Checkride Preparation – Creating A Binder

Checkride Preparation – Creating a Binder

Hi there, and thanks again for watching and subscribing to our videos presented by AeroGuard Flight Training Center. My name is Beth Brown and I’m a flight instructor here with AeroGuard at our Deer Valley campus in Phoenix. I want to help you to be as prepared as you can be for your checkride. AeroGuard has created a system for our students and I think you’ll find it helpful too.

What we do at AeroGuard is we make a checkride binder. By making this checkride binder, it’s going to contain all of the application information that you’re going to need for your checkride. Things like your certificates, your written test results, even maintenance logbook information.

Documents Needed

So checkrides are notoriously nerve-wracking events, but they really don’t have to be. You have spent months training and studying for this day, and now your checkride has been scheduled. So how can you be prepared so you feel extra ready to meet your DPE? At AeroGuard, we take the time to create a checkride binder. By making a checkride binder, it’s going to demonstrate to your DPE your preparedness, attention to detail and it ensures that no unexpected hiccups occur on the day of your checkride with the paperwork. Believe it or not, by covering these bases and ensuring the paperwork is in order, it can also help to alleviate any checkride nerves you may have.

First thing we do in our binder is we make sure that the IACRA is completed and signed off by your instructor, printing a paper copy of your IACRA application, called the 8710, and have your instructor sign it. This way, you have a backup plan in case the DPE is unable to submit your online application. Sometimes this does happen, for any reason; the internet’s down, there’s a glitch in the system, and so your DPE is going to need to file a paper form and that will require your instructor’s signature. If this happens to you and your instructor is not there, it could mean a cancelled checkride for you.

The next thing we do in our binder is you’re going to make copies of your government ID, medical certification and pilot certification. When you do this, it makes you double-check your expiration dates. Make sure your addresses match on your ID and your pilot certification and the names match with middle initials; all of that’s important.

FAA Knowledge Test Deficiencies

At this point, you’ve already passed your written. The test is going to be stored online, so you need to print off a copy and have this in your checkride binder too. You’re going to need it, so there’s no sense waiting to pull it up in front of your DPE the day of your checkride, and there’s a good chance you missed a few questions on the written. Don’t worry, we all do. The FAA calls those deficiencies.

So you’re going to have to have an endorsement from your instructor verifying that you reviewed those deficiencies with them. Your DPE is probably going to look at your written and there’s a good chance they’re going to want to make sure they review those deficiencies with you too. These deficiencies are coded by line items in the ACS Guide. You can be one step ahead by taking those ACS codes and decoding them in your ACS.

Here’s an example of that: papa alpha 1 alpha kilo 2. The “papa alpha” represents private pilot airplane, “I” is for area one, which is pre-flight preparation, “alpha” is for task alpha, and that’s pilot qualifications, and “kilo 2” is the knowledge element. In this case, privileges and limitations. By decoding these in advance and having them printed out for your DPE, again, it demonstrates your preparedness and attention to detail. Just another way to get it off on a good start.

Maintenance Logbook Checklist

Another thing we put in our checkride binder is the maintenance logbook checklist, and this is something you can do ahead of time to make sure all the inspections are current. Also, you’re making sure you are very familiar with that maintenance logbook. The DPE is going to go through the logbook verifying the aircraft is legal to fly. So as PIC of the flight. you want to make sure that it is legal to fly before you hand over the logbook letting the DPE find any discrepancies. Completing a maintenance checklist is another method to ensure your success.

So these steps are often overlooked and could get your checkride off to a bad start or even cause the checkride to be disapproved or discontinued before it’s even really begun. The first half hour or so of your checkride, you’ll be going through these documents with a fine-tooth comb so it’s best to groom yourself ahead of time to make sure you’re prepared.


By following these steps, you can help yourself get your checkride off to a good start. I wish you the best of luck on your checkride. Remember: have fun, be confident and come prepared. Let us know what you like to do before your checkride. Thank you for watching our video. Please like and subscribe below. Until next time, blue skies and tailwinds!

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