I have just busted my 3rd check ride (CFI SE add-on).....will this affect my job outlook/getting hired?

Just failed my third check ride, the CFI SE add-on. The other two rides I have failed have been the comm SE add-on, and the private ME add on.
Pretty disheartened right now, especially because out of the 3 I have failed, I have felt the most prepared for this one.

Will I have a big problem getting hired by an airline?

How do I explain these hiccups???

Akio,

Well my first question is how do YOU explain these failures? (Not sure I’d call them hiccups?). Beyond that I won’t lie it definitely can and most likely will. While the Regionals are hiring everyone with 1500hrs and a pulse (and will probably grab you as well) the Majors are a very different story. A single bust is quite common and can be considered a “hiccup”. Two? Ok you can expect to have a conversation as to what happened and what did you learn from the experience. Three can be considered a pattern and raises eyebrows. The airlines have obviously never liked failures but ever since the Colgan crash (which created the Airline Safety Act and the 1500hr Rule) PRIA (Pilot Records Improvement Act) was also pushed to the forefront. The Capt on that flight had a number of checkride busts and training issues which begged the question “why was this pilot hired?” and added to Colgan (and by extension Continental’s liability). Even ATP’s “guaranteed CFI position” has the condition of “no more than 2 checkride failures” without special review. I’m not trying to scare you but this is not something to be taken lightly.

That all said you’ve invested a good amount of time and money and I most certainly wouldn’t give up. What’s imperative is you do some SERIOUS self-analysis and introspection and resolve whatever is causing your difficulties. While you shouldn’t have a problem getting hired by a Regional in the current environment, I’m willing to bet as soon as they “smell” ANY problems in training you’ll be done. Three might not mean the end of your career but continue that to four and I’m pretty sure you’ll never see five.

Adam

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Adam,

So, with these 3 failures i have in initial training, you are saying it could effect my chances of getting to a major airline?

Akio,

Yes, these failures could very well affect you at a major airline and maybe even a regional. When I interviewed at Continental, one of the first questions they asked me was if I had failed any check rides. I know this isn’t the answer you want to hear, but yes, I think it will be an issue for you. Like Adam said though, I would really think about what is going on that led to these failures. Perhaps you have outside pressure, or perhaps flying just isn’t your thing. If you can discover what the issue is, then you will have some talking points when you get asked about it.

As for the instructor position with ATP, you will need to contact them directly, we are simply mentors, we cannot speak directly for ATP.

Chris

Chris and Adam, I understand that check ride failures are serious, but do Airlines truly not have sympathy for student pilots with low time? I know there are a lot of pilots that go through training with zero failures, however no one is perfect. Add in variables, such as a drastic change Inc weather, various standards in DPEs, etc. etc.

Akio,

Every pilot was once a student pilot with low time. No one is perfect, but there are people with perfect FAA records. Weather changes for everybody and nobody takes all of their check rides with one DPE, plus all DPEs are supposed to be using the same standards.

We never said that an airline would not hire you because of this, we said that it will be a discussion during your interview and MIGHT affect your chances at a major. Bottom line, we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us how this will affect you, only time will tell.

Chris

Akio,

I originally said I wouldn’t “give up” but if I were on your airline interview panel (which I have been) and your response was asking for “sympathy” or blaming your “low-time”, the “DPE” or the “weather” it would be a VERY short interview! Nowhere in your response do I hear you taking any RESPONSIBILITY for YOUR failures. I’d be less concerned about the failures at this point and more about the fact airlines don’t offer jobs to victims. That in fact might be the issue? Perhaps if you accepted some responsibility for the failures you’d look to do something to improve yourself, your knowledge and your skills but hey, if it’s not your fault then what can you do right?

Adam

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Chris and Adam,

I appreciate you guys answering.

Adam,

I would never answer a question about my busted checkrides with an answer with variables such as a DPE or weather, I was merely asking if they take that into consideration. I do admit I made errors on my failed checkrides, but they are failures that I overcame in the retraining, and the successful outcome of the check rides. I hope that I have another successful outcome with the check ride that I have just failed.

Thanks,

Akio

Adam,

Further, as you have been on the board of an interview panel, with applicants that you have seen in the past who have failed check rides, what do you think they have done (along with taking responsibility and finding success in passing the test) to create a good impression in the interview process?

Thanks, Akio

Akio,

First they all OWN the failure(s) and take FULL responsibility for them. Beyond that they will often be asked “what did they learn from the experience?”. The best way to create a good impression is to be honest and answer the question. I can’t give you any “magic words” that will get you off the hook and it’s not simply a matter of “well the last time I forgot to ID the ILS, the second I didn’t”. If you haven’t learned anything beyond that then you haven’t and there’s not much to say. I will tell you this, I know a few DE and they will all tell you it’s seldom one single error or mistake, it’s the overall ride that they’re looking at most important are you in control and are you safe. For some reason you don’t seem to be conveying that confidence.

Becoming a professional pilot is not just passing checkrides and getting hired once you get the hours. The fact that you’re spending a fair amount of time on this forum worrying about what may or may not happen to you 5+ years from now VS reviewing, studying, chair flying, talking to your instructor, etc etc etc. To become an airline pilot you first have to EARN your ratings and become a pilot. I suggest you work on that.

Adam

Akio,

While no one can make any promises, I would like to let you know that a friend of mine busted every checkride at ATP and they just received a job offer at a regional. Though that particular airline wasn’t their first choice, the demand for pilots at the regional level is as high as it has ever been.

Tory

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I would like to let you know that a friend of mine busted every checkride at ATP

That’s wild. Why did he struggle so badly?

I have to tell you I’m really having a hard time with this thread. Yes the demand for pilots is the highest ever. People are getting hired with 6 checkride busts and DUI’s WooHoo!?! Are we saying that because the shortage is so great it’s ok to “lower the bar”? For the 1,000th time we LITERALLY have people’s lives in our hands and that’s not something to be taken lightly but it sure does sound like it is. The PRIMARY concern of the individual who started this thread seemly was only what effect will his busts have on his career, not what do I need to fix this? The fact is we operate in a very safe environment and 99.99% of the time everything goes as it should. If you’re just ok or even substandard chances are no one will ever suffer as a result of your lack of skill or even incompetence. BUT, every now and then the holes in the Swiss cheese line up just so and some VERY BAD THINGS HAPPEN. This is what has always driven me and most of the pilots I’ve known. NEVER wanting to be responsible for causing any harm to any body (or equipment) EVER. It’s called being a professional. Yes checkride busts happen but they’re NOT OK (especially more than 2) and the effect they may or may not have on your future should literally be at the bottom of your concerns at this phase of your training. Again this is not simply checking boxes and trust me if a person is struggling at ATP what makes them think they can handle the jet transition at a Regional? I have a newsflash for all of you. Yes there’s a pilot shortage and yes the Regionals are hiring like mad but a part of the shortage is that a greater number of newhires can’t get through the training. I’m terribly sorry but not every person on this Earth can or should be a pilot.

Adam

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Somebody buy this man a beer! You’re spot on, Adam. You know, in society, I’m seeing a lot of guys disregarding ownership entirely, which is not a trait I want to see in an airline pilot. Or, a trait I want my potential CFI to possess. Failure and mediocrity should not be taken lightly, period. That’s how people die. Own up to your mistakes and press on. It’s like I tell my troops, “I don’t care what your excuse is, unless it’s a life or death situation, just say I messed up and find a solution.” Anyways, that is my two cents.

Cheers!

MadDawg

Adam,

Thank you for that insight. I wish I had included something along those lines in my previous post. I want everyone to know that I completely agree that just because the demand is high, it doesn’t mean it’s good.

Peter,

From what I gathered, this particular individual was clearly not cut out for ATP’s fast paced program. They needed more time than what the program allotted to assimilate what they learned. I specifically remember, articulation and PIC authority were common areas of deficiency.

Tory

Adam,

Thank you for your responses.

I understand, and do admit that I have been far from perfect in the check ride failures that I have had. And I hope my questions did not construe a sense of blame towards factors other than my failures.
Unfortunately, I have had some days where I have not flown how I flew in training, and I messed up on a certain maneuver, or landed a bit too far on a landing, and that comes down to my poor PIC decision making, or not being decisive enough or deliberate in some of the maneuvers that I performed. Luckily, I was given a second chance on the rechecks, and I was able to overcome my mistakes. I truly do feel as if the mistakes I made, and the disappointing results that I have had have made me a better pilot, and I have made sure that I do not make mistakes like the ones I have in the past. As a CFI, I will be THAT much more diligent and SURE that my students are prepared 150% prior to my sign off for the check rides, and I will ensure that they do not make the same mistakes as I do.

Again, I apologize for any perception that I have created that would make it seem like I am making excuses. I understand I am the one at fault for my busts, here.

I appreciate all of your and Chris; feedback, it does not go unnoticed, thank you very much.

Akio,

I appreciate you responding at all. You need to know there is no such thing as a perfect check and no one is looking for perfect performance from you. That said you clearly need to step up your game. Now every person is motivated by something different and perhaps yours is getting that dream job at a Major and really there’s nothing wrong with that, BUT you need to use that to fuel your dedication and not overlook the process. Again this flying is really no joke and you may have to work harder than you ever have to be successful and that too is ok. We have the best job on the planet and get paid very well for it but there’s a reason not everyone becomes a pilot. Fact is they can’t. Now you’ve had 3 busts which is bad BUT you came back and passed the rides which says to me you’re capable. You need to make that last one the LAST ONE and refuse to accept the level you were at before the busts as acceptable. You clearly can do better but YOU have to make that happen. If you want it bad enough you will.

Adam

Why are you constantly berating all these young hopefuls online? Hiccup is a fair assessment in my opinion.

A Check-ride is based on objective standards evaluated by subjective human beings who are also not perfect and make mistakes. Of course not all students are equal but the same goes for Examiners and Instructors. When I was in Flight-school I busted a checkride and I put it on my applications for the Majors and Big 5 and it was never even questioned during my interviews as it was many years ago. And yes, I got hired every time.

Thereby, everyone fails one or more sooner or later especially if you are frequently moving operations on the quest to a Legacy. Moreover, in Flight-school I didn’t waste my time fighting over the perceived easy going Examiner like half the school, like anything it’s politics too and most hiring boards understand this.

From my experience most Majors or Legacies only really care about your 121 record and even then I’ve seen guys with multiple busts get hired at Legacies but naturally it does make getting an interview more difficult particularly if it was within the last 4 or 5 years.

Jay,

I’ve berated no one, in this 4yr old thread (you must be bored) I simply pointed out that 3 checkride busts is a concern, can effect your career and the person IS going to have to have talk about it rather than asking for sympathy. Do you really not see the difference between your single bust and 3? Ever heard of the 3 strike rule? Three is 3 times more than 1, which is significant. Get 1 DUI and you’ll probably be ok, get 3 you won’t. At my airline fail one event during training and you’re fine, 3 you’re done. I’ve been on panels at 2 airlines and you’re right, many people (not most) have a bust. Completely normal, but not 3 and if they do again they WILL be questioned about it. Three shows a pattern and hiring boards understand that.

Bottomline I never berated anyone, I simply pointed out that multiple busts can and should be a concern. We all know a “guy” who got hired “here or there” with “this or that”. I’m not here to give people false hope based on the tales of some guy.

Adam

Jay,

I would strongly disagree with two points that you brought up.

“Everybody fails one sooner or later”. Not so. I have never failed any event and I know many, many other pilots who have not as well.

“Majors only care about your 121 record”. Wrong. I was asked in my interview if I had ever failed a checkride, I know many others that have been asked the same and people that have been turned down because of such.

Chris

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