Instrument checkride

I finally have an instrument checkride date! In a little over 2 weeks! Any tips or tricks y’all have? For either the oral or the flight? I’m less worried about the flight than I am about the oral.


Just study, study and study more. But also keep in mind that you can’t possibly know everything. Do your best and let us know how it goes.

1 Like


Well, I think the whole instrument ride is all about time management. Staying ahead of the plane will make this ride very easy. Think of every procedure as a mini checkride in itself, focus on the task, and get it done.

If you haven’t already, and you have more training flights left, I would STRONGLY recommend intercepting the final approach during partial panel. I know a few guys that were only trained on doing a partial panel approach when they were already esbalished on the final approach, and during their checkrides were asked to intercept. The 430 is very delayed compared to the g500 and it could take some time getting used to it.

That being said, the oral isn’t too crazy (at least for me). My oral lasted about 1 hour, and most of it was weather stuff. Know how to get enroute weather, more than one way of getting your preflight weather, prog charts, limitations of NEXRAD etc. I would suggest calling a weather briefer if you haven’t already ( a lot of students just use ForeFlight, some DPE’s don’t like that) Know your personal minimums, what you use to mitigate risk.

Good luck, crush it!


I flew an arc the other day and was 5-10 out when I decide to a partial panel. Granted I’m using the G1000 so I just pressed the red bottom to switch it to the MFD kept it on GPS then about half a mile switched to the VOR and begun to turn the dial to intercept the radial. I’ve been trying all sorts of ways for my partial cuz that’s what worries me the most tbh!

Also the oral worries me because the last few people to use this examiner last 2.5-3 hours!


The oral is simply a matter of studying. If you’ve studied and know you stuff you’ll do well. If not you won’t. Remember you’re not expected to know everything but you are expected to be able to navigate to it in the books charts etc. When I was instructing I always had students who would say “I’m a little weak of bla bla bla but that’s cool right?”. No it’s not. If you know you have weaknesses (and we all do) then fix it.

As for the checkride, twenty million years ago I finished training with ATP and was in JAX for instructor standardization. One night I was in the sim and Phil Cooper (one of the original ATP Big Cheeses) came strolling by and said “let me ask you something, when you’re shooting an approach what are you looking at?”. I said I’m scanning but obviously the main focus is my HSI (or PFD if it’s glass). He said of course but look at the size of that thing, it’s huge! “Aim small miss small” (at that point I’m thinking it’s late and maybe he’s been drinking?). He leaves and comes back with a piece of paper and a piece of tape, literally just pokes a pencil hole it and positions the hole over the center crosshairs. He says “that’s your universe”. Forget half scale or even worse full scale deflection that’s BS, you need to keep yourself within that hole. I’m thinking that’s impossible but he’s the boss so what the heck. Believe it or not it’s actually easier because you simply can’t allow yourself to leave that tiny space. Your corrections become tighter and in very short order that becomes the way you fly. I’ve kept that tip with me my entire career and has served me remarkably well particularly when flying an Airbus sim with a very twitchy joystick. To this day I’m often praised for how tight my approaches are and everytime it’s mentioned I thank Phil (in my head of course, I don’t actually pick up the phone and call him…).



That’s honestly such a good tip. I’ve been studying like mad the last few days and have my mock the 23rd so I think I will be ready. I’ve been trying to ask as many questions as possible so I can be as prepared as possible


I was going to suggest that you schedule a mock oral with another CFI, but it sounds like you already have one lined up. I found those to be the most helpful. If I were the CFI administering the mock oral, I would take notes on every area that needed improvement and share that list with you and your primary CFI. My question for you is, will there be enough time between your mock and your check ride to review the areas that need improvement?


Ya I have a week between the mock and the actual. I feel really prepared though. I’ve studied easily way more than I did for private. They are super helpful plus not only that they help other instrument students that show up to my mock!

1 Like

Last bit of advice, read the ACS yourself, if you haven’t already. Use it as your study guide. Don’t rely on your CFI to cover every single topic in the ACS. There shouldn’t be any surprises on the day of your check ride.



What were some of your study habits going into this rating? I am curious to see what steps you have taken to prepare. You’re going to kill this checkride!


Right. Ya I’ve been using it and the oral study god heavily and I think I will be prepared. Unfortunately I got the one DPE I really wanted not to get… but it is what it is. I guess he’s the lead flight instructor at Central.


I take it you have some trauma on a circle to land approach? :wink: I’d be careful dishing out that kind of advice though. Leave that up to Josh’s CFI.


If you’re prepared than it shouldn’t matter who the DPE is. Right?

Lmao I didn’t even listen to that advice because lately, all I’ve done are flights to untowered airports so I can work on circling since flying by localizer and glide slope is fairly easy so I wanted to challenge myself. So I kind of have a circling approach that typically works every time for me

True it shouldn’t matter. It’s just one of this guys pet peeves is he is all about safety, which I understand. Except that based on what people have told me and the gouge I have, is, even on an IFR flight plan, he wants you to do clearing turns by dipping a wing the asking clear left or right before initiating the turn atc has told him to do. It’s just new since I haven’t been doing this for any part of my training so from now until my date, I’m going to be including it in my flights. It also sounds like he expects you to do this at the end of each leg in a hold.

That does sound a bit different. Just play the game and do what he wants. Although I would ask him before doing any wing dips in the opposite direction from an ATC clearance.

I would just point blank ask him “I hear that you prefer clearing turns before all turns. Please explain what you are looking for and I will be happy to comply.”

Wait…The DPE wants you to do clearing turns with a hood on???

Ya I plan on it! I dont think I am on a flight plan for the actual ride but it just seems on the wings dips are necessary. Like I get in VFR conditions you are responsible for traffic avoidance but still.

Yeo, but because i have the hood on, he expects me to dip the wing, then ask him “clear right?” or left, and he will reply with the same.