Real Answers from Real Pilots

4 Failed Checkrides

Hello,

I currently attend a college flight program and have failed my PPL checkride 4 times. I am considering finishing all my flight hours at ATP as I have completed the part 61 ground for PPL through commercial. I was wondering what affects the failed PPL checkrides on my record will have on me getting hired in the future? Should I pursue a different career?

Brock,

I am going to be honest with you, that is a lot of failed check rides, especially for the PPL. I could see that having a particularly negative affect on your career, especially if you fail more along the way. That being said, I am not on a hiring board of any airline. I would suggest that you reach out to a few different regional airlines and run this past them.

Chris

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Brock,

I’m not in admin but I’m thinking at some point someone is going to ask the question how did you fail your PPL 4 times? I’m assuming your instructor signed you off for the rides. What did they say? Were they surprised? Was it nerves when testing? Did you feel ready? These are questions that need to be answered before you continue.

Adam

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It was nerves,COIVD delay, time passing and lack of course structure. I’m not good at studying and remembering things for tests. My instructors all thought I was ready and think I’m great in the air. My knowledge recall during test performance has always not been well. I have tested with two different DPEs. This isn’t the first time I’ve had issues passing a big test.

Thank you for your information.

Brock,

Changing the subject. You say you want to finish your training at ATP. Just so you’re aware, if you had been training with ATP for your PPL, you would have only had 3 attempts to pass the PPL. On top of that, ATP’s program is highly accelerated and relies primarily on self-study. If you’re having this much trouble in a non-accelerated program with one-on-one ground, how well do you think you’ll hold up at ATP? The big tests only get bigger from here. If you’re serious about resuming your flight training, I would focus on improving your recall and retention.

Tory

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Brock,

I’m with Tory, ATP is no joke. I’d recommend you work on your anxiety and test taking before you rack up any more busts. That can def be a career killer.

Adam

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Brock,

Ii have to tell you, the “I’m not good at studying and remembering things for tests.” is concerning to me. Aviation really consists of studying and remembering things, the flying is really incidental to the knowledge. I would take a hard look at your study habits and really consider if this is the career for you before moving forward.

Chris

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So if i were to pass all other checkrides do I have a 10 percent chance of getting hired? These 4 failures have really been discouraging but all I want to do is be a pilot. I’ve switched to a new instructor since I’ve ran out of flighttime at college and they don’t want to fly me anymore and make the program look bad. Only three kids in my class have passed their PPL checkrides and a lot have dropped out from being upset with the program. I haven’t flown since my last checkride failure and my new instructors schedule isn’t working out it seems so I might try my local airport at Purdue.

Brock,

There are no guarantees in this industry but I believe if you did continue with no further busts you’d have a chance. You’d definitely have an argument that it was the school and not you as the exams and checkrides get considerably harder as you progress.

However as I said if nerves while testing are a large part of the problem that’s really something you need to address.

Adam

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Thank you Adam for responding to all my questions. I don’t have anyone else to talk to that knows much about all this stuff. I appreciate it.

Question for you all at the airlines on this subject. Out of curiosity, what is an acceptable number of busts? (not all with the same rating).

Do you work with pilots that have failed 3 or 4? No, I’m not asking because I have failed that many. But I’m curious if there are pilots at the regionals who have 3 or 4 busts?

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Phill,

I haven’t met anyone with more than 3 busts, but that doesn’t mean that there are pilots out there with more. This isn’t a topic that comes up often, for obvious reason. Someone with interview experience would probably be able to give a more accurate estimate. Keep in mind, while there may be some outliers out there, the demand for pilots fluctuates. I would be curious to know if there’s a correlation between the number of busts an airline pilot has and the pilot demand level at the time of hire.

Tory

Phill,

I haven’t heard of anybody failing more than two, but to be fair, it is not something that people really talk about.

Chris

Phil,

I’m with Chris. It’s really not the kind of thing anyone who advertise so there may or may not be. That said I’ve never heard of anyone with more than 3 getting hired but during the shortage all kinds of rules went out the window.

Adam