What steps should I take after failing the oral portion of the check ride for my PPL?


2 Answers 2


AOPA has a great article about this, and it basically says:

  • Since you failed the oral, more studying is probably in order.
  • You will need to receive training in the area(s) of the checkride that you failed from a flight instructor.
  • Once the flight instructor feels that you are proficient and able to pass the checkride, they will sign your logbook so that you may take it again.
  • Schedule your checkride again. If you take it within 60 days, you will only need to test on the areas that you failed. After 60 days you have to take the entire checkride over again.
  • Take your Notice of Disapproval (8060-5) with you to the checkride (you didn't burn it did you??)

Like the article says, it isn't the end of the world! About 20% of first time applicants fail their checkride, but all you have to do is use it as a learning experience and let it make you an even better pilot.

If you have questions about specific subjects, you can also ask questions here and we will be happy to help you out!

  • $\begingroup$ I'm in that 20%. $\endgroup$
    – fbynite
    Jan 27, 2014 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ @fbynite Did you retake your checkride and get your license? $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Jan 27, 2014 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ I did, I'm now working as a commercial pilot. $\endgroup$
    – fbynite
    Jan 27, 2014 at 17:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @fbynite Awesome! You should add an answer describing what happened and what you had to go through so that others can learn from your experience. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Jan 27, 2014 at 17:38

Keegan, I understand you may not want to specify where you had difficulty, but without knowing that, I'm afraid it's going to be difficult for anyone to help direct you.

Let me throw out two thoughts:

1) If you failed on regulatory questions, that is a lot like studying for a spelling bee. Reading, retention, and repetition is hard work, but required.

2) If you failed on the "what if" questions, I have a feeling you have even more work to do. I think the "what if" questions are what separates the great pilots from the pilots I'd refuse to fly with. "What if" you lose your engine over this spot at 7,500 feet MSL with the winds aloft 160º at 30 knots at 6,000 and 180º at 45 knots at 9,000? If you didn't know instinctively at every moment of your flight where you would put the aircraft down using your GPS nearest feature, your flight plan (filed or not), your engine out training, and your common sense, then you're going to have a little more difficult time convincing the DPE who failed you to give you another chance.

I'm absolutely not trying to scare you off of flying, but I've only got 500 hours and I've already been through a failed alternator at night and a nearly engine out landing by day (diminished power leading to a deviation and unscheduled "idled" landing) and it only takes once to know for certain whether you can pull these off with your training and good common sense, or panic and declare an emergency unnecessarily.

If you'd like to post a few examples of questions that gave you trouble, I know everyone who browses this forum will be helpful.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ "or panic and declare an emergency unnecessarily" Worse, don't declare an emergency, try and skim past without actually knowing what to do, get yourself into a real muck and end up killing yourself plus a few others too. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2014 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ Well then there's that ... $\endgroup$
    – WildFlyer
    Jan 26, 2014 at 11:02

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