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brucek

Three days to check ride...

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...and I'm feeling nervous! I have a dual lesson scheduled for this evening (need to get the last hour of hood time and 3 more night landings), another dual tomorrow morning (PTS prep), and a couple of hours solo on Sunday. I'm not really sure what I will do on Sunday, but I like the idea of flying the day before and I'm sure there will be some things I will want to work on. I think I'm actually dreading the oral more than the flight test. I picture the DE asking me something I don't know and watching me sweat while I try to look it up (I would pay good money for a comprehensive FAR index at this point). My soft field takeoffs and landings have gotten much better recently, but they are still hit and miss, especially the landings. Half the time they are so smooth I don't even realize I am on the ground and the other half they seem harder than my 'normal' landings. There is a 99.5% probability that the check ride landing will be of the hard variety, I'm sure. I guess my biggest fear is of the unexpected. I went up with a different instructor at a different flight school a couple of weeks ago just to get another CFI's evaluation of my flying and I was surprised to find that flying with an unfamiliar person who was firing off commands at me made me nervous and rattled. Things that had seemed easy before (radio work, holding altitude) seemed to go out the window. And he was very helpful and friendly! I can imagine the same thing on the check ride, or worse since the DE will probably not be so friendly. I have read reports from other students that rode with this DE, and they all report that she just sits there and doesn't say much. They were all surprised when she said "Congratulations" at the end because they were all sure that they had failed. That sounds nerve-racking... I'm going to try not to stress too much about it, but I expect it is going to be a long weekend...ToddStudent Pilot 44 hoursP.S., thanks to Michael J. for the Columbia recommendation! I flew a long solo cross country from San Jose to Columbia (in the foothills of the Sierras), down the Sierras to Visalia, then back to San Jose. It was the most beautiful scenery I have seen yet, and I forgot to take my camera :( I saw Half Dome and El Capitan in Yosemite from about 5-10 miles away. The whole Yosemite Valley looked like a groove crudely carved out of a piece of smooth wood. Way fun.

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Todd,We'll be with you in spirit! Knowing how diligent you've been, I'm sure you'll do fine.(I also hate it when oral examiners don't say much. One of the people who tested me on my oral boards 19 years ago was like that - I thought I failed for sure.)-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerG4/500Fly! for Mac Forum Co-moderator

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Todd,I am glad you enjoyed your solo to Columbia. I hope you managed to walk to town (this dirt path among rattlesnakes) which is an interesting place in itself.With 44 hours and being ready for the checkride you are doing very well, I think well ahead of national average.My PPL checkride was also out of Reid Hillview. Nice FAA guy. I made one oops but still passed. He made me fly with a flight plan towards east but then asked me to divert somewhere else and fly west. And then I completely forgot to switch altitude - from odd to even thousand + 500. Just reminding you of this little pest ...Michael J.

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Todd,If your CFI was as thorough as mine, you probably already know 99% of the stuff the DFE will ask! You WILL be suprised about how much knowledge you will have accumulated.As for the flight test, relax. Most if not all DFE's are not out to flunk you. This is your turn to "show what you know". He or she is just a passenger for that ride.When I fly, even though I was never a military aviator or will be an ATP, I try to think and act like one, even in a 172. There is a seriousness to flying that if not done properly, someone will get hurt. Think: Safety, security, professional.And do what I didn't on my first checkride: Check the DG for drift right after Takeoff! :) Second was a piece of cake!Good luck and God speed (and good speed if in a 172)!Regards,

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Hi, Todd.The best thing you can do is, relax. Think of it as another lesson. If you do not know something, tell the DE, and ask him to help you find out where to find the answer. One thing to remember, Nobody wants you to fail. Make sure you get your Emcy. Procedures down and use the Checklists, they come in handy when nervous. You can expect things that you have done before, and there will always be something that you may not know. Remember a Private Pilot is a license to learn. Another thing you will have to remember is Distractions, it is very likely that there will be some, and they may be difficult to recognize. Good luck, and have no fear, you will do fine. Post here, or Email me, if you need more info. TV

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Hey Todd,I'm certain than you'll do just fine. If you make some mistakes (everyone does), don't sweat it. Just move to the next task and keep doing your best. Unless the DE announces that the checkride is over, assume you're okay and keep going.It's expected that you won't know everything for the oral, but be sure you have a good grasp of all the topics listed in the PP/ASEL PTS.Break a leg! ;-)John

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Don't sweat it bro you'll do fine. Remember the old saying if you don't hear anything assume it's good news! :-hah Don't worry about the rough landings either, like my CFI tells me on few of the "want to crawl under a rock and hide" ones..."the airplanes not broke and nobody's dead so flaps up, full throttle carb heat in and lets do it again, just avoid those craters in the runway on the next landing". Another word of advise is when/if she pulls the throttle back informing you that we're simulating an engine failure, when you get to the end of the engine failure checklist DON'T say "well heck here's the problem....someone pulled the throttle out", then push it back in and tell her you just simulated fixing it!...sure am glad I fly with a CFI who can dish it out as well as take it! :)You're not ahead of me by much :), still looking for that hook-up in Kansas somewhere! :-beerchug c ya :-waveBart flyhelp@zoomtown.comhttp://bartsflyplace.tripod.com/pics/ryans...ight/flight.gif http://bartsflyplace.tripod.com/bart_logo3.jpg

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Hi Todd,I'll be thinking of you! Just for what it's worth, my check-ride was one of my best flying experiences, the DE used it as a very useful instructional tool also. Most DE's know within moments if the check-ride will succeed, and since the initial work is the Oral (usually), here's where the "first impression" really occurs. An example of my Oral: I had planned a cross-country as instructed. We went over that using the sectional. One question relating to a phase of the flight that was Class E down to 1,200 AGL (Blue vignette) was "The weather just went bad, it's down to about 2.5 miles vis- what can you do to remain legal'? The answer, of course, was to descend into Class G (daytime). Followed by "And now, it's getting even worse- where can we go to land"? An uncontrolled airport with Class E to the SFC was about 20 nm away- and the SVFR clearance was that answer. "But it's not controlled- so who will we talk to in order to be cleared?". Well, there was a VOR nearby with FSS frequencies, who would relay the clearance from Center.That's the kind of very practical questions to expect- no tricks like the written has, and he/she's watching to see if you know how to make decisions.In the flight phase- obviously to scare the DE is bad, but don't worry about hard landings- it's of more importance that you're always in control of the airplane. Just my 2 cent's worth- and all the very best to you, Todd. Hopefully you'll be in the "captain's club" next week. Just one more thing- remember how that first solo was a special time, then that first solo cross-country? Well- wait until you take your first non-pilot passenger up with you, that's another very special moment.Bruce.

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Another "trick" question I recall from my exam...The examiner asked me to prepare a flight plan from A to B with all runway-length requirements, etc. I computed from the tables that yes I could takeoff from A under the specified conditions. He asked me then what if I had failure after take-off and had to come back for landing - would I be able to land. I then quickly dove into perf charts again to answer his question .. but he promptly stopped me - he said memorize this important rule - if you can takeoff then you can also land under the same conditions, no need to look at landing charts.This nice tip clearly does not apply to heavy transport aircraft where you may be well over the maximum landing weight on takeoff.Michael J.

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Todd, try not to be nervous. I am 100% sure that you will pass. You have it in you!!! :-)Take careMike

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I didn't make the trip into town, but I will definitely be going back (probably with my first passenger, my girlfriend).The DE has asked me to plan a flight to Red Bluff, so I am guessing that the divert point will be either Tracy or Byron. It will probably turn out to be some airport I have never heard of though :)Todd

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I made up my own checklists in Excel, including:PreflightEngine StartRunupTakeoff (normal, short, soft)Landing (normal, short, soft)ClimbCruiseDescentBefore LandingDeparture StallApproach StallSlow FlightEngine FailureForced LandingEngine FireElectrical FireCabin FireObviously the stalls and slow flight are just for the checkride, but I'm trying to cover as much as possible to I don't have to remember as much. Anything else you can think of?Thanks,Todd

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Thanks John, and thanks again for the simulated 'check ride'. Todd

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Hi, Todd. Here are some of the things that I recommend to the people that take the Flight review. The better you do, at the beginning,the shorter the ride is likely to be. You may want to include the "Lost" and "Radio failure" including light signals, procedures and make sure the Runway incursions/procedures are well understood. See the rest of the text below to get some more ideas. TV>>Recommended reading:Review POH for aircraft capabilities and limitsApproved flight maneuversEmergency proceduresCrosswind limits and proceduresStall characteristicsSpeeds, configuration, flapsPattern speed and configurationUpdate checklistTakeoff and climb speedsFuel time, consumptionOperating limitationsEmergency proceduresDensity Altitude performanceWeight and balanceGround Instruction proficiency review: Runway IncursionThe need to read backReview airport layouts during preflightAirport signageNOTAMs reading for Rwy./Taxiway closureCheck traffic before crossing Rwy.Use of lights during taxi, Beacon/StrobeClear active Rwy. ASAP and wait for instructionsUse proper Radio phraseologyWrite down complex taxi instructions Weather:Convective activityWind velocitiesPossible extremes Information sources:FSSDUATAWOS and ASOSMETAR/TAFRegulations: Recency90 day requirementsFlight reviewIFR competence/currencyFARsVFRIFRAirspace:Class differences Aircraft operationsPilot requirementsAircraftRequired inspections and maintenanceRequired documentsSystem operationsNew electronicsWeight and balancePerformanceTakeoff, cruise, landingPreflight planning, Destination Airport layoutWeather considerations/SourcesDestination conditions,Survival kitNavigation by pilotageElectronic aidsCollision avoidance Uncontrolled field operations Radio communicationsShort field landings Use of checklistsGround reference TaxiingHood Airspeed controlMinimum Controllable Maximum performance landing/takeoff Cross-wind skillsNormal landing/takeoff Use of ground effectUnusual attitude recovery EmergenciesEmergency procedures Hood skillsCommunications Pattern skillsPre-takeoff procedures. Use of trimManeuversSlow FlightStallsSteep turnsGround referenceTakeoffs and LandingsNormalShortSoftX-windRadio PhraseologyMinimum wordsEmergencyElectricalFireEngineVFR into IFRLostELT<

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Thanks for the encouragement everybody! I will report back with the results...Todd

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Hi Todd, after following your posts I know you'll do fine.The oral really sets you up in the examiner's mind. And since you know your stuff, he/she will be inclined to give you the "benefit of doubt" on your flight, knowing everyone is nervous. (mine let me repeat a "miss" on the short field landing touchdown point, since everything else had gone well).Remember: the examiner's REAL job is to determine if you are a safe pilot, ready to fly on your own.The answer: you are.Dan Pursel

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Forgot to add that this only 44 hours - probably could not have done it without your (FLY) simulation time ...Columbia - great town, great place for a date. But avoid hot days !Michael J.

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ToddGood luck and enjoy, yes ENJOY your check ride. Look at it as something FUN and dont be awestruck by either the examiner or situation.Remember he will be looking to see whether hed be happy to send his wife and kids up with you.He shouldnt be bothered if you make a mistake or a few mistakes but whether your on top of the situation, identify the mistake and make a positive rectification.So go out, if the guy is the unfriendly type just get a mental picture of him with boxer shorts covered with bright sunflowers and a silly hat, say to yourself "Im In charge here not him", but most of all say "I am going to ENJOY this", put on your pilot hat and get on with the job in hand.Peter

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Excellent advice Peter. I have taken many checkrides that have been career related, they can be extremely successful. A private pilot checkride, is much less rigorous. You don't neccessarily have to "earn it." Don't get me wrong, of course you have to earn it. But my point is, the DE is not looking for rigorously perfected manuavers. Assuming that you follow the PTS (know this inside and out), you will be fine. The DE is just looking for a compentent private pilot that has a fundument understanding of flying knowedge and skills. He is not trying to fail you, as it may seem at times. On my muti-com-inst. check-ride i was very nervous and the DE pushed me by having to deal with a lost comms, gear failure on a single engine ILS approach. Talking about MUTI-TASKING, and prioitization skills. heheh. Anyway, bottom line know not just tell yourself that YOU ARE IN CONTROL. Also, make the test a DYNAMIC learning session. Don't ask questions all the time, because your the one supposted to be questioned. Often a DE will give you PRACTICAL flying advice and critiques of your skills and knowledge that will save your life someday!Good luck,CB :-wave

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A bit of advice I can give from taking pri, inst, comm, and CFI (oral so far, flight is on for tuesday, i'm very nervous as well :)). The CFI and COM orals were the hardest I ever did. YOU WON'T KNOW EVERYTING! But if you don't know, fess up! DE's hate (for the most part) someone trying to BS their way. mw

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I know I am probably late with this, but Todd, I am sure you will do just fine.Michael talked above about sim flying being an advantage. I agree 100%. I got my PP-ASEL in 46.3 hours. This was due to two factors, IMHO. I did it in 6 months from start to finish. You don't forget procedures when you are flying 2-3 times a week. And second because of sim flying. I credit ProPilot '99 with that one.I made one mistake on my checkride. I forgot to call ground and seek permission for taxiing after my final T&G in the pattern at the end. I had done 3 T&G's with full stop, and been cleared to stay with the tower, without stopping after each one. So on the last one I did an oops. When we got inside, I got my 30 second lecture on me telling him what I did wrong, he handed me my temp and I was on my way.Also during the simulated engine out he kept tweaking the throttle. he also had me do a no-flaps landing which was a piece of cake.My oral was charts, charts, and more charts...And of course tons of airspace wedding cake questions.Have fun, as it is your first flight as PIC and he is just a passenger.Best Regards,Joe :-wavehttp://home.attbi.com/~jranos/mysig.jpg http://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Hello Todd, It seems I'm late too, but I'm sure you will do just fine. The best thing to do is talk to yourself (loud) through every move you do in the plane... the DE will know you are thinking... That is the Key... they want reasoning behind what you do...Make sure you do clearing turns before a manouver, and make clear about how he wants things done... for example: a Stall recovery... I was taught a slightly different method than what he expected... and best, talk to the DE-- get to know him... During my Oral, we talked a lot about his career and his life and the same here.A good question to think about is: You are flying along and all of a Sudden you are not in VFR Conditions... What do you?? I gave him all sorts of explanation about changing altitude, find the nearest airport and what not... I forgot the most simple... The Good weather was where you just came from!! Make a 180 !! ;)Most of the questions are to test your common sense... to see that you don't loose it all if you are not under "Normal" flying conditions... Engine out procedure being the most important of all.Either way... I know you will do great... Welcome to the Other Side... :)Mihir

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Very well said. Exactly my experiences too. My check-ride was the best flight lesson I've ever had!Todd, we're all behind you.....Bruce.

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