Anyone who likes checkrides has to be nuts. One of the toughest things about being a DE (FAA Designated Examiner) is knowing that no one really wants to be in the airplane with me, and even when a successful checkride is done,the checkee is probably going to say bad things about me in the bar, later. If the check was unsuccessful, the DE had better have asbestos ears, if not a bulletproof vest. I feel really sad when I think about this, but when it comes my turn in the barrel, guess how I feel? Yup, I hate him, too!
Let me see if I can give you some pointers from both sides of the cockpit, without being two-faced, or speaking with forked tongue.
Inspectors vs. Examiners
First, what’s the difference? Well, the inspector is a government employee, a member of the Civil Service, on the FAA’s payroll, and cannot charge for his services. The examiner is not on the government payroll, not a civil servant, but has been authorized by the FAA to perform services that the FAA cannot, due to lack of people, funds, desire, or expertise. The examiner can charge for his services. The generic term, or slang for an examiner is “DE” (Designated Examiner), but there are many, many different types of DEs, so we generally further qualify it, and a “DPE” is, specifically, a “Designated Pilot Examiner.”
A User Fee by Any Other Name …
With government cutbacks, and downsizing, more and more of the work previously done for free by the FAA is falling to examiners and other “civilians.” In my opinion, this will continue and accelerate in the future. When you stop to think about it, it’s just another way of instituting user fees, which the government is trying so hard to do, everywhere. I’d even favor this if our taxes would drop, but if you believe that’s going to happen…
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Among both inspectors and examiners, there are a lot of good people, a few not-so-good people, and a very few really malevolent monsters. Just about like the general population, and probably in about the same proportions, I think.
Being one myself (an examiner, not a monster!), I’d like to think DEs are somewhat better than inspectors, if only because the free market will weed out the really bad ones. Applicants will simply not use them, their income will dry up, and they’ll go away. The FAA can also lift the examiner’s designation rather easily, while it seems the only way to fire a civil servant is assassination (that’s not a suggestion!)
What’s the difference between a checkride by an inspector and an examiner? Other than the fee, there isn’t supposed to be any difference at all. In the real world, I am seeing, and hearing of, some very real differences.
The FAA school in Oklahoma City is excellent. They teach very clearly what must be done on checkrides. The FAA publishes “Practical Test Standards” (PTS) for each of the major certificates and ratings, and by and large, those books are clear and the requirements reasonable. While there may be no requirement for any applicant to review the PTS that is applicable to the rating he seeks, I think any applicant who does not do so before a checkride is seriously handicapping himself.
Nevertheless, I am seeing examples, and hearing stories of inspectors and examiners who are failing to require some of the stuff in the PTS. These folks may not realize it, but they risk felony prosecution for fraud, because by signing off a successful checkride, they are signing government documents stating that they did do whatever was required. At least two FAA inspectors were fired, stripped of all Civil Service benefits, all FAA certification, all retirement benefits, and are now serving hard time in the cooler for their sins. Serious stuff! This tendency may be greater among inspectors, a few of whom seem to feel that since they are the FAA, they can modify the rules to suit themselves. Boy, are they wrong!
What’s Wrong Here?
Many, many years ago, I was an applicant for a DC-3 type rating on my Chinese ATP. Our chief pilot was authorized to conduct the checkrides, so he loaded up five or six of us in a DC-3 (C-47, actually), and we each went out and did a landing. Maybe only a steep turn, I forget, it’s been 35 years. He signed us off, and a few weeks later we got our Chinese licenses, all properly endorsed. At that time, this was just the way things were done, and no one much cared. By the time we were really released to command the airplane, we knew how to fly it very well indeed, but the checkride was something of a farce, a formality.
I am reliably informed that this same sort of thing goes on here and there even into modern times, hard as that is to believe. Most make more of an effort to conduct some sort of real checkride, but a few skip some items. Or, so I hear. Such stories are always hard to pin down.
Two specific examples. The ATP PTS, which also covers type ratings, absolutely requires an actual inflight engine shutdown and restart, on multi-engine aircraft. There have been a number of reports after successful checkrides that this was not done, because the inspector/examiner was nervous about doing this in “vintage” aircraft. Folks, the PTS and the FARs don’t make an exception for vintage aircraft (or for inspectors), here! Furthermore, this is, in my opinion (and I’m not alone) a good maneuver, not only to test the applicant on two fairly complex procedures that he must know how to do properly, but to prove the airplane systems will actually perform as required. One check pilot who does require this task reports two cases he has seen where the props and feathering system worked fine on the ground, but would not feather properly in the air! Operators really, really need to know that particular system will work reliably.
The same PTS also requires a “V1 cut” (if there is a published V1), where the airplane is accelerated to that speed, an engine failure is simulated at, or slightly above it, and the applicant is expected to continue the takeoff, demonstrating the proper procedures. I have reliable reports from one area of the country that “NO ONE around here is doing this.”
Is There an Honest DE in the House?
This sort of thing makes it really difficult for an honest DE, which I’d like to be. I hear “Gosh, why are you all of a sudden making us do this, even the local FAA doesn’t require it!” (And no, folks, for those who know where I currently have DPE privileges, I’m not talking about the SEA and VNY FSDOs, so far they’re “clean.”)
On the other hand, there is the case where the inspector/examiner goes beyond the PTS and requires maneuvers, or tolerances, to some higher standard. While this is not a felony offense, and may even be well-intentioned, that’s not what the FAA wants, and it’s not what the checkees want. I do favor maneuvers and tolerances in training that go beyond the PTS, but that’s a learning process, and fun, too.
Here I Go Again …
I’m going to climb way out on a limb here, stick my neck out, and start sawing on the limb behind me, in an effort to tell you what I think about these checkrides, and how I do them. If any FAA people read this, your comments are welcome. Anyone is welcome to comment, of course. Keep ’em public, if possible, so we can all learn something.
Whoever Heard of a C-46?
Examiner’s privileges are very specific. As a DPE (Designated Pilot Examiner) I can do type ratings in the old Curtiss-Wright C-46 “Commando” and the Martin 404. I hope to add the Douglas DC-3 and North American B-25 to my privileges soon. I can also do initial Private, Commercial, Instrument, and ATP rides, but only in those airplanes. DPE privileges are limited to specific FSDO areas. In my case, Seattle, Wash., Van Nuys, Calif., and soon (I hope), Lubbock, Texas. It is fairly easy to add other areas, if there is a specific need, and the FSDO is “cooperative.”
In parallel with that, I hold PPE (Pilot Proficiency Examiner) privileges in those same aircraft. As a PPE, I can do annual proficiency checks as required by FAR 61.58. Oddly enough, PPE privileges are not limited by geographic regions, they are good worldwide.
The minimum maneuvers and minimum standards are the same for both the type rating ride and the proficiency check. They must be to ATP standards, regardless of the underlying certificate. The one major difference is that the proficiency check can also include brush-up training (“Training to Proficiency”), while the certification ride cannot. The FAA wants no training, and no “second chances,” on the certification ride. There are a couple of exceptions, but in general, if you really blow a maneuver on the certification ride, it’s time for a pink slip.
As you should have gathered by now, I don’t do checkrides on modern aircraft, that’s for the wussies who prefer all their abnormals in simulators. There are no simulators for the “vintage,” “antique,” and “warbird” aircraft and we do checkrides the old-fashioned way, for real. Yes, it gets really interesting! Anyway, my comments below will be from the perspective of doing type rating rides in real airplanes. Old ones, with props and pistons that go “suck, squeeze, bang, blow” up to 50 times per second.
Time to Go for a Ride
Okay, my phone rings, and you tell me you want a type rating ride. There are a number of things we need to get organized before we can do that. We’ll exchange phone numbers and addresses of all concerned, including the recommending CFI. Why? Because if it’s a type rating ride, I need to make sure he is properly qualified to sign the back of the Form 8710-1, the application. He needs to be a CFI, II, MEI, and hold the type rating himself. As it happens, this is a very difficult area, because there are very, very few fully-qualified instructors on these old airplanes! (In fact, we’re critically short of pilots and copilots for them, but that’s for another column.)
No folks, contrary to popular belief, an ATP cannot sign this form, or instruct, generally. The language in the FARs (see 61.167(b)(1)) that grant “instructor” privileges to an ATP pilot strictly limits such instruction to the airline environment. The intent there is to allow line pilots to work in the training department, without having to go get the CFI first.
The Moving Hand Writes – Poorly
Speaking of the application (FAA Form 8710-1), it is not required that it be typed. But in my opinion, it is foolish not to type it, unless you can print a lot more neatly than I can. A lot of people may be looking at this form, and it really needs to be highly legible to keep errors from propagating down the line and causing problems. The FAA is harsh with examiners who turn in paperwork with errors and a 10% return rate is unacceptable. Do us all a favor and type it out, please? In fact, I have the form on my portable computer and can fill it out and print it out on plain paper, which I prefer. In a pinch, the temporary certificate can also be hand-printed, and it’s just as valid. The Temporary that goes to the FAA must be typed, but that’s my problem, not yours.
It is absolutely not necessary to use your Social Security Number! I’ve run into several FAA people who still don’t understand this. “DO NOT USE” is a perfectly valid entry (see the instructions) for those (like me) who are unhappy with the government’s broken promises to never, ever use the SSN as any form of ID. No one should even raise an eyebrow over that.
Say, Zonker, Just Where Do You Live?
There is a lot of confusion over the “physical address” issue. The insane “drug war” is destroying our country, but nevertheless, the FAA has been required “by higher authority” to have on file a real, physical address, presumably so that the DEA Gestapo can come knocking in the night. If you cannot clearly identify where you live, you may be required to describe it in text form on a separate piece of paper, or to even draw a map. I don’t like that any more than some of you do, but my job is to make the paperwork go smoothly for you, the customer, and for me, and the FAA, too.
When the Weight of the Paperwork Equals That of the Airplane …
In that same initial phone conversation, I’ll suggest you make a copy of your present certificate, your medical (only a Class III is required, for all checkrides), and your driver’s license, which I want to keep in my files (proves I checked). You will save a little time, and some thrashing around on the day of the checkride, by having this done before I get there. I will also remind you that I will want to see the Certificate of Airworthiness, Registration, aircraft manual, and a current weight and balance. I will also want to see evidence that the annual inspection, the static system test, and the 30-day VOR tests are properly documented (the VOR test can be on a paper napkin, for all I care).
We will agree on a time and place, and it will be up to you to provide a quiet, comfortable area where we can work undisturbed, without distractions. We’ll discuss intercoms and headsets. I don’t like hoods for these checkrides, for several reasons. Most of these airplanes are flown more by instruments than outside reference, even in good weather, so a hood is a little superfluous, it gets in the way, prevents a view of the overhead panels, and often limits the peripheral view of the other side of the cockpit. Most importantly, it blocks outside view of traffic from cockpits with far too limited visibility already. We need all the eyeballs we can get in today’s traffic patterns.
I do suggest wearing a baseball cap, as it is very useful for blocking the sun during steep turns, and can sufficiently block most of the forward view of the runway. I will usually also block that view on final approach with something opaque, and in a manner that doesn’t block anyone else’s view, but otherwise, I want the applicant to be watching for traffic, right along with the rest of us. I’d modify this somewhat for someone who is concurrently getting an instrument rating, but at the ATP level, I assume the applicant can already fly instruments.
I will probably ask you to prepare a written weight and balance for some specific condition and to plan a flight to some distant destination. We will agree on my fee, and possibly expenses if you’re at some distant location.
The Evil Day Arrives
The day of the ride, we’ll take a few minutes for small talk, and getting to hate each other…just kidding. We’ll make sure the airplane will be ready for us when we need it, so we don’t get delayed, later. If it’s a certification ride, the paperwork will probably take about an hour. I like to have it 100% done before we fly, so all I have to do is hand you the completed temporary certificate when done (No, I don’t fill out a pink slip in advance!) The oral will generally take about two hours, including a walk-around and preflight, and the flight itself should never take more than two hours. Any more than that is unacceptable, in my opinion, because fatigue sets in for everyone and the operation becomes unsafe. Under ideal conditions, the checkride can be done in less than 1:30, but 1:45 is also reasonable (airborne times).
Who’s on First?
We need to get very explicit, before flying, on just who is the real PIC. You, the applicant, are supposed to act like one. But, if I’m in the right seat, it is my ticket that’s on the line, and we need to understand that. In rare cases, where I know the people involved, I may give the check from the jumpseat, with a well-qualified pilot in the right seat, but these airplanes are so lethal I really prefer to have some control over my own destiny. Of course, along with that may come some liability and I don’t even want to think about that. I sometimes wonder why anyone even wants to be an examiner.
IFR or VFR?
This one is really confusing. I hope the FAA clears it up, but I’m not holding my breath. Up until August 4, 1997, we had the option (in any aircraft) of giving type ratings limited to “VFR ONLY.” Unfortunately, the FARs no longer allow this, unless the type certificate limits the aircraft to VFR. As far as I know, that applies only to a few helicopters. Strangely enough, the PTS also allows a “VFR ONLY” type rating on “certain types of vintage airplanes, which require a pilot type rating and ARE NOT CAPABLE of demonstrating instrument procedures.” It is not really clear to me just how liberally that can be taken, but I guess we’ll find out the first time some smartass yanks the nav radios out of a C-46 and asks me for a “VFR ONLY” rating ride!
Existing VFR ONLY ratings are grandfathered, and 61.58 rides for them are still “VFR ONLY.”
Eeny, Meenie, Miney, Mo, Temporary, Pink Slip, or …
I will explain to you that today’s practical test, once begun, has only three possible outcomes. A Temporary Certificate, a “Notice of Disapproval” (the dreaded pink slip), or a “Letter of Discontinuance.” That last one is not well understood. If anything outside the control of the applicant aborts the test, the examiner is required to give this letter, which is to protect the applicant. It certifies that the applicant has successfully completed all the items “so far,” and will probably not need to repeat them when the test resumes. If the examiner drops dead before the test can be resumed, then another examiner can (at his option), skip the completed items.
Pssst, Wanna Hear a Secret – or Three?
There are some rules for examiners that seem to be a dark, dirty secret, but I get them right out on the table, before the check begins. One is that the FAA is absolutely adamant that I must tell you immediately if I have decided on a pink slip. I cannot let you go on to the next maneuver without telling you. If that happens, and we both agree, we might try to complete the remaining items on the rest of the check, but I must tell you, and we must discuss it. I can’t tell you after the checkride is over “You blew the steep turns, and the stalls.”
Very few seem to catch the significance of this. This means that you know the checkride is successful,”so far,” if I haven’t said anything! I have always hated the check pilots who keep me in suspense until I’m in the debriefing room, still wondering if I passed, or failed. At the end, I usually say “Well, if you can get us back to the parking spot without killing anyone, you passed.” If there are onlookers when we taxi in (often, with these old birds), I’ll give a thumbs up out the window, too, to let everyone know we’ve got a new captain.
Mistakes are allowed! Not too many, please, but I’ll forgive almost anything if you recognize the error, and take prompt corrective action. Say you didn’t hit the timer over the VOR on a non-precision approach, and the MAP is determined only by timing? If you try and cheat, you’ll blow it. But if you say “Ahh rats, I forgot to start the clock, missed approach, call ATC and ask for another,” I’ll just smile, pat you on the shoulder, and say “Well done!”
Busting Limits Allowed!
Busting the limits is allowed! (The sound you just heard is every FAA person in the world choking on his latte.) Take the feared steep turn, with altitude limits of +/-100 feet. You roll in, everything is going fine, but about halfway through, you start gaining altitude, and you go 160′ above, or 60′ out of limits. If you catch it, and take immediate (don’t jerk it!) corrective action to get back within limits, and that’s the only problem with the steep turn, I won’t say a word. If we go around the other way, and you exceed the limits again, you’ll have my attention, and you may have just skated out onto thin ice, so to speak. If that’s the only error or exceedence, I’ll probably let it go, but now let’s say you get a secondary stall on the stall series, and you didn’t maintain altitude on the entry, and your first takeoff was a little wobbly. Okay, now it’s maybe time for a pink slip, but I can’t bust you for anything but the final goof. Remember, I have to TELL you when the pink slip decision has been made. What I will say is, “You didn’t meet the PTS standards for stalls, so I’m going to have to issue a Notice of Disapproval. And oh, by the way, you really need work on takeoffs and steep turns.”
Here are the FAA’s own words. Note carefully the first two words.
Consistently exceeding (emphasis mine) tolerances stated in the TASK Objective, or failure to take prompt, corrective action when tolerances are exceeded, are indicative of unsatisfactory performance. The tolerances represent the performance expected in good flying conditions. Any action, or lack thereof, by the applicant which requires corrective intervention by the examiner to maintain safe flight shall be disqualifying.
Checkrides can be “discontinued” for maintenance, weather, illness, lots of reasons. What you as an applicant should know is the you have just as much right as the examiner/inspector to discontinue! If you bobbled that takeoff, and you blew the steep turn, and you’re sure you’re just not going to make it today, you might say something like “I’m just not feeling well today, I’m discontinuing the checkride.” If the examiner/inspector hasn’t already told you it’s a bust, he CAN’T bust you, or at least he shouldn’t, and I won’t.
Use That Checklist
A word about checklists. All the points I made in my first AVweb column, “Throw Away That Stupid Checklist,” apply to the airplanes you need a type rating to fly, EXCEPT, you do not have the option on written checklists, you MUST use them. They are explicitly required by FAR 91.503, and they are “A Very Good Thing.” Unfortunately, I’m seeing a lot of really bad ones. But frankly, unless I see something downright dangerous, the checklist you use is none of my business, as long as you use it, and it creates no major problems.
Checklists are not sacred. They were not issued to Moses, engraved in stone. Good checklists are living, changing things, and should get revised from time to time. In Part 91 operations, you do not need FAA approval to alter one, or to write an entirely new one. That piece of trash that came with the airplane is just another person’s idea of what HE thought it should be, fifty years ago. It is probably badly out of date, and I’ve seen many that are not even readable, leading me to think it doesn’t get used at all, except for checkrides. With modern word processors, and neat lamination kits and services available, there is no good reason to put up with “stupid checklists.”
I will say that if a pilot doesn’t routinely use a checklist, but then tries to take a checkride and use one, he’s unlikely to pass the checkride. It’s just too obvious, and he’ll blow it, every time.
Preparation Done, Checkride Begins
Okay, once the paperwork is all reviewed and found acceptable, at some point the inspector/examiner is supposed be very explicit, and say “OK, the Practical Test starts now.” Once that is said, then there are only three possible outcomes, the Letter of Discontinuance, the Notice of Disapproval, or a Temporary Certificate. In other words, we can’t just drop it, and walk away, there must be some paperwork.
That is the point at which the oral begins, to be followed by the practical. The distinction between preparation and the test is important, because if the airplane paperwork is not in order, it’s not a bust, and no paperwork is required. So all the non-essentials need to be squared away first, then the test begins.
Orals for type ratings tend to cover more complex systems. Weight and balance is more important and there are a lot more numbers to add up (bring a calculator!) as there are generally more compartments, multiple fuel tanks, zero fuel weights, etc.
Redlines – and Green Lines
During the oral I don’t like to get too bound up in numbers that are already marked on the instruments. Minimum/maximum temperature and pressure markings are required, and I’d almost rather see someone say “I don’t know those, they’re on the instruments.” Some examiners will run through them, so it’s neat if you can commit them to short-term memory. On the other hand, “unmarked things” like turbulence speeds, flap speeds, and the engine-out speeds are very important, and must be well memorized (and understood!)
I like to do much of the oral in and around the airplane, with the approach of “What does it mean when this light comes on?” “What would you do?” “Why?” I hit propeller systems on these airplanes very hard, because it is the one system that can kill quickly, and the one system where quick, positive, and accurate action may be absolutely necessary, from memory.
A good oral should include a thorough review of the emergency procedures, not only to determine if the applicant knows them, but to confirm what will happen, how they’ll be simulated, and how recoveries will be done. It is especially important if the examiner will be in the right seat, because there will have been no practice at teamwork. In my opinion, it is up to the examiner to “adapt,” not the applicant! Unless the review reveals something that is unsafe, the applicant should use the precise procedures used for training. Only after the checkride is over, paperwork complete, should the examiner say something like “Oh, by the way, you might think about your engine out procedure, here’s what I prefer when instructing…”
The FAA requires all examiners/inspectors to have a written action plan and I think this should be fully shared with the applicant in advance. These airplanes can be lethal and I think it’s stupid to have any surprises. At the risk of repeating myself, these are not simulators, where a crash simply means “reset, and try again.” I cannot find the word “surprise” in the PTS.
Here’s my typical C-46 checkride, performed out of Camarillo and Oxnard, California. It is rather carefully crafted to satisfy several needs. First, minimum time, to reduce fatigue. Second, minimum time at high engine power, especially on one engine, close to the ground. Finally, I do as many “combined” maneuvers as possible (but not multiple failures).
Normal Takeoff at CMA, possible reject (crosswind, if available) Put hood on asap (100′)
I really prefer to just do a normal takeoff on the first one, to give the applicant time to get over the jitters. If I’ve flown with him before, and know he’s sharp, we might get the rejected takeoff out of the way, either by calling an engine failure, pulling a throttle, or simulating a fire. I use the word “hood” hereafter to mean any sort of vision blocking arrangement, including the baseball cap and blocking device mentioned earlier. Note this accomplishes three major required maneuvers at once, the normal takeoff, the possible reject, and the full instrument departure.
Simulated radar vectors for the OXR LOC approach (MDA 1,000′), circle to landing
This gets three required maneuvers, a non-precision approach, a circle, and a required landing. I cheat on the MDA, by setting a high “training MDA”, both for safety, and for noise abatement. Just try a low circle over Oxnard at the real MDA, and you’ll have a lynch mob waiting, led by the airport manager (and rightfully so, I might add!) If I add, say, 500 feet to the MDA, I also add 500 feet to the other altitudes on the approach. A key point on these approaches is a very “brisk” rate of descent to MDA, with 1,000 fpm desired. Get down early, then fly level as long as possible. Don’t forget the timing, if that’s what determines the MAP. (The glass cockpit folks are starting to do things differently, but “the old ways” work better.)
Normal takeoff (possible reject), simulated engine failure at 500′, procedure, recover engine.
On “real” transport category airplanes (like the Martin 404), there are established V1 and V2 speeds, and on these we are required to cut the engine at, or shortly after V1, still on the runway, and continue the takeoff. This is one of the more hazardous maneuvers we do. On the older airplanes, without such certification testing and established airspeeds, the PTS says we are not allowed to do that engine cut until reaching 500 feet AGL (no objection, here!). I generally pull the throttle back, let the applicant go through the failure procedure (Power, Gear, Flaps, Identify, Verify, Feather, Mixture, Checklist). As he calls “feather,” I’ll set zero thrust, and the moment he calls the final item (Checklist), I’ll return things to normal, going to climb power on both engines (saves flogging them to death).
Here’s one of the more interesting maneuvers on my checkrides. It looks like a massive headache, but it’s really not, and it’s a very realistic sequence.
Simulated vectors to OXR ILS. Break out at minimums, continue to runway, rejected landing, full standard missed approach to SQUID, and hold.
That gets one of the precision approaches, the rejected landing, a full published missed approach, and the hold. The rejected landing will be deep in the flare, after the throttles have been fully retarded, and I like to point and yell “Baby on the runway, go around!” Note there is nothing at all wrong with an actual touchdown during this maneuver, and I do it late enough to make that a very real possibility.
Once the hold has been entered, and the applicant has demonstrated that he knows about timing, we break out of that and do the airwork. This works well, because the PTS requires a full missed approach, and in this case we are left at 4,000 feet in an ideal area for airwork, so we might as well do those maneuvers and avoid another climb to altitude. Steep turns, which everyone loves (NOT!), generally come first. I have heard of check pilots who insist on “trim,” or “no trim” during the steep turn. I think it’s easier without trimming, but it’s none of my business which way an applicant prefers, and I won’t say a thing.
Stalls and Spins
Many FAA people, and some examiners, seem to think stalls are done as they are in General Aviation, with “approach stalls,” “departure stalls,” etc. In big airplanes they are configuration stalls, and only to the first definite sign (spins are definitely a bust!) All of them are done level at a selected altitude, with a power setting that produces a good speed reduction to the stall (one knot per second, but who’s counting?) That power setting can be maintained right into the maneuver and when the applicant calls for “Max Power,” I’ll set some much lower power, just to save the engines. In the real case, of course, more power might be needed, so the applicant must call for all of it. Setting climb power pretty nicely simulates a normally loaded airplane,anyway.
Review hydraulic failure, cabin fire, emergency descent, still working back towards OXR, then engine failure, shutdown, restart.
If we’re over a runway, we’ll do the engine failure first, otherwise we’ll do the emergency review while getting there. I’ll quietly try and sneak a fuel valve to “OFF,” and try and look innocent and surprised when the engine quits. The applicant must go through the drill, and this time it’s for real. The moment he calls “Checklist,” I’ll say “Checklist complete, case closed, let’s start it right back up.” What I really want to hear is “Inflight Engine Restart Checklist,” and then we work it carefully. We don’t want the engine cooling off any more than necessary, but we really don’t want to miss anything on the restart, there are a few extremely critical items.
Single engine (just before final intercept), ILS OXR to minimums, landing, full stop
Now, the applicant has demonstrated his engine-out procedures at least twice by this point and the PTS does NOT require this to be demonstrated six times! So unless he was a little shaky, any further failures will be announced by “Engine is out, checklist complete,” and I’ll just set zero thrust (simulating feather). We get another precision approach, this time with an engine out, and another landing to a full stop.
Takeoff, simulated vectors to CMA, VOR approach on one engine (fail just before final intercept), missed approach on one engine, as soon as procedure is complete and climb safely established, remove hood, recover engine, break off to VFR pattern, no flap landing.
Again, a non-precision approach, this time on one engine. It is still important to descend 1,000 fpm to MDA, so some drag will be needed. But, these old airplanes don’t do very well on one engine with any drag out, so it is almost mandatory to clean up just before reaching MDA and do the level flight portion “clean.” This also avoids flogging the engine, again, and it makes the missed approach on one engine easier, just go to METO power, and climb. But again, any way the applicant wants to do this is OK with me, as long as he meets the PTS standards.
Taxi home, shutdown.
Hey, it’s part of the checkride, so don’t relax and run into something, or jump out of the airplane with the engines still running, it’s considered poor form!
Congratulations, you’re a C-46 pilot!
Be careful up there!