TOP TEN WAYS TO FAIL A PRACTICAL TEST

AND HOW TO PASS ONE

One of the first things a new pilot examiner learns is that his/her favorite way of explaining something or performing a maneuver is often not the only way. During eighteen years examining glider pilot applicants, recommended by over one hundred different instructors, you get to compare a lot of different approaches to training pilots. Obviously, selecting the "best" ones is influenced by the examiner's perception of what is really important, but the Practical Test Standards help establish the criteria. The following table lists the "top ten" reasons applicants fail glider pilot practical tests. The percentages shown indicate the percent of failing applicants who failed in each area. The total exceeds 100% because applicants often fail more than one category. The last column in the table contains a link to an animated description of one examiner's choice for what works "best". In some cases the same link applies to more than one failure area because the tasks are related.

This was designed to help glider pilot and instructor candidates prepare for FAA knowledge and practical tests.

RANK CATEGORY PERCENT LINK
1 LANDING 38 "Landing"
2 PERFORMANCE-A/S 28 "Performance Airspeeds"
3 SLIP-TO-LANDING 21 "Landing"
4 AIRSPACE 19 "Collision Avoidance"
5 SLACK-LINE 17 "Aerotow"
6 INSTRUMENTS 12 "Systems"
7 OXYGEN 11 "Systems"
8 BOX-WAKE 10 "Boxing the Wake"
9 CLEARING 10 "Collision Avoidance"
10 POSN-ON-TOW 8 "Aerotow"

2000 Jim D. Burch

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