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Private Pilot Check Ride: Pass Or Fail?

172 Cockpit James Good

Welcome to our first "Check Ride Pass or Fail" post, where we place you in the examiner's seat! In this scenario, a private pilot applicant makes a mistake on their check ride and it's up to you to decide if they should pass or fail. Here are the details:

Check Ride:

Private Pilot

Your Task:

Should the applicant pass or fail? Read the scenario below, then vote at the bottom of the post.


You just completed an applicant's private pilot oral exam. They aced the exam, answering questions with confidence and displaying little difficulty with anything you threw at them. You head out to the airplane and continue asking the applicant questions as they perform the preflight. The applicant knows the airplane well, pointing out what they look for in each step of the preflight. Taxi and run-up go smoothly, and their first takeoff is well executed.

You ask the applicant to begin the flight with their planned cross-country route. The applicant climbs to the correct altitude, intercepts the VOR course, and begins to identify their first checkpoint. As they look for the checkpoint, you fail their VOR. The applicant identifies the first checkpoint, records the crossing time, but never notices that the VOR has failed.

You continue the cross-country and the applicant maintains their heading, never straying off course. You ask the applicant what town is directly ahead of the airplane, and they correctly identify it. You then ask them how they know what town it is. They respond "because we are directly on course with the VOR."

Should the applicant pass or fail? Vote below to tell us what you think! Then, add comments below to discuss why you made your decision.

  • Pass


  • Fail


View The Results

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