29R - Nothing but blue skies...

One more flight?

Weather: KBJC 251551Z 00000KT 50SM SCT070 27/03 A3016

The stage 3 flight went by without too many nerves and with even less mistakes. As suspected, my shortfield landings caused the greatest problems of anything. The flight was as expected as far as what was being tested. I started with a shortfield takeoff, in 9kt gusting to 20kt crosswinds and got up to altitude for an otherwise smooth ride. We headed straight to the practice area for some steep turns, power on and off stalls, slow flight and unusual attitude recoveries. After that, there was a simulated engine failure and S-turns across a road before checking the weather at Erie and Longmont for the most favorable winds.

Longmont won out with a 6kt crosswind that was close to direct, but still favored runway 11, and we started our way there. One the way, we were being followed by another aircraft planing to use 11 and a third aircraft in line that wanted to use 29, despite the prevailing winds. In the mean time, two additional aircraft decided to takeoff using 29 and things were getting seriously messy in the pattern, with the aircraft planning for 29 deciding he had the right of way and landing before everyone. On the downwind leg of the pattern we decided against making any landings as it was just too messed up in the pattern and we headed back to Boulder for our landings.

A shortfield landing was on the schedule and I flew the pattern well, especially after having the winds die down at Boulder. On very short final, I left the power in just a half second too long, and landed right at the limit of a PTS shortfield landing. This was ok, but I asked to fly one more, and do a better job. The pattern was good again, and even with a slightly gusting crosswind on short final and touchdown, I made a nice landing within PTS. This was a full stop, and we called the day right there. A quick taxi back to parking and I knew I had made it. The cheif flight instructor asked for a quick self critique, and I commented on the shortfield landing and a slight loss of altitude during the steep turn to the left, but said I thought everything else went well.

He agreed with me on those two points, but commented on an overall good flight as well. I asked for any additional critique but he didn't have any so things were feeling good. Check ride passed. Finally.

I did a little extra shortfield practice today to get things in line completely before the check ride, and have the final flight with the DPE on Saturday morning at 8.00. Studying is on the menu for the next few night to make sure I have all my knowledge in line. That is the biggest area of concern right now and I don't want that to stand in the way of completing my check ride. Wish me luck on Saturday and I'll keep you up to date


  1. Head in the Clouds said...

    Good Luck! And have fun!  

  2. Rob said...

    Hey Pete,

    Congrats on the Stage III check! Go kick the test's ass.

    And read my article on what you should not do during your practical:


    Go Pete!  

  3. aviation said...

    good blog  

  4. Dallice said...

    Hey Pete,
    Im going to be sitting my checkride in 2 weeks with Bev. Would love to hear more about your checkride with Bev.  

  5. Pete said...

    Hi Dallice,
    I've only good things to say about Bev. My check ride went as smoothly as my nerves would let it. There were no surprises, unfair questions, or overly difficult requests. Bev was recommended to me by multiple people and I would also recommend her anyone. She was very easy to get along with, and did her best to put me at ease. It felt more as though I was flying with an instructor, and not someone judging my every move, even though she was. Being as comfortable as possible allowed me to fly as well as I could, and I knew if was able to fly well I would pass.

    Bev was fair, but by no means easy either. Because I passed, I can say it was everything I would have liked the check ride to be. For me, the most important thing was not to let my nerves get in the way, and Bev did everything she could to judge my skills as a pilot without undue pressure.

    I would simply say as long as your instructor thinks you're ready, you'll be fine. I was lucky enough to not have to do any turns about a point, or S-turns (which only test skills that I think can be evaluated in other parts of a check ride), but all the standard maneuvers and landings were fair game. Brushing up on emergency procedures never hurts either, even after your check ride. I was also party lucky to fly on a mostly calm day, so I didn't have to showcase my less than perfect crosswind landings.

    Hopefully this helps and I'm happy to dispense more advice. I can give you more details if you'd like to email instead. I'm sure you'll do great. Drop me a note to tell me how it goes. Good luck and enjoy the flight!



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