The end of flight course festivities!

At the end of every flight course is the part that stresses every flight student out: the check oral.

Upon successful completion of the review activities, orals and flights, comes the check oral. This is where you sit with a standards instructor for two hours and have a verbal test of required course knowledge. For my flight course (FA 122 Private Multi), I am required to know certificates and documents pertaining to the pilot and the aircraft, performance limitations of the DA-42, and airworthiness requirements. Also required knowledge items are operation of systems, system and equipment malfunctions, principles of one engine inoperative flight, and emergency and survival equipment. All this knowledge is tested in two hours! So you can start to see why this is one of the most dreaded, and stressful, flight activities.

I have my mock oral tomorrow. It is comforting to know that this is not the actual check oral, but it is invaluable practice with a standards instructor to be tested on the required knowledge and be told what items, or areas, may need improvement before the check oral. Embry-Riddle requires all flight students to go through mock orals and mock checkrides before doing the check activities to ensure the student is ready.

To be honest, I am very nervous! Luckily, I know I am prepared and I know I can do this! I tell myself before every mock or check activity that I can do this, I know I am ready, and I WILL pass! This positive mentality helps to calm me down and prepare. I highly advise some process to help calm yourself down, as this helps for any test or situation in which you feel very anxious. I hope you will be as prepared as I am when you get to checkrides so you will not feel stressed, but comfortable and relaxed instead!

Officially a Private Pilot!

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.