Welcome to the appraisers forum. If you look further down in this FHA category, you will see a post of appraisers working on a FHA checklist. In that post, Wayne Tomlinson had a comment about attic inspections. Use this site as reference and not the gospel. It is our own responsibility to read HUD guidelines and understand them. A link can be found on this site.
I have been reading posts on this site for a year and highly recommend it to any appraiser that wants to better themselves in this industry. A wealth of knowledge is here if you take the time and read the posts.
Use the search for specific topics that you are looking for. Welcome again to the site and good luck.
Most FHA appraisers take a ladder with them. I would recommend asking the homeowner about the access when making the appointment to make sure my ladder can reach it. Of course if it requires a hook and ladder truck from the fire department, I make the homeowner provide the means to inspect. My ladders top out at 32 feet.
I've seen the access (in a 1-story house) to the attic located above the stairs to the basement; I would have needed scaffolding to access the attic.
I commented why I could not access the attic. Further, I commented that my limited ground-level view of the roof-covering and my observation of interior ceiling areas provided no ready evidence of any deficiency that might be present in the attic area. End result: no problem.
And, Brian...you should have your own ladder when appraising for the FHA.