Sign in to follow this  
brucek

My real life flight training continued... I booked my checkride...

Recommended Posts

Well the past couple of weeks since my final cross-country have been fairly uneventful. I have been flying- mostly practicing maneuvers and starting to panic...I spoke with the examiner, and he seemed like a nice guy. Both instructors I have been flying with have said "You'll do fine". I don't feel like it right now- Flying the plane is easy, but I am worried I will be so nervous I'll forget something that he will deem critical and fail me. Tonight, I need to sit down and total up my time to make sure I meet the requirements. I bought a program that is supposed to help you prep for the oral, and so far it's humbled me. Question: "What kind of Prop in on the Warrior II?" My Answer: Umm... Two-blades, uh, black, hmmmm... fixed pitch... kind of shiny...I feel overwhelmed. I have alot of studying to do. That is because my checkride is less than two weeks away...You'll never guess when I am booked? September 11th, 9am. No kidding. Either it will work for me or against, but it can hardly be a coincidence!So I need to study the books more, and get in the habit of doing things that the instructor will want. ALWAYS do clearing turns, ALWAYS use checklists (I do that already), and practice those maneuvers until I can do a power off stall with a latte in my hand.I goofed up an emergency procedure today, which is the first time I've done that. He pulled the throttle on me, and we happened to be right over Madison airport. I confidently maneuvered for a power-off approach, but stupidly ended up WAY too high. I have never done that before. To redeem myself, he did it to me on our last landing at New Haven, and I was able to put in on the numbers, so I felt ok. He told me Wally (the examiner) is a glider pilot, and he criticized me for putting in two notches of flaps at once because once you do that, there is no going back. So I have to remember to put them in more gradually. He also said Wally doesn't like people calling the tower to report leaving the airspace- he thinks it's a waste of radio use. I have always done that- just seems like courtesy to me, so I'll have to remember not to bother unless the tower requests it.So if any of you have any pointers- what I should read, watch, listen to, etc. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE I need all the help I can get!Hopefully my childhood dream will come true soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

In my experience the checkride is usually more about another learning experience that a mine trap walk where any false turn is fatal.I remember from my ifr exam in 1991 being very nervous and the examiner asking me what I would do if coming in to land at my home airport the minimums were to go to heck. I quickly blurted out the textbook answer-I'd proceed to my alternate-and he said "what about the other runways? Even though not ideally aligned with the wind-the minimums could actually be acceptable on a different one-since they can be a mile or two apart". It was then I began to relax and realize that he wanted to impart some added wisdom to a well prepared "greeny" rather than set a trap. He imparted quite a few things I had not heard before from anyone that I still find useful. I learned a lot from that ride-and also that examiners can have quite a sense of humor. After flying a flawless checkride with a partial panel ndb approach at the end I could see a hint of a smile on his face. I really started to relax and feel good-then right as I was flaring he said very sternly "you know all that good flying isn't worth a diddly if you do a crummy landing". I of course pulled back on the yoke at the unexpected shock of this stern retort-went bouncing down the runway and he burst out laughing. He went back to the fbo and in a loud voice announced to my teacher and all present-he's a fabulous instrument pilot but you better take him out for some dual and work on his landings!I think the examiner has a pretty good idea of who you are based on the written test results and the way you present yourself. I have been told by some examiners that they know whether the pilot has the stuff in the first minute of the taxi out. See it as the final learning experience in your journey, and not a test only Chuck Yeager could pass! :-) Besides-your teacher would not let you go for it if he thought you were not ready...http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Christian,Firstly, congratulations on getting to be eligible for the "ride". I would like to echo come of Geof A.'s thoughts- first, this should be an enjoyable experience. Your attitude needs to be one of pride being able to show a DE that you know everything that you should.Second- it should be the best lesson you have ever had. Don't sweat if the DE tells you a better way to do things- and my DE actually took the controls (I thought I was toast then :) ) and showed me a better way to do turns around a point- then gave control back to me and said "you try it". I asked him if the ride was over, and he said "Whenever did I say that?". DE's actually like to teach as well as check you, and they love to think that they can give you a better lesson that your CFI did :)Thirdly- The DE is looking obviously to what you can show from the PTS that you can do- he/she's required to do that. But the very first thing they are looking for and what sets the tone of the entire ride is- are you in control of the airplane. Or- simply put- would the DE be comfortable letting their non-flying spouse go with you, even if unexpecetd things happen. My DE had me do a "normal" landing after the initial takeoff, before any of the rest of the ride, just so he could figure out who I was- and that set the tone for the entire ride after that. No simulated engine out, no other issues, just wanted to watch me and know that I could land the plane and could communicate in an uncontrolled environment. What is actually happening here is the DE is assessing the risk of going with you for the rest of the ride.What really matters is that he/she believes that you can be confident and assertive enough to be PIC. You have to show that you are in control.My final point would be- the "cross country" that you will do, chances are that you will get no further than your 2nd waypoint. But somewhere enroute to that point he/she has to provide a distraction to take you attention away from navigating. Mine opened the door, said it had become unlatched and damaged, and what should I do? When I said "nothing" (C172), he wanted me to show him in the AOM where it said that- and it does for that aircraft. At that point I was totally unconnected to the cross country. All of a sudden he said "back to the cross country- where are we and how far to the next checkpoint?". You don't have to know off the bat, but you do have to be able to show him/her that you can figure it out (hint- have your VOR's tuned to nearby stations). Here's a novel idea- if you have a Center or TRACON frequency, what would really impress him/her is (if you can't figure out where you are) is calling the ATC and asking them for a fix. That shows that you can think out of the box. On my IFR ride, when coming back to KBJC to my final approach, and before flying into the Denver Class Bravo, I called Approach with "Skyhawk 3545 Golf, 10 south of KFNL, with request for IFR checkride". My DE loved it- that was using all my resources, and when the controller came back with very detailed and slow instructions, he patted me on the back and said "good thinking".Geof A. is right- the DE will decide in the first 10 minutes of flight that you will make it or not. :)Good luck, Bruce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice- I can definately fly, but I feel like I lose 20 IQ points with the instructor in the plane- I just need to get over that.You mentioned calling center for a fix- New York Approach blankets this whole area, so could I call them? I'm not really sure how to make that radio call.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New York approach, I assume, is a very busy facility, so you may wish to think twice before calling these guys if you're lost :). Maybe, since this is where you are, you might tell the DE that in the event that you couldn't find your location that this would be an option, rather than actually doing it. The last thing you want is to be getting chewed out by a busy and angry controller, that will really shake your confidence.I'm in Denver, much smaller. But the procedure would be to call: "New York Approach, N12345 with request". The reply would either issue you a discrete squawk code, or enquire about the nature of your request (in which case you would subsequently receive a unique squawk too). Without declaring an emergency , tell them you are VFR and lost, and since you are now a unique blip on their radar they can identify you, and even give you a track to the nearest airport. But the idea is to be able to use all of your resources if you really need them.Bruce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gotcha thanks- Basically like flight following. New York is usually busy, but I've only been turned down for flight following once, and it was because my transponder was broken.Thanks for the tip-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problems Christian,I think the most important thing to illustrate to the DE is that you are PIC, and know how to make use of any available resources. Dispite what ATC and other regs say, any decision is finally your's (although you may have to explain a decision to someone if you do something that gets attention :) ). And I am in no way advocating violating airspace or any other FAR, unless you're in a real emergency, but telling the DE what you could do in an emergency may win you points.I think that last thing is that the DE wants you to pass, so you have to prove to him that you're not ready, to get a fail grade (pink slip). And he/she knows that you are nervous too :)Good luck, Bruce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this