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This memo is also available as a Word document.

See also: Southeastern NY Group Pilot Progression Guide


20 February 2001
revised 13 June 2007


FROM: Malcolm Dickinson, Check Pilot

SUBJECT: Preparation and documentation for your first form 5 checkride

A form 5 checkride is similar to the private pilot checkride; it is an evaluation, not a teaching session. The pilot applicant needs to be able to do all tasks, from untying to preflight to paperwork to fueling, without prompting from the check pilot.

There are many things a new CAP member needs to learn before taking his first form 5 checkride. The pilot needs to have been familiarized with the CAP regulations, procedures, and forms; he needs to have a feel for a Cessna 172; he needs to be familiar with the airport layout and radio procedures; and he needs to have a current flight review.

Therefore it is essential that the new CAP member have a familiarization flight or two before presenting himself for his first form 5 checkride. If you do the following steps, you should be well prepared for your checkride.

A few weeks before his first form 5 ride, a new member should schedule a familiarization flight with an experienced CAP pilot in the airplane. Have the CAP pilot familiarize you with:

q       PIC requirements

·        To use the airplane

·        To fly cadets

·        To fly missions

·        To fly IFR

q       ALL sections of CAPR 60-1, especially who can fly in CAP aircraft and use of CAPF 9

q       Local procedures

·        How to reserve the airplane

·        CAP scheduling priorities

·        How to obtain and close flight releases. Names and phone numbers of FROs.

·        How to report maintenance “squawks” (in the book and to the maintenance officer)

·        Which types of flying are funded, and which types you have to pay for

q       Contents of the AIF (white binder)

q       How to fill out the airplane tach log sheet, including

·        Mission symbols

·        Where to record Hobbs and tach time

·        Where to record the departure and return times

·        How to log cadet orientation flights (new line every time there is a new cadet in the front seat)

q       Procedures for the actual flight, including:

·        Where to get the key

·        How to work the avionics lock

·        Determining weight and balance

·        Familiarity with airplane systems

·        Where to put the avionics lock, the tiedowns, and the chocks while flying

·        Use of the gust lock

·        Use of the CAP FLIGHT call sign

·        Local radio procedures, including clearance delivery

·        Familiarity with the GPS (Direct-To, Nearest, and Info functions)

·        Use of the terminal area chart, and airspace boundaries in the area

·        Procedures for fueling at Panorama

·        Procedures for tying down the airplane

·        How to pay for flight time

If you do not have recent Cessna experience, you should take a few familiarization lessons at a nearby FBO, preferably one of the ones at this airport. The form 5 checkride is not an introduction to the Cessna 172. It is an evaluation of your skills – skills you have recently practiced.

A week or two before any form 5 checkride, the pilot should:

q Make sure you have the current version of CAPR 60-1 ( get it at )

q Get the current version of CAPP 52-7 (cadet orientation flight syllabus) and read the description of “powered flights” 1 through 5

q Print out a CAPF 5 ( download it at ) and fill in your information (front and back)

q Take the on-line knowledge test (“CAPR 60-1 annual examination”) at and print out the certificate

q Make sure your uniform is correct per CAPR 39-1

q Make sure your medical certificate and CAP membership card are both current

q Make a xerox of your pilot certificate, medical certificate, and CAP membership card

q Call the check pilot to schedule the checkride

·        Get the check pilot’s weight and do a Weight & Balance calculation

·        The check pilot will assign a cross country flight for you to flight plan

q Call the scheduling officer to reserve the airplane

q Make a practice flight, preferably with a safety pilot or instructor, to prepare yourself for all maneuvers listed on the form 5. Some of the items that often give pilots trouble are:

o       Pronunciation of the call sign “CAP FLIGHT thirty-one thirty-five”

o       Short field, soft field and crosswind takeoffs and landings

o       Maintaining Vy (76 knots) on climbout

o       Maintaining runway alignment on climb-out

o       Use of the GPS

o       Maintaining situational awareness (pilotage)

o       Maintaining vigilance outside the airplane (collision avoidance) (looking outside for traffic before each turn)

o       Radio procedures at non-towered airports

o       Patterns at non-towered airports

o       Maintaining pattern altitude

o       Use of a forward slip to lose altitude on final approach

o       Familiarity with nearby airports for diversion purposes

o       Familiarity with nearby airspace to avoid violations of class B and D airspace while departing and returning to HPN

o       Memorize procedures to follow upon engine failure

o       Approaches to landing with simulated engine failure

o       Maintaining constant altitude during steep turns

o       Maintaining directional control during stalls

 On the morning of the checkride, the pilot should:

q       Get a weather briefing

q       Get a flight release from one of the group’s FROs

q       Bring the following documentation to the checkride:

q       Signed “Statement of Understanding” (initial checkride only)

q       Pilot certificate and medical certificate

q       Current CAP membership card

q       Log book showing current Flight Review and Passenger Carrying Currency

o       Printout of the certificate from the on-line knowledge test (“CAPR 60-1 annual examination”)

q       Fully completed “Aircraft Questionnaires” for this make and model of airplane, plus one for every other make and model of airplane that you have previously had a CAPF5 checkride in.

q       Completed CAPF 5 (front and back)

q       Weight and balance, using actual weight of today’s pilots & aircraft

q       Flight plan for cross-country flight, as assigned by the check pilot

 After a new member has successfully passed his Form 5 checkride, he can:

q       Reserve the plane

q       Get flight releases

q       Use the plane for proficiency flying

q       Take other CAP senior members flying as long as they have a current membership card and are in uniform

q       Get training from a CAP Instructor Pilot or CAP Check Pilot towards complex & high performance endorsements

q       Apply for permission to work on an advanced rating or certificate (instrument, commercial, ATP, CFI) in the CAP airplane

q       Apply to become a cadet orientation pilot

q       Apply to become a Mission Transport Pilot

q       Apply to become a SAR/DR Pilot Trainee

 Requirements to keep in mind:

q       To fly cadets, you must have:

o       A correct uniform (does not need to be a flight suit)

o       Attended Cadet Protection Policy Training

o       Passed a Form 5 checkride as a cadet orientation pilot

o       Passed a Form 5 recurrency ride in the last 12 months

o       Be approved by your group as a cadet pilot and added to the NY Wing list of cadet orientation pilots.

q       To train as a mission pilot trainee, you must have:

o       A current medical

o       Passed a Form 5 ride in the last 12 months

o       Passed “ES Part 1” and “ES Part 2” tests

o       Have a current CAPF 101

o       Have taken classroom training from a qualified mission pilot

o       Have a CAPF 101T-MP signed by your squadron commander authorizing you to train in the “SAR/DR Pilot” specialty.

q       To fly missions as a qualified SAR/DR pilot, you must have:

o       A current medical

o       Be current to carry passengers per FAR 91

o       Passed a form 5 checkride in the last 12 months

o       Passed a form 91 checkride in the last 24 months

o       Have a current CAPF 101 with the “SAR/DR pilot” box checked

o       Be on the wing’s list of approved mission pilots

o       At least one other ES-qualified person aboard

-         That person must be either a qualified mission pilot, observer, or scanner,

-         or a trainee for one of those positions.

-         No personnel may be aboard other than those listed above, or an approved government official.


q       If you are not familiar with the Apollo GX55 GPS in the airplane, you can view, download, and/or print out the manual for this unit at

q       You can also download an Apollo GX55 Simulator program which you can run on your computer from

q       If you are working on becoming a mission pilot:

q       A lot of information on how to get there is available at

o       Make sure you have the current ES regulations CAPR 60-3. You can download it from the National HQ web site at

q       When you pass your first CAPF 5 checkride, fill out a CAPF 2a to apply for permission to wear CAP pilot wings on your uniform:

Feel free to contact me with questions.

Lt Col Malcolm Dickinson, CAP
Tel 203-698-2600
malcolm [at] 

This memo is also available as a Word document.