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Checkride: Pass

polaris746

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Jul 20, 2007
Posts
22
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I'm the OP for the thread below about asking the examiner to take control in a real emergency... I passed my checkride!

I didn't even have to address it during my preflight briefing. My DE said that in an event of a real emergency, I am still PIC, and he will do everything necessary to assist me. He said that if I felt that he would be able to handle the situation better, I should tell him to take the controls, and that that is a part of resource management. Why not take advantage of a more experienced pilot sitting next to you when your life is on the line?

--

My oral was a breeze. My instructor always uses this particular DE and pretty much told me all the things I would be tested on beforehand. Though the DE threw some curveballs, he even went as far as handing me the POH/Sectional legend/FAR/AIM when I seemed stumped on a question. Very easy going guy.

--
Blow by blow of practical:

We preflighted and got in the plane. Taxied to the active and did a soft (but long) field take off. We went around the pattern and was to do a soft field landing. On my extended downwind I realized that I was approaching 100 feet above the TPA, and acting like I planned it, I said "We are number 2 behind a Lear and I want to avoid its vortex so I'm going to climb a little bit as I turn base."

The wake turbulance avoidance kind of screwed me up a little bit and my soft field landing was all but soft. I couldnt catch the plane before it hit the ground past the touchdown point of the Lear and it was a pretty firm landing. My DE said to do a short field take off with a 50 foot obstacle, I complied, and we went around the pattern again and this time a short field landing. As I was about to touchdown, the DE said "The plane landing in front of you had a flat tire on touch down and is still chugging down the runway." So I began my go-around procedure and began my climb. Around 700 AGL he said "Tell the tower we're a northwest departure" and we began our XC.

I was to climb to 4500 feet but around 3500 I noticed a cloud directly in front of me. METAR said SCT 040 so I knew I wouldn't be able to keep climbing if I were to stay VFR. I told my DE that I'm going to descend to 2500 because I am going to bust thru the clouds if I were to keep climbing. He nodded, but he was kind enough to remind me that at 2500 I would be headed straight for the restricted area hot to 4000 feet. I changed plans and went around the restricted area, and while I was doing it, he told me that he was at an FAA annual conference for DE examiners yesterday and they had told them that restricted airspace noted on the GPS has a tendency to be inaccurate and that I should use pilotage to manuever around the airspace as well.

As I began to use pilotage to maneuver around, he put a sheet of paper over the GPS and said "GPS just broke." I was fine with that. In a little bit he diverted me, and strangely enough the magnetic course for that airport was on the same half as my original, so I didn't have to change altitude.

He seemed satisfied with that and it was time for a sim. eng out. There was an airstrip right below me so I trimmed for 73 kts, did an engine check and made the proper calls. He gave me power around 1800 AGL cuz I would have made the field. After that we did some hoodwork and unusual attitude. The unusual attitude was a piece of cake because my isntructor got me used to 60 degree bank angles and 40 degree nose down recoveries. The DE only had me recover from maybe a 30 degree bank and a 20 degree nose down.

No ground ref! Wind was variable at 3........ lol

No steep turns!

Just did a straight up slow flight with full config, then to a power off stall, recover, power on stall, recover. I kept my slow flight within 30 feet of assigned altitude and dead on the heading, and he was impressed, noting that it was beyond commercial standards.

Then... headed back to Bedford for a no-flap forward slip to a landing, and I was all done!

It was the most relaxed checkride experience I've ever imagined, or read on this board. At the end as I was turning off the engine he said, "Well, you obviously meet PTS..." It was probably because I have almost 100 hours, long overdue for my license (moved a lot) and with a high recommendation from my instructor whos been teaching for 20 years, with 12000 hours. However he noted that I need to work on my soft field take off and not try to hold back to nose wheel so much once I'm on the ground.

I think this DE is an exception in that he really really wanted to pass me. He said "Turn heading 090 and we'll just use that as a clearing turn" beore my manuevers, mentioning clearing turns before I even thought of it. He told me to start my watch for my XC as a way to tell me I was beginning my XC. Is this just the exception?


I just took my mother for a tour of Boston... right through the Class Bravo, up the Pike, the Charles River and past Fenway Park, the Prudential, John Hancock, and Logan Airport. I couldn't believe how close I was to Logan. I could clearly see Boeing 74s and 73s taking off of 22L and 22R. I was of course talking to Boston Tower the whole way .. it was an exhilerating experience. My mom was really nervous but she was surprisingly calm throughotu the flight, probably because I performed a solid pax briefing and told her exactly the places there were likely to be turbulance.
 
Last edited:

SPilot

Fun=1/2pV2CLS
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
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280
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1
I've had similar DE's who made the flying part easier/without tricks, just as a way to get it done. It is all about being prepared, and giving a good impression from the beginning of the oral - several DE's I've talked to say they know who's going to pass or fail within the first few moments of the oral, judging on your attitude and intelligent responses.
 

7574EVER

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2004
Posts
288
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2100+
CONGRATS!!!! Welcome to the world of being a certified pilot. NOW is when the learning really begins.
 

VW Pilot

MMM...PIGEON CASSEROLE
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Posts
257
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Rising
That's good news...My check ride for my PPL is on Monday....wish me luck and congrats to you.
 

epic!

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2006
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702
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some
congrats! it is a very memorable moment in ones life. VW good luck to you. Let us know how it turns out.
 

Seadogrun

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Mar 6, 2007
Posts
263
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Congrats. In my opinion a good examiner should put you at ease from the start. Good job!
 

polaris746

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Posts
22
Total Time
100
Agreed completely. The first thing my examiner said was "I'm not here to bust your chops, so I'm going to go ahead and tell you everything I want you to do beforehad so there will be no surprises."

I was very much at ease after that.
 

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