By: David St. George, ATP, MCFI, DPE 



David and Rod Machado
at
AirVenture '09

Master CFI
Master Instructors LLC
8 Renewals!

It's a popular notion that pilot examiners are evil by nature. I wrote this web site to dispel that myth and to make your pilot evaluation (flight test) easier. This site provides both general guidance and specific tools you may not have gotten from your CFI. After years of providing flight tests, the most depressing failures are the ones where it is obvious the applicant is a good pilot but was not prepared thoroughly or correctly for the testing process. You can be a very good pilot and still be unsuccessful on a check ride if you are not aware of the specific procedures or standards. Any test or evaluation is an artificial construct and has a format and standards (rules of engagement). It is critical to understand these published and freely available standards to be successful.

Finishing your flight training (and finally becoming a pilot) necessarily involves a "check-ride" with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner before certification. For all advanced certificates or ratings, the pilot evaluation is also the "rite of passage." Fortunately, this does not need to be a fearful and upsetting experience. Every element of any FAA evaluation is published and documented in the appropriate Practical Test Standards. If you download and read this dense little book carefully and arrive for your test thoroughly prepared, the dreaded "check-ride" can then be an enjoyable learning experience...no surprises! When you walk into an evaluation with any good examiner carrying a completed copy of your FAA 8710-1 form (IACRA application is now required...click here for power point guidance) and all the necessary experience, you are already the pilot you say you are. You start with 100% on this test. Then just make sure you fly within the test standard limitations (or "promptly correct") and your success is assured. Remember, perfection is not the standard we have to meet.

Marine Rob earns his private certificate Jim Gray new Instrument Rating New Multi-Engine Flight Instructor! Multi-Engine ckride
A New Private Pilot
A New Instrument Pilot
A New Multi-Engine CFI
A New Commercial Multi (IFR) Pilot

Everyone is nervous...that's perfectly natural, but "fearful and paralyzed" prevents good execution. I still take a couple check rides every year with the FAA and cringe a little each time. But approaching any evaluation with a positive attitude and correct preparation makes the experience what it was intended to be: a "final check" of your recommending instructor's training of you. I conduct all single and multi-engine tests for Sport Pilot through ATP and CFI add-ons, renewal and reinstatement. I try to make this process as painless as possible! Please visit the links in the pulldown tabs above to verify your preparation.The CFI recommending you for your flight test is an important part of the preparation process (especially for your first evaluation). Assuring that your paperwork is correct and that all your experience and endorsements are there (and easily available) can make this first "FAA encounter" much less stressful. Knowledge is power; go into your check ride fully prepared and it will be much easier and you will truly be able to demonstrate "pilot in command" authority!


Scheduling a Test
Anywhere in the Rochester District!

I usually give tests in Ithaca (KITH), at the East Hill Flying Club, but I can travel to your location by prior arrangement. Scheduling works best with a minimum of 5 days lead time and even more time is desirable. Most tests are currently $400 and take 4-5 hours. Bring an airworthy aircraft, with documentation, and all your "pilot tools." If a cross-country is required it will be assigned before the evaluation. Please make sure all calculations are complete and include real weather and performance data. This must be completed without assistance.

The best way to make initial contact is probably e-mail: David's e-mail or text on my mobile phone at (607) 351-3637. I still teach flying every day as Chief Instructor at East Hill Flying Club (607) 257-1313. Please feel free to visit me at East Hill also if you have questions. Thanks!

David In Duluth at Cirrus

 

Other Aviation Adventures! Teaching a FIRC in San Diego (WAI)

Cirrus Adventure [here]

Fly to Antigua! [here]

Wow what a trip! Fly commercial to KPBI (West Palm Beach International), meet up with Jack in the Cessna 210 and fly to Antigua. The route was a bit unclear but we resolved some of those issues at the Days Inn on Monday. The planned stop of Great Inagua has 600 square miles with only 900 inhabitants (however there are 35,000 wild burros on the island)! The one hotel "The Pour House" (as in "when it rains it pours") is owned by the Morton Salt Company...like the rest of the island. "Air Journey" provided invaluable advice and we stopped in Aguadillo, Puerto Rico instead.
For more on this adventure click here to view pictures and the travelogue. The only obvious item noticed in the pre-planning phase was there is lots of blue on the maps! We brought inflatable vests and a raft to rob the sharks of their dinner in case of engine problems; hence the file name "sharkbait!" Here is the link for the journey home. Here is time sluming it on the island!

Where CFIs all End Up!

Dale Klapmeier CEO Cirrus Aircraft

Three days in Duluth in the snow learning to fly the amazing Cirrus SR-22 and qualifying as an official Cirrus Instructor (CSIP).

Cirrus logo

Cirrus Adventure

Weather Challenge on Return!

David is a Cirrus Approved Instructor

San Salvador in the BahamasPretending to be Jimmy Buffet on San Salvador at the Riding Rock Resort Bar...yup that's milk!

Trip Out | Trip Back | Island Time!