PPL Checkride

E_Dawg

Moderator
I wrote this for my website (that I lost interest in) a while back. Here it is:

ORAL

My examiner was a private local examiner who chareged $300. She was very nice and put me at ease, although I was pretty nervous during the oral (much more than I thought I would be). You really do not need to be nervous, as it can only hurt your performance, but I couldn't help it. The oral questions were pretty much everything in the OEG. We talked briefly about airplane performance and aerodynamics. We covered a lot about the cross country she had me plan; specifically about the destination airport because it had some special procedures (no doubt this was on purpose). We talked in depth about aeromedical factors, specifically about CO posioning and hypoxia. We talked briefly about airspace and about the weather. The thing I noticed was that it was mostly focoused on the things you could and could not do as a private pilot. We talked in depth about SVFR, VFR on top, carring passengers, and being a safe pilot. She was quite nice the whole time. Then, much sooner than I expected, we were done. She said I did great.

PRACTICAL
Everything was pretty straight forward. If you can consistantly perform within PTS you will not have a problem. The examiner is really looking for consistancy and safety of the applicant. We took off and the first thing we did was my choice of a short or soft field takeoff. I chose soft because I think it's harder, and I did fine. We took off and followed our cross country flight plan. During the first leg, she created a distraction for me. It is a PTS requirment that the examiners creat a distraction, but the key is to be able to divide your attention between flying and the distraction. In my case she was complaining about the air vents blowing in her face. We got to the first checkpoint and she said that it was fine. We did a steep turn to the right. It went fine and we transitioned directly into slow flight at 50 kts with no flaps. We did a descending turn to the right followed by a power off stall (with no flaps). After this we did a straight power on stall. The stall didn't break, but we were descending so I called the stall and recovered. I told her that it was kind of weak and asked if I could do it again. She said OK so I repeated it, this time in a turn to the left. The stall broke and I recovered quickly. This was fine so she told me to put the hood on. At this point the turbulence really kicked in, but I still did a pretty good job of flying on insturments. This was followed by unusal attitudes with the hood on, and a simulated engine failure. She said "Oh no! The oil pressure's gone!" This was really easy because we were easily within gliding range of our departure airport so I just ran through the checklist and she said it was fine. We didn't even come close to setting up a landing; we recovered at about 3000'. After this, we did S-Turns followed by a diversion. The diversion was to a local airport that I'm quite familiar with so it wasn't too bad. The landing was a short field landing, which I did extremely well on (it was probabaly my best one ever). We departed back to the home airport, did a soft field landing, and finished up. The soft field landing wasn't the best, but I had already done quite well on everything else. I taxiied back to parking and she shook my hand, saying "Congratulations, you're the newest private pilot in the nation!". I was extremely happy!

ADVICE
The examiner is not looking to fail you. If you study and know your stuff you will have no problems on the oral. If you consistantly fly within PTS, you'll be fine on the practical. The examiner wants to see that you're a safe pilot and not one who's likely to kill themselves in an airplane. Keep your eyes outside the airplane during the flight portion, explain what you are doing as you do it and why, and keep listening to ATC even if you are not talking to them because they could give vital information on the location of other traffic. If you feel confident in your flying abilities, you will do just fine. I hope this report helps you on your checkride, and good luck to you!
 
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