A full on practice flight test today. At least from the flying point of view. Bob’s kind of guilting me into keeping on top of the ground briefing portion. His “I’m assuming that you’re keeping up with your reading and are on top of the kind of questions you could be asked” statement elicited a nod, a guilty look and a silent mental vow that I probably need to put my novel I’m reading away and once more hit the textbooks at night.
Although by now I’ve carried out every single manoeuvre needed for the test a thousand times previously, this is really the first time where we’ve done everything under test conditions.
Bob was very much the examiner and not the instructor and I treated him as such. No banter in the cockpit, my only conversation with him was to confirm instructions or seek clarification. I purposefully and deliberately acted like it was a different person sat next to me. I barely made eye contact, which sounds terrible but is in truth probably the only way I’m going to be able to get through the test with an examiner next to me. I may have even called him “Sir” at one point. I don’t think he noticed or he was too busy afterwards to mock me for it.
Today’s flight was exhausting and productive in equal measures. I met up with a friend afterwards but had to leave her shortly after lunch as my energy levels just crashed. Before this flight I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep up my concentration level for the entire duration of a flight test but now I’m fairly certain I’ll manage. But it is hard work.
I wouldn’t say I’m elated after today’s flight, not the giddy feeling of a first solo or surviving a cross country flight but I am satisfied. It was useful in many ways. Although it wouldn’t have been a pass, I messed up one airwork item (bets on which it was are welcome!), I did a whole lot better than I thought.
The fact that Bob can spend a good twenty minutes going through points I could improve on but only have one item as a failure and a couple of marginal 2/3s is incredible. I’m beginning to get a feel for the pace and the expected standard of the checkride.
And I’m fairly certain I can do this.