Mock Checkride

DrBenny

New Member
Cross country to CGE. Weather was 7 miles, and light rain. I did pretty good on tracking my course. Over Tilghman, I was instructed to divert to Cambridge. Considering where I was, it was not a difficult diversion, although we were now down to about 5 miles. Did the diversion by the book, and did a good job on the course heading and time. Just as I called the airport in sight, CFI gave me an engine out.

Decision time. I've trimmed for 65 kts. I'm over the water. Can I make it to the runway? Or should I land on that well-manicured golf course below me. I ask him, and he gives me a kind of funny/perturbed look, and just responds that "your only hope is to maintain best glide." Hail Mary, and go for a straight-in for the runway. I complete the rest of the emergency engine-out checklist (including passenger briefing), and make my radio calls. I tell CFI I can see that I'll make the runway.

"Fine--we'll do some soft fields now." I do a soft field landing. Then we practice a couple of engine loss at 50 feet drills, one turnback to the runway at 1000 feet (we would have overshot it unless we were to agressivly slip). Then it was a couple of short field T/Os and landings. CFI liked them, but then he demonstrated a completely kick-ass shortfield, landing softly and slowly on the numbers, and rolling out with minimum brake usage.

One more time around the pattern, and he requested a diversion to Easton. That was easy--head north and follow Rt. 50! (Sometimes I gotta catch a break!) Two soft-field T/Os and landings there. Have lunch. Afterwards, did some "S-turns around Rt. 50" and it was time for the Jeppshades. Instrument climb to 2,000, call BWI and get clearance. Track needle to the VOR. At this point the rain was coming down. BWI assumed we were IFR (we weren't, and the weather was still MVFR), so they cleared us for the ILS RWY28 approach, circle-to-land RWY33R. I tuned and identified the ILS, tracked it, got real wobbly around 500', took off the foggles, and did a nice soft-field on 33R.

I did alright today.

CFI says I'm getting real close. He's going to do his 100-hr. inspection a bit early for my checkrides, then I can schedule.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
[ QUOTE ]
Can I make it to the runway? Or should I land on that well-manicured golf course below me. I ask him, and he gives me a kind of funny/perturbed look.

[/ QUOTE ]

That is awesome that your ride is coming up! Best of luck; you'll do fine.

One tip if I may... the examiner is playing non pilot passenger for the ride. You don't want to ask him/her what to do; you want to be PIC, figure it out yourself, and stick to it unless it becomes obvious that you were wrong.
 

DrBenny

New Member
Thanks for your post!
[ QUOTE ]
One tip if I may... the examiner is playing non pilot passenger for the ride. You don't want to ask him/her what to do; you want to be PIC, figure it out yourself, and stick to it unless it becomes obvious that you were wrong.

[/ QUOTE ]

I think that was what the perturbed look was for.
 

C650CPT

Well-Known Member
DrBenny
You are no doubt ready, well trained and deserving of the PP checkride. Just remember to relax, I recommend getting a really good night sleep the evening before your checkride. Let me share a story about my PP checkride. I was nervous and set the DG on 100 rather than 010, needless to say from the first take off setting off for the Cross country with the anticipated diversion I was screwed up. I knew something was wrong because my pilotage didn't recon with the DG. I kept on the course I had figured and it wasn't untill the other side of some class D that I sucessfully negotiated that I figured out my error. The DPE knew that I knew that I was screwed up, he just kept quite and took notes. The ONLY reason he didn't bust me was I never violated the class D airspace, I checked in and was cleared through it properly. MORALE: Do what you have been trained to do. Trust that training, and don't invent some new technique for the ride. The Examiners only purpose is to determine that you are a safe pilot. Good Luck.
 

stultus

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
CFI says I'm getting real close. He's going to do his 100-hr. inspection a bit early for my checkrides, then I can schedule.


[/ QUOTE ]

FYI, you don't need a 100 hr for the checkride. It sounds like you're good to go. Best of luck with the ride, make sure to enjoy it.
 

zombie5225

New Member
A diversion to CGE?!? That is so easy! Fly south, make a left at the big river, its right past the bridge
Only joking... You sound like your more the prepared for the checkride. Ridgely seems to be the most popular diversion airport in this area. That was the diversion airport for my checkride. And like everybody else said, treat the DE like a passenger. Mike D is a good example of that. The only time he talks during a checkride is when he is telling you what to do, or if you have failed. No small talk.

Good luck with your checkride! And if you want to split time, or need a safety pilot to build time for your IR send me an email!
 

DrBenny

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
A diversion to CGE?!? That is so easy! Fly south, make a left at the big river, its right past the bridge Only

[/ QUOTE ]
Very true. CFI was wanted me to go direct, though, which meant going through the whole deal of drawing a course line, determining a heading, etc. (Knowing I couldn't miss it helped, though!)
[ QUOTE ]
Ridgely seems to be the most popular diversion airport in this area.

[/ QUOTE ] I've practiced quite a few diversions to that airport.

[ QUOTE ]
The only time he talks during a checkride is when he is telling you what to do, or if you have failed. No small talk.


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I'll definitely bear that in mind!
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Good luck with your checkride! And if you want to split time, or need a safety pilot to build time for your IR send me an email!

[/ QUOTE ] Thanks. I may very well take you up on that, though I might have to delay the IR training for a few months--too many passengers want a joyride! Well, I'm only too happy to oblidge!

I'm embarassed to say, I have so many hours, that I could start my IR and comm training right away! At least I feel "seasoned." (Or is that because I need a shower?)
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
. Can I make it to the runway? Or should I land on that well-manicured golf course below me.

[/ QUOTE ]

Little note of caution and word from the wise here, and something to consider for your future bag of tricks in aviation.

During an engine-out in a single, I'd personally give a little more thought to bypassing an average/good place to set down in order to stretch our glide to make it to a very good place to set down.

It's a risky roll of the dice, partner. IMO, I'd rather land on a golf course and know I can make it, rather than head for an airport, rolling the proverbial dice along the way, only to find out that I've come up short and end up with no options and have to put the plane into some neighborhood, possibly injuring/killing those on the ground.

It's a judgement call, and no emergency is the same, of course. But it's prudent to take an extra couple of seconds to make that snap analysis in the air, and even more prudent to take the time here on the ground at zero airspeed and altitude, to ponder this question.

Storytime for you, Dr:

On 20 Oct 1987, a USAF A-7 Corsair, #69-6207, was on a cross-country flight from Pittsburgh IAP to Nellis AFB. Over Indiana, the aircraft experienced a malfunction of it's single-engine (sheared accessory gearbox) causing the engine to seize. The pilot initiated a descent from FL 320 into IMC in order to make an ASR approach to the Indianapolis Intl Airport. WX at KIND was OVC 008, viz 4-5 FG. Due to a series of problems, the A-7 broke of the WX over the center of the field and outside a position to land. The pilot attempted to circle back to the perpendicular runway, bt couldn't make it, and ejected. The pilotless A-7 flew into side of the Ramada Inn next to the Airport and exploded, killing 9 people.

Now, this was one of this situations where had the plane been recovered, the pilot would be a hero. But the alternative......was it worth the risk? Was that even considered at the time? Could the plane have been dumped over a sparse part of Indiana?

Interesting questions after the fact, but an excellent case study to consider when you think about stretching the glide. You run out of options too early, and you've cashed your proverbial chips in, with the resulting consequences.
 

DrBenny

New Member
Excellent points. And CFI and I have been discussing ways to make this hard decision. In this case, had I had a real engine out, I would have been lucky. Why? At the time I "lost" the engine, I could only see the two options: 1) airport (can I make it?), 2) golf course (I know I can make it). But as I got closer, I saw that this was one of those places (Cambridge, MD, CGE), which had a lot of good fields near the airport that I could divert to if I couldn't quite make the runway.

I know, I know--many other airports aren't like that. That's why I'm taking you and my CFI's words to heart and in the event of a real engine out, choosing the field I know I can make.

(As a side note, after gliding to the airport, I realized that I had room to spare. Guess another thing I have to improve on is sensing my glide range!)
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
. In this case, had I had a real engine out, I would have been lucky.

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You don't want to depend on luck in this game; you do, and you're living on borrowed time.

Words that give me the chills: "...sensing my glide range....." . Just like rolling the dice. A good skill to be able to do, but just very risky, in the risk to reward scale.
 

DrBenny

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
. In this case, had I had a real engine out, I would have been lucky.

[/ QUOTE ]

You don't want to depend on luck in this game; you do, and you're living on borrowed time.

Words that give me the chills: "...sensing my glide range....." . Just like rolling the dice. A good skill to be able to do, but just very risky, in the risk to reward scale.

[/ QUOTE ]

I sure don't want to depend on luck. That's why we're practicing multiple engine-outs. I see that my use of the phrase "sensing my glide range," was a bad choice of words. What I meant was, I really need to work on knowing for a fact where I can and cannot land, for every altitude I fly at.

In order to improve that skill, we have practiced engine outs at 50', 1000', 1,500', 2000', 3000', and 3500'. At any of those altitudes, I need to land somewhere real close to where I am right now. If I'm higher up, I have some planning to do (do I spiral down first? how do I position myself?). In any event, if I'm high enough when I lose the engine, I'd like to plan it such that I'm at 1000' abeam the "threshold" of my runway. From there, things will work like a normal pattern when flown power-off abeam the numbers of a runway. For the 172N, that means flying a tighter pattern. (Obviously this doesn't apply to engine outs lower than 1000'.)

But I have a good CFI, and he's thrown many types of engine-outs at me. Sometimes flying a normal pattern won't work.

For example, on one occasion from 2,000', I basically had a choice of two fields. One of them would present a difficult crosswind landing on a rough surface. The other field was actually a grass strip. The quandry, then? Well, the rough field was the easier one to imagine doing a pattern to, because I was just entering a left downwind. Meanwhile, if I chose the grass strip, I was already on final, but I was clearly too high.

I chose the grass strip. What I did was get myself to where I would normally be on final. By that time, I was at about 1,500'. I went to flaps 20 and did a 360 to lose altitude. As I was turning out on final, I saw that I would still be a bit high, so I went flaps 40 and slowed the turn down. I was a bit high--at about 600'--but we went down to about 200', saw that we were going to make it, and then went around.

The mental planning is the stuff I'm trying to improve.

Thanks for your thoughts!
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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[ I was a bit high--at about 600'--but we went down to about 200', saw that we were going to make it, and then went around.

!

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Also, if you can, try doing engine out patterns at an airfield (or some other place you can touch down). Going around at the 500'/200' point doesn't always make for good training. I fully understand that you can't always fly to touchdown; but the point is, almost anyone can fly to the go-around point; from there to touchdown is where one makes it or breaks it; so it wouldn't be bad to try some engine-out patterns all the way to touchdown at some airport or elsewhere.

Ask your IP about it, if you guys haven't been already doing it.
 

DrBenny

New Member
[ QUOTE ]

Also, if you can, try doing engine out patterns at an airfield (or some other place you can touch down). Going around at the 500'/200' point doesn't always make for good training. I fully understand that you can't always fly to touchdown; but the point is, almost anyone can fly to the go-around point; from there to touchdown is where one makes it or breaks it; so it wouldn't be bad to try some engine-out patterns all the way to touchdown at some airport or elsewhere.

Ask your IP about it, if you guys haven't been already doing it.

[/ QUOTE ]

First of all, I want to thank you for taking time to consider my situation. It means a lot to me that you and others genuinely care about the progress of the students (and already-rated pilots!) on the board.

Yes, when we first did the engine-outs near the beginning of my training, we did them at an airport, and usually flew them to a landing. It was only later in my training, when we went to engine-outs over the water or farmland, that we didn't land. So these days, we do a bit of both.

Thanks again for your comments!

BTW, at some point soon after my training, I'm going to look into some taildragger training at a local grass strip (Haysfield). There's an instructor there with a nice Super Cub, and I've heard good things about him and his taildragger teaching methods. I'd love to get some of that old-time stick and rudder skill!
 
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