Pilot Ratings Program flights may be attempted any time the airspace covered on the flight you wish to attempt is actively being controlled. There is no need to schedule a flight via the Pilot Timetable or request air traffic control to be online, although you must specifically request to complete a PRP flight from the controller you will call initially before you begin the rating.
Follow these steps when you are ready to begin a Pilot Ratings Program flight:
- Determine the rating you wish to fly. While PRP flights may be flown in any order, most members prefer to attempt the flights successively, as each one builds upon previous material.
- Read the information about the rating on its webpage. Instructional materials, including the test standards which ATC will use to evaluate your knowledge, are available for every flight.
- Ensure controllers are online to cover the entirety of your flight. If you are unsure if sufficient ATC coverage is available, ask any available controller for clarification. Note that some flights list alternate airports that can be utilized in order to increase flexibility.
- Connect to the network and spawn your desired aircraft at the flight's departure airport. There is no need to sign up in advance on the Pilot Timetable or schedule a rating attempt via the forums.
- Confirm with the controller you will contact initially that air traffic control will be able to monitor your flight. Request the PRP flight on frequency before or during your request for IFR clearance. Because air traffic control needs to pay special attention to PRP flights, in rare circumstances, controllers may not be able to offer PRP flights due to workload.
- File a flight plan, if required.
Enter 'PRP VFR (Flight #)' or 'PRP IFR (Flight #)' in the 'Remarks' section of your flight plan as a reminder to controllers that you are conducting a Pilot Ratings Program flight.
- Complete the flight while complying with the listed test standards to the best of your ability. Air traffic control will monitor your performance and may give you feedback throughout the flight.
- Once the flight is completed, ask ATC for the results of your flight. You may also wish to state that you are attempting a PRP flight whenever you check in on a new controller's frequency.
Once you arrive at your destination airport, speak to air traffic control to determine whether or not you passed the rating. The controller may also provide additional comments or suggestions. If you pass, air traffic control will update the PRP ratings table accordingly. If air traffic control does not advise whether or not you passed the rating, send the controller a private message. Note that it may take up to 24 hours for the PRP ratings table to be updated. After completing a PRP flight, you can proceed to the next rating immediately, whether or not the ratings table has been updated.
Don't panic and disconnect if you make a mistake while completing a PRP flight. If you acknowledge the error, air traffic control will likely give you another chance, or at least make sure you understand what should have been done differently. BVA's controllers are not monitoring your flight to fail you if you make one mistake; the goal is that you actually learn something from each and every rating!
If you get stuck on a certain aspect of a PRP flight and would like clarification, contact a Virtual FBO Coach via the Virtual FBO page for more personalized help.
If you're ready to get started, visit the Flights Index page to browse through the different flights.