May 06 2008

Pre-Solo Check Flight

Category: LessonsDaniel @ 8:00 pm

This past lesson I had my “pre-solo check flight” – a requirement of my flying club.  It’s really a stage check for the club to make sure students won’t break the planes and for another CFI to make sure my usual CFI isn’t out of his mind.  I rode with the club president, which was a little intimidating at first, but things went pretty well.

This CFI first had me pre-flight the plane and gave me a small verbal quiz.  He was definitely asking very difficult and obscure questions, to probe how deep my knowledge was and probably to teach me a little.  Some of the stuff I had no idea, but again, he didn’t really expect me to know it either.  We then proceeded to taxi and takeoff.  It was exciting (and a little weird) to taxi and takeoff without ANY words/prompting from the CFI.  Once in the air, he made me show him general flight maneuvers like slow flight, steep turns, and turns around a point.  All went fine.Checkmark

The CFI promised there would be some type of simulated emergency during our check ride, and sure enough on the way back to the airport he said “you see smoke in the cabin, what do you do?”  Me being me, I over-thought the exercise and starting reciting back some of the emergency procedures from the Cessna manual.  He then asked, “but what first”…of which I started blanking.  He then said “get the damn plane on the ground first…you don’t want to be in the air with a fire…screw the checklist at that point.”  That makes sense I guess!  So, we pulled the throttle, looked for a place to land (which we were over Westosha anyways) and I glided the plane down for a no engine (with simulated fire) emergency landing.  Surprisingly, this landing (without any engine power) went great…I was pretty happy.

We taxied back and took off again, this time with a fairly steady crosswind.  I was spacing a bit on how to hold the ailerons during crosswinds in general (still not coming natural to me) and verbally I called the wind direction wrong.  We remained in the pattern and I landed with the crosswind.  The final approach was a bit rough as I overshot the runway on the base leg (not compensating enough for the crosswind).  I put the plane down okay, though.

The CFI was generally fine with my abilities at this point and recommended just working on crosswind landings a bit more with my usual CFI (which I can’t argue against).  He said I should be solo’ing with just a few more crosswind landings under my belt…exciting stuff!  I’m off to Mexico now for vacation, so you won’t hear from me for a week or so.

This lesson I logged 0.9 hours of flight time.

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One Response to “Pre-Solo Check Flight”

  1. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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