Real Answers from Real Pilots

Failed my checkride, second time

Hello everyone,
I just took my part 135 type rating checkride this morning, and it didn’t go well. I failed at the oral part, didn’t even get to the sim part yet. This is my most confident checkride as far as knowledge, so I thought the sim part was the one that I would worry about, but I was wrong.
During the debrief, the examiner told me he know I know how the system work, but he want to see me really understand it, which he mean is he want me to know why they work the way they work. I don’t think I am not studying enough, but I definitely study wrongly since the beginning. I look back now, and I realize I spent too much time on limitation, annunciator panels, and memory items. I study and remember those by heart, but the general knowledge was not good. I was studying the numbers, but overlooked the general, I was looking at a branch on a tree, I can tell anything about that branch, but that was not good enough. It was one of the most terrifying checkride for me, as it was my first jet, and at 800 hours it was already tough.
This is my second checkride fail, the first one was IFR which I also posted on this forum. Now with more clear direction and what I did wrong, hopefully I will pass the second try.
I know this have been discussed a lot already, but since it is a part 135 checkride, will it effect my chances of going into regional, and down the road, the majors, more than a common two fails like IFR/commercial or IFR/CFI?

Thank you for reading this,

I’m sorry to hear that the checkride didn’t go as you would have hoped. I know how you feel, that first part 135 ride and Jet type is tough. I heard the same thing, “just study memory items and limitations” but really that’s just scratching the surface. The examiners will start with a memory item and expect you to have the background knowledge as well for when they dig a little deeper. What training school were you at? Flight safety? CAE?
At flight safety we were given a textbook called the Pilot Training Manuel and it had every system broken down by chapter in detail with review questions at the end. I read that textbook cover to cover twice, and used the questions in the back to quiz myself. That really helped me in the oral have that deeper knowledge that was needed.



This is what we mean when we talk about the “firehose”. As a professional pilot you’re expected to learn a tremendous amount of information on a relatively short period of time. Many of us are fortunate that we learn this at the Regionals because you’re told day one what’s expected of you. 135 is more here you go good luck. Sadly you learned the hard way you’re really responsible for knowing EVERYTHING.

Obviously 2 checkride busts aren’t good but it shouldn’t impact your career. That said I’d work very hard to make certain this one was your last.



I have never done a 135 check ride, but I have heard that they can be tough. I do not think that this will have too much of an effect on your airline career, but I would really work hard to keep it from happening again.

I am sorry, I am sure it must be really frustrating.



I agree with the others. Pull through on your recheck and thereafter and you’ll be fine.


Thank you for all the replies. Hannah, I am doing it at LOFT down at KCRQ, the job I got needed a pilot as soon as possible, and CAE is only scheduled so I couldn’t go there. We did also got a manual for the system break down, and I was able to do the question after each charter correctly which is why gave me the false sense that I knew them…
Thank you Adam, Chris and Tory, it definitely feel better that I still have hope in 121 world.

A good tool I used since CFI school, was teaching each system to myself. If I can explain it to myself, I can explain it to an examiner. Maybe you can try this method for your recheck.


Sorry to hear that Jacob. Was Russ the DPE?

Sorry I was not on, yes it was with Russ

In case you didn’t re-do yet, I highly advise to really really understand the systems in and out, like complete understanding. I had experience with Russ on my CFI prep, did couples of mock sessions with him. He’s really a nice guy but you need to know your stuff like back of your hand, ground with Russ take 6-8hrs. He likes to sit the whole day and listens to you explaining and explaining and explaining! And he loves systems! My friend did over 10 sessions with him and once he greened light for his CFI checkride, he failed him twice! You think you get a break with the guy but instead he breaks you lol…good luck!