It was time for the ground portion of my mock flight test with TOI. Something I was approaching with no small amount of apprehension for many reasons.
To be fair, the purpose of this exercise was twofold. Yes, it was to quiz me in the exact same manner that an examiner would, but also it was meant to be a learning experience. It was kind of OK to not be perfect. TOI was there to offer me help and advice if needed.
And it became immediately apparent that I was going to need that help. After allowing me a few minutes to organise the reams of paperwork I’m clutching. We start.
He explains to me that the first thing the examiner is going to want to see is that we are actually legal to fly. I nod dutifully, that makes perfect sense.
“Ok, so prove it to me, are we legal to fly?”
I immediately assume the “deer-in-headlights” stance that I thought I’d abandoned along with my dislike of using the radio, all those months (years?)ago.
This is where the instructor part of TOI steps. “just talk me through the paperwork, one piece at a time.”
This I can do. I’ve got this memorised, even a handy little mnemonic. AROWJIL
Certificate of Airworthiness
Cerificate of Registration
Pilot’s Operating Handbook
Weight and Balance document
Even then though, it isn’t as simple just rattling off the list. You need to know how to tell if a document is valid, what invalidates it, if something changes how long to do have to sort it out and so on.
TOI patiently shows me how to take each document and pull out the pertinent information.
I emerge with at least some useful tips on what the examiner is looking for and a suggestion that I attack the journey log with sticky tabs to make navigating through it easier.
I also pick up a suggestion that probably won’t come as a surprise to those of you who know me.
Occasionally I need to STOP TALKING!
My answers need to be more concise, more professional. I manage to talk myself into long winded answers when a single sentence will do. Don’t give the examiner ammunition to play with.
I also need to brush up on some dates and procedures. I’ll freely admit to not being familiar with either the process or time frames for transferring ownership of a plane. It may not be relevant to me at this time, but I could be asked about it, therefore I’ll need to know it.