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 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.
So my flight training continues, however I seem to be hitting a wall. I’ve done my first XC solo, Night flights, Night landings, Towered landings, etc. I’m have been attempting to do my long XC solo, however mother nature and my schedule have made that difficult. Due to work schedule and family commitments, I only have a few days per week that are available to me for flying. Six times I have attempted to launch on my long XC, only to have the weather not work in my favor. Such a bummer. My hope is that tomorrow may FINALLY be the day to complete my long XC. After that I have a stage check as I’ll have all the necessary hours (short 1 hour of simulated IMC). This means I’m in the final stretch as I go back to practice my power-on and power-off stalls, steep turns, etc.
On the work-shop front, I’m trying to create some storage space to get all of our CRAP out of the garage. Putting plywood in our main attic (with some additional insulation) to create some storage for non-heat sensitive items. Also installing a pull-down attic ladder in the garage so I can then add insulation above my garage and plywood to move things up off the floor so I have space to build. Goal is to have all the attic work done over the summer so we can start using this space.
No movement on tools or the first kit. Been taking the kids to different aviation events. Udvar-hazy, local fly-ins, etc. Got to meet Mitchell Lock from Vans Aircraft at a local event and sit in his RV-10. Already have a standing offer to take me and the wife up for a test flight as soon as we are ready. I personally can’t wait, but don’t think my wife is there yet. Oh well.
Hopefully next update I’ll add some photos of my storage project as well as an update on my check-ride!
Training continues on my PPL. Next flight is my solo XC and looking forward to it.
Saw an ad up for a Emp kit for $1000 that someone on VansAirforce.com was looking to unload quickly. I REALLY wanted to snatch it up, but at the end of the day I really need to wait to make sure this is the right path. Also, I’ll just say that as much as I want to save a few $$$ and hours, I really want the right to say I built the WHOLE THING by myself. Every success and failure will be mine.
I’m about 40 hours into my training, and have solo and XC’s that I need to get knocked out. After that it’s time to buckle down hone my skills before my flight test. I’m really looking forward to getting my ticket and taking the family up for a flight!