The 'applicant's checklist'
With a patch of good spring weather to nail down those remaining flight-time requirements, and some well-flown test-prep sessions to follow up, before you know it, the appointment is being made for you to take your sport, recreational, or private pilot flight test.
It's a heady moment when you set that date, and focus your training on the nitty-gritty details of "graduating" from your training program. Some trepidation is natural when the reality of the checkride looms. But there's an easy way to set the awkwardness aside: Make it a priority to become thoroughly familiar with the appropriate practical test standards (PTS) for the certificate and rating for which you are now officially an applicant. From the "applicant's practical test checklist" to the clearly specified maneuver tolerances and knowledge elements for flight task demonstrations, the PTS, as users refer to it, will make you ready.
If you did not receive a copy of the PTS with your training materials, you can download it from the FAA's website.
Give the publication a thorough reading for all aspects of your test—starting at the very beginning of the publication. It may be strongly tempting to skip right to the test standards for that one maneuver you have never felt totally confident performing, but you don't want to fixate on that and miss something equally important.
For example, since all good pilots are scrupulous about using checklists, it would not do to overlook the applicant's practical test checklist mentioned above. Arranged in three sections, it lets you check off everything you will need to ensure that you will show up for the test with an acceptable aircraft; the necessary personal equipment (charts and publications, for example); and all the required personal records for your examiner's review. Those records include the proper form of personal identification (with photo and signature), and a medical certificate for recreational and private pilot applicants, or a driver's license for those seeking sport pilot certification.
You have probably heard stories of checkrides that never got going because of an administrative oversight. Seeing to your applicant's checklist should prevent anything from spoiling the day on which you graduate from your training program.
Visual history of aircraft book released
DK Publishing has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution to publish a new book, Aircraft: The Definitive Visual History. The book offers history and roles of aircraft, from the first prototypes of flying machines to today's supersonic jets. The book costs $40.
MyPilotStore.com offers checklists
A laminated checklist for the Cessna 172S/SP is now available at MyPilotStore.com. Information on the 6.5-inch-by-9-inch card includes emergency procedures; speeds given in both knots and miles per hour; a full-color graphic layout; and fuel, oil, electrical, tire, and weight information.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
Question: I hold a sport pilot certificate, but I did my checkride in an Ercoupe. Now, I have a limitation on my certificate that reads "Limited to Ercoupe Without Rudder Pedals." How would I get this limitation removed so I can go fly something with rudder pedals?
Answer: In order to get this limitation removed, you would have to demonstrate proficiency in an aircraft with rudder pedals. This would require you to take an additional checkride with a designated pilot examiner or flight standards district office inspector in an aircraft that has rudder pedals. After successful completion of the checkride, a new pilot certificate would be generated without the Ercoupe limitation. Here's a link to the FAA&'s General Aviation Airman Designee Handbook.
Got a question for our technical services staff? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.