I’m a Pilot! Passed my PPL Check Ride

To start off, I’m truly excited that I have passed my check ride and am now hold a vaild PPL license.  The last few months have been a bit of a struggle between my schedule, the weather, and making my instructor moving to the west coast.

Overall, the check ride was not as bad as I made it out in my mind.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a “walk in the park” and I was sure I was going to screw it up, but I had an AWESOME DPE.  Oral Exam was the easy part in my mind.  Basically just me sitting down with the DPE and talking about airplanes and what I would do in different situations.  He also spend time talking about the ACS and how even the DPE’s were getting additional training on how to administer the tests to be in compliance with the new rules.  Honestly it sounds like the changes in the ACS while easy to read, are being applied differently by the different DPE’s.   Lucky my DPE knew his stuff (and basically “knows” everyone) to the point where he had to take a call from the local FSDO during the middle of my oral exam.

The practical was for me nerve racking.  HOT day with swirling air over the field (unstable air) made my pattern work difficult.  My air work away from the field felt like I was spot on.  Good radio calls and control of the aircraft.

First landing was good (soft field landing) but upon landing it looked like the wind shifted and I should change runway direction.  My personal opinion, this is where I should have just followed through with what I wanted to do (pull off the active, and get myself reset) vs just taxing to the other end of the runway.  Nothing that failed me, but I let myself get rattled and allowed myself to defer to the wisdom of the DPE (who I completely respect).

I had a bit of a wide / long pattern (due to me being nervous) and was so focused on the short field and slip to land techniques, that I didn’t pay close enough attention to the cross wind and had to demonstrate my go-around.  Again, I am harder on myself than my DPE was.

End of the day, all maneuvers were good and I did show good control of the airplane as well as good judgement as PIC.