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Private Pilot Check Ride: Pass Or Fail?

Cessna 172 generalantilles

Welcome to "Check Ride Pass or Fail", 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.


During a check ride, you simulate an engine failure at approximately 3500 feet AGL, then ask the student to make an emergency approach and landing. The student quickly identifies a nearby field as their landing point and begins positioning the aircraft for a downwind entry to land. They circle several times to reach pattern altitude, and then enter a left downwind adjacent to the field.

As the student turns base, they notice a drainage ditch covered in tall grass (see image below) that spans across their proposed landing area. The student isn't confident they can land and stop before the ditch, or glide and touchdown beyond the ditch. Because of this, they perform a steep bank turn at approximately 700 feet AGL to line up with a road next to the field. During the turn the student loses airspeed, and is 15 knots below best glide speed throughout the turn. As they line up with the road, they regain airspeed and stabilize the airplane for landing. At 500 feet AGL, you ask them to perform a go-around.

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

Drainage Ditch _enthusiastess
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