As specified in FAR 61.87, you must demonstrate satisfactory knowledge of
appropriate portions of FAR Parts 61 and 91 to an authorized instructor. This
demonstration must include the satisfactory completion of a written examination
to be administered and graded by the instructor who endorses your student pilot
certificate for solo flight. In addition to questions of the applicable
regulations, the written exam must include questions on the flight
characteristics and operational limitations for the make and model aircraft to
Advisory Circular 61-101, Presolo Written Test, indicates that you also
should have adequate knowledge to operate safely during solo flight in your
local training environment. If the surrounding area includes controlled
airspace, such as Class B, C, D, or E airspace, you may be asked to answer
appropriate questions on operations in those areas.
PRESOLO WRITTEN EXAM
This exam contains a total of 50 questions—20 general questions, 10 aircraft
questions, and 20 airport and airspace questions. Normally, the general and
aircraft questions apply to all students; however, some of the airport and
airspace questions may not be applicable. Flight instructors who administer this
test may add or delete questions as necessary to make the exam more appropriate
to your training aircraft and the surrounding flight environment.
Instructions: All students should answer the general questions.
What personal documents and endorsements are you required to have before
you fly solo? (FAR 61.87)
What are your student pilot limitations regarding carriage of passengers
or cargo and flying for compensation or hire? (FAR 61.89)
Explain student pilot limitations concerning visibility and flight above
clouds. (FAR 61.89)
Who has the final authority and responsibility for the operation of the
aircraft when you are flying solo? (FAR 91.3)
Discuss what preflight action concerning the airport and aircraft
performance is specified in the regulations for a local flight.
During engine run up, you cause rocks, debris, and propeller blast to be
directed toward another aircraft or person. Could this be considered careless
or reckless operations of an aircraft?
You may not fly as pilot of a civil aircraft
after consumption of any alcoholic beverage, or while you have % by weight or more alcohol in your blood.
What are the general requirements pertaining to the use of safety belts
and shoulder harnesses?
What is the minimum fuel reserve for day VFR flight, and on what cruise
speed is the fuel reserve based?
A transponder with Mode C is required at all times in all airspace at and
above 10,000 feet MSL, excluding that airspace at and below feet AGL.
What aircraft certificates and documents must be on board when you are
flying solo? (FAR 91.203)
No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to
Who has the right-of-way when two aircraft are on final approach to land
at the same time? (FAR 91.113)
What action do you need to take if you are overtaking another aircraft and
which aircraft has the right-of-way? What should you do if you are flying a
head-on collision course with another aircraft? If another single-engine
aircraft is converging from the right, who has the right-of-way? (FAR 91.113)
Except when necessary for takeoffs and landings, what are the minimum safe
altitudes when flying over congested and other than congested areas? (FAR
If an altimeter setting is not available at an airport, what setting
should you use before departing on a local flight?
What altitude should you use when operating under VFR in level cruising
flight at more than 3,000 feet AGL? (FAR 91.159)
When practicing steep turns, stalls, and maneuvering during slow flight,
the entry altitude must allow a recovery to be completed no lower than feet AGL.
When is a go-around appropriate?
What general steps should you follow after an engine failure in flight?
Instructions: All students should answer the aircraft questions. If
necessary, the instructor may include additional questions that are pertinent to
the make and model aircraft to be flown.
List the minimum equipment and instruments that must be
working properly in your aircraft for day VFR flight. (FAR 91.205)
Fill in the V-speed definitions and the corresponding speed
for your training airplane.
What is the best glide speed for your training airplane?
What is the maximum allowable flap setting for takeoff in your aircraft?
The total usable fuel capacity for your aircraft is gallons. On a standard day (sea level temperature, 59 degrees F,
altimeter 29.92 in. Hg.), the fuel consumption rate during normal
(approximately 75% power) cruise is gallons per hour.
What grade or grades of fuel can be safely used in your aircraft. What are
the colors of the recommended fuels? What happens to be the color of the fuel
if two grades are mixed?
The maximum oil capacity of your aircraft is
quarts, and the minimum oil capacity to begin a flight is quarts.
The maximum crosswind component specified by your instructor for solo
takeoffs and landings in the training aircraft is
When do you use carburetor heat? What are the indications of carburetor
What is the takeoff and landing distance over a 50-foot obstacle for your
aircraft at your airport? Assume maximum certificated takeoff weight, 80
degrees F, winds calm, and an altimeter setting of 29.52.
AIRPORT AND LOCAL AIRSPACE QUESTIONS
Instructions: Flight instructors may assign only those questions that pertain
to the student’s airport environment and surrounding local area. However, if
necessary, instructors may assign additional questions for a particular flying
What are the traffic patterns for each runway at your airport? What is the
MSL altitude for the traffic pattern?
How do you enter and exit the traffic pattern at your airport? What, if
any, radio communications are required?
What radio calls are recommended in the traffic pattern at an uncontrolled
airport? What radio calls are required at your airport?
What is the standard direction of turns in the traffic pattern? Give an
example of a visual display indicating a nonstandard traffic pattern.
What is CTAF? Explain CTAF procedures at your training airport(s).
How can you determine if a runway is closed?
What are the typical dimensions of Class D airspace and what
requirement(s) must be met prior to entry?
Can you practice ground reference maneuvers when you are within Class D
If you receive ATC instructions that you feel may compromise safety or
will cause you to violate an FAR, what should you do?
What is the meaning of each of the following ATC light gun signals?
ON THE GROUND:
In addition to equipment requirements and a student pilot certificate,
what other requirement(s), if any, must be met before a student pilot is
authorized to fly solo within Class B airspace?
Explain the general transponder equipment and use requirement(s) when
operating within or near Class B airspace.
Describe Class B airspace boundaries, and how they apply to an airport
within that airspace. Explain how you can use navigation equipment and/or
ground reference points to identify the Class B boundaries. (Draw a diagram,
You have called ATC just prior to entering Class B airspace, and the
controller tells you to "Squawk 2466 and ident." Are you now allowed to
enter Class B airspace without any further instructions? Explain.
On a sectional chart, what does a dashed magenta line around an airport
Explain the minimum visibility and ceiling requirements for VFR flight in
Class D airspace.
Can a student or recreational pilot request a special VFR clearance in
Class D airspace when visibility is less than three miles? Explain your
You have called ATC prior to entering Class C airspace, and the controller
responds with your call sign and tells you to "Standby." Are you now
allowed to enter this airspace without any further instructions? Explain.
Describe the typical dimensions of Class C airspace. Is participation in
the radar service mandatory within the outer are of Class C airspace?
Describe the Class C boundaries that affect your airport or a nearby
airport. Explain how you can use navigation equipment and/or ground reference
points to identify the Class C airspace inner core surface area and shelf
area, as well as the outer area. Draw a diagram, if necessary.