I had a good time this afternoon getting
the FBO's annual renter's checkride--by a personable young instructor from
Binghamton NY, who likes the airport, but not the metropolitan area--too
big, he said. Anyway, he watched me preflight and then we took off and
flew to the practice area. It was a typical murky central Virginia summer
afternoon. I'm more or less used to the frequent 3 mile slant visibility
by now, but he made a point of turning on his GPS--although I don't think
he was really worried that we might not be able to find the way home.
He had me do slow flight, with two 180 degree turns, and go directly from that into a power off stall. The airplane, an older C-172 with a 150 hp engine, really didn't want to stall today. I had the yoke all the way back, and it just mushed along with the stall horn beeping. Then it was a power on stall and some steep turns. I had trouble holding the altitude in the turns, but that was partly because we kept running into and out of thermals. (Really!) Then it was back to the airport for three landings. He was kind to hold the damned upside-down flap switch up for me on the two touch-and-goes. (This is the airplane with the old-style Cessna electric flaps and a switch that locks down, but not up. So to get the flaps up when you have to go around you need three hands.)
Along the way we had a nice chat. Of course he was probably partly trying to distract me, but I managed not to kill us and in the end he said, "You're safe."
Cool. It's always good to know that an instructor isn't afraid of you. And it was my most comfortable checkride ever.