Practical Test Standards PTS ｆor AIRPLANE Single-Engine LAND
The Flight Standards Service of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed this practical test book as the standard that shall be used by FAA inspectors and designated pilot examiners when conducting private pilot airplane practical tests. Flight instructors are expected to use this book when preparing applicants for practical tests. Applicants should be familiar with this book and refer to these standards during their training.
Information considered directive in nature is described in this practical test book in terms, such as “shall” and “must” indicating the actions are mandatory. Guidance information is described in terms, such as “should” and “may” indicating the actions are desirable or permissive, but not mandatory. The FAA gratefully acknowledges the valuable assistance provided by many individuals and organizations throughout the aviation community who contributed their time and talent in assisting with the revision of these practical test standards.
This practical test standard may be downloaded from the Regulatory Support Division’s, AFS-600, web site at http://afs600.faa.gov. Subsequent changes to this standard, in accordance with AC 60-27,
Announcement of Availability: Changes to Practical Test Standards, will also be available on AFS-600’s web site and then later incorporated into a printed revision.
This publication can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. Comments regarding this publication should be sent to:
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Standards Service
Airman Testing Standards Branch, AFS-630
P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125
Practical Test Standards Concept
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61 specifies the AREAS OF OPERATION in which knowledge and skill must be demonstrated by the applicant before the issuance of a private pilot certificate or rating. The CFRs provide the flexibility to permit the FAA to publish practical test standards containing the AREAS OF OPERATION and specific TASKs in which pilot competency shall be demonstrated.
The FAA shall revise this book whenever it is determined that changes are needed in the interest of safety. Adherence to the provisions of the regulations and the practical test standards is mandatory for the evaluation of private pilot applicants.
Practical Test Book Description
This test book contains the following Private Pilot Airplane Practical Test Standards:
Section 1 Airplane-Single-Engine Land and Sea
Section 2 Airplane-Multiengine Land and Sea
The Private Pilot Airplane Practical Test Standards includes the AREAS OF OPERATION and TASKs for the issuance of an initial private pilot certificate and for the addition of category ratings and/or class ratings to that certificate.
Practical Test Standards Description
AREAS OF OPERATION are phases of the practical test arranged in a logical sequence within each standard. They begin with Preflight Preparation and end with Postflight Procedures. The examiner, however, may conduct the practical test in any sequence that will result in a complete and efficient test; however, the ground portion of the practical test shall be accomplished before the flight portion.
TASKs are titles of knowledge areas, flight procedures, or maneuvers appropriate to an AREA OF OPERATION. The abbreviation(s) within parentheses immediately following a TASK refer to the category and/or class aircraft appropriate to that TASK. The meaning of each abbreviation is as follows.
ASEL Airplane:Single-Engine Land
AMEL Airplane:Multiengine Land
ASES Airplane:Single-Engine Sea
AMES Airplane:Multiengine Sea
NOTE: When administering a test based on sections 1 and 2 of this PTS, the TASKs appropriate to the class airplane (ASEL, ASES, AMEL, or AMES) used for the test shall be included in the plan of action. The absence of a class indicates the TASK is for all classes.
NOTE is used to emphasize special considerations required in the AREA OF OPERATION or TASK.
REFERENCE identifies the publication(s) that describe(s) the TASK.
Descriptions of TASKs are not included in these standards because this information can be found in the current issue of the listed reference. Publications other than those listed may be used for references if their content conveys substantially the same meaning as the referenced publications.
These practical test standards are based on the following references.
14 CFR part 43 Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Rebuilding, and Alteration
14 CFR part 61 Certification: Pilots, Flight Instructors, and Ground Instructors
14 CFR part 91 General Operating and Flight Rules
AC 00-6 Aviation Weather
AC 00-45 Aviation Weather Services
AC 61-23 / FAA-H-8083-25 Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
AC 61-65 Certification: Pilots and Flight Instructors
AC 61-67 Stall and Spin Awareness Training.
AC 61-84 Role of Preflight Preparation
AC 90-48 Pilots’ Role in Collision Avoidance
AC 90-66 Recommended Standard Traffic Patterns and Practices for Aeronautical Operations At Airports Without Operating Control Towers
AC 91-69 Seaplane Safety for FAR Part 91 Operations
AC 120-51 Crew Resource Management Training
FAA-H-8083-1 Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook
FAA-H-8083-3 Airplane Flying Handbook
FAA-H-8083-15 Instrument Flying Handbook
AIM Aeronautical Information Manual
AFD Airport Facility Directory
NOTAMs Notices to Airmen
Other Pilot Operating Handbook,
FAA-Approved Flight Manual,
The Objective lists the elements that must be satisfactorily performed to demonstrate competency in a TASK. The Objective includes:
1. specifically what the applicant should be able to do;
2. conditions under which the TASK is to be performed; and
3. acceptable performance standards.
Use of the Practical Test Standards Book
The FAA requires that all private pilot practical tests be conducted in accordance with the appropriate private practical test standards and the policies set forth in the INTRODUCTION. Applicants shall be evaluated in ALL TASKS included in each AREA OF OPERATION of the appropriate practical test standard, unless otherwise noted.
An applicant, who holds at least a private pilot certificate seeking an additional airplane category rating and/or class rating at the private pilot level, shall be evaluated in the AREAS OF OPERATION and TASKS listed in the Additional Rating Task Table. At the discretion of the examiner, an evaluation of the applicant’s competence in the remaining
AREAS OF OPERATION and TASKs may be conducted. If the applicant holds two or more category or class ratings at least at the private level, and the ratings table indicates differing required TASKS, the “least restrictive” entry applies. For example, if “ALL” and “NONE” are indicated for one AREA OF OPERATION, the “NONE” entry applies. If “B” and “B, C” are indicated, the “B” entry applies.
In preparation for each practical test, the examiner shall develop a written “plan of action.” The “plan of action” shall include all TASKs in each AREA OF OPERATION, unless noted otherwise. If the elements in one TASK have already been evaluated in another TASK, they need not be repeated. For example, the “plan of action” need not include evaluating the applicant on complying with markings, signals, and clearances at the end of the flight, if that element was sufficiently observed at the beginning of the flight. Any TASK selected for evaluation during a practical test shall be evaluated in its entirety. The examiner is not required to follow the precise order in which the AREAS OF OPERATION and TASKs appear in this book. The examiner may change the sequence or combine TASKs with similar Objectives to have an orderly and efficient flow of the practical test. For example, Radio Communications and ATC Light Signals may be combined with Traffic Patterns. The examiner’s “plan of action” shall include the order and combination of TASKs to be demonstrated by the applicant in a manner that will result in an efficient and valid test.
The examiner is expected to use good judgment in the performance of simulated emergency procedures. The use of the safest means for simulation is expected. Consideration must be given to local conditions, both meteorological and topographical, at the time of the test, as well as the applicant’s workload, and the condition of the aircraft used. If the procedure being evaluated would jeopardize safety, it is expected that the applicant will simulate that portion of the maneuver.
Special Emphasis Areas
Examiners shall place special emphasis upon areas of aircraft operations considered critical to flight safety. Among these are:
1. positive aircraft control;
2. procedures for positive exchange of flight controls (who is flying
3. stall/spin awareness;
4. collision avoidance;
5. wake turbulence avoidance;
6. Land and Hold Short Operations (LAHSO);
7. runway incursion avoidance;
8. controlled flight into terrain (CFIT);
9. aeronautical decision making (ADM);
10. checklist usage; and
11. other areas deemed appropriate to any phase of the practical test.
Although these areas may not be specifically addressed under each TASK, they are essential to flight safety and will be evaluated during the practical test. In all instances, the applicant’s actions will relate to the complete situation.
Removal of the “Airplane Multiengine VFR Only” Limitation
The removal of the “Airplane Multiengine VFR Only” limitation, at the private pilot certificate level, requires an applicant to satisfactorily perform the following AREAS OF OPERATION and TASKs from the private AMEL and AMES PTS in a multiengine airplane that has a manufacturer’s published VMC speed.
AREA OF OPERATION XI:MULTIENGINE OPERATIONS
TASK C: ENGINE FAILURE DURING FLIGHT (By Reference to Instruments)
TASK D: INSTRUMENT APPROACH - ONE ENGINE INOPERATIVE (By Reference to Instruments)
Removal of the “Limited to Center Thrust” Limitation
The removal of the “Limited to Center Thrust” limitation at the private pilot certificate level requires an applicant to satisfactorily perform the following AREAS OF OPERATION and TASKs from the private AMEL and AMES PTS in a multiengine airplane that has a manufacturer’s published VMC speed.
AREA OF OPERATION I: PREFLIGHT PREPARTATION
TASK H: PRINCIPLES OF FLIGHT-ENGINE INOPERATIVE
AREA OF OPERATION X: EMERGENCY OPERATIONS
TASK B: ENGINE FAILURE DURING TAKEOFF BEFORE Vmc (SIMULATED)
TASK C: ENGINE FAILURE AFTER LIFT-OFF (SIMULATED)
TASK D: APPROACH AND LANDING WITH AN INOPERATIVE ENGINE (SIMULATED)
AREA OF OPERATION XI:MULTIENGINE OPERATIONS
TASK A: MANEUVERING WITH ONE ENGINE INOPERATIVE
TASK B: VMC DEMONSTRATION)
Private Pilot: Airplane Practical Test Prerequisites
An applicant for the Private Pilot: Airplane Practical Test is required by 14 CFR part 61 to:
1. be at least 17 years of age;
2. be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If there is a doubt, use AC 60-28, English Language Skill Standards;
3. have passed the appropriate private pilot knowledge test since the beginning of the 24th month before the month in which he or she takes the practical test;
4. have satisfactorily accomplished the required training and obtained the aeronautical experience prescribed;
5. possess at least a current third class medical certificate;
6. have an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that the applicant has received and logged training time within 60 days preceding the date of application in preparation for the practical test, and is prepared for the practical test; and
7. also have an endorsement certifying that the applicant has demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the subject areas in which the applicant was deficient on the airman knowledge test.
Aircraft and Equipment Required for the Practical Test
The private pilot airplane applicant is required by 14 CFR section 61.45, to provide an airworthy, certificated aircraft for use during the practical test. This section further requires that the aircraft must:
1. be of U.S., foreign or military registry of the same category, class, and type, if applicable, for the certificate and/or rating for which the applicant is applying;
2. have fully functioning dual controls, except as provided for in 14 CFR section 61.45(c) and (e); and
3. be capable of performing all AREAS OF OPERATION appropriate to the rating sought and have no operating limitations, which prohibit its use in any of the AREAS OF OPERATION, required for the practical test.
Flight Instructor Responsibility
An appropriately rated flight instructor is responsible for training the private pilot applicant to acceptable standards in all subject matter areas, procedures, and maneuvers included in the TASKs within each AREA OF OPERATION in the appropriate private pilot practical test standard.
Because of the impact of their teaching activities in developing safe, proficient pilots, flight instructors should exhibit a high level of knowledge, skill, and the ability to impart that knowledge and skill to students. Throughout the applicant's training, the flight instructor is responsible for emphasizing the performance of effective visual scanning and collision avoidance procedures.
The examiner conducting the practical test is responsible for determining that the applicant meets the acceptable standards of knowledge and skill of each TASK within the appropriate practical test standard. Since there is no formal division between the “oral” and “skill” portions of the practical test, this becomes an ongoing process throughout the test. Oral questioning, to determine the applicant's knowledge of TASKs and related safety factors, should be used judiciously at all times, especially during the flight portion of the practical test. Examiner’s shall test to the greatest extent practicable the applicant’s correlative abilities rather than mere rote enumeration of facts throughout the practical test.
If the examiner determines that a TASK is incomplete, or the outcome uncertain, the examiner may require the applicant to repeat that TASK, or portions of that TASK. This provision has been made in the interest of fairness and does not mean that instruction, practice, or the repeating of an unsatisfactory task is permitted during the certification process. When practical, the remaining TASKs of the practical test phase should be completed before repeating the questionable TASK.
On multiengine practical tests where the failure of the most critical engine after lift off is required, the examiner must give consideration to local atmospheric conditions, terrain, and type of aircraft used. However the failure of an engine shall not be simulated until attaining at least VSSE/VYSE and at an altitude not lower than 400 feet AGL.
During simulated engine failures on multiengine practical tests the examiner shall set zero thrust after the applicant has simulated feathering the propeller. The examiner shall require the applicant to demonstrate at least one landing with a simulated-feathered propeller with the engine set to zero thrust.
Throughout the flight portion of the practical test, the examiner shall evaluate the applicant’s use of visual scanning and collision avoidance procedures.
The word “examiner” is used throughout the standards to denote either the FAA inspector or FAA designated pilot examiner who conducts an official practical test.
Satisfactory performance to meet the requirements for certification is based on the applicant’s ability to safely:
1. perform the TASKs specified in the AREAS OF OPERATION for the certificate or rating sought within the approved standards;
2. demonstrate mastery of the aircraft with the successful outcome of each TASK performed never seriously in doubt;
3. demonstrate satisfactory proficiency and competency within the approved standards;
4. demonstrate sound judgment; and
5. demonstrate single-pilot competence if the aircraft is type certificated for single-pilot operations.
The tolerances represent the performance expected in good flying conditions. If, in the judgment of the examiner, the applicant does not meet the standards of performance of any TASK performed, the associated AREA OF OPERATION is failed and therefore, the practical test is failed.
The examiner or applicant may discontinue the test at any time when the failure of an AREA OF OPERATION makes the applicant ineligible for the certificate or rating sought. The test may be continued ONLY with the consent of the applicant. If the test is discontinued, the applicant is entitled credit for only those AREAS OF OPERATION and their associated TASKs satisfactorily performed. However, during the retest, and at the discretion of the examiner, any TASK may be reevaluated, including those previously passed.
Typical areas of unsatisfactory performance and grounds for disqualification are:
1. Any action or lack of action by the applicant that requires corrective intervention by the examiner to maintain safe flight.
2. Failure to use proper and effective visual scanning techniques to clear the area before and while performing maneuvers.
3. Consistently exceeding tolerances stated in the Objectives.
4. Failure to take prompt corrective action when tolerances are exceeded.
When a notice of disapproval is issued, the examiner shall record the applicant’s unsatisfactory performance in terms of the AREA OF OPERATION and specific TASK(s) not meeting the standard appropriate to the practical test conducted. The AREA(s) OF OPERATION/TASK(s) not tested and the number of practical test failures shall also be recorded. If the applicant fails the practical test because of a special emphasis area, the Notice of Disapproval shall indicate the associated TASK. i. e.: AREA OF OPERATION VIII, Maneuvering During Slow Flight, failure to use proper collision avoidance procedures.
Crew Resource Management (CRM)
CRM refers to the effective use of all available resources: human resources, hardware, and information. Human resources include all groups routinely working with the cockpit crew or pilot who are involved with decisions that are required to operate a flight safely. These groups include, but are not limited to dispatchers, cabin crewmembers, maintenance personnel, air traffic controllers, and weather services. CRM is not a single TASK, but a set of competencies that must be evident in all TASKs in this practical test standard as applied to either single pilot operations or crew.
Applicant's Use of Checklists
Throughout the practical test, the applicant is evaluated on the use of an appropriate checklist. Proper use is dependent on the specific TASK being evaluated. The situation may be such that the use of the checklist, while accomplishing elements of an Objective, would be either unsafe or impractical, especially in a single-pilot operation. In this case, a review of the checklist after the elements have been accomplished, would be appropriate. Division of attention and proper visual scanning should be considered when using a checklist.
Use of Distractions During Practical Tests
Numerous studies indicate that many accidents have occurred when the pilot has been distracted during critical phases of flight. To evaluate the applicant’s ability to utilize proper control technique while dividing attention both inside and/or outside the cockpit, the examiner shall cause realistic distractions during the flight portion of the practical test to evaluate the applicant’s ability to divide attention while maintaining safe flight.
Positive Exchange of Flight Controls
During flight training, there must always be a clear understanding between students and flight instructors of who has control of the aircraft. Prior to flight, a briefing should be conducted that includes the procedure for the exchange of flight controls. A positive three-step process in the exchange of flight controls between pilots is a proven procedure and one that is strongly recommended.
When the instructor wishes the student to take control of the aircraft, he or she will say, “You have the flight controls.” The student acknowledges immediately by saying, “I have the flight controls.” The flight instructor again says, “You have the flight controls.” When control is returned to the instructor, follow the same procedure. A visual check is recommended to verify that the exchange has occurred. There should never by any doubt as to who is flying the aircraft.
Metric Conversion Initiative
To assist pilots in understanding and using the metric measurement system, the practical test standards refer to the metric equivalent of various altitudes throughout. The inclusion of meters is intended to familiarize pilots with its use. The metric altimeter is arranged in 10 meter increments; therefore, when converting from feet to meters, the exact conversion, being too exact for practical purposes, is rounded to the nearest 10 meter increment or even altitude as necessary.