Instrument Checkride


Oral started at 10:00 after finishing up some paperwork and IACRA.

The oral covered:

1) Aircraft inspections: Annual, 100 hour (for rent or hire), Transponder, Pitot-Static, ELT and VOR checks.

2) It went on and covered the various ways to check the VOR; the examiner had me explain three different types; air, ground, and VOT.

3) Next we covered fuel requirements for IFR flight, and ran through some scenarios.

4) Currency requirements, how to keep IFR current, and current to take passengers. Basic PPL currency (3 takeoffs and landings within last 90 days).

5) Aircraft systems. Pitot Static, which instruments run off of it, and how they work. Also Gyroscopic systems, which instruments are powered by the engine driven vacuum pump, and which instrument(s) run off of the electrical system, and why there are 2 different systems powering these instruments. (Redundancy) Went on to discuss which planes the Gyros are mounted on in each of the instruments. AI mounted horizontally, DG, upright vertically, and the TC, vertically, and at an angle.

6) We then took out the flight plan I made from Hillsboro (HIO) to Medford (MFR). We discussed various parts of the flight plan, and then went on to discuss why I chose the alternate I did. The examiner gave me weather to use in the flight planning ahead of time, so we discussed whether some airports could even be used as an alternate. Some couldn't because of alternate minimums. What to do if the airport doesn’t have weather forecasts.

7)Approach and Departure Charts: Discussed various parts of the chart, i.e. planview, profile, briefing strip, then symbols on the chart such as the visual decent point, MSA, 10nm circle, feeder fixes, minimum altitudes, glide slope intercept altitudes, and so on. There are a lot of symbols on the chart, so just know them.

8) Enroute charts: Went over the different kinds of airways; V routes, GPS routes, NDB routes, and Direct. Discussed MEA's, MOCA's, and the obstacle clearance associated with them. Also discussed minimum reception altitudes, and if you have reception if you are on the MEA. If you spend an hour looking over the enroute chart you should be fine, and know most of the stuff on it.

9) Discussed the NDB airways in Canada. “Why do you think they are NDB airways, and not VOR airways?” (Line of sight.)

10) Lost Comm procedures. Discussed what altitudes to maintain while going along your flight plan. Then the examiner gave me a lost comm scenario. If I was flying from Seattle to Yakima and just departed maintaining 6000, and my radios failed 2 minutes after I was told to expect 8000 feet in 5 minutes. Which altitude would I maintain and how would I make the approach into Yakima? Use MEA: MEA, Expected, Assigned.

11) Also what to do if your DME fails on a DME arc.

12) The significance of the temperature-dew point spread. (Fog)

13) Weather: Discussed Fronts; Cold, Warm, Occluded and Stationary. Which front moves faster, what to expect after a front passage (change in wind direction, temperature, pressure (which way?)) Also what kind of weather is associated with each of the fronts. More specifically, what kind of front you’ll get freezing rain with.

14) Ice: different kinds of ice, where you will get ice, the temperature ranges and cloud types. Also what the effect is of the different kinds of ice.

15) Visual approaches VS contact approaches. Can ATC assign a contact approach or a visual approach? Why would you want a contact approach?

The Oral ended after about an hour and a half, we took a break, and then met at the plane around 12:00. I did a preflight and filed a flight plan. The examiner let me pick the approaches to do, so I picked the approaches I was most familiar with. I filed for the Aurora (UAO) GPS Runway 17, Hillsboro (HIO) VOR/DME-C then the Hillsboro ILS 12. Started the plane at 12:30, did a VOT check, got IFR clearance, taxied, did an instrument cockpit check, run-up and takeoff briefing. We were off the ground at 12:40.

I departed along the Farmington 4 departure to Newberg VOR (UBG) and entered the hold, did one turn in the hold and departed on the approach to Aurora. I checked weather at Aurora, briefed the approach and set the radio frequencies I needed. I had to do 1 full procedure approach, so I entered the GPS hold, and proceeded inbound on the GPS approach. Once passed the IAF, Portland approach let me go to CTAF, and told me to report back with him on the missed. The airport was very busy so the examiner had me increase my MDA by 600 feet to 1240. I leveled off at 1300 to the missed approach point, then went missed.

Back on frequency with approach, he had me right turn direct to Newberg, for the VOR/DME-C. I leveled off at 3000 feet, and briefed the approach and set everything up, or so I thought. About 5 miles from the VOR my something magically appeared blocking my AI and DG. Easy enough I timed a right turn to intercept the outbound 346 radial from the VOR. Approach handed me off to tower. I called tower and they told me to report 6 DME. At about 2.5 DME I noticed my nav radios weren’t saying the same thing. Nav 2 said I was 2 degrees off course and nav 1 said I was right on. I ran through nav settings and finally noticed I had 336 set in the OBS instead of 346! I fixed it, and was nearly ¾ scale deflection. After a sharpish turn, I was back on course. I nearly blew this approach. By 6 DME all the “exciting” stuff was over, and it was just a normal approach (partial panel). Tower asked me to level off at 1700ft (1000 feet above MDA, and 500 ft above the TPA). After 10.9 DME the MAP, I went missed back to the VOR. My AI and DG magically worked again, and back with approach I was given radar vectors to the ILS runway 12.

The ILS was very uneventful. I had about 5 or 10 minutes to get set up for it, so I checked and double checked everything. Established inbound on the localizer approach handed me off to tower once again. I reported on with tower, and she told me to report 6 miles. At 6 miles we were still IMC. She said report 3 miles, we were still IMC. At 2 miles the examiner had the airport in sight. ATC gave me instructions to circle south to land. We needed an approach to minimums, so the examiner advised atc that this was an instrument flight test. After an obvious sigh, the atc gave us the straight in to runway 12. A new controller took over (my favorite controller because she’s seriously pro) and started directing all 5 pattern aircraft to do 360s and cross finals and all kinds of stuff. Finally at minimums I looked up and with the runway in sight pulled the power and made a nice smooth landing; a very good way to end a pretty good check ride.

I taxied in and shut down the engine right around 2:15. After it was tied down we went inside and printed out my new temporary certificate. The ride was much easier and less stressful then I thought it would be, but I’m very happy to finally be done!

The flight was 1.7 hours, 0.5 actual. J


Well-Known Member
Sweet, thanks for the very detailed write up.

No slow flight, steep turns, unusual attitude recovery?


Thanks guys!

Sweet, thanks for the very detailed write up.

No slow flight, steep turns, unusual attitude recovery?
None! There wasn't a chance to be VMC and the examiner didn't want to do it in the clouds. We discussed it while taxiing in... So I guess that counts....