Ask a DPE: Is it ok to use an iPad on the checkride?


We recently held a roundtable with three prominent FAA Designated Pilot Examiners (DPE), Eric Crump, Jason Blair and Todd Ritchey, to discuss common misconceptions about FAA checkrides. One of the most common questions we received during the discussion related to the use of an iPad during the oral and flight test, and whether pilots still need to demonstrate planning and navigation using traditional techniques and paper charts. Listen to what they had to say in this 7-minute podcast audio recording:



  1. The answer without even watching the video is, of course, yes. But always keep current paper charts in the airplane as a backup and be prepared for the tricky DPE that “fails” your electronics so that you have to demonstrate map usage, pilotage, and E6B skills. They WILL do it, especially if they catch you focusing on your electronics alot.

  2. iPad,IPhone, Panel mounted GPS, Two vor’s like is it all fails then God is mad at you or you should be maybe in a twin!

    The IPad has changed the face of aviation and the FAA is last to know about it.

    There are still FAA inspectors with poor computer skills and limited flying experience. Yet they Are suppose to surveil DPE’s

    • …. or, maybe you’re “mad” at the FAA, ¿no?

      Every FAA office has at least one “app addict”, so the chance of an Inspector heading out to administer that CFI initial without first boning-up on that technology are slim-to-none.

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