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greggerm

My Real life flight training cont... The knowledge test...

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So it's been about a month since I've done any real flying. 2 weeks ago I flew around the pattern, and today I did 6 or 7 touch and gos (unfortunately I can't remember, so I will log the former). The reason is because I decided about a month ago to bite the bullet and sign up to take the written. My brother and I signed up for this morning with the theory that if we have a definitive date, then we would be forced to study.So I started reading through FAR/AIM and doing practice tests online at various websites. I decided a few weeks ago to purchase a real test prep piece of software by Dauntless Software. Really good BTW if anyone is looking.As the weeks drew nearer I would do maybe 50 or 60 questions a day. About a week ago it hit me that I wasn't going to be ready at that pace. So I put it in overdrive and did my best 'busy' impression at work and studied pretty much all day, every day last week at work. My goal was not to pass (70% isn't exactly shooting for the stars- I bet a monkey could do that in a few hundred attempts. ####, I bet George W. could do it with only a little cheating.)- I wanted 100%. So I ran through every available question and studied the answers and the subject material to the point I virtually reached saturation last night.I could barely sleep as I had been anticipating this day for what- 25 years? My first true test of my dedication to this lifelong obsession. I got to the FBO (They have a CATS testing center at my school) a little early and the proctor got the test set up. He asked if I wanted to take a practice test first, and I declined- just let me get on with it.You have two and a half hours to complete the 61 question multiple choice test. If you're wondering, you are graded on 60 questions, and 1 is a 'test' question that is ungraded currently- usually this is a question they are going to add.I told myself I would work slowly and take my time. As soon as the first question popped up though, my instincts and desire to just finish got the best of me. I think I answered the first 10 questions in about a minute. They were just easy... Not necessarily questions I had seen in the practice material, but very similiar. Some of them were exactly the same. But no matter how you ask it, VFR visibility for day flight in controlled airspace is 3 miles, and cloud clearances are 500 below, 1000 above, 2000 horizontal.There were a few flight planning questions that I had to pull out the E6B for. You know, the "Find the magnetic heading to Tinyville. The wind is 200 at 15, True airspeed is 20, variation is 7 East.". The annoying thing is that the scale of the figures they give you (in this case, parts of sectionals) were not the same scale as real sectionals- so you have to mark the points on a piece of paper, and then compare that to the scale on the figure, rather than just use the scale on your plotter. Either way- these were easy.Then, there were a few weight and balance questions. These were new questions- Or I guess I should say new figures. Weight and balance is easy once you now how to do it.One of them seeemed particularly easy, and it was one I definately hadn't seen before. The question was "Determine if the weight and CG is within bounds or out of bounds". Now, looking directly at the answer, all 3 choices started with "20 lbs over limit..." So, I figured when I add up the weights, I'll know right away that I should get 2970 (max gross is 2950). Sure enough I did.All I had to figure out was if the CG was within limits. After multiplying the weights * arms and getting the moments- you divide the total moment/total weight and it gives you a weighted average of where the CG is.In this case the CG was 78.xxxQuickly looking at the load chart, there are three different areas. I don't remember the exact chart, but it looks something like this:Gross Weight Forward Limit Aft Limit2950 80.5 83.12700 79.1 84.12476 77.0 84.9So I looked at my weight of 2970, and my limit of 78 and chose the answer of "20 lbs over limit, CG forward of limit".I finish my test after a few more 'gimmes' and at about 25 minutes past the hour I hit end test. You are forced to take a small survey before you get your score. So I randomly click the boxes (what a bad idea for a survey if they want valid data).Congratulations you have scored a 98%!Wait a minute- Maybe I should be happy but I'm not. I missed 1 question- I would have scored a perfect 100%. What was that question? Grrrr....So luckily, the proctor informs me that indeed on the printout it will tell me the area that the incorrect question was in, and I just have to find the question that I had, and determine if my answer is different than the book.It took me about 20 seconds until I see the question above in the section. I look at the correct answer... I am aghast... I got it wrong. So now I am out for blood. The correct answer is "20 lbs over limit, CG within limits". Yep- right there in the book. They have the exact same CG I had by the way. The reason I was wrong however, if you look at the chart for the weight limit of 2476- 78 is in bounds. That makes no sense- If you were going to reconfigure this airplane to meet the limits, the first thing you would do is probably take 20 lbs out- fuel, or baggage. Once you did that, you would try to reconfigure the CG for the max gross. WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD TAKE OUT 474 LBS JUST SO THE CG IS IN LIMITS?Cheap shot FAA... Real cheap shot...But anyway, I am over it. I got a 98% and I am proud of that, and it is out of the way. Now it is back to flying. It was a little bumpy, and I did get to do a few light cross wind landings which always makes my nerves a little jumpy- but after I hop out at the tie downs, the feeling of accomplishment of another successful flight just puts me in such a good mood. Hopefully I will get to do my cross-country to Danielson in the next week or so. Come on spring!

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Awesome job! One more hurdle to complete is out of the way.I believe the average on the knowledge test is in the low 90's so it's good to be that high. Unfortunately the written isn't a test of true knowledge since most of it is just rote level learning.

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wait till you get to the ATP written where you have to do a stinking w&b problem on a 1900 the long way, ugh! doing the weight x arm 19 times, adding them up, dividing, etc.congrats on the written. thats a really good job! now onto the practical exam.......

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Hi Chistian,Congtratulations! That PP written is I think one of the hardest, since you start from "nowhere" and end up with the knowledge tested to be a private pilot.You mention seeing the item that you missed on your final scoresheet. Just keep in mind that this scoresheet is not intended so much as feedback to you, but feedback to the DE. When you finally meet with him/her, as well as doing a practical test, you also do an oral- sometimes in mid-flight to try and distract you. That's where the DE wants to know which questions you didn't pass on your written. Expect to be asked several questions on W&B (right where you get to your first cross-country waypoint is one time when this may come up, like when you're a little preoccupied :) ). Once again, well done! I got 3 questions wrong.....Bruce.

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Good stuff, Christian! Good stuff!I just need to get myself back in the air and get accustomed to the bumps. I *will* defeat my (inner ear) demons!-Greg

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