Private Pilot Cert Question

Theo J

Forward, Always!
All,

Forgive me if I have posted this question/thread in an inappropriate forum, but I have a quick question regarding the private written exam. For those of you who have recently taken it and/or remember the majority of it, how difficult was it (scale of 1-10, 1 being easy/10 being extremely difficult) for you?

I have been taking several practice tests offered online as well as brushing up on my sectional charts and FARs, but would like some feedback.

There is also one question in particular that I am having difficulty with. I will attach the question and associated pics to this post. If you know how/where to start, please let me know!
Takeoff.png
takeoff wording.png

Thanks in advance!
 

Fixtur

Prefamulated Amulite
I didn't find the written to be particularly difficult. Just keep taking those practice tests over and over until you can score in the 90's easily. Pay special attention to some of the VOR questions, as they can be worded unclearly.

For the answer to the graph above (using my fingernail as a guide), I got 650 feet. Definitely use a straight-edge on this type of chart for max accuracy.

Good luck!

Fix
 
D

Deleted member 21509

Guest
What Fixtur said, The online tests are pretty much the exact same questions. Once you are consistently getting high 80's and 90's you should have no problem taking the test. I think most people that study for it will pass.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
Written difficulty shouldn't be higher than a 5. Especially with Sheppard Air. Keep taking them until you can consistently get 90s and answer the questions in your sleep. You'll be fine. Don't take it until you're ready.

Unless you plan on getting your Commercial, you may never see some of these questions again. Some and most are just not practical questions. Supposedly, the new writtens should be in effect though for private with the new ACS soon.
 

ahw01

Well-Known Member
For pvt, I used the gleim book (it was 2000) but all others I used practice tests online, eg American flyers until I scored in the 90s. There aren't that many writtens that need an endorsement fortunately.

Sheppardair made little sense to me but I see what they're trying to do with the crib sheet.

Am keeping the flight engineer written on ice for sometime in the near future.
 

fholbert

Mod's - Please don't edit my posts!
For those of you who have recently taken it and/or remember the majority of it, how difficult was it (scale of 1-10, 1 being easy/10 being extremely difficult) for you?
Every yoyo here passed it. Based on spelling alone (myself included) it doesn't take a genius.
 

Acrofox

All dragon~
Written difficulty shouldn't be higher than a 5. Especially with Sheppard Air. Keep taking them until you can consistently get 90s and answer the questions in your sleep. You'll be fine. Don't take it until you're ready.

Unless you plan on getting your Commercial, you may never see some of these questions again. Some and most are just not practical questions. Supposedly, the new writtens should be in effect though for private with the new ACS soon.
I like the old private written. For the love of god, do not use Sheppard Air on the private written.

What is wrong with pilots and aviation?? I see this every-freaking-where. There are things pilots actually need to know, but pilots become so focused on the test that they just see it as something to get through. Gouge, crib sheets, etc.

C'mon, guys. Private. pilot. written. Questions on traffic patterns, aircraft performance, weight and balance, regulations, weather, navigation, and other things that are generally useful for a pilot to actually know when she is trying to fit her family in the airplane to fly to a high-altitude airport she's never been to before and her GPS takes a crap or her phone's battery dies enroute.

I would want any certificated airman who would act as pilot in command to have a level of knowledge that would enable them to easily pass the private pilot written with a reasonably good score, without knowing a single answer in advance.

To @Theo J
Where are you in your training?

IMO, you shouldn't take the written until a few weeks before you're done and ready for your checkride... memory usually involves stuff sticking to other stuff. Stuff doesn't stick to stuff in a vacuum, so in my opinion knowledge and flight training should be relatively coterminous.

As for the question at the top, I get somewhere around ~850 with my fingernail method, but I think the granularity of answers on that particular set of questions is a bit silly. That said, as someone said above, use a straight-edge and the overlay sheet they provide you to run the problem with the greatest precision.

  1. Start out at 90°F on the reference chart.
  2. Draw a straight line up from there until it meets the 2000' pressure altitude line. Make a dot.
  3. Draw a straight line across from there to the vertical reference line on the left of the "weight" portion of the chart. Make a dot.
  4. Follow the curve of that line down until it meets the line up from 2500lbs. Make a dot.
  5. Draw a straight line across to the vertical bar to the left of the "wind" section". Make a dot.
  6. Follow the angle of the nearest reference line until you hit the 20kt hw reference. Make a dot.
  7. Draw a straight line horizontally over to the side of the graph. Make a dot.
If the dot isn't extremely close to exactly one of those answers—count the space between the hashmarks carefully—then retrace your steps and see if anything is off.

-Fox
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
I like the old private written. For the love of god, do not use Sheppard Air on the private written.
When there is a better test, then I would consider telling students to not use Sheppard. You can call pilots a joke for using it but I consider it a joke that they charge you to pay for that written exam.

I don't know if the new ACS will change the written drastically other than take out questions for unused pilot systems (like NDBs). I don't think these written exams are any determining factor in being a PIC when stuff hits the fan and you need to be at your best in understanding airmanship. Understand trick questions written by the FAA years ago and using performance charts and answer differentials that are the size of my lead in my pencil doesn't really deem a good or bad pilot. I'd focus on the practical answers in an oral than tell a student to sit down and understand the written questions that are worded worse than a Nicholas Sparks novel.

Look, I understand not memorizing questions and answers because you don't learn much but I'm not going to preach that to students when the running joke for aviation schools is "understanding the tricks of the FAA written". No. For that matter, every single written should matter...private to CFI to ATP. I'd like to care about them but the tests I took were a joke from the amounts of knowledge, better pilot skills, and thinking ability a practical oral and flight tought me.

I still wonder why I paid over $1200 for written exams that people joke about the highest score you got and how pointless they are. I'm certain many agree and disagree but fact of the matter is, at least the FAA finally noticed and decided to change for the better in the right direction. The old tests are not in the right direction, but that's just my opinion.
 

Markf64

Well-Known Member
I like the old private written. For the love of god, do not use Sheppard Air on the private written.

What is wrong with pilots and aviation?? I see this every-freaking-where. There are things pilots actually need to know, but pilots become so focused on the test that they just see it as something to get through. Gouge, crib sheets, etc.

C'mon, guys. Private. pilot. written. Questions on traffic patterns, aircraft performance, weight and balance, regulations, weather, navigation, and other things that are generally useful for a pilot to actually know when she is trying to fit her family in the airplane to fly to a high-altitude airport she's never been to before and her GPS takes a crap or her phone's battery dies enroute.

I would want any certificated airman who would act as pilot in command to have a level of knowledge that would enable them to easily pass the private pilot written with a reasonably good score, without knowing a single answer in advance.

To @Theo J
Where are you in your training?

IMO, you shouldn't take the written until a few weeks before you're done and ready for your checkride... memory usually involves stuff sticking to other stuff. Stuff doesn't stick to stuff in a vacuum, so in my opinion knowledge and flight training should be relatively coterminous.

As for the question at the top, I get somewhere around ~850 with my fingernail method, but I think the granularity of answers on that particular set of questions is a bit silly. That said, as someone said above, use a straight-edge and the overlay sheet they provide you to run the problem with the greatest precision.

  1. Start out at 90°F on the reference chart.
  2. Draw a straight line up from there until it meets the 2000' pressure altitude line. Make a dot.
  3. Draw a straight line across from there to the vertical reference line on the left of the "weight" portion of the chart. Make a dot.
  4. Follow the curve of that line down until it meets the line up from 2500lbs. Make a dot.
  5. Draw a straight line across to the vertical bar to the left of the "wind" section". Make a dot.
  6. Follow the angle of the nearest reference line until you hit the 20kt hw reference. Make a dot.
  7. Draw a straight line horizontally over to the side of the graph. Make a dot.
If the dot isn't extremely close to exactly one of those answers—count the space between the hashmarks carefully—then retrace your steps and see if anything is off.

-Fox
Well Said Acro!

@Theo J :
IMHO the important take away from these charts is how a number of variables influence the performance of the plane.

Keep studying, and always feel free to ask questions.
 

gocaps16

Well-Known Member
I've actually taken the PPL written twice. First time I scored a 96% and the second time 94%. I thought it was a very easy test as I didn't get much calculation questions on both. It took me 20 minutes to take it the first time. Unfortunately, I enlisted in the Navy at 17 (when I took the exam) and never did complete my checkride during the 24 months before I went to basic training, technical school and deployments and E-3 pay 14 years ago sucked. A C172 was $75/hr which back then was expensive.
 
Last edited:

Theo J

Forward, Always!
I like the old private written. For the love of god, do not use Sheppard Air on the private written.

What is wrong with pilots and aviation?? I see this every-freaking-where. There are things pilots actually need to know, but pilots become so focused on the test that they just see it as something to get through. Gouge, crib sheets, etc.

C'mon, guys. Private. pilot. written. Questions on traffic patterns, aircraft performance, weight and balance, regulations, weather, navigation, and other things that are generally useful for a pilot to actually know when she is trying to fit her family in the airplane to fly to a high-altitude airport she's never been to before and her GPS takes a crap or her phone's battery dies enroute.

I would want any certificated airman who would act as pilot in command to have a level of knowledge that would enable them to easily pass the private pilot written with a reasonably good score, without knowing a single answer in advance.

To @Theo J
Where are you in your training?

IMO, you shouldn't take the written until a few weeks before you're done and ready for your checkride... memory usually involves stuff sticking to other stuff. Stuff doesn't stick to stuff in a vacuum, so in my opinion knowledge and flight training should be relatively coterminous.

As for the question at the top, I get somewhere around ~850 with my fingernail method, but I think the granularity of answers on that particular set of questions is a bit silly. That said, as someone said above, use a straight-edge and the overlay sheet they provide you to run the problem with the greatest precision.

  1. Start out at 90°F on the reference chart.
  2. Draw a straight line up from there until it meets the 2000' pressure altitude line. Make a dot.
  3. Draw a straight line across from there to the vertical reference line on the left of the "weight" portion of the chart. Make a dot.
  4. Follow the curve of that line down until it meets the line up from 2500lbs. Make a dot.
  5. Draw a straight line across to the vertical bar to the left of the "wind" section". Make a dot.
  6. Follow the angle of the nearest reference line until you hit the 20kt hw reference. Make a dot.
  7. Draw a straight line horizontally over to the side of the graph. Make a dot.
If the dot isn't extremely close to exactly one of those answers—count the space between the hashmarks carefully—then retrace your steps and see if anything is off.

-Fox
I appreciate the thorough step by step instruction as well as your overall feedback to my question. This has helped me tremendously when encountering similar problems to this on the practice exams.
 

Theo J

Forward, Always!
Thank you to everyone who replied to the thread. I received a lot of feedback and am feeling more confident about the written and when I need to take it!
 
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