CFI Preflighting From Cotter Pins to Piano Hinges: Lesser-Discussed Things You Should Mention (and Look At) on Your Flights and Checkrides

If you don’t know what to look for, you definitely won’t know what to talk about. A good preflight goes well beyond kicking the tires, wiggling the ailerons, and swinging the rudder before you hop in the aircraft and taxi merrily along to the runway.  

So what are we looking for? In this article, I talk about a number of things you should plan to mention on your checkride preflight, but you should check these on every flight. Even if particular terms not specifically named on your checklist, they are definitely part of a larger item.  

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Checkride Questions: Aerodynamics of Ground Effect

The principle of ground effect explains why airplanes float during landing. It is a concept that pilots need to be familiar with because ground effect affects how aircraft act on takeoff and landing. If you’re preparing for a checkride, you should know how to explain ground effect. You should also know that ground effect can cause your airplane to float and float and float down the runway when you’re trying to have a nice landing.

In some takeoff situations, ground effect can be used to an advantage to improve acceleration if the runway is long enough. In soft-field situations, where you want to take the weight off the wheels during the ground run, ground effect can be used to get off the ground before true flying speed is reached. 

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CFI Checkride Oral Prep: Runway Incursions Lesson Plan

Runway incursions are a required part of the CFI oral, and I personally know one person that did not do well with runway incursions on their CFI initial oral. Not naming names to protect the redeemed. So I’ve been trying to prepare for this – my biggest fear is being asked something and either drawing a huge blank from being so nervous, or somehow have completely missed studying and having to say – I don’t know. I know that practice can prevent either of those scenarios from happening, and also make the checkride be closer to 3-4 hours than 5-6, or worse.

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More Private Pilot Checkride Prep – Multiple Choice Questions and FREE PDF

I’m back again with another quiz, this time a 10 question multiple-choice review. This is a brief refresher of items that might come up on the check ride. It includes a review of some airport signs and markings and  VFR chart items. The 10th question pertains to sport pilot cross country requirements – this is different for a private pilot certificate. 

Click right here to print the PDF of the quiz.