panel technique to the point where I was very comfortable with it.

So the equipment leaves something to be desired but I am spoiled by Riddle because I have flown those planes, I've only flown Riddle, Civil Air Patrol and Phoenix East so my opinion might be biased to what is more common in real life.

To conclude, hit the FOI big time, know how to explain every instrument in your airplane, take the time to actually think about what a hold is, and how to get in and out of one and study the PTS because its not that hard, its just a change of role.

Any questions, feel free to contact me
Last edited:


Well-known member
Mar 9, 2002
Total Time
Or as your IP in UPT will call it, "Embry ridiculous"

Just kidding, congrats cadet!


Feb 22, 2002
Total Time
My mom was talking about it once when I considered going there, and she accidentally called it, "Embry-Brittle."


Corner Office Retired
Jul 5, 2003
Total Time
is up!
congrats CFII

Doesnt Phoenix East have a few of Riddles old cessnas?
I dont think I'd fly some of P. East's aircraft into IFR either.
I was spoiled with Riddle aircraft. Then the first non Riddle aircraft I instructed in had a box under the radios called a LORAN. I had only heard of one at the time. No moving map GPS, the nav/coms were two different types, etc...

Also, never feel bad for writing something up and never let ANYONE make you feel bad for writing something up. If there is a problem it should be fixed. Minor problems have the potential of becomming major problems.

Good Luck

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