29R - Nothing but blue skies...

Weather: KBJC 281547Z VRB03KT 20SM BKN030 OVC039 18/08 A3037

Not that I was taking note, but on Saturday at 12.04 pm I became a private pilot. This happened to be the exact time I shut down the engine and turned off the master switch in the plane. My DPE, Bev Cameron said she never tells a student they passed until both of those two tasks have been completed. There has only been one time I forgot to turn the master switch off, but I wasn't going to forget that day, since I was following every checklist from top to bottom and making sure to double check everything.

Despite my own self assurances and those of my instructor and the chief flight instructor, it is a very good feeling to hear from a DPE that they could find nothing to critique you on, only a few small tips. As Bev told me as she was leaving, if you don't learn something on every flight you take, you aren't paying attention. There were a few things I learned about myself on that flight, but was happy to take the additional tips she gave me as well.

Even now I find it hard to believe I'm actually a private pilot. It think it will take a few flights and a few days to really sink in. And at this point I have to thank both of my instructors for getting me to this point. I had some excellent help along the way, and feel very prepared for moving forward on my own for a while.

I think my favorite moment in the flight was my last landing, which was a shortfield landing. I use everyone's favorite trick on shortfield landings, where the landing spot you pick, isn't the numbers, but past them, so you don't have the same feeling of trying to land it right off the front of the runway. It is known by most pilots that this makes the landing spot easier to hit for various reasons. I picked the first center line after the number 8 at BDU. Maybe it's just because I thought I was being tricky that I really tricked myself into nailing the landing. I really didn't do anything different than I normally do, but I nailed the landing perfectly. It was a bit harder landing than I would have liked, but shortfield landings should be harder than most. I was just happy I put it down right on the center line and had that spot lined up just after I finished turning final. It was a great finish to the check ride.

Thank you to everyone for the thoughts and prayers and tips in the last few days, hours and moments before the check. It was all working for me on Saturday morning. Let me know if you want me to take you up for a ride anytime.

I'll see you in the skies!


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