View Full Version : Private Pilot Practical Test Prerequisites and Performance

05-07-2013, 12:35 PM
Practical Test Standards Concept

Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61 specifies the AREAS OF OPERATION in which knowledge and skill must be demonstrated by the applicant before the issuance of a private pilot certificate or rating. The CFRs provide the flexibility to permit the FAA to publish practical test standards containing the AREAS OF OPERATION and specific TASKs in which pilot competency shall be demonstrated.

Use of the Practical Test Standards Book

The FAA requires that all private pilot practical tests be conducted in accordance with the appropriate private practical test standards and the policies set forth in the INTRODUCTION. Applicants shall be evaluated in ALL TASKS included in each AREA OF OPERATION of the appropriate practical test standard, unless otherwise noted.
An applicant, who holds at least a private pilot certificate seeking an additional airplane category rating and/ or class rating at the private pilot level, shall be evaluated in the AREAS OF OPERATION and TASKS listed in the Additional Rating Task Table. At the discretion of the examiner, an evaluation of the applicant's competence in the remaining AREAS OF OPERATION and TASKs may be conducted.

If the applicant holds two or more category or class ratings at least at the private level, and the ratings table indicates differing required TASKS, the "least restrictive" entry applies. For example, if "ALL" and "NONE" are indicated for one AREA OF OPERATION, the "NONE" entry applies. If "B" and "B, C" are indicated, the "B" entry applies.

Private Pilot— Airplane Practical Test Prerequisites

An applicant for the Private Pilot— Airplane Practical Test is required by 14 CFR part 61 to:
1. be at least 17 years of age;
2. be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If there is a doubt, use AC 60-28,
English Language Skill Standards; (http://www.aviator.edu/flight-training-programs/aviation-english.aspx)

3. have passed the appropriate private pilot knowledge test since the beginning of the 24th month before the month in which he or she takes the practical test;
4. have satisfactorily accomplished the required
flight training (http://www.aviator.edu/FlightSchool)
and obtained the aeronautical experience prescribed;
5. possess at least a current third class medical certificate;
6. have an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that the applicant has received and logged training time within 60 days preceding the date of application in preparation for the practical test, and is prepared for the practical test; and
7. also have an endorsement certifying that the applicant has demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the subject areas in which the applicant was deficient on the airman knowledge test.

Aircraft and Equipment Required for the Practical Test

The private pilot— airplane applicant is required by 14 CFR section 61.45, to provide an airworthy, certificated aircraft for use during the practical test. This section further requires that the aircraft must:

be of U. S., foreign or military registry of the same category, class, and type, if applicable, for the certificate and/ or rating for which the applicant is applying;
have fully functioning dual controls, except as provided for in 14 CFR section 61.45( c) and (e); and
be capable of performing all AREAS OF OPERATION appropriate to the rating sought and have no operating limitations, which prohibit its use in any of the AREAS OF OPERATION, required for the practical test.

Satisfactory Performance

Satisfactory performance to meet the requirements for certification is based on the applicant's ability to safely:

perform the TASKs specified in the AREAS OF OPERATION for the certificate or rating sought within the approved standards;
demonstrate mastery of the aircraft with the successful outcome of each TASK performed never seriously in doubt;
demonstrate satisfactory proficiency and competency within the approved standards;
demonstrate sound judgment; and
demonstrate single-pilot competence if the aircraft is type certificated for single-pilot operations.

Unsatisfactory Performance

The tolerances represent the performance expected in good flying conditions. If, in the judgment of the examiner, the applicant does not meet the standards of performance of any TASK performed, the associated AREA OF OPERATION is failed and therefore, the practical test is failed.

The examiner or applicant may discontinue the test at any time when the failure of an AREA OF OPERATION makes the applicant ineligible for the certificate or rating sought. The test may be continued ONLY with the consent of the applicant. If the test is discontinued, the applicant is entitled credit for only those AREAS OF OPERATION and their associated TASKs satisfactorily performed. However, during the retest, and at the discretion of the examiner, any TASK may be re-evaluated, including those previously passed.

Typical areas of unsatisfactory performance and grounds for disqualification are:

1. Any action or lack of action by the applicant that requires corrective intervention by the examiner to maintain safe flight.
2. Failure to use proper and effective visual scanning techniques to clear the area before and while performing maneuvers.
3. Consistently exceeding tolerances stated in the Objectives.
4. Failure to take prompt corrective action when tolerances are

When a notice of disapproval is issued, the examiner shall record the applicant's unsatisfactory performance in terms of the AREA OF OPERATION and specific TASK( s) not meeting the standard appropriate to the practical test conducted. The AREA( s) OF OPERATION/ TASK( s) not tested and the number of practical test failures shall also be recorded. If the applicant fails the practical test because of a special emphasis area, the Notice of Disapproval shall indicate the associated TASK. i. e.: AREA OF OPERATION VIII, Maneuvering During Slow Flight, failure to use proper collision avoidance procedures.
Source (http://www.firstflight.com/)
Aviator College