Changes to written testing coming April 24 and PHAK addendum published

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FAA logoIn a recent Community Advisory, FAA Airman Testing described how it has been working with its testing vendor, PSI Services, to scientifically assess the FAA Airman Knowledge Tests. The assessments of the Private Pilot Airplane and Commercial Pilot Airplane Knowledge Tests have been completed with the results of those assessments scheduled to be implemented on April 24, 2023. While subject matters will not be modified, changes will be made to existing test questions on those two tests to assure they are aligned with the current Airman Certification Standards and reference an existing FAA handbook. The assessments of the Private and Commercial Airplane tests will also result in a reduction in time to complete the exams.

Beginning Monday, April 24, the Private Pilot Airplane test time will be reduced from 150 minutes to 120 minutes (2 hours), and the Commercial Pilot Airplane test time will be reduced from 180 minutes to 150 minutes (2.5 hours).

Additionally, five unscored validation questions will be added to each test increasing the Private test from 60 to 65 questions and the Commercial from 100 to 105 questions. Unscored questions will not count towards the test score. These questions are included to allow the FAA to evaluate the statistical performance of new questions before they are deployed in the standard bank of test questions.

Curious how your written testing performance stacks up? You can access 2022 cumulative testing statistics at

Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (PHAK) Addendum C published

Addendum C was recently published for the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (PHAK) to address the National Transportation Safety Board Safety Recommendation A-14-109. This recommendation asked the FAA to revise the PHAK to clarify the information it contains on attitude indicator pitch and bank limitations to explain that attitude indicators have pitch and bank indication limits, that the pitch indicating range is required to be at least ± 25°, and that, if an aircraft operates at a pitch that exceeds the indicating limits, the pitch indicator may stop and remain at the limit until the pitch no longer exceeds the limitation, or the pitch indicator may tumble.

Addendum C can be found here.


Eric Radtke
2 replies
  1. Ken says:

    The FAA needs to make the FAA PP Knowledge Test realistic the way pilots actually fly today.
    Example would be to stop all the manual calculations (mechanical E6B) because computers are realistic.
    You are allowed to use a computer on the test and the mechanical version is a decent backup if and when needed!
    There is far too much administrative, policy, etc issues that are detrimental to actual flying.

  2. Anthony says:

    Eric is right / correct. Here’s a thought, there where a lot less accidents in aviation back in ancient times, than there is in present times. Why? Because UFOs rarely crashed.
    Thus, lets flight those : ) ….

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