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ACS, what is that?

Updated: Jul 16

Lately, I have been asked about checkride related subjects by applicants, usually within a week of their checkride. Most of these questions have been very similar.

Can I use Foreflight to help me navigate on my checkride?

Do I have to do a paper NAVLOG?

Do I have to do all the maneuvers list in the ACS?

These are all questions I am sure your instructor has covered with you somewhere throughout your training. You might just need a review of the ACS.

Remember, when your DPE asks during your pretest brief, “Are you familiar with the ACS?” The answer should be yes, if not, there may be a problem.

To answer some of the questions above.

Do I have to do a paper NAVLOG?

If you look in any ACS, under the task for cross country flight planning, you will see it says, prepare, present, and explain a cross-country flight plan. It doesn’t specify paper, or electronic, but, if you decide to use the electronic version, you still need to be able to explain how your electronic device came up with the calculations for your NAVLOG. So, have your E6B handy.

Do I have to do all the maneuvers list in the ACS?

Appendix 5: Practical Test Roles, Responsibilities, and Outcomes

Applicant Responsibilities

The applicant is responsible for mastering the established standards for knowledge, skill, and risk management elements in all Tasks appropriate to the certificate and rating sought. The applicant should use this ACS, its references, and the Practical Test Checklist in this Appendix in preparation to take the practical test.

This is straight out of the ACS, you need to go through the entire ACS, including the Appendices towards the back, to get familiar with what is required of you.

Can I use Foreflight to help me navigate on my checkride?

This question is a good one, and I get it ALOT. The short answer is, NO. You can use it for your charts including taxi diagram if they are up to date. Paper charts are a great backup of course, your EFB has limitations. I am saying no for a specific part of your checkride.

When you are performing your cross-country procedures during your checkride, you will need to show your examiner pilotage, and dead reckoning (Private, and Commercial checkride). You will have to turn off the little airplane on your EFB, so your examiner can see you know how to use pilotage, and that your calculations are accurate within the standard. After the cross country procedures, go right ahead and use your EFB for situational awareness.

Below is a link to an article covering information about Electronic Flight Bags.

Electronic flight bag legal briefing for pilots – 2020 edition - iPad Pilot News

We all have questions when it comes time for our checkride, and I will be happy to answer what I can, but your instructor is there to provide you with a lot of the information you are seeking. Just like your responsibilities are laid out in Appendix 5 of the ACS, your instructor has similar responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you must until you get the answer you’re looking for. The correct answer.

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