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Tips for CPL skills test

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Tips for CPL skills test

Old 24th Jun 2021, 07:41
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Question Tips for CPL skills test

Does anyone have any tips they'd be able to share for a smooth and successful CPL skills test?

Also, what sort of questions might get asked during the pre-flight?

If there are any examiners, what are your bug bears / what common errors do you see?

Thanks in advance
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 10:11
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Don't compromise safety or your own limitations trying to impress him or show him just how good you are. They are looking for safe and competent not Top Gun

I've lost count of the times a student will suddenly decide to do something 'different' on a check ride and screw it up.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 10:20
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Originally Posted by Nineteen84 View Post
If there are any examiners, what are your bug bears / what common errors do you see?
1. Not knowing the limitations in the RFM.
2. Not having any appreciation why the limitations are what they are.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 13:12
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Your CFI should know what the Examiner looks for on the Check Ride....based upon De-briefs of previous Students post Check Ride.

Every Check Pilot is supposed to work from the exact same syllabus to the exact same standard....but we all know that is pie in the sky.

Each will construct a flight check appropriate for the License being sought and the location where the flight test is given.

In FAA Land....the Practical Test Standards set forth how that must be done.


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Old 24th Jun 2021, 13:45
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You may or may not have read this: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33...23.04.2021.pdf

I would say this is good advice:
Handling Tolerances
The handling tolerances for the test are prescribed in Part-FCL. (Examiner should confirm the tolerances to be used). They are there for guidance only and so you should not get overly anxious about the limits. Should the aircraft deviate from these limits I will be looking for you to make smooth corrections without undue delay. In a similar way, if you think you have made a mistake then correct it and don't dwell on it. Everyone makes mistakes, so carry on with your flight, and concentrate on what you are doing. During your flight I shall be an interested passenger, open to conversation and some basic assistance if you ask, but I won’t be able to give advice or help you fly the aircraft. Please do not worry if I am being quiet. I will be trying not to interrupt your concentration
One thing students often forget - especially when they are failing training - is that flying is not the job. Flying is the means used to do the job, whether it is delivering passengers, ordinance or whatever, and that requires the mechanics to be second nature, so that your brain can concentrate on doing the work in hand. So, as an examiner, you want to see:
  • Good situational awareness
  • Good Threat and Error Management
  • Good decision making
  • General evidence of spare mental capacity
These are what are needed to be a good commercial pilot, and the ability to move the sticks well is a given.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 18:33
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A really really good preflight brief covering all aspects of the flight = Notams, TEM, weather, airspace, air law ( eg not overflying but up areas ) continual risk assessment as to where to go if the examiner says practice engine failure go for instance,
Most useful piece of advice " dont bullshit a bullshitter " if you have got something wrong say so and correct it we all make mistakes !
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 19:33
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Blimey I have my PPL(H) skills test coming up and this thread is gold.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 22:21
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When doing the 180° auto, it doesn't have to be a flawless 180° turn. That is, if you start your turn and realize you've turned too soon, its ok to make a quick s-turn in the opposite direction and back to correct it.

That misunderstanding of the rules cost me a cool $300!
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 01:49
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I would give another point that works for me, communicate in the cockpit, Explain your checks alloud before the exercise and during the exercise.

for example say: I will go to 1000ft, accelerate to 60 knots, watch my trim, reduce colective ... then the instructor see the needle stop at 1000ft, speed increase as expected....
it helps the instructore see that you know what you are doing and know how to make the machine do exactly what you want (that is the diference from PPL to CPL).
as you talk during the exercise it also helps show that you are not overtaxed just handling the aircraft. as well a nicely formulated mayday call during the auto is not a must but will score points.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 07:09
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Standard Doc 03 (H) everything you need is there
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 07:31
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You should have been taught to be able to do a `range auto`,higher speed lower RRPM,and a low-speed auto,RRPM will be lower than normal,and recoveries from both.
If you are doing a `180` auto,make sure you are lined -up ,correct speed,RRPM ,BY 3-400FT....not like that video that was on here somewhere of an MD-9,never got lined up,too fast,too low ,flared too late,and skated across the airfield at about 70 kts.... .
Remember,RRPM Is your `life`...
Don`t `dump` the lever on landing after an auto,only when stopped,then gently down.....
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 14:00
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Fly the maneuvers as you have been taught.

If you make a mistake...correct it as best possible.....and move on....don't focus upon the mistake in the past instead focus upon what you are doing.

Be professional....answer questions as best you know how.

Give the examiner a nice helicopter ride...keep him informed of what you are doing and planning to do as you go along.

Call out your Checks....take your time but do not dally around.


I learned to fly helicopters in the US Military....and some check rides determined if you proceeded in training to be an Aviator or wether you went Infantry....and that during wartime puts a lot of pressure on you to perform.

In your situation the worst that happens is you have to retake the Check Ride....so the only pressure you are under is what you place upon yourself.....so RELAX.

Last bit of advice.....don't wear brown shoes with a Blue Suit.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 14:34
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If you are trying to decide on a course of action in a scenario or situation, do what you would do if you were on your own.

Don’t try and second guess your examiner and do what you think he wants to see. If he wants something specific, he will either ask for it or set up a scenario so it is obvious.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 17:58
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Make the examiner relax - that starts with a good clean takeoff with the pedals in the right place before a small movement of collective lifts you nicely off.

Another tweak is, once you have got airborne, is to reduce the collective slightly to ease the ballooning effect.

Last edited by paco; 26th Jun 2021 at 08:32.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 18:10
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Its really not that tough, it takes a special effort to not succeed. You don’t have to look far to wonder how some have managed to get a ticket.
Just relax and enjoy it.

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Old 26th Jun 2021, 10:44
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Originally Posted by Nineteen84 View Post

Also, what sort of questions might get asked during the pre-flight?
Who do you support in football, choose wisely.
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Old 28th Jun 2021, 11:39
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Thanks for the replies. All super useful. Keep them coming...this will be a useful thread for others in the future.
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