Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

Hi all

Just after an offical word on whether the IMC Written Exam has to be passed before you take the skills test. This page says:
On completion of flight training a practical IMC skills test must be successfully completed. In addition, a single IMC theory paper must be passed. The two tests can be done in either order.

However, I can't find anything 'official' to confirm this.

Lasors (reading the 2008 copy) section C1.4 (the section that deals with the PPL skills test) contains the statement:

An applicant may not take the Skill Test until all of the associated theoretical knowledge examinations have been passed

However, there is no similar statement in section E3.4 that deals with the IMC Rating flight test.

Can anyone confirm that my understanding is correct? In addition, is there any official statement to this effect in case I have trouble convincing the people at my school that this is the case?

Many thanks

User avatar
By Edward Hawkins
In Lasors it states that:
"The Flight Test and Ground Examination required for the
inclusion of an IMC Rating in an aeroplane pilot licence
must be completed (and application for rating submitted)
within the time period shown below:
Ground Examination 12 months
Flight Test 9 months"

The implication is that they may be completed in either order.
User avatar
By KNT754G
The Flight Examiners Handbook, current edition, Section 2 paragraph 2.2

"Before any skill test all relevant ground examinations must have been passed"

This publication is not available to the general public.
User avatar
By adhawkins
KNT754G wrote:The Flight Examiners Handbook, current edition, Section 2 paragraph 2.2

"Before any skill test all relevant ground examinations must have been passed"

This publication is not available to the general public.

Does this section refer to all ratings? Or just the PPL?

Just that I can't see any statement to that effect in LASORS, which is presumably the bible as far as these things are concerned?


User avatar
By KNT754G
LASORS is an advisory document containing lost of GUIDANCE.

The examiners handbook is the Bible for flight examiners.

The quote is generic and applies to all flight tests.
(There is an exemption on integrated courses but that hardly applies to an IMCr)
User avatar
By KNT754G
Ontrack aviations page about the IMCr is SOO confusing and in places WRONG that I would not believe any of what it says.

As a Flight Examiner, qualified to conduct IMC flight tests, I have told you, very clearly, what the examiners handbook requires.

If you don't believe me then don't ask me to conduct your IMC test if you haven't already done the written examination!

User avatar
By adhawkins
All became moot when I finished the flying training earlier than I anticipated, so had a couple of days spare with no Examiner available. I spent the time studying and took the written exam yesterday.

Shame the RAF is 'closed' so I can't take the flight test :(

Having the same question myself (in another thread), with no definitive answer apparent, I called CAA Personnel Licensing @ Gatwick and was told that there is NO requirement for the order in which the exam and flight test for IMC need to be taken.

She said therefore the written exam and flight test can be taken in any order. Straight from the horses mouth, although she was a very nice lady and not at all equine. Neigh, not at all.
User avatar
By adhawkins
Trouble is, with nothing written down except the guidelines in the Examiners manual, you might have trouble convincing your Examiner of that fact.

I know both of the Examiners at my Club were of the opinion that I should take the written before the Flight Test.

"Should" or "Must"?

If it is club policy or recommendation or whatever, rather than say you MUST because those are CAA rules then fair enough.. just like some schools have requirements about exam order, and having passed Air Law before flying solo during PPL course for example.

However, if one is being told you have to take the exam before the flight test in the mistaken belief it is a CAA requirement, and you personally have a good reason for not wanting to take the test (ie you dont feel ready to take the written test, but you do want to take the flight test), then you now know and you can ask them to check Lasors and/or with the CAA as I just did. It is literally a 5-10 minute call.

If it isn't a CAA requirement, then surely the order should be determined on a person by person basis in discussion with their instructor/examiner, and if the instructor/examiner isn't bothered either way, then it is down to personal preference for the student?

The more people on here who know the ACTUAL rules the better IMO, and maybe then word will spread around to schools/IMC examiners. Afaik it is the CAA who set the rules about licensing, not clubs or examiners? ;-)
User avatar
By adhawkins
Well, try phoning the CAA on the Sunday afternoon when you turn up for your Flight Test and the Examiner refuses...

I'm not disagreeing with you, but in my circumstances it was just easier for me to take the written first, rather than potentially annoy an Examiner before you even start the Flight Test!

Well in that scenario I would agree.. but I would personally get this cleared up before I start the IMC training, or at least before turning up for the flight test on a Sunday :-)

Also I am not quite sure why examiners would really argue the toss over this.. if you insisted you wanted to take the test, even if in their opinion it wouldnt be valid as you dont have the exam pass, they wont get into trouble will they? Worst case scenario for them is they get paid to do another test with you after you passed the exam?

As I said, I would get this cleared up beforehand, pissing off your examiner before a test is never particularly clever, and in my personal situation I will almost certainly have taken the exam just before starting the flying, or soon after. I also think my instructor will be the examiner too, so no excuse for confusion.

I just think it is useful for people to know the actual rules as they stand today.
Last edited by mo0g on Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.