Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The pep talk

I had a few posts that I wrote just before taking my flight test and then I realised that I couldn’t post them because then people would know it was the day before my flight test!

Now I can post them though.

This one was from two days before..............................

Two days before my test, Bob calls with “The Pep talk”.

I need it.

Up until this point I’ve been coping with the thought of my upcoming flight test in a number of ways, but mostly by being ill and cranky. This and the stupid argument with the bone headed doctor I saw at the walk in clinic have provided sufficient distraction. But now I can’t avoid it.

I need to start thinking about a game plan but as soon as I start thinking about it, the anxiety kicks in.

I need reassurance.

RTH plays his part by quizzing me on various questions from the Flight Test Notes ground portion. We get through it without any major domestic arguments. This could bode well, although I know I still need to make sure I have all my numbers memorised and know my airspaces.

Then Bob calls. Part of the call is to go through the logistics; where and when I need to be places. He’s almost dismissive of the ground portion, he’s confident that I will, and I quote “wow the examiner with my knowledge and decision making skills”. It is strange how even typing that sentence makes me feel better. I know I have basic reasoning skills. I can probably think my way through most scenarios. I have to trust in two things: my own brain and the fact that the examiner isn’t trying to trick me.

 We talk about some of my weaker areas; the soft field landing, the obstacle takeoff. Yet more tips, practical suggestions. I think they might work. Cross wind landings, keep a picture of where the winds are coming from.  I interject at this point, knowing that Bob is referring to last lesson when I inexplicably decided to slip the wrong way and landed more sideways than I have done in a long time. I point out that I knew exactly where the winds were coming from. They were from the North, it was just that my brain decided to reassign North to 180 degrees off its current position. I blame the lack of heading bug in SAR

Some things we don’t need to discuss, we both know what the score is. Power on stalls: Stall the damn plane and try not to swear too much when you are doing it. Steep turns, should actually be STEEP, 30 degrees doesn’t cut it.

“Just do what you did for TOI,” is his final advice.

“Yeah but look out the window occasionally as well,” I joke.

I kinda, sorta think I can do this but at the moment I’m having to keep the faith that this person I’ve never met, the examiner, does actually want me to pass. Would it be easier to believe if I knew him? I don’t know.

And while part of me knows that Bob has never put me in a situation that I couldn’t cope with, whether I knew it or not at the time; I do wonder if he’s putting me in for my test whilst giving me the benefit of the doubt.

I think both him and I know that this is going to go one of two ways. I’m either going to pass no problem, or do something wildly and spectacularly stupid beyond belief.

Fingers crossed for the former please

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