More than any other checkride, application an initial CFI certificate results in a wide variety of questions. This listing of Frequently Asked Questions should answer many of them, but if it doesn't, don't hesitate to email me yours.
How long will the checkride last?
That’s really up to you. After we complete the administrative steps, which take about 30 minutes, I will hand you the list of tasks you must teach. You’ll take about 10 minutes to organize your oral presentations, and then begin. If you are well organized, make succinct points, check your student’s (me) knowledge, and take brief hourly breaks, the oral should take 5 to 5.5 hours. The flight portion typically lasts 2.1 to 2.5 hours.
What tasks will I have to teach for the checkride?
Every ASEL task listed in the PTS is fair game, some of course being required, as indicated in the note that follows each area of operation title. I will send you a general instruction sheet once I see you have been recommended and your IACRA is complete. These instructions list things to prepare, bring, and expect, but it's only on the day we meet that you'll know exactly what tasks you need to instruct. My orders from the FAA are to not provide this list prior to the test.
Am I required to prepare a lesson plan for each task in the PTS?
The only place the phrase "lesson plan" shows up in the PTS is in the listing of the 9 elements that constitute satisfactory performance on page 14. However, a couple lines above, it says you have to demonstrate satisfactory performance with regard to ... competence in teaching the procedures and maneuvers..." To me, a written lesson plan that addresses each and every objective listed in the many ASEL tasks of areas of operation I through XIV seems like the best way to go, but that's your choice.
What should my lesson plans cover?
Your lessons should cover objectives 1 and 2 in the PTS for a given task. For example, when preparing your lesson on Eights on Pylons, make sure your instruction covers every element of objective 1. (a. The purpose…; b. How to determine…; etc…), as well as every element of common errors, objective 2. (a. Faulty entry…; b. Poor planning…; etc..). You don’t have to do it in the same order as the PTS, but I use the PTS to check that you cover everything.
Also, your instruction needs to address what is listed in the ACS for the Eights on Pylons maneuver, since that’s what your student will be tested on. So, make sure your lesson covers all the Knowledge and Risk Management elements. Most are similar or identical to the ones listed in the PTS, luckily. The Skill elements of the ACS give you a road map on how to perform the maneuver. It would make sense to conclude your instruction by following the Skill sub-elements in explaining how the maneuver is actually performed.
Is there an overall scenario you'll be following?
The general scenario for the checkride is no secret; you are an instructor and I am your student. For example, if on the day of the checkride I assign you area of operation II task G "Navigation and flight planning", the destination, routing and checkpoints, method of instruction, paper charts vs Foreflight, whether you use a whiteboard or pad of paper, and all other details are up to you. I will just check that you cover the PTS's every objective and sub-objective in a logical and competent manner.