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Can You Answer These 7 Systems Questions?

Every pilot's check ride oral includes systems questions - and nearly everyone is nervous about them. How well can you answer these 7 questions on light-aircraft systems?


  1. 1) Why are there ridges on this elevator?
    1-stem Maurizio Pucci / Flickr

    Awesome! They add stiffness to the metal and strengthen the control surface.

    Incorrect. They add stiffness to the metal and strengthen the control surface.

    1. 1-1
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  2. 2) The proper name for this all-movable tail is a:
    2-stem Greg Goebel / Flickr

    Awesome! This is a stabilator.

    Incorrect. This is a stabilator.

    1. 2-1
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  3. 3) These aileron spades are installed to:
    3-stem Jack Snell / Flickr

    Awesome! They reduce control loads and make the ailerons easier to move.

    Incorrect. They reduce control loads and make the ailerons easier to move.

    1. 3-1
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  4. 4) This flexible metal panel is used to:
    4-stem Mark Jones, Jr. / Flickr

    Awesome! This panel trims the rudder.

    Incorrect. This panel trims the rudder.

    1. 4-1
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  5. 5) How do your magnetos power your spark plugs?
    5-stem Brian Burger

    Awesome! Both magnetos power each cylinder. Every cylinder has two plugs, and each magneto powers one of them.

    Incorrect. Both magnetos power each cylinder. Every cylinder has two plugs, and each magneto powers one of them.

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  6. 6) If you turn off your battery master and alternator switches, does your ignition system lose power?
    6-stem Pilot Micha / Flickr

    Awesome! The ignition system operates independently of your electrical system. Powering off the battery and alternator doesn't stop the ignition system; your engine will still run.

    Incorrect. The ignition system operates independently of your electrical system. Powering off the battery and alternator doesn't stop the ignition system; your engine will still run.

    1. yn-yes
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    2. yn-no
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  7. 7) The geared ring behind the spinner connects to the:
    7-stem John Tewell / Flickr

    Awesome! The starter connects to this geared ring.

    Incorrect. The starter connects to this geared ring.

    1. 7-1
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Keep studying - you'll get there!

You scored %. Systems are tough - most students fear the questions on a check ride. But, with some time in the books, you'll be a pro! Share this with your friends and see how they score!

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Not bad - but spend some time with your mechanic!

You scored %. Systems are tough - most students fear the questions on a check ride. But, you're getting the hang of it! Share this with your friends and see how they score!

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Miss your calling as an A&P?!? You Scored %

Awesome job - you rocked this quiz! Share this with your friends and see how they score!

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Aleks Udris

Aleks is a Boldmethod co-founder and technical director. He's worked in safety and operations in the airline industry, and was a flight instructor and course manager for the University of North Dakota. You can reach him at aleks@boldmethod.com.

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