Check ride prep

The time has come for a student to do a phase check before he goes to the DPE for a private check ride. This is my first student to get this far and I was as anxious as the student. I know he was prepared as he has been very diligent in studying and has a great memory, but there’s always that anxiety of not knowing what is in store.

It was a check on me as well as to what I have taught along with what did I miss so I can improve for the other students I’m training and 1 other is getting close to needing a phase check as well.

As pilots we like the flying part of the test, but we usually don’t do as well with the paperwork side of things.

Showing how all the AD’s have been complied with by finding the records in the airframe logbooks takes time but is a necessary part of the exam.

Some of the tips I learned is to make a simple description of all the systems to make it easy to explain. By doing the work of putting it into a concise description then it also serves as a memory aid and you may not to read it, but its available.

Keep you answers as short as possible while answering what was asked. Don’t expound on something unless its really relevant as too often we start to dig our own hole that makes it hard to climb out of.

All in all it was a good 2 hours spent listening in on the phase check and to be honest he would have failed the oral exam if it was for real, but on the positive side it was on one small topic that we are correcting. This was handled by a former DPE and now a full time CFI, so this was about as realistic as it gets.

I learned as well so I can better prepare the following students. I don’t want to be stuck in a rut and teach things that aren’t accurate. So I’m patching up the holes in the things I didn’t cover as well as I should have to better prepare the next batch of pilots.

Hopefully I’ll have news of a check ride soon, so stay tuned.

If you have any other good tips for check ride prep you found useful please add comments or email them to me at ron@rightseatflying.com

Am I safe to fly?

Every once in a while as we run the IMSAFE checklist we may get stuck on the initial “I” for illness. We may think I’ll be okay, its just a runny nose. Maybe its just a quick sightseeing flight so its easy to cancel. But what if there’s more on the line like a weekend away with your significant other? Do we allow the pressure of a nice weekend and non refundable hotel reservations sway our decision?

I bring this up as I just encountered this situation myself. I had a hotel room paid for in Reno for the Best in the West Rib Cook-off. Plane was reserved and while there was some lingering smoke from the Yosemite fire we were looking forward to going.

Reno-ribs

So it was with great frustration when I started getting the sniffles Sat and awoke to a sore throat Sunday morning. We had planned to leave that afternoon around 5pm. But I knew deep down that I just wasn’t safe. Despite possibly losing the money for the prepaid hotel I knew I had to cancel. I was still running the scenarios of “what-ifs” so we could go but I knew that wasn’t safe or feasible. With a stuffy head and fatigue caused from the fever I would be in a world of hurt just handling the normal tasks of flying. What if conditions changed and visibility decreased from the smoke and the storm that was forecast to move thru? Nope, I wouldn’t have been 100% capable to handle that and I would be putting myself, my wife and those on the ground at risk. It’s not worth it.

How’s your decision making process? Are you mentally ready to handle the disappointment a canceled trip can reign down on you from friends and family? Its something we need to be ready for as the its our role as PIC to keep everyone safe.

Where are we going?

After doing some maneuvers to get a student familiar with a C172, we decided to go to a nearby airport for landing practice. We have been to this airport many times before but always arriving from a different direction. I was also showing him how to use the Garmin 430 and walked him through the steps to enter the airport as a Direct to. With that done the magenta line was showing about a 5º heading to the left. Hmm, I see the runway dead ahead. I started talking about the winds may be stronger and causing us to crab some and I fiddle with North up vs Track up as we continue to the runway. We were about 10 miles out when we started. Its been about 4 minutes now and tower calls and asks if we are headed to their airport as we are 3 miles north of them. HUH?

Something is off I finally concede and look towards the area the GPS has been pointing all along. Whoops, yes I say we are as I have the student make an immediate left turn and get lined up with the correct runway. These 2 airports are only 5 miles apart and have similarly orientated runways on 10º apart.

The lesson we both learned is to pay attention and look outside as I did see a different runway layout from the airport we should have been heading to, but it didn’t rise to the level of triggering an alert in my brain. Also the magenta line is usually right as long as its correctly programmed which I checked and it was. So don’t let a runway in sight cause you to deviate from where you really want to go.

Ground School that pays you back!

At EAA Airventure Jason Schappert of MzeroA.com announced a program that will award the hardest working member of that month of the online ground school $5,000.00. The students accrue points by watching his training videos and participating in forums and more.

MzeroA Logo

The Ground School Contains
– Over 320 Full HD and Mobile Friendly Videos
– Weekly Webinar Workshops
– Monthly Mock Checkrides
– Customized Written Test Prep
– Exclusive iPad Training
– 100% Checkride Pass Rate
– 100% Written Test Pass Rate
– 97% of Students Who Start Finish Their Certificate
– $5,000 Given Each Month To The Hardest Working Members

For more information go to http://groundschoolcontest.com

To enroll use my link here groundschoolacademy.com/rightseatflying

Oshkosh Day 6-Friday

There was hope that the balloon launch would happen as the sky was clear and the winds were light but they were blowing towards the lake and that doesn’t make for a good landing spot. We awoke early and headed out to see the balloons on static display and got some shots early in the morning as the sun came up.

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Oshkosh Day 5-Friday

Many of the social media folks arranged to do a Ford Tri-Motor flight and fill it with friends rather than going it alone. It’s hard to imagine how large the EAA Airventure event is and how many times we walk all over the grounds.

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