Commercial Training not Going as Planned

I finished my crew cross countries a month ahead in ATP’s program. However, due to a severe winter and extremely limited DPE availability, I am still in the commercial stage. It has been 4 months since my first Commercial training sim. Two weeks ago I had my Commercial checkride and busted on the oral. Very frustrated at myself obviously. Anyway, my recheck is the day after tomorrow and I am incredibly nervous. I only missed two questions in the oral (precession vs rigidity in space for gyroscopic systems, and letting the pressure get to me by saying that the annual inspection is a required document) so I am nonplussed about passing that. My fear is, I’ve been endorsed since Feb. 22 and so am not as fresh as I’d like to be on maneuvers. I purchased 4 hours of flight time last week from ATP ($1600 ouch!) but still am concerned. I have heard if you fail the same checkride twice, you get kicked out. I’d hate to misjudge a power-off 180 by a hundred feet and have that be the end of my pilot career. Send me some good vibes!


The delay is unfortunate (as is your bust) but obviously things happen.

As for maneuvers, do not underestimate the power of chair flying. I just had my yearly Recurrent training last week. Now, I’ve been going to sim every year for almost 20yrs now but it’s still stressful. The reason is while I fly hundreds of hours a year, when Recurrent comes around we do maneuvers we haven’t done for a year and are only practiced a few times each year. It’s not like we can just jump in the sim and doing single engine work is frowned upon with a plane full of passengers. So what do we do at this level? We chair fly! Chair fly and then chair fly some more! We do it until the maneuver procedures are rote.

Now you’re probably thinking “that’s great but my concern is misjudging a power off 180 etc etc, chair flying won’t help me with that!” but that’s where you’re wrong. By getting the procedures and tech aspects of the maneuvers down it allows you to focus all your attention on everything else! Make sense?

Now stop worrying and playing with your phone and do some chair flying!


1 Like

Solid advice. Thanks!


In your case, utilize the simulator when no one is… not only chair flying, but practice the flows and procedures of maneuvers on the sim. I found this not only helpful during instrument training, but everything thereafter. I know many students that once they get their instrument ticket that they help fellow instrument students. Try finding someone that is in the same phase of program as you, or next phase to study with.

I wouldn’t worry about failing the same checkride twice until the time came to it, don’t think that. Yes, it is a possibility, but don’t think that right now. Focus on ‘passing the checkride’ and you shouldn’t come close to “failing.” Use judgement with your power-off 180, keep the sight picture constant like you were trained to do, if you think the winds are stronger - maybe turn quicker (vice versa).