View Full Version : Skills Test

11th Jul 2001, 16:06
I just wanted to share my frustration with anybody else who has ever been looking forward to a flight only for it to be cancelled.

What made this especially bad was that it was my PPL Skills test, so it seems ill have to endure another sleepless night next week as well as last night!

So I was wondering if there is anyway of changing the weather? Some sort of dance or something!

All suggestions on a postcard please! :)

(PS - Weather changing machines aren't widely available, I checked!)

and the chap said
11th Jul 2001, 16:14
Tough break mate, I know only too well how that feels!

Not to worry, at least you're in the right season - hopefully next week will bring you better fortune. In the interim, take this time to chair-fly your manoeuvres emergency procedures, chalk up a few practice flight plans, practice your RT on those routes and so on… I know it’s not the same as flying the routes for real, it just helps with a little extra practice.

Best of luck for next week,

11th Jul 2001, 16:34
I am too looking to do my skills test but the weather keeps holding me back -

Maybe if we all fart at the same time in a particular direction would could blow away some of these fronts....

:D :D :D

11th Jul 2001, 17:37
Have been trying to do my QXC for the past two weeks..it is sooo frustrating! Weather has managed to do everything wrong for me. :(
Skills test was planned originally for the 6th of July....GGrrrr...

Oh well..soon. Soon I'll be up there again!! :D Can't wait!!!

FartPower which direction are we blowing/farting??? ;)

(Edited cause I can't spell, don't worry all my flying skills are up to scratch tho! :D )

[ 11 July 2001: Message edited by: saggy ]

12th Jul 2001, 16:54
Good luck with the QXC!!

hmm - how about if we all aim farts at london so the government get a whiff of our disgust at removing NVQ tax relief status thing for flight training! :eek: :eek:

12th Jul 2001, 17:23
Looks like you need to brush up on your Met
Unstable airmass - What kinda weather does that bring ? :)

12th Jul 2001, 18:13
Know the feeling well guys - I had my QXC postponed 4 times and my Skills Test postponed 7 times (almost went on 2 of those occaisions, had examiner in front of me and everything....).

Try not to get to bummed out by the waiting..in the event the whole thing was over and done with before I knew it. I was very fortunate on the day, there was another pilot who was doing a ME revalidation and he and the examiner very kindly let me sit in the back for the flight...superb, first flight in a light twin and all.

THE best tip I can give for the test is to remember that the examiner is looking for a safe and competent pilot - not a perfect one. If you make a mistake then don't let it throw you.

Good Luck :D

12th Jul 2001, 20:55
i think the thing that annoyed me was that I was the one left to make the call, the weather was on the edge of being ok, the cloud was about 1000ft too low for stalls, and the wind on the ground was between runways and so out of limits. But i figured it would be better to wait until a nice calm day so i could concentrate better on my flying and perhaps feel more relaxed.

I suppose in a way that is part of the test, being able to make the call that the weather wasnt suitable for the flight :)

In fact the more i think about it the less p*ssed off i am about it, its gonna happen as long as im flying!

13th Jul 2001, 01:43
You may be interested to know that the Wx minima 'recommended' for VFR skill test/check/assessment are:

Visibility: Generally >6 km, but not <3000m
Cloud: Nav - generally >1500' agl but not <1500', stall not <2500'.
Wind: Max 30 kt, within aeroplane X-wind limits.

The first thing the examiner should do after meeting and greeting you is to establish the general picture and assess whether it looks good enough to fly the Skill Test. Your RF/FTO order book should contain defined weather limits for student flying; there should be NO QUESTION of a pre-PPL 'applicant' making the go/no-go decision unless the examiner has already decided not to fly and is leading you through the decision making process for your education. If you can't fly the test, you might have to stump up for the examiner's reasonable travel expenses, but NOTHING ELSE!!

[ 12 July 2001: Message edited by: BEagle ]

13th Jul 2001, 02:04
Here is another very good reason to bin the UK and go and learn to fly somewhere like California. The examiner may 'test' you on your decision to fly or not, I know a bloke who failed before they got airborne as he got the weather info wrong.

(I cannot believe that if the weather is bad you may be required to stump up for the examiners expenses??? What, are they volunteers,a charity, or do they get paid??....is this another case off rip-off Britain?)

13th Jul 2001, 02:58
No - since we joined the jolly joys of JARs, the CAA has been keen for even PPL examiners to be independent agents. So if an applicant asks you to drive 50 miles to an aerodrome and doesn't ring you first to discuss the 'iffiness' of the weather, surely it isn't too much to expect that the applicant should pay for the non-salaried Examiner's petrol? With petrol at 78p per litre and 30 mpg, I reckon that 12p per mile isn't unreasonable - so in the case above that'd be 12.

Personally, I always ask the applicant to give me a phone no. to ring on the day if I thought the weather looked marginal so that we could discuss things beforehand. But there again, I don't need to travel more than a few miles to the usual aerodrome.

Some CAA git used to charge 30p per mile 5 years ago when he used to come over to do FI revalidations - the even more expensive alternative was to fly over to his aerodrome to do the test!

13th Jul 2001, 02:58
If you can, do it on Monday...

Take a look at http://www.weatherjack.co.uk for the best freelance forecasts I know.


13th Jul 2001, 05:52
Beagle, what actually happened was I arrived at the flying club and was told to phone the CFI, he then asked me to go and look at the weather to see whether or not i felt it would be suitable to do the test. When i told him my decision he pretty much said, "Good becuase we weren't going to fly anyway!"

And as a bonus he was at home, so no travel expenses on his part, (having said that it used up my petrol.....d'oh)!

Anyway its rescheduled for Thursday 19th July, so fingers crossed suppose! :confused:

13th Jul 2001, 08:44

Fair enough if you don't get paid...though where does the 200 for the skill test go ?(or whatever it is these days)...?

[edited because I cant spell!]

[ 13 July 2001: Message edited by: englishal ]

13th Jul 2001, 12:36
130 for a PPL Skill Test actually - nothing for an IMC test and 65 for a revalidation check. Goes on 6 monthly medicals, own revalidation costs, seminar travelling/accommodation costs, examiner association costs, various other meeting costs. Also bear in mind that it can be quite difficult to do much instructing at a particular club as you would not then be able to examine that 'applicant'.

Personally I don't claim for any travel costs from anyone, I was just stating that around 12p per mile wasn't unreasonable in my opinion. But I only act as an examiner in my spare time and don't want to be out of pocket for the privilege.

Incidentally, the CAA tells us that we should be paid in advance by the applicant - this I really don't like. But I understand that so involved with one US training outfit is one FE in the US that applicants pay for everything including the PPL Skill Test in advance and the school then pays the FE. They also only allocate a set period of time for the Skill Test which is NOT in their gift. But even worse is the behaviour of the FE who taps his pocket expecting a 'tip' for the test..................

I hope that's typical of just the one organisation, sorry I can't reveal which; they also have FIs who are so keen on 'hours building' that their students barely make the minimum solo time.........

13th Jul 2001, 13:14
THe school I learnt (JAA) with in the US asked for money up front. Half when you arrived and the other half when your funds were almost spent - the cost of the flight test was also up front. I do remember that the cost of the GFT was definitely more than 130!

Another interesting point to mention on aircraft costs over there. If you wanted to rent a C152.

If you were an FAA student - $45/Hr
If you were a JAA student - $55/Hr.

Work that one out!!! And no it wasnt insurance etc as we paid extra for that as well !!!

I have heard of people failing due to weather as well, one guy on my course failed when the FE asked to fly a particular course and it took him into bad viz. The FE failed him for a bad airmanship decision, said he should have refused. I have flown quite a few hours in CA now and the weather/climate challenges keep you on your toes. I would put a student who learnt in CA up against a UK trained pilot and they would be just as compentent as one another.


13th Jul 2001, 16:02
That's most interesting! But the PPL Skill Test examiner's fee MUST be paid directly to the examiner and NOT to the school. Otherwise how do you know how much the examiner is being paid and how much is going straight to the school under false pretences. You should pay the cost of ac hire direct to the school and the examiner's fee (which he/she sets at whatever rate he/she chooses) direct to the examiner.

Perhaps I will let Gatwick know of these US practices.

15th Jul 2001, 09:35
I recall that the CAA recommendation for skill tests is 150.

Beagle remember that 130 is how much you charge not the standard. Also when working out your traveling allowance per mile you should include insurance (need commercial), wear and tear, oil etc.

Whilst you don't want to take the pi55 you shouldn't be out of pocket.

15th Jul 2001, 15:11
Car insurance already includes business use, car is a Honda with VTEC engine which doesn't use oil, wear and tear is negligible. But I get your point.

The CAA's recommendation is noted.

16th Jul 2001, 18:58
I used to live in Northern Ireland, in Bangor, but now that i'm training here in Perth Australia i havent had a single flight cancelled, although i would prefer the scenery from Newtownards.

All the best, Pete

18th Jul 2001, 17:16
Well its only 20 or so hours b4 i hopefully start my test again! So hopefully the weather should be a lot better tomorrow, its been very gusty over these past few days so im keeping my fingers crossed! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

19th Jul 2001, 22:52
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D

from the line of smilies you can probably guess that i passed my GFT, its such a relief to get that off my shoulders, now its time to convert to the bigger C-172s and from there get my instrument ratings etc, you never know, one day i might even be working with some of you! here's hoping!!

(A very happy) El Keefo

20th Jul 2001, 00:03
Congratulations El Keefo!! Well done :)
Good luck for the future..


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