Today, I was able to get back in the air with my primary instructor. For this lesson and the next couple of lessons, it is all about the check ride. So each flight will be a mock check ride with the goal of sharpening my skills.
The bird that we were flying in today just returned from an engine overhaul and new prop. The prop seems to be slightly out of balance and around 1500 rpm, there was a weird vibration on the front end. Not a safety hazard but enough that my instructor did not want to do the slow flight maneuvers today.
I started out with a Short Field takeoff, in which I did not get perfectly lined up with the runway. Evidently this is one of the examiners pet peeves, so I will make sure I do a better job of lining up in the future.
After liftoff, we turned on course for a mock flight plan to CLT. I checked off the first 3 checkpoints on the route. After she was satisfied, it was time to start some maneuvers. This is how the actual check ride will go as well. Once the examiner is pleased that you know what you are doing, they will cancel the cross country and you will begin your maneuvers.
First, She asked me for a diversion to IGX, approximate course, approximate distance, approximate time and approximate Fuel. I turned on course and started tracking. Next she asked me for another diversion to Harnett county. Again, approximate course, distance, time and fuel burn. This is the first time that I have done this but it wasn’t too bad.
Next I performed steep turns, first to the left and then to the right. I nailed the turn to the left but dropped about 80 ft on the turn to the right. This was within PTS standards (+- 100 ft) but my instructor would like me to stay within 50 ft.
Next I went under the hood for some simulated instrument. First maneuver was perform some standard rate turns. Next we dialed in a VOR and I determined which radial we were currently on, then tracked a specific TO radial.
After the hood work, we did some constant speed descents and ascents, followed up by turns around a point.
Finishing up, we climbed to 2500 msl and performed a spiraling simulated engine out over the runway. Which I ended up short of because I did not managed the wind properly. Ugh.
Overall, I did well. She said that I would have passed my ride today but she wants to see me tighten up a few areas. Probably two more flight sessions and some oral work and I will be ready for my check ride. Getting close!