Sorry to keep you all hanging, but I passed my private pilot check ride yesterday!!! Yay! I am STILL smiling! It was an 8 1/2 hour ordeal with the train and such and then went out to dinner to celebrate afterwards so no post yesterday.
I was talking to Jake yesterday and told him it feels so much better than soloing. I feel like some people say soloing is better than passing their check ride. I personally think passing my check ride is a bigger milestone and feels so great. Maybe I just like the approval of someone else other than my instructor. A designee of the FAA no less!
After my last flight on Tuesday I went home and felt like I had a lot to do. I still had my weight & balance, cross country planning, get the cash to pay the DPE (important!), and study! Jake said when I got home “let’s go on a date!” I looked at him like he was crazy! I told him heck no, my check ride was tomorrow. Then he got down to business and after I had finished all those other things, we studied for my oral exam starting at about 8:30pm.
Certifications and limitations I had down. He stressed me studying them and I had them almost word for word in the book. We learned my weak point was aerodynamics. I have to admit I got them at the beginning of training and started to forget because I didn’t look at them too much afterwards. Other topics like aeromedical factors, cross country planning, night operations, etc. were good. Weather was just okay. We came back to aerodynamics at the end and I had explained everything I had wrong correctly and he was satisfied. Half way through I wasn’t having fun anymore (struggling through aerodynamics). My CFI texted at 9:30pm saying no more studying and time to rest. I totally tattled on Jake to him. He told me rest was important so my brain wasn’t mush, but Jake insisted we keep going. We finished around 11:00pm.
I was feeling stressed and maybe on the verge of tears thinking I wasn’t prepared until Jake said he wasn’t worried about me and I did a great oral just weak on one or two areas and I was able to get it even when tired.
I wasn’t able to get to sleep until probably after midnight and woke up at 6:00am. My train was at 7:50am, I get to Farmingdale at 8:35am, and exam starts at 9:00am. My CFI and I sat in the office waiting for the DPE just chilling and talking, not about aviation on purpose. Just making sure I’m relaxed. DPE shows up around 9:10am.
He’s a talker! He’s also like 70 years old. The three of us are talking, he’s sharing stories and we’re slowly doing the paperwork until about 10:30am when my CFI can finally leave. He said we’d be heading over to the plane at around 11:15am. 45 minute oral, whoo!
He tells me its a conversation about aviation, not a quiz. He says he’s going to pick my brain without me even knowing it. It’s a lot of scenario based questions. I think I was a bit nervous because I was just waiting for out right questions.
We talked about what I need when I fly, how to remain current. We went over night operations. Airspeed indicator colors, V speeds, what they mean and what numbers they are. He went out for a smoke break about 30 minutes into it. He came back and we did runway markings, more night operations, and a few other topics I’m blanking on. He said we were going to go out to the plane, but he would still have a few more questions for me.
That oral was much easier than what Jake gave me the night before. He said he did that on purpose. I thought about texting him but I didn’t want to jinks it (remember I’m a bit superstitious).
I felt a lot less stress now that I had finished the oral. I know I can fly. And that’ll be more fun than answering questions! I’ll post about my flight part tomorrow. I don’t want to over load you now! But spoiler – I pass!