Last Friday, April 22, I had my private pilot check oral. On Monday, April 25, I had my check ride. Throughout my entire flight course this year, I have been training for the check oral and check ride. All of those activities (orals, sims, and flights) with my instructor have prepared me well. Now, it was my job to review all the information and prepare for the final.
There is something about check orals that make me nervous. Maybe it’s the fact that it is with a check airman, or maybe it’s the fact that you are being drilled on private pilot knowledge for two hours straight! In any case, I was ready. I got to the flight line early, looking fancy for the check oral, and got my cross country flight plan from the flight supervisor, and waited for my check examiner to come get me. I sat there reviewing all of the various line items (things to cover) to make sure I knew the answer to any question he asked. Then, my check examiner came. We went to the oral rooms, discussed everything for two hours and I came out one step away from my license!
After the oral was done, I started studying for my check ride. The way to study for this flight was to review all maneuvers, checklists, and Practical Test Standards (PTS). I can tell you my Easter was different from all other years, as I did not go home and I had my check ride the next day. I woke up at 0535 for my check ride. When I got to the flight line at 0600, I printed the current weather, filled out the performance sheet and waited for my check pilot to come, just like the check oral. I preflighted, like a boss; flew like a boss; and parked like a boss. Seriously, my parking job was the best I have seen and it was the most perfect on the line. After a 2.5 hour flight, it was time for the debrief. The first thing my check pilot said after the flight was that I had passed, which made me feel better, instead of waiting until the end to find out the result.
The next day, I picked up my temporary license and from that point on, I am a marked man. I am a pilot.