Letter of Disapproval, MEI ride, bummer

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
Well i got the dreaded pink slip today during my MEI ride oral. I was just rapping up my Vmc presentation and he said "lets take a break" (we had been going for about six hours at that point) "and when we get back we will go over the aircraft logs and then go fly". He had told me every thing was great at that point.

We took a break and then we got back in the room and he asked me what Vy was for the plane. I told him i did not know and i'll have to get the POH to check. (Vy is below Vyse so we never use it) He then asked me what Vxse was and i told him i did not know and i had to look it up (in the DA-42 Vxse is the same as Vyse because in reality Vxse is below redline, 68, thus we never use it). As I was looking up these two speeds he asked me what Vne was and I said 196 (which is right). Then he asked me what Vno was and i said 120, as soon as it came out of my mouth i said "wait excuse me, thats Va, Vno is 156" the real speed was 155 for Vno and 156 is for landing gear retraction, i was off by one knot.

From there he said he needed to issue me a letter of disproval. I was shocked. He told me i needed to know those speeds by heart. Confused by the fact that he had told me that the whole test was open book and i could use any material if i did not know the right answer, i just kind of nodded along in shock as he pulled out the pink slip. This was like the third thing i needed to look up during the whole 6 hour period. I taught the whole Vmc presentation with out looking at one note or book. The thing that really pisses me off is that Vy is below blue line so we never use it. Thus it was not memorized.

My CFI talked with the FAA examiner and he explained to him that every thing i did was great except for not knowing the V speeds. My CFI quickly ran in and told me the speeds, quized me on them 5 minutes later, and then signed me off to take the checkride again. The examiner said he would love to finish the checkride so he called the FSDO for approval and they said because i was emotional i could not take the checkride and would have to wait a couple of days.

bummer thats all i can say is bummer. I put about 80 hours of ground into this initial checkride and i flunk because i did not know the V speed that we never use so i would have to look it up.

Honestly it felt like he was just looking for any reason to fail me. It felt like that cop at the end of the month who is trying to meet his quota so he pulls you over for doing 32 in a 30.

Oh well i'm not the first to fail their initial CFI ride. I think there is less than a 50% pass rate. Just a bummer because i was about 20 minutes away from being done with the oral and now i have to do the all over with a different examiner.

I'm not saying the examiner did not have the right to fail me but i was just confused. Open book to me means if I don't know something i can look it up. I was doing so well and then the carpet got pulled out from underneath me

At least there was no fee for this checkride :D

back to studying V speeds i guess, because the examiner said every thing else was satisfactory during the debrief.

Just venting, i'm sure there are worse checkride stories out there. Some one was telling me that some companies fire you if you fail your checkride plus you still owe them for your training.

-Matt
 

SRA_kbad

Scooter Trash!!!
All I can say is just take it with a grain of salt, learn from your mistake, and most importantly, don't take it personal. The last thing you want to do is have the attitude that he was just out to get you. All you can do is press on, and prep for the retake.
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
Hey man - just study up and you'll pass it the next time. V speeds are pretty much non-negotiable no matter what. They expect that rote memorization at a minimum - hopefully you can explain it all up to the correlation level.
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
Thanks man. I think the worst part is i've past all four of my previous checkrides with flying colors and while i knew this one was not going to be easy, there was that little shame in the back of my head that i failed. Oh well know i know what it feels like to fail, i'm still alive and the world did not end. just unfortunate because i have a job lined up as a CFI contingent upon getting my CFI ratings of course. The worst feeling was that I felt like i let my CFI (and future employer) down. He told me not to worry about it but i really feel like i let him down. I almost could not even look him in the face.

It really insnt the end of the world but it felt like it was!

I know deep down the only person i can blame is my self but some times it feels good to blame some one else. Quick what kind of defense mechanism is that? :D

-Matt
 

kiwi lover

New Member
Holy CRAP!! What is it with these long oral exams? The longest one I ever had was 45 minutes! (And I'm commercial/multi/instrument) 6 HOURS? You've gotta be kidding me - maybe try another examiner??!?
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
I'll agree with Ian on this one: V-Speeds need to be memorized. Period. Its unfortunate that your ride ended this way, as it sound like things were going well, but take some comfort in the fact that the first time failure rate for the initial CFI is well over 50%. Furthermore, the FAA does not encourage MEI initials at all. I did mine this way, and I had a very grueling checkride. Just out of curiosity, what made you to do the MEI as your initial?
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Holy CRAP!! What is it with these long oral exams? The longest one I ever had was 45 minutes! (And I'm commercial/multi/instrument) 6 HOURS? You've gotta be kidding me - maybe try another examiner??!?

Thats pretty much standard for the initial CFI. Keep in mind, these are not done by examiners, but rather by FAA Inspectors. They FAA takes minting new CFI's very seriously. The FAA will only allow an examiner to do an initial CFI if the FSDO is too backed up.
 

esa17

Well-Known Member
Almost everyone busts their initial, its the FAA's way of telling you that you're only doing this because they allow it. That said, the V-speeds are certainly something you need to know by heart in everything you fly. Just be ready for the next round and you'll be fine.
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
Holy CRAP!! What is it with these long oral exams? The longest one I ever had was 45 minutes! (And I'm commercial/multi/instrument) 6 HOURS? You've gotta be kidding me - maybe try another examiner??!?
Take a CFI initial with the FAA (you probably will since the FSDO gets first crack at you) and it will be around 5-7 hours. Or any checkride with the FAA for that matter. The FAA needs to crack down and make sure people are getting tested at certain standard. They feel like designated examiners are signing people off too much too quickly. You don't pay the FAA guy 400 bucks either like the designated examiner. They work buy the hour so believe me the are gonna make it long. An examiner can do two checkrides in a day legally so they want to do it relatively fast to get on to the next one. but 45 minutes for an instrument checkride oral?!?!? Personally i would say you got lucky with your examiner or you understand the material at a very high level of understanding. My private oral was an hour. My Multi-Private add on oral was an hour. My instrument rating oral was 2 1/2 hours and my Commercial Oral was about 1 1/2 hours. The worst checkride you probably could take though is one with a designated examiner and an FAA guy examining the examiner. Talk about awkward. Your being examined and the examiner is being examined. If you screw up at all the examiner pretty much has to fail you.
 

Clocks

Well-Known Member
Sorry about the bust, but v-speeds are a must. I don't want to so "no excuse", because anyone can have a brain fart, but I wouldn't fault any examiner for busting on that.
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
I'll agree with Ian on this one: V-Speeds need to be memorized. Period. Its unfortunate that your ride ended this way, as it sound like things were going well, but take some comfort in the fact that the first time failure rate for the initial CFI is well over 50%. Furthermore, the FAA does not encourage MEI initials at all. I did mine this way, and I had a very grueling checkride. Just out of curiosity, what made you to do the MEI as your initial?

I did my MEI initial because it seemed like the thing to do since i got my multi private addon, then did my instrument rating in the multi engine plane, and my commercial in the twin. not to mention i have private privileges for single engine airplanes. The other reason is that now i have about 75 hours of multi time. When it came time to take my commercial ride i did not have to do all the "Performing the duties of the PIC" I was the PIC since i had a private multi. Also since i had a private multi and private multi instrument privileges my commercial multi was a breeze. I did the check ride with the guy who had gave me my other three so all we did was three touch n goes, steep turns, and an emergency decent. The bottom line is if you want to fly big planes some day you'll probably need multi time and since you can't force your student to fly a multi engine plane you never know how much you are gonna get. I figure if you are gonna pay for flight time, and you need the multi, do all the training in the twin. The last reason i did the MEI first is our twin, The DA-42, has an issue where it could go down indefinitely for maintenance should some thing break.

Personally i think if you can afford it do it because you are gonna need the multi time. It does not matter if you do it now or later. We have an instructor at our school who does not have a multi rating but he has close to 2000 hours TT. He just got a 135 job but he is limited to a single engine plane and is flying a 210 (i think). For him to go back now and do the multi stuff, it would be tough.
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
Sorry about the bust, but v-speeds are a must. I don't want to so "no excuse", because anyone can have a brain fart, but I wouldn't fault any examiner for busting on that.
Agreed, I was just pissed when i got home and i wanted to blame some one. I should of known them but i did not, oh well lesson learned. It did not cost me any money, just time. One thing is for sure the initial CFI ride is tough. like stated before i spent a good 80 hours of ground with an instructor this last month and a half and I still flunked. all my other ratings I maybe studied 10 hours at the most for my instrument rating and i thought that ride was not hard at all.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I busted my part 61 727 F/E rating back in the 80's cause I didn't know the emergency evac checklist. The instructor never taught it and never pointed out it was important. The way he found out it was important was because I busted. Sometimes these things just happen. You have to shrug it off and get on with things....

Good news is second rides are usually quite simple. You get credit for what you did so far.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
The CFI checkrides are long ones. My CFI oral and ride took about 4-5 hours. You are going to be teaching and the FEDs want to make sure you know your stuff. After all you wil have someone's life in your hands when you sign them off for solo.

The V speeds, emergency procedures, systems, and limitations are pretty much must memorize items for any checkride.

Remember, you can only be pissed off for one day about not passing a checkride. Learn what you did wrong, correct it and move on and knock the recheck out of the park. I personally didn't pass by CFII oral on the first try. I was pissed and went and studied my butt off for the retest and passed it.

Your career will be long and you will have many checkrides. Remember to be honest on apps about the failure. If you honest about the failure, accept responsibilty and learn from it will be a non-issue in the future.

I am sure you will pass the retest. Good Luck
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Sorry man; looks like you had a little bad luck that could happen to anyone on any given day.

Ironically, I did my initial CFI in an ASEL with a fed back in 1999. That oral was probably only 1.5-2.0 hours; I couldn't believe it when he said "okay, let's go fly". I was like "is that all?" and he was like "do you want more?" I must have been very lucky to get the fed that I did, because I don't think the test was supposed to be any easier 9 years ago. There was another FSDO who actually made the test two days; the first day you'd do all your commercial maneuvers in a complex airplane, and the second day you'd go up in a C152 or something and they'd made you do the spin recoveries. My MEI oral wasn't any more than a 1.5 either, I guess. Sounds like the luck of the draw, with the level of standardization among examiners/FSDOs leaving much to be desired.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
Sounds like the luck of the draw, with the level of standardization among examiners/FSDOs leaving much to be desired.
I'll second that. My CFI ride was pretty straight forward and took about 1/2 as long as the others had been taking. I later found out that the Fed was retiring and I was he last checkride before the party so I think he made it as fast as he could.
 

butt

New Member
I would just like to take this opportunity to say that I think making students memorize v-speeds is really stupid. The plane I fly now there are only really two speeds I need to remember: quarter flap speed, which is 190, and half flap/gear down speed which is around 170. Rotation speed, V1, V2, etc are all dependent on aircraft weight, so we have a chart to figure those out. Vne is the red line at the end of the airspeed indicator. Stall speed is the bottom of the white arc, etc. Why make me memorize those speeds when they are clearly marked on the airspeed indicator. The only time you ever need to know the actual number is when you're on the ground, outside the cockpit. So that begs the question, why is such an item required as part of the practical test? Theres nothing "practical" about that knowledge...
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
Well i wish it were not the case but the FAA wants to test you on it so unless you want to change the Regs you might as well learn it. It's kind of like the FOI. It's just a theory of instruction that the FAA choses to model. It's not the only one or the right one but it's what they use so we have to know it. Personally i think it's dumb but it's a lot less work to learn the stuff, pass the checkride, and then adopt a model that works best for you and your students.

One of the questions the examiner asked me today was "how do you know when a student is ready to solo" my answer went like this "the student is ready to solo once they have demonstrated to me (their CFI) that they are able to do every thing on the PTS" I continued to say that, (i should of kept my mouth shut), "But the CFI should trust their gut. If the CFI feels like the student is not ready they they should not sign them off no matter what the student says."

As soon as I said it he started scribbling. During the debrief (after I failed) he told me the answer to this question is just the part about the PTS. The whole gut feeling thing is not true at all and i should not of talked about it. I'm sorry but i'm not signing any student off if deep down i don't feel like they are ready. It just goes to show that to pass a checkride all you have to do is spit back their curriculum no matter how dumb it is. Once you have your CFI ticket in your hand, then you can change you teaching style to something that works for you.
 

launchpad

Well-Known Member
I would just like to take this opportunity to say that I think making students memorize v-speeds is really stupid. The plane I fly now there are only really two speeds I need to remember: quarter flap speed, which is 190, and half flap/gear down speed which is around 170. Rotation speed, V1, V2, etc are all dependent on aircraft weight, so we have a chart to figure those out. Vne is the red line at the end of the airspeed indicator. Stall speed is the bottom of the white arc, etc. Why make me memorize those speeds when they are clearly marked on the airspeed indicator. The only time you ever need to know the actual number is when you're on the ground, outside the cockpit. So that begs the question, why is such an item required as part of the practical test? Theres nothing "practical" about that knowledge...
Unfortunately, not all airplanes are built the same way. The airplane I currently fly has nothing but a few bugs on the side for takeoff/landing, and a barber pole. Speeds for all 4 flap setting, gear speeds, maneuvering speed, etc. etc. all have to be memorized and used on a daily basis.

Another extreme example comes from about 10 years ago when I was flying an old archer around. The airspeed indicator was having trouble, so it was changed.....with an airspeed indicator that had wrong markings. The white arc was about 20 knots off, and the red line at the end was about 15 knots off. Had I not known the speeds, the potential of losing airplane parts was there.
 
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