Flight School Update – Test Prep

Ok, so I’ve run out of terrible puns for post titles – I’ll use them if any new ones come to me.

The major part of test prep is the Pre-flight – which is basically, you go through the flight test, as if you were actually taking it with your instructor, to get a sense of where you are, and what you need to work on.

I should have put it off. It was right after Keycon, and I didn’t have the time to prepare. The ground part – I didn’t have everything together that I was supposed to, I didn’t have time to get the navlog prepared all the way. Good thing it wasn’t the actual test. Now I know just how much time I need to get everything ready.

The practical part – I got confused when she strung the emergency procedure (engine fire) together with the forced landing, and I shouldn’t have because she totally warned me that examiners like to do stuff like that. So it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t remember what to do, more that I was trying to figure out what she wanted, and then by the time I figured that out, I’d lost a lot of altitude and limited my choice of fields – didn’t make the field. First time I haven’t made my field in a forced landing approach in a while.

Also did my first landing on a grass field, at oak hammock airpark. That was interesting. Hard to tell how roughly you land, because the field itself is rougher than our nice paved road, or even the paved one at Steinbach.

I did decent on the steep turn – I practiced that one. But then I bombed the slow flight, which is one I’m usually really good at.

So we get to briefing, and I’m thinking I did just terrible – so many things that I normally perform so much better on, and my instructor tells me I did pretty average, when it comes to preflights. And I was like, average? Seriously? I thought it was terrible.

I was rather out of practice with circuits, so we’ve been doing that, and reviewing air work the last few days. I still don’t feel like I’m going to be ready for Friday – but apparently the examiners are swamped at the moment, so my test might not be until Monday. Depends on the weather.

But I seldom *feel* ready for anything. I’m not sure I know what it feels like to feel ready for something. If I get hung up on confidence issues, I’ll just get distracted and mess up. I mostly just try not to think about whether I’m ready or whether I can do something. I just do it.

And anyway, the whole exercise is for getting me ready for the real test anyway, and now I have a better sense of what to expect. I think I’ve finally recovered from a string of crazy busy weekends, though, given an extra day to rest with the cloud bases so low yesterday. My stress level has gone down in the last day or so, so I’ll manage, whatever happens.


3 responses to “Flight School Update – Test Prep

  1. Hi

    To quote from your blog:

    “But I seldom *feel* ready for anything. I’m not sure I know what it feels like to feel ready for something. If I get hung up on confidence issues, I’ll just get distracted and mess up. I mostly just try not to think about whether I’m ready or whether I can do something. I just do it.”

    I wonder whether there are in fact a number of things that you have felt perfectly ready for in the past, and this is more about you being wonderfully outside of your comfort zone at the moment. So for example I’d dare to say you felt ready, day after day, for all that tech support you did. You knew what you were doing there. And you don’t seem to have been at all fazed by the idea of taking part in Keycon this year, seemed to take that in your stride as well. So maybe it’s about the newness of this. Also, if you are okay on a bad day, arguably that’s as signiicant as being really on top of your game on a good day.

    So as we say here in the UK – “you’re all over this” – as in you’ve actually got this well under control (okay maybe you use that phrase in Canada also, I don’t know) but I think you’re just doing new stuff and coping well, because you ‘just do it’.

    What can I say? Pass that exam and I’d get in your plan to be flown someplace.


    • Well, Keycon, I participated in a panel last year and it went well, so that helped a lot when it came to being ready to do the panel on flight where it was all on me, being the only presenter, with no moderator. Though, after this year, I have to call my paneling participation a smashing success, after the number of random people I didn’t know came up and introduced themselves to me, interested to know if I had anything published. I seem to have made an impression well enough to actually draw people’s interest in me, just by talking about my interests, which is frelling awesome, and hugely boosts my confidence that I’ll be able to get up in front of even bigger crowds and sell myself. It’s not something I’ve ever been confident about before, and it’s strange to be as confident as I am about it now – it’s very much out of my comfort zone.

      And that’s a good point – it was a worse day for me than I thought it was when I decided to push forward and get it over with, so if I can do that well on a bad day, hopefully that means I just need to make sure my test is on a good day.

      That said, some home stress has abated (had to take cat to vet – he’s fine now) and there have been more good days since then.

  2. Pingback: CPL Preflight | Lindsay Kitson - Dieselpunk Author

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