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Thread: Examiner Recommendations?

  1. #1
    Member SewellGT's Avatar
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    Default Examiner Recommendations?

    Just finished my final stage check with the chief flight instructor at the school I'm using. I'm ready to schedule my checkride, hopefully early next week. The school has an examiner they've been using, but said I can use anyone I want.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for examiners around Anchorage? I found an old thread that recommended Dick Lochner out at Birchwood but that was a couple years old. I've got an endorsement to fly out there if I want to use him.

    The examiner the school uses charges $450 and he comes in from the valley, which sounds a little higher than what I've heard people paying. Any input is much appreciated!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member PatrickH's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Examiner

    If the examiner coming out from the valley is Ray Hodges, I would stick with him. My checkride kept getting delayed due to weather and mechanical issues. By the time I finally got into the air I was seriously keyed up. Ray was very calm and to the point. He has a very common-sense approach to flying and the checkride. He did not try to trip me up with esoteric questions. We did the maneuvers required, and he asked a lot of straight-forward questions. He did not expect me to be an professional pilot during the private pilot checkride. The cheapest examiner I have heard of charged $400 last year. I would not hesitate to use Ray again.
    Good luck, and just fly the plane.
    Patrick
    PS I have heard Dean Eicholtz from Soldotna is also good.
    Last edited by PatrickH; 04-02-2010 at 19:44. Reason: add contact

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    Go with the Examiner you instructor knows. If the 450 or what ever it is, remember its 5 or 6 hours of a very seasoned pilots time, what dose a good plumber gets per hour? If it is really a problem, then you can see about taking the ride with the FAA. I don't know if the Anchorage FSDO dose Private Pilot check rides or how long the wait would be. With Spring here my guess they are busy getting the 2010 135 season off and running. You go have a blast on your check ride.

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    Another vote for Dick Lochner out of Birchwood. A good, straight forward examiner who doesen't charge too much. Also, I would highly reccomend Heidi Reuss. She owns Arctic Flyers out of Lake Hood. Stay away from Hone Kensey.

  5. #5

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    I second Heidi Ruess or Ray Hodges. Both are excellent choices. I did my private checkride with Heidi and commercial with Ray.

    On another note, can anybody recommend an examiner who can do a CFI checkride? Heidi and Ray do private and commercial, but not CFI. I'm getting ready for my CFI checkride.

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Romulus View Post
    Another vote for Dick Lochner out of Birchwood. A good, straight forward examiner who doesen't charge too much. Also, I would highly reccomend Heidi Reuss. She owns Arctic Flyers out of Lake Hood. Stay away from Hone Kensey.

  6. #6
    WillowBilly
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    Go with Hone for the Instrument. I had a great com. check ride with him .. Ray and Heidi are great too! Try to relax , be humble, show up early, & be well prepared . A check ride should be fun its a great chance to fly with some of the most knowledgeable pilots around. Good luck WB

  7. #7
    WillowBilly
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    Oops CFI. not Instrument..
    The Initial CFI has to be booked with the FSDO, plan two weeks in advance..CFII or ME are with a DPE... WB

  8. #8

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    Another Ray recommendation... as mentioned by PatrickH, he is very thorough but doesn't give you any suprises - go in knowing your stuff and you'll do fine. He was also really nice and seems to have a lifelong love of flying.

  9. #9
    Member SewellGT's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for all the input guys. I have my checkride setup with Heidi on Wednesday. Ray is the examiner the school uses but wasn't available this week, and according to my instructor he called Dick Lochner and he doesn't do checkrides anymore.

    I'll be hitting the books the next couple of days and doing some touch and goes. If the weather holds, Wednesday will hopefully be a good time.

  10. #10

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    Just wanted to throw this out there in case Ray IS still doing checkrides; wouldn't want incorrect rumors to hurt his business....

    He stopped doing them for years but started back up again sometime around October of 2009.. He may have stopped recently, but my guess is the information from Dick is dated to sometime before that.

    On the other hand, it could be current and he only did checkrides for a brief period of less than 6 months..

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    I took A SES ride with Dean Eicholtz in soldotna, very professional and all around nice guy. He also gave a good debrief after the flight which is important in my view.

  12. #12
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Here is another plug for Dean Eichholtz in Soldotna.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  13. #13

    Default CFI checkride

    Are you saying that the initial CFI checkride had to done with a FAA inspector, i.e. not with the DPE? Is that true?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillowBilly View Post
    Oops CFI. not Instrument..
    The Initial CFI has to be booked with the FSDO, plan two weeks in advance..CFII or ME are with a DPE... WB

  14. #14

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    I meant " ...has to be done..." - it's too early in the morning :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by ftaba1 View Post
    Are you saying that the initial CFI checkride had to done with a FAA inspector, i.e. not with the DPE? Is that true?

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    There are instances where an initial CFI can be done by certain DPE's.
    Part of it may also depend on FSDOs work load and attitude at the time.
    My initial CFI check ride was done by a DPE next to Nellis AFB. He had just retired as a Navy check-pilot. What a hard *****. It was a two day oral and check-ride. He was convinced that Alaskans should not be allowed to fly.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    I ran into Dick Lochner at the ANC FSDO about a year ago and he was still active. Too bad if he's not doing checkrides anymore. I've sent about a half dozen applicants to him for float ratings and he always started out saying "If you don't get me wet, you're probably gonna pass. If you get me wet we have more to worry about than a failed check ride." He was definitely old school.

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    I dont' know if he is still around, I got my check ride with Dick Ardez (sp?). He is 80 something, and been flying longer than many of us have been alive. He seemed extremely knowledge able to me.
    -Out-of-State for school, remembering why I love Alaska so much

  18. #18
    Member SewellGT's Avatar
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    I am officially a Private Pilot! Looked back in my logbook and my first flight was 9/02. Lots of learning ahead of me, but feels really good to have that piece of paper.

    BTW, Heidi was great. Both the oral and flight portions went really well. I never felt like she was trying to pick me apart. She gave advice for the future throughout the ride and has a story for everything. I guess when you have ~29,000 hours you probably would.

    Anyway, celebration time. Thanks for all the input.

  19. #19

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    Congrats!!
    And you're right - there is a LOT more to learn...

    Quote Originally Posted by SewellGT View Post
    I am officially a Private Pilot! Looked back in my logbook and my first flight was 9/02. Lots of learning ahead of me, but feels really good to have that piece of paper.

    BTW, Heidi was great. Both the oral and flight portions went really well. I never felt like she was trying to pick me apart. She gave advice for the future throughout the ride and has a story for everything. I guess when you have ~29,000 hours you probably would.

    Anyway, celebration time. Thanks for all the input.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskadrifter View Post
    I dont' know if he is still around, I got my check ride with Dick Ardez (sp?). He is 80 something, and been flying longer than many of us have been alive. He seemed extremely knowledge able to me.
    At Aero Tech? Yeah he's still around, still giving check rides. I also got mine from him. 2.3 grueling hours of check ride in fact.

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