Monday, 27 October 2014

Not in any order

The blog posts about my flight test are going to be disjointed at best, but anyways here we go.

We were coming back from having completed the vast majority of the test. The wings were still attached and I hadn’t done anything majorly stupid. Still I was a little unsure of how this was going.  

I hadn’t effed anything up too much but I knew my altitude control had been sloppy for the entire upper airwork section of the test.

 I take us back on the diversion route requested, hoping I could still pull off at least partial pass. I start thinking about my approach back into the zone.

“Well, I’m liking what I see so far” Lovely Examiner (LE*) remarked. I don’t react but internally I’m mulling this over. I don’t get the impression he’d lie to me, so maybe I still had a chance. He takes a moment to tell me that I should request circuits when we enter the zone and then he’ll explain the scenario for the precautionary landing.

I acknowledge this and realise that potentially all that stands between me and my licence are one precautionary “low and over” and two circuits.

I can do this.

Something inside me changes. I’m local here, LE isn’t.

Screw it, these are MY stomping grounds. I KNOW this airspace. I have spent so much time in the circuit, I’ve had every scenario conceivable thrown at me and survived. I am familiar with every molecule of the airspace around here. I can handle this.

LE almost becomes just a person who is throwing random instructions at me. ATC are the important ones now. I need to communicate my needs to them.

I need to be assertive. I need to act the like the Pilot I so desperately want to be. So I do. ATC give me options. I don't even confer with LE about them. I pick what I'm comfortable with.

When I receive my landing sequence I’m told that a touch and go isn’t going to be possible due to wake turbulence. That’s fine with me. I need a low and over to inspect the runway surface a la scenario I’ve been presented with (suspected poor runway surface). I request exactly that.

I recognise the voice in the tower, he’s a nice guy but horribly verbose. As I sequence in he tells me to standby, that the timer may allow me a touch and go after all, but I should be prepared to turn an early crosswind.

“Negative sir, I’m requesting a low and over” is my reply.

“Good job” is LE’s comment.  

I do my low and over, rather than the early crosswind ATC actually have me extend the climb out leg. I may have cracked a joke about taking him on another cross country. I’m actually quite relaxed at this point. Aware that I need to focus on my impending landings but comfortable in my own little corner of the sky!

*another post on him later , but there is no sarcasm intended, he really was lovely

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