Preflight, just like for my private test, is where your instructor basically gives you a mock flight test, to see how well you do, and how close you are to being able to pass. I remember being so clueless going into my private preflight, and coming out thinking I did terrible and I was so far from being able to pass.
We finished my preflight for my commercial test today, and I was a lot more confident through the whole thing. And I did better too. The mark would have been a partial pass, and the things I messed up on shouldn’t be hard to fix. Made a kick ass soft field landing. Made the forced landing approach – that I was terrible at when I started and I came in rather high and had to slip it in to get low enough to be certain of making the runway, but I remembered where that runway was and checked there first to see if it was close enough to make it when she started the exercise.
Another exercise that’s not on the private test is called the power-off 180. That’s where you cut the power, like you do with a forced approach, only instead of pulling up and overshooting once you know you’ve set up an approach that you could make a landing with, you do it at an airport so that you can actually follow through on the landing. The reason it’s called a power-off 180 is because you cut the power mid-downwind, so that you have to make a 180 degree turn to land.
Also, touchdown points – so much less leeway on them than the private test. But I’m getting it.
One more thing that’s not on the private test, even though they do train you on it, but on the commercial test you’re actually tested on it, is spins. Got full marks for my spin.
My instructor agrees that it went much better than my private preflight – just a few things to focus on over the next few days, and then the flight test. Wish me good weather!