Lesson 72
16 June
1.3 hours

Stage check with Becky, to see if I'm ready for the FAA examiner.

I'd been dreading this ride, but it turned out to be relatively pleasant.  Thunderstorms were predicted, and the TAF said to expect a west wind at 22 gusting to 30, or so, but it turned out to be 200 at about 8, mostly crosswind, but not too bad.  The density altitude was 2400 feet--so the airplane was going to perform as it would if the field had been raised 2200 feet.

Becky followed me around as I did the preflight and made me explain everything I was doing, and why. Then we got in, and I had to do the same sort of thing for the rest of the flight--except, of course,  that she kept telling me what she wanted me to do but not how to do it and sat there with a clipboard, checking things off and making notes about how well I was doing them.  She was supposed to be giving me a taste of what the FAA examiner will do.  (She said sometime during the flight that she hopes to be an examiner, herself, someday soon.)

Okay, so it was taxi to 15 and run up.  Short field takeoff.  Climb out and head west.  Put on the foggles and continue climbing on heading 270 to 2500 feet, then do some turns.  (She told me later that I was okay on this, but "just a bit wishy-washy.")  Take off the foggles and do some steep turns (on which I got lucky and held the altitude exactly on 2500 feet).  Slow flight.  Stalls.  Emergency descent to 1500 feet.  Head back toward the field, climb to 2000 feet, and fly directly over the terminal building--just in time for an engine-out simulation..  Then it was up again with a soft field takeoff.  A short-field landing.  A normal takeoff.  And finally a flaps-up landing.

It all went pretty well, except that on the flaps-up landing I came in too fast and floated quite a way down the runway, and I thought I might land a few feet short on the engine-out and added a little power at the last minute.  Becky said she thought I could have made it okay, and that the examiner might have made me do those two landings again, but that everything else had gone nicely.  Okay, I felt pretty good about that.  I also decided that Becky is probably a good teacher (on a good day).  Her instructions were always clear and her other remarks were helpful, clear, and concise.

I'm going up with Adam on Thursday for a little more practice.

The FAA checkride is on Tuesday.  I'm to plan a flight to Roanoke, with a 190 pound passenger.

That's going to be a slightly interesting weight and balance problem, as the two of us will weigh 365 pounds.  With full fuel tanks and the flight bag I normally carry along, that'll put us 3 pounds above the maximum ramp weight for N68608, but (because unless this guy is really short and fat we'll have the seats most of the way back) within the CG limits.  I guess that means draining half a gallon of fuel.

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