Friday, April 13, 2007

Final Flight Test Review

There were a few outstanding items that Dave wanted to touch on one more time before unleashing me on the poor TC examiner. We booked this flight for Thurday afternoon and it turned out to be the nicest day yet this spring.

In preparation for this flight I did another mock cross country, this time taking Dave's advice into consideration. My set heading point was 9 miles from the airport and this would give me plenty of time to climb to altitude and get everything trimmed up. My first checkpoint was exactly 10 miles further, and it was easily identified (I used a cove along the south shore). At this checkpoint I took out the whiz wheel and did the ground speed and revised the time calculations then did the aircraft checks. (reset heading indicator, carb heat, lean mixture and check the engine temps). Dave was happy.

We then jumped into some instrument upset recoveries. I have to tell you that if you've never had you head down and eyes closed while some madman is tossing the aircraft around in the sky you've got to give it a try. Not for those with weak stomachs! My recoveries were correct and quick. Dave was happy

Next was a spiral dive. I recovered quickly and correctly, making sure to avoid any torsional stresses. Old Cessnas don't mind being shaking and stirred, but they don't like being twisted.

Dave then asked me for the checklist, I didn't know why he wanted it but while I was searching in the side pocket for it he hauled the power back and announced with a smile that the engine had just failed. I did not have any problems with this during my mock flight test but Dave feels that you can never get enough practise. I trimmed and found a nice place to land, then did a simulated mayday call and pax brief. I decided at about 1,200 feet that while the original field that I had chosen was nice, there was a nicer one two fields over which I decided to land in. As long as I can make my original I'm allowed to change my landing spot without occuring a penality. (I went to the TC website and looked at the benchmark document that examiners use to test student pilots). I easily made my field and Dave was happy.

Dave then asked for me to take us back to the airport. I hauled out my map and proceeded to determine our exact location, then told him that I was going to go north a bit and follow route 2 home. (I thought he was testing my deversion skills). He looked at me and said OK or you can just take us back. It turned out he wasn't testing me he just wanted to head back.

During our flight back we talked, he said that I that everything went very well and that I'm ready for my flight test. The end is finally in sight!

We now need to get together and go over the test questions that he gave me a few weeks ago. I'm going to complete the few remaining ones this weekend and meet with him, hopefully I can get my flight test book for late next week.


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