Aircraft Dispatcher Practical Test Completed!!!!


Well-Known Member
Just thought I’d fill everybody in on the Aircraft Dispatcher results!!

I know that many of you probably aren’t that familiar with the requirements to become a dispatcher, so I’ll very quickly run through them. They can also be found in 14 CFR Part 65.

(b) To be eligible for an aircraft dispatcher certificate, a person must—
(1) Be at least 23 years of age;
(2) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language;
(3) Pass the required knowledge test prescribed by §65.55 of this part;
(4) Pass the required practical test prescribed by §65.59 of this part; and
(5) Comply with the requirements of §65.57 of this part.
Part 65.57 basically states all of the ways you can qualify for eligibility, i.e. as a military operations specialist, meteorologist, pilot, or navigator, or as a pilot, navigator, dispatcher, meteorologist, etc. assisting in dispatch operations….etc, etc. If you don’t have any of these things, you can be eligible if you complete a dispatcher training course.

Basically, the course has to cover all of the knowledge requirements of the ATP knowledge test, a lot of weather, dispatcher eligibility, transport category aircraft systems, ATC, weight and balance, FARS, a lot more weather, charts, approach plates, a little more weather and a few more FARS (emphasis on the FARS and the weather…). It has to cover flight planning, alternate requirements, and all of the other little things that would go into the planning of a typical (if there is such a thing) airline flight. It also has to have at least 200 hours of training.

To be eligible to take the practical test, a person ahs to take the ADX written test, which is the ATP written for all intents and purposes (there are 4-6 questions that are different, mainly dealing with dispatcher duty day limitations). Once you take that, it’s on to the practical!!

I did the oral exam yesterday and I thought that it was pretty easy. Lots of weather – I was asked read a radar summary chart, some prog charts and weather depiction charts. He asked me lots of questions on a constant pressure chart (300 mb) and a Surface Analysis chart. We moved on and read some TAFs, METAR, FAs and PIREPS. These were pretty standard, and I think that I had a leg up on the weather because I’m a pilot and keep up on these pretty well.

He asked to explain to him what flow control is, why it’s used and to tell him about the problems that it could cause for aircraft in the air as well as on the ground. He wanted me to explain to him a dispatcher’s responsibility, as well as his/her authority with regards to operational control over the flight. He asked me about NOTAMS, the types of NOTAMS, the information that NOTAMS contain and the ways that you can get NOTAM information. We discussed Jeppesen charts in great detail, paying more attention to Approach plates than anything else. Approach and departure minimums, CAT I, II, & III approaches and authorizations, and alternate planning rules.

That was pretty much it for the oral. This afternoon I did the practical, and it was the hardest part. We were given all of the weather information (TAFs, METARs, Winds & Temps aloft, etc.) and a 727 flight from Nashville to Cleveland. I was also given Detroit Wayne & London, Ontario as options for alternates (if they were required). I was given the number of passengers, amount of extra cargo and time of departure for the flight. On my particular scenario there were two MEL’d items, including a broken fuel dump something or another valve light and something else (I really don’t remember). Basically, these caused me to have to make a reduction in my maximum runway and climb limit weights. For this particular flight I didn’t have to boot any PAX since we weren’t going to have to carry a whole lot of fuel.

With this information I had to determine whether or not a departure alternate was required (no), destination alternate (yes) and if we needed a second destination alternate (no). I had to choose a route, altitude, total fuel required, alternate fuel, reserve (always the same), and total trip time to the minute. Takeoff weights, fuel at each waypoint, arrival weights, and select preferred runways. Of course, this also entailed groundspeeds, time to climb and time to descend and what the fuel required for holding was (30 minutes at the destination @ 10,000 feet.

Took me a while (about 3 hours) to work it all and I wasn’t the last person to finish. He checked my work over, asked me to explain why I did certain things and checked it over some more. He had an answer key and wanted to make sure that there weren’t any major errors in my math (calculators and E6B flight computers).

After that, he told me congrats and wrote out my Temporary Airman Certificate!!!!


Well-Known Member
First of all I wanted to say congrats!!! What training would be required to do this for someone who has already passed the ATP written? How much did this cost and where did you do it? Was there anything you needed to learn that isn't found in the ATP study guides, such as ASA?


Piece of Trash
Congrats, Lloyd!

Did you take the classes for that at MTSU or another school? I've kinda thought about getting the dispatcher license. Always looking for something that could set my resume apart from the other 3,000.


Well-Known Member
Thanks alot Kellwolf & Viper!!

Viper, to answer your questions, there are a couple of places you can get the training. My aerospace degree is actually with an emphasis in Flight Scheduling & Dispatch. So, all of the required training was recieved in classes in my major. There were two weather classes, a dispatch class (which was basically a writtten test course with a survey of systems and regulations) and a second dispatch course that covered systems and limitations of the 727 in addition to a whole lot of regulations in part 121. Cost is a little bit harder to determine, since it's a part of the whole degree program. Theoretically I suppose you could just take those classes, and do it in 3 semesters (that's how long it took me to meet the requirements). You can go here and knock the whole thing out in just over a month for $3,800 (not too shabby!!!) or here for $4,150. These are pretty much knock-it-out courses, kind of like an accelerated flight training prgram. I'm all for programs like this, since you're going to learn to do it much more if you work for a carrier as a dispatcher.

As far as the ATP study guides, they'll help you pass the written test and that's about it. They'll give you some of the knowledge, but the test is alot deeper. The practical flight planning portion is much more in detail (and more realistic) than the junk in the Gleim ATP written test prep book. There are alot more regulations and you're going to have to learn alot of systems. And having the ATP written passed won't help, since you'll have to take the ADX written (I asked the same thing). Kind of like having the AGI written meaning nothing for a CFI checkride. Pointless....

Kellwolf, yeah, I took the classes at MTSU. I think they really prepared me well for what I faced during the practical. It's not a bad deal, and like you said - it's another point on my resume!!!!


I know this is an old post, but I am currently at Jeppesen Academy for Aircraft Dispatching. So I've been lurking around for advice, tips, and info for the O&P. I've already passed my ADX written.
What is this "&amp" word?
What is 'flow control'. I am guessing it's the airport traffic or either the fuel system in aircraft?