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Oral questioning - IRT

Hi All,

I was curious to ask, I’ve been preparing myself for the IRT in the not too distant future. I’ve been informed that I will have theoretical based questions on the theory I learned some months ago (Lockdowns delayed my training start).

I’ve been studying Standards Document 01A. I have read the following on Page 16;

Oral questioning
The examiner will ask practical questions relating to the flight on subjects such as IFR
procedures, aircraft performance, mass and balance, icing procedures, emergency
handling and the aircraft documents. For IR and EIR skill tests where the applicant has
claimed training credit on the basis of holding a valid IR issued in accordance with the
requirements of Annex 1 to the to the Chicago Convention, the examiner is required to
assess an adequate level of theoretical knowledge of Air Law, Meteorology, Flight
Planning and Performance. An example theoretical knowledge oral examination
question bank is provided at Appendix 2 for this purpose.

Appendix 2 then follows a very detailed list of examples. I presume this is the right track? Or is it not this exhaustive on the day?

Qualified PPL with IR SP/SE PBN
EGSG, United Kingdom

@pilotrobbie your IR instructor should be able to help with the prep, and I would ask them to spend time doing so.

Make sure you present yourself on time for the examiner briefing, the adage 80% of success is turning up, is not always observed by the candidates!

The examiner will want to see a well organised presentation in the briefing. Don’t turn up with a scruffy pile of papers. Lay them out logically, ideally in subject folder.

Personal: ID, recommendation to test/ATO course completion, Medical, Licence, RTO

Flight plan and approach bookings, EOBT count back

Tech log: make sure the aircraft is serviceable and you can brief the tech log, MEL and aircraft documents. Again examiner turns up and the candidate is saying at EOBT it needs fuelling, high muppet alert will turn on. Having a clean windscreen will be noted. The examiner on the IR may not have to ask the candidate on systems, as she might on a CPL, but she can ask about antennas, de icing, databases, MEL items.

M&B/Performance: legal requirement and if at CPL standard to include safety factors. The TODR/LDR should also apply to destination and diversion. Have the declared distances from the AIP.

Weather brief: your instructor should brief you on conducting a weather brief, but basically big picture threats (low level sig wx, frontal movement on route), TAF/METAR trend vs minima (SOP and system), RPS for the diversion, crosswind limits

NOTAM: highlight NOTAM risks on diversion OCAS route, ensure obstacle NOTAM on minima is noted, ensure NAV aids are serviceable, AUGUR GPS check

PLOG: Focus on fuel plan and how it is logged, also MEA, DOC for terrestrial nav aids. Candidate has to be able to reconstruct the flight from the PLOG

Approach/Airport briefing: AIP, COMMS failure procedure, Noise abatement, Minima

As you can see unlike the USA, where it is a theory knowledge check, the briefing is mainly allowing the candidate to evidence professional preparation and presentation.

Theory questions tend to be highly practical: calculation of minima (system, precision and non precision), EAT and lost comms either on airways or in the hold, fuel plan, icing (if not FIKI), RNP/PBN checks, RNP mechanics, ILS mechanics, ADF mechanics, altimeter setting on OCAS diversion, RT and ATC.

The UK European IR is highly choreographed, too choreographed by USA standards, so be aware if there is an ATC request or unplanned emergency the candidate is still PICUS and airmanship is required.

I would say all the UK examiners create a good relaxed environment. They probably can tell by the time you reach TOC if you are set fair, or at risk of a partial.

Oxford (EGTK)

Good list for the briefing but you forgot TEM.


I think there are oral questions that are not related to the flight briefing? a very general ones like NCO alternate selection & fuel, GPS/PBN questions, how instruments works or how to go-missed on a circle to land…

Last Edited by Ibra at 06 Jul 20:14
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

The threats are implicit in the NoTAM and weather briefs

TEM brief should be well practiced by the IR stage

Oxford (EGTK)

Threats are not just weather and Notam related, unless you are counting turbulence as weather.
There is also location of the airfield eg if take off or landing would take you out over water.
Here St Brieuc LFRT and Ouessant LFEC are often used for RNP approaches. Both have an RNP approach with water involved but both are very different. On an SEIR test this is one of the threats and the question of whether both examiner and pilot under test should be wearing life jackets or just carrying them in the aircraft becomes a threat that should be discussed.
Similarly landing on an airfield with a lot of trees on approach or buildings and hangars when on wind side of short final there is a threat of heavy turbulence or wind sheer. Haze, mist and fog may not be forecast but could cause a threat late in the day with the final being into the sun.
There are many many more which some examiners may well pick up on.
The examiner usually asks questions based on the flight but some are in the more general practical theory . By that I mean the stuff you have learnt on the practical side of your IR course rather than the stuff you had to do for your theory exam.

Last Edited by gallois at 07 Jul 07:18

@gallois as I mentioned earlier, and this may be just USA and UK examiners, this would be covered as part of the briefing. Different ATOs have different formats for TEM briefs, but the briefing on the destination and diversion would be covered, as it would also be covered again in the top of descent approach brief.

Suggest you start a TEM thread, there have been some. The list can be quite exhaustive of what should be covered and you have missed a few. I was trying to answer what UK examiners (the candidate is in the UK and I probably know all the likely examiners) might expect in the brief from a technical knowledge perspective.

But you are right, wrapping elements of the brief with a TEM context is a good approach.

Oxford (EGTK)


IMHO, “TEM” is just a fashionable name for “doing sensible stuff”. These fashions come and go… but you have to do what the examiner expects otherwise you will fail.

Some examiners are nice and professional (I had one of those) while some are masochists (I could have had one of those; one FTO FI advised me to call in “sick” if I get him allocated because he spends ~5hrs debriefing people, sometimes finishing at 10pm) and some are downright crazy (I had one of those too but not for the IRT; I won’t identify him because he is probably still alive but he did try to break the nose steering gear by kicking the pedals while stationary, which I got inspected afterwards, and he demanded Southampton to be filed as an alternate for Bournemouth even though the wx will be obviously identical).

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

IMHO, “TEM” is just a fashionable name for “doing sensible stuff”.

If you wish, but then TEM means “doing sensible stuff” in a structured manner and not just what comes to mind.

When CRM was introduced, lots of pilots said that it was just a fashionable name for the copilot speaking his/her mind. When I first got my license, lot of people still claimed that CRM was about stripping the captain of his (sic!) authority.

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 07 Jul 09:21
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Totally agree TEM is about thinking about and planning sensible stuff.
Here when taking the oral test before the flight test we give the briefing Reason for flight, Notams, weather, routing and alternates, fuel, weight and balance etc.. As mentioned in previous posts.
The final part of the brief is TEM all the stuff that could mean a change of plan and by giving the brief you show you have been sensible and planned for it. I gave a few examples from recent tests here but each route, airfield , time of day etc will bring its own threats which perhaps will not have been covered in the briefing. One such here might be an examiner with level 4 ELP and a student with level 6. What language are you going to communicate in? I realise that this wont be an issue in UK or in USA
What OPS are you being tested to NCO or Commercial, there are differences in regulations
At the end of this briefing the examiner will ask some questions. The fuller the briefing the less questions s/he will ask.
Popular questions are such as “15 minutes before arrival at your destination you call the destination airfield for the latest. It gives visibility 2km ceiling at 100ft, what do you do?”

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