Pre-Solo Check Ride

Back to Back big days… I went up with a different CFI today for my pre-solo check ride. It was different, but good to fly with another CFI. As is the nature of the pre-solo check ride he didn’t give much input at all, mainly just said what we would…

Written by
Richard Brown
Published on
3 Jul 2016
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Back to Back big days…

I went up with a different CFI today for my pre-solo check ride. It was different, but good to fly with another CFI. As is the nature of the pre-solo check ride he didn’t give much input at all, mainly just said what we would be doing, which maneuvers he wanted to see, and took notes.

I was nervous, but settled in. We took off and headed out to the practice area. First up was slow flight and that went well, followed by power on and power off stalls. Next was steep turns and I nailed them this time, going to the left has never been a problem, but today even going to the right where I usually shallow out my bank some I was right on the money. I remembered to push forward on the yoke as I rolled out and held my altitude just right.

After that we had a simulated engine failure so I ran through the checklist. That was good, except he pointed out in the post flight briefing that I forgot to state that I would switch the transponder over to 7700 and broadcast a mayday on 121.5, followed by stating the procedure to secure the plane after landing. (I know the steps, but I have to remember that even though I’m not going through the whole checklist that the examiner wants to hear me state all the steps.)

We did s-turns along a road and those were good too, this time I kept from picking up altitude as I rolled wings level into my next turn. (The post flight debrief on that was use a shallower bank. I kept the turns even and kept my altitude right, but he wanted to see longer turns and no more than a 30 degree bank at any point. I maxed out at 55 degrees at one point, but we were fast enough, I was coordinated, and kept the altitude. He said that the advantage of a shallower bank is that it allows more room for error.)

After that we headed back to the airport for some landings, a go-around, and pattern work. The winds were coming mostly down the runway at 9kts gusting to 16kts. The first time I had flown in any kind of gusting conditions, (fortunately it was coming down the runway and only bounced us around a little), but I did miss the center line on 3 out of four landings. I didn’t miss it by much, but was disappointed as my landings have usually been much better. The bright spot was that I set it down nicely each time.

I enjoyed the post flight debriefing and the pointers that he gave me. As I said earlier, it is nice to have a different set of eyes on my flying. He said that my radio calls and situational awareness were excellent. My climbs, flight, turns, etc.. were all good. I did come away with a list of things to work on (I had my pen and note paper ready to take notes from him), but he said overall I did very well and that he was impressed. He will go over everything with my CFI and then my CFI will go over them again with me.

Next stop, hopefully my solo flight on Wednesday!

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