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UPT Checkride busts

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Well-known member
Mar 19, 2002
These airlines are asking me if I have ever busted a checkride on the applications...I know they are asking about FAA check busts, but do I tell em about when I oversped my landing lights on my Midphase in tweets? Not sure if that counts or not "officially". Would be a good story in the interview, I'm just not sure if its an official bust or not in their eyes.
UPT checkrides....

No....a couple reasons I think why:
1) Not a Form 8 check
2) You were not even a Rated Pilot yet (notice how all your UPT time is listed as Student and there is no individual break-down on the AF Forms printout).

Oversped landing lights....that one always cracked me up! Just get under 135kts and put the suckers back in. Flaps in the break at 200kts is a different story. Got to see that one a few times.....I just wish the Viper had that kind of turn rate.:D

I agree that a busted UPT check is not reportable. First of all, the checkpilots are not cerified "Check airman". They are just instructors in a squadron job, mostly made up of FAIPs. The bust does not cause a form 8 to be generated, and none of your UPT checkrides will follow you through your AF carreer.

Besides all that. There is no way they will ever find out! Does not pay to volunteer non-traceable dirty laundry.
I agree, don't bring it up. If they ask too specific a question about UPT checkrides, then I would give'm my best song and dance.

I had a friend who busted a formation check in T-38's and went on to work for FedEx. He wasn't going to say anything, but it came up in the interview and he explained it away. I don't think they cared that he didn't give the proper hand signal on a lead change....not to much of that going on in the majors.

Jim in MN
I respectfully disagree. Do a search, this has been discussed a bunch before, although I'll throw in my two cents on this thread too.

If you got a down (pink sheet, unsat) for a stage check in primary, you considered it a busted checkride at the time right? Many people have gotten them. The fact you got it isn't important, it is what you learned from it. (insert lesson about studying more, situational awareness, whatever you actually did learn from the incident here). Going all lawyer on the question (either on an application or during an in person interview) isn't the way to go in my opinion. "it wasn't an FAA ckride" "my ip was only a FAIP" "he wasn't a designated ck airman" etc. That makes you sound like you are debating the definition of is.

From what I've been able to gather, most interview processes are about figuring out what kind of person you are, your integrity, ability to play nice with others, etc. Not as much about your technical competence, that is what your ratings are for, or the sim ck for airlines that do sim cks. I'd rather go into an interview prepared to discuss one 'bust' on a initial training inter-stage ckride than worrying about if your integrity will ever be called into question.

For instance, the logbook examiner is looking through your logbook (or air force print outs, why is the U.S. Air Force the only place that doesn't use logbooks?) and they notice that you did your Fam13x twice, or whatever flight it was. And they ask, what happened here? How does that gybe with your application that says no ckride busts? Then you find yourself 'with some splaining to do.' not a good thing.

Short version. It was a checkride, if you did it twice, you busted it, put it down. I doubt it will affect your application but it might negatively affect your interview. Just my opinion and I'm already outnumbered 4 to 1 on this thread.

I see it as another version of the "I got a ticket when I was 16 in another state and it isn't on my record, do I put that down?" Well, if the application asks last 5 years, obviously no, if it asks have you ever had a ticket. I would say yes, whereas some might say no. Ask yourself what will make you most comfortable when you are in the interview room.
Have interviewed with three airlines. Got a job with all three. Nobody cares a rat's petuty about a busted UPT checkride, or for UPT for that matter . . . Just that you got your wings.
When I went through UPT and hooked my mid-phase checkride. To prove it is not a real checkride, I busted it for my talking EP at the end of the de-brief. It was listed as a zero downgrade UNSAT. It is not a Form 8 so it does not matter. The fact of UPT does not mean anything for an airline. At my current airline, they asked for my past 3 Form 8s during my interview. Since I only had 1 I gave them one. They asked nothing regarding UPT. They just like the fact that you have the military training, it is rare that someone unless they are in the Guard or Reserves goes to an airline right out of UPT. Dont sweat it.
firstthird said:
Just my opinion and I'm already outnumbered 4 to 1 on this thread.
Make it 4 to 2.

I'll start with the answer I give my kids: "If you have to wonder if you should, then you probably should."

It's almost certain that an airline isn't going to hold a UPT bust against you, but let them make the decision whether they consider it a checkride or not. It shows both a basic level of integrity and the fact that you hold yourself to a high standard.
Besides, which statement would you rather respond to?

(1) "I see that you busted your T-37 instrument check in pilot training. You really didn't have to put that down since we don't consider that a real checkride."


(2) "I see that you've never busted a checkride. That's pretty impressive given all those checkrides you had to take back in pilot training. You must have been the ace of the base."

Plus, now you've got an automatic story for any number of "Tell me about a time..." questions.

Bottom line -- put it down and be prepared to talk about it, but it's nothing to worry about.

Ditto what Z said...

I think owning up to a UPT bust shows you took the ride seriously and are not into semantics. Most interviewers will say "Geez...I hooked my T-38 contact ride too!" It isn't a big deal. On the other hand, if you don't own up to it, you make me say "okay, what else to I have to specifically nail down with this clown to avoid an evasive answer".

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