Calming the nerves



Hey guys
Have my private checkride comin up here in a couple of days. The last stage check that I did here at school a couple of weeks ago is supposed to be sort of a mock FAA checkride. Well I passed it, but my nerves got the best of me on some of the manuevers. I screwed up on my first ground speed check during the XC portion of it. After that happend I just got real nervous and flew really poorly for the rest of the flight. I know most of the people on here have been through their fair share of checkrides, and wanted to know if anyone has any good suggestions to help keep cool during checkrides.
Well, staying calm is a good skill for any stressful situation. My checkride was last week, and I vividly remember it. I would suggest being prepared first-the confidence you will have by knowing what you are supposed to know is important. You can't really study for the flight portion, so go over the oral exam stuff-Read the POH, study the sectional symbology, airspace, systems, navigation, weather charts, METAR, etc and try to think of tough questions an examiner might ask, then answer them. That really worked for me.

When the going gets tough, take a long deep breath and try to mentally slow down. Focus-forget about last night or what will happen if you bust the ride, just focus on what the examiner asks you to do. You've proven that you can do the maneuvers and have the knowledge to your CFI and everyone else. If you're into motivational speakers, Anthony Robbins has an interesting lecture on the power of focus, and what amazing things we can do if we completely focus on the task at hand.

I found my oral exam was the most difficult part, and the flight part was like a flight lesson with my CFI. I'm sure examiners vary, but mine was actually a human being, and I sensed that she really did want me to pass, but I was going to have to earn it.
Well I don't yet fall into the category of "many" checkrides, but I have taken the one your about to.

If you haven't already, take some time to do a little research of past posts. I did this and gathered a lot of information. Also, I know of at least two fella's that have set up some informative websites regarding this very issue. Ed's website and Paul's site.

A few things that I would recommend are:

1. Go to your checkride with the paper work prepared. In other words make sure you log book is ready, the aircraft log books are in good shape and you know where to find the pertinent information.

2. Take the time to fill out the 8710 form using the PDF reader, and print it out from your PC. 8710-1 form The result is a professional looking document, and a very happy examiner.

3. Last, when you take your test and perform an unsatisfactory maneuver it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have failed. Shake it off and continue with the ride. My examiner said she has had many, many applicants that “think” they failed on a maneuver that they real didn’t and became discouraged and subsequently failed something else later in the checkride.

The reality is that your instructor knows your ready, and YOU know you’re ready. Even though it’s easier said than done, try to relax and just simply do what you’ve been doing all along. There shouldn’t be any surprises.

I wish you the best of luck, and be sure to keep us informed!
yeah.... just relax when doing the menuvers...
think of what you are doing and what your trying to accomplish..

It also helps if you talk to yourself during the flight portion of the checkride...

ex: Softfield takeoff

" okay flaps are set... no aircraft on final.. announce taking the runway.. okay i'm taking the runway.. Elevators in the aft postion .. i'm going to keep the aircraft moving...

okay i'm off the ground.. now i want to stay in ground effect and let my airspeed increase... alright i'm @ XX knot.. flaps up.. and now i'm going to maintain Vy..... " ect...

that will help you and it will show the examiner that you know what your doing....

good luck and have fun...
I am big believer in visualization. Sit in a chair and fly the maneuvers. Visualize yourself performing them correctly.

For the oral, ASA makes Oral Exam Guides that are a good review source.

Relax and have fun. Talk to the examiner. Let him know what you are doing and why you are doing it.

As someone said above, you don't have to be perfect. You only have to be to PTS. The examiner mainly wants to see that you can fly safely and exercise good judgement. If you screw up a maneuver, he may give you the opportunity to try it again if time allows.

Whatever happens, just do your best.

If the worst does happen, you won't have to repeat the whole ride, only the parts that were unsat.

Make sure that your CFI has completed all the paperwork correctly. Make sure that you have all of your certificates and logbooks (double check that you meet the FAR 61 requirements). Make sure that you have the aircraft logbook and that all inspections are up to date. Use the Applicant's Checklist in the PTS to make sure that you have everything that you need.

Good luck.
As it was said in the earlier post...RELAX....easier said then done! I busted my power off stall (I didn't let it break), the DE told me go ahead and do it again, relax, and let it break. I passed. Like it has been said, know the Oral cold. From reading the posts, you pretty much know the DE is not out to try and fail you, they just want to see safe practices and be consistent on the manuevers. GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN!
During the slow flight portion of my PVT checkride the examiner tod me "watch the speed! you are going to fail the test!" then he took the yoke and fixed it.
I thought it was the end. He made me land and then said alright ask for a taxi back and do a soft field takeoff.
After doing that we returned to the tarmac and he told me "You did well" and silly me, I said " I DID?"
Then he said, yes, you do not have to be perfect. I just wanted to see you are a safe pilot"

Take that into account. He just wants to know he is doing the right thing in letting you loose into the skies.

And be calm.
Just wanted to thank everyone for their replys. I passed my oral portion tonight no problem, have the checkride tommorrow morning. All the advice that I have gotten has been great! Thanks guys!
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
I passed my oral portion tonight no problem, have the checkride tommorrow morning.

[/ QUOTE ]

Congrats on the oral, and good luch on the practical!

Be sure to keep us informed...
Well after a looooong delay, finally passed my checkride today, was a little bit rusty considering I've only been able to get up twice in last month and a half! Everything went pretty much as expected and the nerves didn't get to bad! Thanks again to everyone that helped me out.