Commercial ride concerns


New Member
I am concerned that my instructor signed me off for my commercial ride just to get rid of me. He was "talked to" by the flight school owner after complaints from other CFIs at the school due to a lesson he had with me that was a little strange. Basically the other CFIs felt that I got a raw deal on a lesson that they witnessed. I didn't make the complaint, the other CFIs did. I was called the next day to get my side of the story, and I confirmed what happened and how I wasn't really satisfied with how it went. But now I think my CFI thinks I'm a complainer and I really think he might have signed me off yesterday just to get rid of me. My ride is scheduled for a week from now, and I'm nervous enough without worrying about this crap. I am flying with a previous instructor between now and then just to get a second opinion. What a freaking mess. I have nothing against the guy, although it's very obvious that he wants to move on to anything but instructing ASAP. I thought this kind of nonsense would be over when I graduated from high school!

Also, as I look at my logbook I see that my 3 hours in the previous 60 days in prep for the ride will freaking be expired on the day of my checkride, so I NEED to fly with my old instructor! What a load of scheist.

I'd love to hear any thoughts on this fiasco. Thanks.
Hi Jason,
Ive had some problems with my instructor (well, hes not my instructor anymore) in the past. First off, I think we as pilots are going to see a lot of this type of thing because instructors that want to move on are stuck and they become less effective and some are just starting not to care.

I wont tell you what you should do, but here is what I did. I recognized there was a problem with my instructor. All of a sudden he became less and less available, wasnt showing up for a few of his scheduled flights (which he NEVER did for the year and a half that I had flown with him). His attitude definitely wasnt what it once was, so I knew that things were going in a direction I didnt like.

Basically I talked to a few of the other instructors, and one of his other students to get a feel for what they were thinking. They all saw the same signs I did, so I took about a month off from flying and then started working myself back into the flight schedule with some of the other instructors until I was comfortable flying with someone else.

I wasnt worried about what my old instructor would think because I knew that he knew. We didnt really sit down and talk about it, because I know that he is an extremely stubborn person and gets very defensive when he feels like he is being told something he doesnt like.

My only advice is if you feel uncomfortable flying with this guy, then by all means, do not take another flight with him. Do what it takes to get through your commercial check ride and move on. That rule about flying or being signed off by the instructor that gave you the instruction isnt in black and white or set in stone. If there is a problem (and as you indicated reported to the FBO, and should have been with the FSDO) they will make exceptions for you as long as another instructor has flown with you and verified that you are in fact ready for the checkride.

Im sure there will be lots of thoughts on this, hopefully my experience helps you.
Just because you are signed off does not mean you have to take a checkride immediately. I suggest getting a CFI-any CFI-and get some more practice until you are confident in your abilities. Reschedule the checkride with the DE if necessary. I'd take control of the situation, it's your career we're talking about.
Also, as I look at my logbook I see that my 3 hours in the previous 60 days in prep for the ride will freaking be expired on the day of my checkride, so I NEED to fly with my old instructor! What a load of scheist.

I'd love to hear any thoughts on this fiasco. Thanks.

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You need at least three hours within the past 60 days, right? The day after the day you have scheduled the checkride, how many hours will you have within the previous 60 days? I'd guess it would be two or so. In any event, if you're feelin' nervous and unprepared, reschedule the checkride, go up for a couple of lessons with another CFI (and that will probably give you three or four hours right there), and then blow the DE away!
Go out solo, and save a bit of money and worry about instructor issues.

Go through the PTS, at least, steep turns, slow flight, stalls, chandelles, lazy 8, 8 on pylons, and the listed types of takeoff and landings.

You'll know if you are within PTS standards as they are all published. If not good enough, go out with a CFI for some fixes as needed. A new CFI it sounds like is needed here.

I'm a week away from my checkride now. Last time out dual, see I needed to work on the 180 power off precision approach, and short fields, so that is what I'll work on while doing a quick once through the PTS for the next couple days I go out solo. Got about 20hrs in the Arrow doing nothing but the airwork really, and only maybe 25 landings in that plane, so need to get those down. Power off, when the gear goes, it really starts to drop fast!

It doesn't say the 3 hours have to be received by the instructor signing you off. Any of the hours you get with the other CFI count towards the 3.
It also seems your confidence is lacking right now. IMHO, I would reschecdule, fly with a CFI that you like, prove to him and yourself that you are ready to kick this checkride in the butt and go get your commercial ticket.
I'd have to second Josh's idea of going out solo and evaluating yourself. This will help you really learn the PTS and will payoff on the day of the checkride.

Then find an instructor you think you can work with who is motivated to TEACH (not just bide their time in the right seat). Show up when you want your endorsement and YOU tell the instructor, "I want to work on X, Y, and Z," and ask them to give you a mock checkride/oral.

That endorsement and license are yours to get, do not let someone tell you otherwise if you know you are up to the standard. Conversely if you are not up to it, figure out why and get the positive help you need to get there. You are paying for your instruction, and you should not give your money to anyone who is less than professional about it.

I had a very similar situation when I got my commercial and wished now that I had taken more control of the situation.

Get that license man!