Failed checkrides

#1
If a fellow pilot has failed PPL, Commercial, multi-add on once each are they most likely not to be hired for the major airlines? Should they not continue to peruse a career as an airline pilot?
 
Last edited:

milleR

Well-Known Member
#3
Everybody fails a something at some point (often at more than one point). It’s how you describe the experience, what you learned from it and how you improved afterwards that will get you the job. Excuses and blame will sink you faster than you can count to 3.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#5
I wouldn't be too worried about a single check-ride failure. I got lucky and had good DPEs, but there are some real hard-asses out there that would go out of there way to be hard on the occasional decent pilot and probably would have had reasons to fail me on my private. Also they used to a do a two day oral on the CFIs like 7 or 8 years ago and passing was probably less common than failing.

With the limited experience of CFIs these days I think students are at a bit more of a disadvantage then when I got my ratings as well as many of my instructors had well beyond ATP mins and even back then there was the occasional instructor that wasn't that good.

Was your failure related to you getting nervous and not getting enough sleep before? I know some people pressure themselves and fly worse on checkrides than normal and I think that's pretty typical. You'll get more comfortable the more you fly and I think the flight school atmosphere can contribute to it. One of the best things for your confidence can be to fly with other pilots as everyone makes mistakes, but it's easy to sit right seat, sit there and just catch every little thing you miss and seem like an expert so don't be too hard on yourself. A lot of new pilots stress themselves out too much with things like radio calls and once they learn to relax things go so much smoother.

There are also many decent gigs out there. Not every pilot will end up at the majors and there are a lot of cool opportunities that you might find more fun or that offer a QoL that suits you better.
 
#6
At my flight school and the airline associated with it. You can have no more than three failed check rides to be hired on. These check rides failures have to be PPL-CMEL to count. So CFI, CFII, and MEII failures aren't counted towards the three.

If one were to have more than the three failures they probably wouldn't get that guaranteed interview that was promised. But I'd imagine that if they went out and got some more experience as a CFI or flying part 135 and came back and interviewed or interviewed at another regional. They could probably expect to be grilled about their past failures. But having a good attitude and expressing what you learned from those failures and how you moved on past them. I would imagine that it would land you a job at a regional.

But after that, I'd imagine that you'd really have to keep your nose clean. Passing all training events at the regional level to be able to be hired at the legacy or LCC level. I'd also expect the failures in the initial training environment to come up in your interview at an LCC and a legacy. Be fully prepared to explain them. What you learned from them and how you improved and became a better pilot as a result of them.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#7
If a fellow pilot has failed PPL, Commercial, multi-add on once each are they most likely not to be hired for the major airlines? Should they not continue to peruse a career as an airline pilot?
I believe you meant "pursue." I apologize for coming off like a jerk with that remark, but it has bearing on the question. Details matter in aviation. A lot.

You haven't given us a lot of context here - like the others said - do you know *why* you failed the checkrides? What did you learn from the process?

More importantly, how are you prepared to address the question (and it will come up in an interview) when it comes up?

There are some really smart people here who can give you some perspective and perhaps help you make your decision if you can provide some or all of that information.
 

Stryker172

Well-Known Member
#8
I would think by the time you interview at a major airline you would have a few 121 checkrides under your belt and the busts from flight school would become less and less significant as time went on. To me it shows that you learned from the experience, took it with you to a 121 carrier and were successful.
 

Nark

Sheepdog
#9
Many moons ago I was the guy across the table you were explaining the failure too.

If you were humble in your answer “any checkride failures”? you generally got a pass or a yes from me. If there was a hint of arrogance: immediate no.

Any 121 failures is a huge red flag and much harder to get around. The environment has changed since I did this, and I’m not sure what the near future holds.
 

Autothrust Blue

Ultra-low-cost member
#10
If a fellow pilot has failed PPL, Commercial, multi-add on once each are they most likely not to be hired for the major airlines? Should they not continue to peruse a career as an airline pilot?
So, tell me:
(1) why you failed each, and
(2) what (if anything) you learned from that.

(Assuming you pass the auto-screen, be prepared to answer each.)
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
#11
If a fellow pilot has failed PPL, Commercial, multi-add on once each are they most likely not to be hired for the major airlines? Should they not continue to peruse a career as an airline pilot?
It depends.

Some airlines aren’t going to care much depending on their staffing challenges, others will absolutely care.

Some carriers will accept a few with consideration for the period of time and how you handle it during an interview. They’re going to want you to absolutely own the failure and then walk them through what happened and how you recovered (learned) from it and how it made you into a better pilot today. Think of the earlier failures as somewhat forgiven, but each advancing failure is a bigger and bigger deal, except for CFI-initial and that “Year of Terror” when novice regional instructors handed out transitional first officer type rating failures like bourbon chicken samples at a mall food court because they didn’t know any better.

Other carriers may be happy you just showed up and can fog a mirror.

My honest, tough-love perspective is take them seriously, think about what went wrong and what you learned from each event and be ready to discuss it during an interview and knock every other checkride absolutely dead by over-preparing.
 

AA34

Well-Known Member
#13
I had heard places like AA, Delta, FedEx won’t look at a person with more than 2. Does this unwritten rule still exist?
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
#14
“It all depends”

Where, when, at what level, how long has it been, extenuating circumstances and all dat.
 
Top