Checkride is coming

I was able to get one flight in this week to finish up my simulated instrument requirements.  We were going to take advantage and polishing up on some ground reference maneuvers as well.

It was fairly windy which helped to build confidence in the ground reference, VOR tracking and soft field take offs and landings.

Everything seems to be coming together inside the airplane.  I am doing quite well with simulated instruments.  I was able to track a VOR 20 miles to crossing right over top and dealing with a pretty stiff wind that forced me to compensate for my track.  As we reached the VOR, My surrogate instructor said, “Well, you can’t do much better than that….. we are going to pass right over top”.  That made me feel good.

When we were finished with ground reference maneuvers we headed back to TTA.  The first landing was simulated engine out.  I landed halfway down the runway which was not optimal but we would have survived.  I also had a direct 8 kt crosswind that made it weird.

We lined up for one trip around the pattern and I elected to perform a soft field take off and landing.  If you have kept up with my training, you know that I thought we were going to crash on my first soft field takeoff in a stiff crosswind.  This time, I had it under control.

As I pushed the throttle in, I had the yoke full back.  The front wheel came off the ground and I released some back pressure but held the nose off the ground. (this was my mistake the first time, I held full back the whole time)  As the mains became light, I felt that crosswind as we danced a little on the left main then we ballooned a bit. I corrected and held us in the ground effect as we gained speed.

The landing went much the same way as the take off. As we entered ground effect, I applied a little power (~1200 rpm).  I had a lot of right rudder and the left wing dipped into the wind to counteract the crosswind.

We softly touched on the left main, then back up a little, softly touched the left main again, and up a little.  The third soft touch stuck and we settled down nicely. Of course I felt like I blew it but my surrogate instructor said that I did a nice job with the winds.

I think that this was the most satisfying take off and landing that I have had.  Mainly because I slayed a demon.  The first time I ever tried was an eye opening experience.  I felt like I as in control the entire time.

My primary instructor returns next week, so we will get down to some serious check ride prep, both oral and practical.  I am looking forward to it.  I’m ready!