The following stories from the March 28, 2008, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
YOUR DESIGNATED EXAMINER
What student pilot is not intensely interested to know what to expect on the upcoming checkride? And what could be more interesting than learning something about the person who will evaluate your flying?
You've heard that most applicants take their flight tests with an FAA designated pilot examiner (DPE). This is an experienced pilot who applied to the FAA for examining authority, met stringent qualifications, received training, and was assigned based on testing needs in your area. Joel Stoller's article, "A designated challenge," on the AOPA Flight Training Web site describes how DPEs earn their spurs. Also, check out the FAA's Web page that sets forth examiner qualifications and authorizations.
Usually your DPE won't be a totally mysterious figure. That's because your flight instructor has probably sent other applicants to him or her for testing. Your CFI can set your mind at ease about flying with this authority figure-most are easygoing "regular pilots" who want test-takers to be comfortable. You may even become acquainted with your DPE before test day comes. Many are affiliated with a local flight school or other aviation business. They may be open to discussing checkrides with you in general terms and willing to describe both the good and bad traits they have observed in recent test-takers, as demonstrated in the February 2000 AOPA Flight Training feature "The examiner's lament."
How much will the checkride cost? This question came up recently in the AOPA Aviation Forum. Prices vary, as forum readers reported. There is no set fee schedule, so research the question locally and budget accordingly.
Suppose you find out late in the game that your examiner will be unavailable on test day, and you will have to fly with another DPE? No worries! If your training followed the official rulebook for your checkride-that is, the practical test standards (PTS) for your private, recreational, or sport pilot certificate-it won't matter who conducts your flight test. Meet the PTS requirements, and a DPE will soon be endorsing your logbook for a successful checkride.
My ePilot - Training Product
FLYBOYS SLEEVES KEEP CHECKLISTS IN CHECK
A checklist can get torn, oil-stained, or dingy just with regular use. Laminating it is great, but then you can't note anything on it. Flyboys Checkbook Pages might be your answer. These heavy-duty plastic sleeves come in a variety of sizes. You can use them to store checklists, frequently used approach plates, or even sectional charts. Prices range from 52 cents for an 8-inch by 5-inch sleeve to 71 cents for the 5-inch by 11-inch sleeve. Bulk packs of 25 sleeves are available, ranging in price from $12.50 to $17.50. Order the Checkbook Pages online from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What could it mean if I'm getting an indication of excessively high oil pressure?
Answer: An indication of high oil pressure is unusual. This could be caused by an obstruction in the oil line, a faulty regulator valve, very cold oil, a faulty gauge, or even an electrical problem. Although the situation is not necessarily an emergency, be aware there is a potential circulation problem and expect the oil temperature to rise. Remain vigilant and proceed to the nearest airport. Read more about solving engine problems in this AOPA Flight Training article and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Engine Operations Safety Advisor. Also take the Engine and Propeller online course.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.