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Checkride Preparation Ground Training


Who is Earl Downs

Earl is a multi-thousand-hour flight instructor who has been in the training business since 1961. His training experience encompasses small general aviation airplanes to airline operations. He has performed about 1,700 Checkrides as a DPE for various pilot certifications and ratings. Earl Downs received the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in 2021. For more information about Earl – Link (Bio)


The Basic Program

This training program applies to Sport Pilots, Private Pilots, Commercial Pilots, Instrument Ratings, and Flight Instructors. When you contact Earl, the training will be personalized to your needs and will address concerns that you have regarding both the ground and flight portion of your Checkride.



This is not just a course to memorize certain things to answer questions during the oral exam. Earl says he has experienced too many occasions where the ground portion of the Checkride took a nosedive before the Checkride could get started. Earl says, “A lot of this was due to the Checkrides jitters and a weak understanding of what was going to be tested.” His goal is that when you walk away from his training program, you will feel prepared and confident.


Course Content

This is the fun part. This is not a training course like you would find online or in a regular classroom. Because it is tailored to your needs, the content can be varied. Earl will be using his DPE plan of action as a guideline for going over subjects that you will encounter on your Checkride. However, this is not a lecture program; you do not have to sit still in your chair. This is a program of exchanging thoughts and ideas, and understanding what you need to do to get the job done.


Where, When, And How Long Does it Take?

Because it is a customized program, the training is planned for no less than four hours of instruction time. However, if more than four hours of instruction is needed, you receive it at no additional fee. The training takes place in Earl’s home office of Golden Age Aviation, Inc. located in Lee’s Summit, MO. Provisions can be made for the training to take place in other locations.


Continued Training Guarantee

Your training does not stop when our training program is completed. You are urged to call, email, or text Earl at any time after the completion of the program if you have questions or need advice. He will be there to help you. If you need a final dusting off of your aviation brain cells before walking through the door for your test, there is no extra charge.


Cost and Fees

$200 - Sport Pilot, Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, and Instrument Rating.

$300 - CFI initial. A minimum of five hours of ground training plus extra time for teaching practice.

Location Fee - If it is desired that the training take place at a location other than the home office of Golden Age Aviation Inc., an additional fee may be negotiated.


Accepted Methods of Payment

Check, Cash, or Credit Card (a 3% courtesy fee will be added for credit card)


Buddy Training Discount

Earl will provide this training program for up to three people for one training session. If you want to train with a buddy, the $200 fee drops to $175 for each person.


More Info

Click on the links below to learn more about such things as, what is a DPE, how to pass a Checkride, and how to fail a Checkride.

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