Real Answers from Real Pilots

Oral Exams

Hi guys, I’ve read about the FAA examiner’s oral portion of exam. How difficult are these? What happens if I suddenly don’t remember something? Haven’t started training yet and I’m already worried about this.

Hello Angel and welcome,

The fact that you’re worried about this now is a good sign you’ll be fine. It’s the people that don’t worry that have issues. Ok Orals can and often are very challenging. It obviously varies by examiner but the idea is to dig a little deeper and see if you can correlate and apply the info you’ve learned vs just repeating numbers. No one is expected or required to know everything but you are expected to have a good working knowledge of the manuals. There’s a very well known and common answer to many oral questions and it goes “I’m not sure (or I don’t know) BUT I do know where to find it” and provided you can you’ll be fine. That said if you find yourself using that answer to EVERY question asked you may have a problem or at the very least it’ll be a VERY long day!


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Thank you Adam, didn’t know one could simply say I don’t know but I know where to look…


Well flying definitely requires some level of intelligence, aviation has evolved greatly and acknowledges human limitations. While it would be great to have a photographic memory there’s simply no way you can be expected to know EVERYTHING. That said again, NEVER use that as an excuse not to study and be as knowledgeable as possible.