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.