This manual is a compilation of the number of pre-flight tests and flight test debrief and I witnessed over the years. I have no intention to re-write the Flight Test Notes book, as it is an excellent source for the preparation flight test, both ground and in-flight portion, private and commercial. Below is just a quick checklist summary of the main points – if you do not nail those few items, your (or your student’s) flight test WILL go South really quick.


  • Be on time, prepared with W&B for the simulated trip and the actual flight, nav log, weather no older than 2h, all calculations done, documents
  • Windshield
  • Make sure your plane is not out of hours, not due for a calendar item
  • Be organized Nav log
  • Opt for fewer legs
  • Know each point of the calculation:
    • Cruise altitude (altimeter settings), pressure altitude (temperature – from FD’s unless 3000’!), density altitude, A/C performance
    • Map,  true  track  (wind),   true   heading    (variation),  magnetic   track (or true track (variation)  magnetic track  (wind)  magnetic heading)
    • Magnetic track  cruise altitude
    • Performance  TAS  (wind)  GS
    • Map distance  (GS) time
    • Performance  fuel burn (time) fuel requirement
  • Put your SHP-GS check leg as a separate leg
  • Use VTA where applicable
  Map reading:  
  • Know ALL symbols and lines, or at least where to find them
  • Know at all times (places on the map) in what class of airspace you are in and who you talk to
  • Read airport information from the map Weather:
  • Highlight what is relevant for your trip
  • Put your track on GFA
  • Know all symbols and abbreviations
  • Be able to read all remarks, pirep’s, notams,
  • Know types of NOTAMS
  • Know the types of METAR’s, TAF’s, validity of them, validity of GFA and amendment procedure for each product
  • Know the validity of the GFA’s
  • WX briefing start with big picture (no/no go, GFA) to smaller – en-route winds and METARs and TAFs
  • Know the weather minima for each class of airspace (at any point pointed on the map)
  • Recognize the airways and their effect on the airspace and weather minima
  • Know special VFR and controlled VFR procedure
  • Use VFR preferred route forecast if available Documents:
  • Be able to list ALL documents required and only those
  • Know the process of transferring ownership (C of R)
  • Know the 3 things invalidating the C of A
  • Know the validity of all other documents and how documents may change Weight and Balance:
  • Know how the centre of gravity changes during the flight
  • Know the PRACTICAL effects of the forward and aft centre of gravity Know airplane:
  • Memorize Vx, Vy, Va
  • Calculate take off and landing performance:
    • Ground roll corrected for grass and wind
    • Air part (= Total distance minus ground roll) corrected for wind only


Has to be SAFE, not perfect. Put the hood in the plane on your walk around before the examiner comes. Refuel. Clean windshield. Taxiing:
  • Control inputs for wind
  • Before instrument check: clear left/right
  • If over 50’ obstacle – climb Vx up to 51’, then lower the nose for Vy
  • No touch and goes, full stop and taxi around
  • Short: have to specify the touch down point without prompting
  • Soft: have to land in the first third
  • If over an obstacle – make sure is at least 50’ high over the threshold Navigation:
  • If do circuit first, take time on the 2nd take off
  • In climb, give the initial ETA to the first stop (usually CYCW or CYHE)
  • Stay 1800’ until clearing the zone (+/- 200’ on alt, remember? – do not bust Vancouver airspace!)
  • Make sure you have the map and the nav log open on your kneeboard
  • After clearing CZBB – climb to 2300’ for your ground speed portion between Cloverdale and 264 interchange.
  • After levelling off – cruise check:
    • Mixture
    • carb heat
    • heading indicator
  • At SHP:
    • take time
    • turn on the next heading
-      SHP-264:
  • TAS check
  • Show you use map (track vs landmarks)
  • Drift correction
-      At 264:
  • Take time
  • Turn on the next heading
  • Calculate GS and revise the initial ETA Instruments:
  • When turning, ASK “am I clear to the left/right?”
  • Unusual attitudes – only TREND matters:
    • Speed increasing à spiral dive
    • Speed decreasing à stall
Air work:  
  • HALT check before each exercise
  • EYES OUTSIDE!!! Without it any perfect manoeuvre = fail Slow flight:
  • ALL has to be at the same altitude: entry, maintain, recover. Not just “maintain”
  • Recovery:
    • FULL power first
    • Control pitch to prevent the climb (not “lower the nose”)
  • NO aileron use at all!!! If there’s a wing drop – use rudder to prevent further wing drop, or at least do nothing, just lower the nose.
  • Know slipping turn Forced landing:
  • Pick the field and consider wind early. Then figure 8 approach
  • Use checklist on cause check Precautionary landing:
  • Start 1000’ (or 2/3 of the cloud base) at field threshold
  • High pass:
    • can I do low pass?
    • Wind?
  • Fly left hand circuit, set up for 500’ (or 1/3 of cloud base) low pass
  • Low pass - OWLSS:
    • Obstacles
    • Wind
    • Length – do not do low level slow flight counting seconds at 60kts!!! 10 degrees flaps max. 70-75 kts
    • Surface
    • Slope
  • Overshoot, climb to 1000’
  • On downwind: 3x P’s
    • Pan pan
    • PX brief
  • Pre-landing check
  • Go for approach, soft field config, being able to touch down in the first third of the field (the longer the field, the longer is the first third of it ;) )
  • Pick a SHP about 5 miles away in the general heading of where you want to go. Go towards the SHP
  • DO NOT ORBIT low, slow and head down
  • Do calculations while flying to SHP, regularly looking outside and flying the plane: AVIATE, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE!
  • Do cruise checks (mixture, carb heat, HI) before the SHP
  • If time left before SHP, if not – after: brief passenger, amend flight plan
  • At SHP: take time, turn on course
  • On rte: give ETA
  • Half way: take time, give revised ETA
  • Watch altitude! +/- 200’ throughout all exercise, incl. initial calculations
  • Watch airspace! Pilotage (following landmarks) is acceptable on the PPL flight test (not CPL – dead reckoning only). The easiest: aim for 200 interchange (Colossus blue round roof) – keeps you away from CYPK and CYNJ. Use Garmin 430 if available to stay out of controlled airspace. If impossible – talk before entering! If given instructions to climb for transit through airspace – the clearance has to be followed over the simulated
  • Never talk to Langley unless you are about to bust their airspace! No courtesy calls!!!
  • Listen to Langley ATIS only if you have nothing else to do and you are bored! (well, it might serve to check the wind for the later forced, as long as you remember to write it down!)
  • East of gas stations – no lower than 1000’, aim for 1100-1200’ (Delta airpark). East of CZBB – no lower than 1500’ (King George airpark)
  • If you are lower than 2000’ over fort Langley – call or at least monitor 123.2 Emergencies:
  • No matter how well you know it, pull out the checklist when you say what you would do
  • Know what is critical/non critical emergency
  • If not critical – can even do all by checklist, not from memory