My Flight Journal

Friday, November 05, 2004 12:50pm

Short story: I passed my checkride this morning!

Longer story:

Got out to the airport at 7:30 to get the preflight done before the DPE showed up. I dressed nicer than I ever have on the advice of my instructor (good first impressions and all).

Met the DPE and went immediately to a private cubical to check over my paperwork and get the oral started. There were a few errors on the application form (or whatever it's called). No biggie, mainly input errors by my CFI. Correcting the paperwork took more time than my oral exam. I showed him my flight plan, which he barely looked at. He asked a few questions on airspace, and equipment and ratings and whatnot. I answered them all correctly and without hesitation. The weather was forecast to get pretty gusty later in the morning, so thankfully he was in as a big a hurry to get airborne as I was.

We started out with a soft field takeoff, which I really nailed. I flew the first leg and started into the second of the planned XC. I had all the radios preset with all my freqs well in advance, plus my charts opened up and ready. A few minutes into the 2nd leg he diverted me to Orlando Country (heh! just as I expected). They're doing a lot of construction there and he wasn't sure if we could land or not. Neither of us had checked NOTAMs for that field. I told him I did some landings there the other day with my CFI (oops, maybe shouldn't have admitted that). He said just forget it, let's go to Leesburg. I point the airplane in that direction and off we go. I even dialed in the NDB just as a backup since I already knew where the airport was.

He had me do two full-stop landings there, the first a soft field, the second a short field. And my first takeoff there was a short field. I did well on all of them, though the crosswind was starting to really pick up and I could use more practice with that. On the climbout at 300ft he told me to put my hood on. I had to finish the climbout and crosswind under the hood. He really worked me over with the hoodwork. We did a total of 0.3. And it wasn't because I was screwing up - just the opposite. He had me doing climbing and descending turns to specific altitudes and headings and I was flat out nailing them all. I rolled out of every turn less than 5 degrees off heading, and hit all the altitudes dead nuts. We did 1 unusual attitude - it was a nose-high steep bank, and he had cranked the elevator trim full nose-up. I recovered immediately and instantly realized he'd screwed with the trim.

Off with the hood and time for some steep turns. I pretty much nailed those, except my entry speed was a little high. And then it was time for some slow flight dirty to a full stall. I did better on that than I did practicing it a couple days ago. Then he had me pull the power and told me we just lost the motor. We were at 1500ft at that point. I already saw that there was a private airstrip immediately to the left of us. I went thru the ABC engine out procedure, and set up for the airstrip. I really would have preferred a big open field because accuracy wouldn't be as big an issue. I was setting up what I thought was a pretty good normal pattern. He suggested I should turn the crosswind sooner than I was planning to, since we would have a pretty good headwind on final. Ended up high and tight. I'd have still made the runway and probably not run off the end, but it probably would have been close. He said "lemme show you something" and took the controls and kicked it into a wicked slip - much sharper than I would have been comfortable trying. He gave it back to me and said "ok, you'll make it, let's go around". Poured the power on and left there.

He let me make a normal landing back at Sanford, though the crosswind was close to 90 degs and really starting to kick by this point. He again took the controls to show me his technique, but gave them back to me before we actually touched down.

From there it was just a matter of tying the plane down and signing the papers.

Back      (59)      The End

  1. In the beginning   (pages 1 - 5)   6. Hurricane Season Begins   (pages 42 - 47)
  2. Pre-Solo   (pages 6 - 21)   7. Hurricane Season Ends   (pages 48 - 54)
  3. First Solo!   (pages 22 - 26)   8. Solo Cross-Countries   (pages 55 - 58)
  4. First Night XC   (pages 27 - 32)   9. Checkride!   (page 59)
  5. Longest Flight Yet   (pages 33 - 41)  
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