CFI / Comm gouges anyone?


.....Bueller? ......Bueller?

OK seriously if anyone wants to take the time to give some tips that'd be great. Thanks!
For the commercial know advanced systems in and out, even systems that are not on your airplane. Specifically be able to describe advantages and disadvnatages of each system, how they work, how the pilot controls/operates them, and any additional training that is required to operate an aircraft equipped with that type of system (oxygen/pressurization, turbochargers/superchargers, Slats/Slots, retractable gear, constant speed prop, etc). Know maintenance requirements, be able to point out that all AD's have been complied with, show where recurring AD's have been signed off in the aircraft logs, and know about preventative maintenance (specifically that only the owner or operator of the aircraft can perform preventative maintenance unless they're a mechanic). Also prepare a thorough weight and balance form, show what the takeoff weight and landing weight will be, and demonstrate that CG will remain within limits for the duration of the flight. Be prepared to explain the effects of CG's forward and aft of limits, as well as the effects of an overweight airplane. Make a detailed and precise navigation log including fuel consumption calculations.

Nothing specific for the CFI (I haven't taken nor have I begun preparing myself for this one so I don't have much useful advice for you). I'd say you should study the FAR's a lot for this one, memorize the specific FAR numbers for "biggie" items like minimum equipment, airspace, and private pilot requirements. Pretty much any question is fair game for the CFI I would guess.....

PS, what type of airplane do you plan on taking these checkrides in? Good luck!
The CFI oral will stress FOI stuff.

Remember that an examiner wants to see your attitude and learning ability primarily.

You can learn to be a good pilot, but it is harder to learn to be a prudent pilot.
Thanks for the info thus far; keep it comin'!

PS, what type of airplane do you plan on taking these checkrides in? Good luck!

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Piper Arrow; I love that thing!
I don't really remember what I did for Commercial was an add-on anyways, so it was basically just a quick flight with the maneuvers.

As far as CFI, I'll give you my gouge, as best I can remember:


The oral was quite tough. All through the entire CFI course, I didn't really make many lesson plans- I was more comfortable just reading the material the night before and then presenting it to my instructor. When the checkride came, the check pilot wanted me to have a lesson plan on Eights on Pylons, and present a lesson on them. Of course, I didn't have a lesson plan for those, but I did pretty well just improvising. He reaaaalllly dug into me though- I'm sure he thought he could trip me up on something, seeing as how I wasn't presenting it out of my notes or anything. I had to explain every singe minute detail of 8's on Pylons- everything from the general description, to the procedures, to the aerodynamics of the whole maneuver. I pulled it off OK. Besides that, he asked just a couple of FOI questions (sorry, can't remember what exactly now). He also ran through a few scenarios with regards to student pilot endorsements, and regulations related to soloing students. He had me briefly run through a couple of procedures, asking detailed questions all along the way. Thats about all I can remember- all in all the FOI stuff was pretty light, but other than that it was a very comprehensive oral. Took just under 2 hours.


The flight in an Arrow, and was a piece of cake. The only checkride that I've had that was easier was CFII. I did about 85% of the flying. I demo'd a soft field takeoff. We climbed out, and en route to the practice area, he had me teach him how to make basic turns. He did them as I taught, wanting me to guide him through them. No biggie. After that I demo'd a chandelle, and then critiqued one that he performed. At altitude, I did steep turns, slow flight, an elevator trim stall and I think thats about it. Then for the engine failure, he actually cut my mixture (see this thread - the "friend" was actually me- I was worried about burning bridges at the time, but now I don't give a hoot). Thinking that he was just pretending to be a student (but confused because beforehand he said he would be clear when he was acting as a student), I shoved it back to full-rich. He then cut it again, and stated it was a great way to simulate engine failures when a student has their hand on the throttle. I told him it was a great way to create a real engine failure, and then put it back to full-rich and pulled the throttle back instead. After that, emerg. procedure went fine. Once we got down low, he of course had me demo 8's on Pylons, and then critique him as he did them. On the way back to the airport, he had me "teach him" how to properly trim the aircraft. The flight ended with a short-field landing. I believe it was like 1.2 hrs.

Anyways, sorry I can't remember every single detail..but I guess this turned out long enough as it is. Good luck with your CFI, and of course, if you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them to the best of my abilities.
For the commercial know advanced systems in and out, even systems that are not on your airplane. Specifically be able to describe advantages and disadvnatages of each system, how they work, how the pilot controls/operates them,

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At a minimum, know the principles of the systems, learn the mechanics if you have time, but remember that you don't necessarily have to know how to build the system, just how to operate it and troubleshoot within your cockpit abilities if it doesn't work as advertised.

Would have this same problem on mission-checkrides when there'd be a check-pilot that asks you to brief him on all the logic algorithms and what they do on the AGM-65 Maverick Missile. Nice to know info, but more importantly the focus should, IMO, be how to employ it, not how to build it. When I need to use it, it either locks on to the target and fires, or it doesn't. Beyond that, there's very limited troubleshooting I can do from the cockpit. So many extra brain-bytes are wasted focusing on the extra-credit before fully understanding the basic info.
Just got my CFI ticket yesterday, so will try to run through most of it for you.
Oral: My oral was about 6 hours (including breaks). Think he started with Flight Inst. Characteristics and Responsibilities. After about 10 minutes on that he had me write out a solo x-c endorsement and compare it to the way it is supposed to be written. Then we covered the endorsements for a student pilot (not just pre-solo ones). We talked about them briefly then went into the part 61 min times for a priv. Then we went into the FAR's pretty in depth. Overall, we prob spent about 2 hours covering regs. After this, think we went into the flight contols, which led into principles of flight (focused mostly on lift). From here, we covered the x-c plan I had prepared and the weight & balance. Talked briefly about the airspace. The w & b covered fore and aft cg's and the effect of these. We also did a weight-shift problem. At this point we went through the graphs in the POH (for an Arrow) and he made up an example and had me show how to figure out the t/o distance. Then we got into weather. Talked about FA's, WST, WS, WA, FD, TAF, and METAR. For all of these we talked about how often they are issued, how long they are valid and read (or interpreted) an example of each. Didn't get into Weather theory (whew!). Then, he had me prepare a lesson plan and teach him how to do a soft-field takeoff. When I got to ground-effect, we again went into Prin of flight, talking about how the a/c creates lift. He acted like a student, saying that if there is a decrease in the downwash and upwash (which I previously told him was one of the principles of lift per Newton's 3rd law), how is it creating more lift. Just saying there is a decrease in induced drag wasn't enough, he wanted to see the vectors drawn out as they act on the wing. Then we talked about the fuel system and in particular how a servo regulator works. And then the last thing we talked about was the airworthiness requirements. Throughout all of this, he had me show him in FAA publications where it is talked about. As far as teaching the material, he really stressed the FOI skills and presenting the material from simple to complex.
Flight: Ok, I'm starting to get tired of typing here, but the flight was pretty straight forward. For each maneuver, he wanted an explanation of PTS and common errors (sometimes as I made them
) and to talk through the maneuver describing p-factor and need for more right rudder, piv altitude and effect of wind, etc. I did all the flying with the exception of a short-field takeoff which he wanted me to teach how to do it as he was doing it, then critique his performance of it. The flight wasn't one of my best, but the main points he was looking for (IMO) was safety and division of attention.
Hope this helps. It was a lot of material, but there weren't any real surprises.
. Didn't get into Weather theory (whew!).

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Congrats on the ticket!