How To Prepare For Your Upcoming Private Pilot Checkride

The term “checkride” can bring up feelings of fear, nervousness, or overwhelm as pilots must face the rigors of these mandatory tests. But for seasoned pilots, checkrides become a normal part of life. By the time a pilot is ready to fly professionally, they have gone through several checkrides and have developed a thorough understanding of the process. Checkrides are tools to assess piloting skills throughout courses and certifications and are also commonly required for pilots seeking employment.

Although pilot check rides can be nerve-wracking, they don’t have to be. With a solid background from your Arizona flight school and some encouragement from your flight instructor, you’ll develop a good understanding of how to prepare for a professional pilot check ride.

How To Prepare For Your Upcoming Private Pilot Checkride

What Different Types Of Professional Pilot Check Rides Will I Experience?

There are multiple types of check rides that professional pilots must pass, typically depending on what kind of airplanes they operate and where they work.

Pre-Employment Checkride

Also called “technical evaluations” or “simulator checks,” pre-employment check rides are a common part of applying for a pilot job. In many cases, the operator and the job market will determine whether a checkride is required. If there are many available pilots to choose from, employers are more likely to evaluate the skills of applicants through a checkride.

Part 141 Flight Instructor Checkride

There are two types of flight schools: FAA approved and non-FAA approved. An Arizona aviation school that is FAA approved must have FAA certified flight instructors. Part of that certification process is completion of a Part 141 flight instructor checkride.

Aircraft Type Rating Checkride

In order to fly specific airplanes, pilots must receive a type rating. These ratings are earned when pilots attend training and are then tested as they fly that type of aircraft. Training and testing is often done at Part 124 flight simulator centers. Some employers can conduct type rating checkrides as well.

Part 135 Checkrides

Part 135 rules govern commercial aircraft, such as air taxi operations. Pilots must follow a variety of regulations with ongoing testing and training, including an initial competency and proficiency checkride, followed by annual or semi-annual checkrides.

Who Conducts Checkrides?

When pilots-in-training are earning their initial certificates and ratings at Arizona commercial pilot school, they are typically tested by FAA-authorized pilot examiners, although they may also be conducted by the FAA itself or an authorized flight school that has self-examining authority.

Professional pilots are subject to check rides at simulator training centers, the FAA, or by check airmen designated by the FAA at an employer.

Pilot Success Is the Goal

There are many ways to improve your success during a checkride:

Stay calm: A test taker who is relaxed and confident will more easily recall information and perform better than someone who is extremely nervous. Increase your calmness by positive self-talk, thinking about your skills and abilities, avoiding fixating on negative outcomes, taking deep breaths, laughing a little, and maintaining a good posture in flight. Don’t hesitate to ask for a break if you need it, or make some small talk with the check airman to help calm your nerves.

Don’t try to hide your mistakes: Checkairmen are extremely experienced and have probably already noticed any mistakes you’ve made. Continue to fly the aircraft safely. Verbalizing the mistake you’ve made can be helpful because testing standards allow pilots to pass if they have noticed and corrected deviations.

Don’t try to hide your lack of knowledge: Most check rides are open book, meaning you are allowed to reference the materials from Arizona aviation lessons that would normally be available to you during airplane operation. There are only a few exceptions, such as emergency procedures.

Be honest when you don’t know the answer: A skilled evaluator will see through your lack of knowledge, so it’s better to admit you don’t know an answer.

Get rest before your checkride: Make it a priority to get a good night’s sleep before your checkride. This is almost always more beneficial than last minute cramming material from your Arizona flying lessons.

Don’t give up: If you think you made a serious mistake, don’t stop your maneuver; this is grounds for not passing. Keep going, discuss your potential mistakes, and correct them as best as you can.

Be willing to learn: Checkrides take place with very experienced and capable pilots who want to help you improve your own piloting skills. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions, learn, and ask for feedback. You may end up being evaluated by the same check airmen throughout your piloting career, so it’s smart to have a good attitude and an eagerness to learn.

Be Prepared For Checkrides With Arizona’s Top Rated Flight School

Classic Air Aviation has developed a reputation for being one of Arizona’s leading flight schools. Our extensively experienced flight instructors are ready to help you become a successful pilot through our ground school and in-flight training programs. Whether you want to become a hobby pilot or a professional career pilot, we have the certifications you need. Contact admissions today to get started!


4805 E Falcon Dr
Mesa, AZ 85215

Phone: 602-574-5376