CFII Checkride Preparation
a condensed course; by Philip Greenspun, ATP-CFII in August 2010
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This document was developed as a condensed course for a proficient
instrument airplane pilot getting a CFII. The author has developed a complete set of Part 141 lesson
plans for the CFII-H, but those are unnecessary for the applicant
who is high on proficiency and short on time.
The difference between an Instrument and a CFII rating
The knowledge test question bank is the same for an instrument rating
and a CFII. The practical test standards are basically the same (see
our summaries of IFR-H
and CFII-H). Why doesn't the
FAA simply give CFII privileges to anyone holding a CFI and an
instrument rating on his or her pilot certificate?
In my opinion, the difference is that the instrument-rated
pilot is capable of planning a flight, obtaining and flying an
ATC clearance, keeping the aircraft under positive control solely by
reference to instruments whereas the instrument-rated
instructor can do all of those things and also explain the
rationale behind the system, answer any "why" questions, and offer
helpful advice to students new to the challenge of IFR flight.
A proficient instrument pilot who can handle the exercises on this
page can probably pass a CFII checkride.
Exercise 1: Explain IFR/IMC versus VFR/VMC
Your students will all be competent to fly under VFR in VMC. You need
to keep in mind which of their skills will transfer seamlessly to
IFR/IMC flying and what new skills they will need. Imagine yourself
talking to a new IFR student and summarizing which existing skills can
be used directly and also what new skills must be mastered.
Questions that, at a minimum, your presentation should answer:
- How to scan the instruments in IMC (hint: at least half of what
the FAA says is wrong and cannot be used to fly a high-performance
- What is a clearance and clearance limit?
Exercise 2: What is an approach procedure?
Explain what an approach procedure is without using an actual approach
plate. Start with why approaches exist. Draw Runway 27 and then
progressively add complexity in the order of what's important and
significant, until you've developed a plate that has most of the
elements of an official approach plate. Be prepared to put some
specific distances and AGL altitudes on your plate.
Exercise 3: What happens near minimums?
Explain what happens when an aircraft gets to 200' AGL on the ILS 29
at KBED when the weather is a 210' ceiling and exactly 1/2 mile of
visibility. What does the pilot see and what does he or she do? What
are the applicable FARs?
Exercise 4: Emergency procedures
In the aircraft that you'll be flying for your checkride, explain how
you'll get back on the ground after the following events:
- PFD or primary attitude indicator failure
- alternator failure (if two are installed, assume the more powerful alternator has failed)
- airframe icing
Exercise 5: Briefing
Talk a student through the significant events on an IFR trip from KBED
to KMVY. What will he do? Whom will he talk to? What will he say and
what will ATC say?
Area forecast: 300' ceiling, 1 mile visibility, calm winds.
Weather at KBOS: 400' ceiling, 2 miles visibility.
Weather at KORH: 100' ceiling, 1/2 mile visibility.
Weather at KBED: 100' ceiling, 1/4 mile visibility.
Weather at KEWB: 800' ceiling, 3 miles visibility.
Weather at KMVY: 800' ceiling, 2 miles visibility.
Text and photos Copyright 2010 Philip