It’s been a rough couple of months – I’m really still recovering from losing my Grandma, and work has been crazy busy and no one is able to pick up shifts when I try to give them away like I did when I did my private licence. Various family stress that aren’t my stories to share – honestly sometimes I figure I should make a list and keep multiple copies on hand to hand to people when I tell them I’m a bit burned out and they ask me what I’m so stressed about. I manage.
But I got my multi-engine test done and passed.
That’s a pic of the left engine while we were flying around with the left engine shut down and the prop feathered. It’s a thing we do while training.
So many things went wrong – right down to the weather. I was feeling pretty good after the two flights the day before. Ready even. Then there was the storm.
We had power all through the evening, but my brother in Southport was reading by candlelight, and multiple other areas of southern Manitoba were without power. I got up to get my math all together for my afternoon flight test and my instructor phoned me.
The airport was without power and they couldn’t open the hangar doors to get the planes out. All the school planes were hangared and safe, which was good because this was an epic storm – the Navajo that was tied down on apron one was found in a field south of the airport, and there was a little Cessna flipped upside down on apron four.
Anyway, they had me come in to do the ground portion in the hopes the power would come on and they’d be able to get the planes out they needed for two flight tests.
The ground went well – probably the most confident I’ve been on the ground portion of a flight test so far. About halfway through the ground portion, the printer started making noises, and we realized, zomg, the power’s come back on. Hail Hydro. (Manitoba Hydro, that is…) I had a two hour wait on the other student who had a flight test scheduled that day, but it gave me some time to go over some notes I’d made.
The weather: redonculously hot.
So the gear-in-transit light wouldn’t go out on the second takeoff. See — this is why I was told I might get brownie points on the test just for taking GGOO (airplane registration – we use C-GXXX or C-FXXX for registrations in Canada, for my US followers). Anyway, this plane has multiple snags per page (snags = things wrong with the plane) in the logbook, and currently even has one deferred snag, with an electrical issue with the autopilot. We didn’t need the autopilot for my flight test though, so no big deal.
Halfway through the test the screws in the plastic knob on the right throttle lever came out and I ended up finishing the test just using the metal part of the lever. I guess the plastic part is really just ergonomics anyway. I managed. I think I got brownie points for dealing.
Landings wise, the wind was 270@15G20. Our airport has three runways, 18/36, 31/13, and 04/22, so for my non-pilot followers, that basically means it’s a decently strong wind, and it’s literally the least favourable wind direction for *any* runway at my home airport. I checked and it was apparently about 2 knots below the demonstrated crosswind capabilities of the aircraft. Again, I managed well enough to pass.
And when got home, test passed, rating signed off, I broke down in tears as grief hit me like a tonne of bricks. Since I passed my private flight test and got my pilot’s licence, the first person I phoned to tell about my accomplishments was my Grandma, who died three months ago.
But don’t worry. I’ll manage.