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6 Most Common Private Pilot Checkride Failures

Checkrides can be intimidating, especially your first one. But knowing the common problem areas helps you prepare and pass.

6) Navigation

You're nervous. You're fumbling with your sectional chart or iPad in the cockpit. And you picked what could be the tiniest visual checkpoint in the state.

Try to avoid hard-to-see checkpoints like power lines, antennas, and ponds. Stick to the big stuff: larger cities, rivers and major highways. You'll save yourself from heart palpitations on your flight.

Live from the Flight Deck

5) Stalls

The two major problems with stalls: not letting the stall fully develop, and uncoordinated recovery. Make sure you allow the airplane to fully stall, and aways 'step on the ball' to stay coordinated throughout the maneuver.

4) Landings

Good judgement is a key to being a good pilot, and that couldn't be more true on landings. Make sure you're on speed throughout the pattern, and if things aren't looking and feeling right, go around. You'll be hard-pressed to find an examiner who fails a pilot for executing a go-around when the landing just isn't working out.


3) Emergency Landing

Three words: fly the airplane. Too often pilots get distracted with checklists and what's happening inside the airplane. Find a safe spot to land. Run your checklist. But always keep flying the airplane.


2) Airspace

Airspace is complex. There are different VFR weather minimums, equipment requirements, communication requirements, and all kinds of different markings on your map. And you need to know all of them. Rote memorization won't do - make sure you dig into all the 'what if' scenarios, so you're prepared for checkride day. (Fortunately, we have just the thing to help you prepare!)


1) Weather

Let's face it. Nobody really enjoys reading coded weather reports and forecasts. METARs aren't necessarily that bad, but when you start digging into TAFS, Graphical Forecasts for Aviation, Winds Aloft forecasts, AIRMETs, and everything else, there's a lot to know. And, your examiner is going to have you read the coded version of the weather reports, so english-translated versions just won't do. So how should you prepare? Make sure you have a good understanding of all the weather reports and forecasts, and how to read them in their coded formats. Need some help with that? We have just what you need.


You want to pass your checkride, and we can help you get ready for it. Start now with our online courses.

They're loaded with the simple explanations and interactive quizzes that you love on Boldmethod, and you'll walk into your checkride with the confidence to breeze through the most common checkride failures among Private pilots.

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