PVT checkride 12/3/2002


Well-Known Member
Checkride in HKY 3 Dec 2002

I arrived at FQD and picked up the airplane, then flew it solo to HKY to meet the examiner. I was 10 minutes late due to another aircraft with an emergency in the pattern, but the examiner did not make a big deal out of it. She began with my 8710, taking her fee ($225), and inspecting my photo ID and student pilot certificate. She then inspected the logbooks of the aircraft, asking me questions about the inspection intervals (24 mos for pitot static, 100 hour, annual, VOR check, ELT battery-know these intervals!). She asked for the POH for the aircraft, and went through the systems section asking me MANY questions relating to electrical, vacuum, and pitot/static systems, focusing on what to expect when each system fails, such as when I had a plugged pitot tube or an iced over static port, alternator failure, etc. She went through the performance section of the POH, asking me about v-speeds and what each meant. Next she had me open up a sectional on the desk, and quizzed me on symbols on the sectional and airspace. Particular symbols are VORs without compass rose, glider operations, FSS RCO frequencies on VOR ident boxes and how to use, Class E airports(with the dashed lines around them). In particular she asked about class G airports under Class E airspace, and at what altitude after takeoff would I enter the class E airspace. (700ft, the airport was surrounded by the faded magenta line). This was the only question that got me.

Next we reviewed my planned cross country trip from HKY-ROA. The straight-line route crosses some mountains, so I decided to plan a route around the mountains, which also had many more airports along the route for checkpoints and emergency landings. We discussed my fuel planning, proper altitude, emergency reserves during day vs night, magnetic deviation and how is changes across the route, winds, and radio navaids enroute and when I would use each. The oral portion was about 2.5 hours in total, mostly in a conversational format.

We went out to the aircraft, where the examiner watched me preflight the aircraft. I did a thorough but fast preflight, as it was 3:30pm and sunset was around 5. She asked me various info as we did the preflight, such as: purpose of counterweights on aileron, name & purpose of up aileron projecting down below wing (aileron frise), how the stall warning horn works, what effect the wing twist has, where is the higher angle of incidence on the wing, does this wing have dihedral and what is the effect.

Cleared for takeoff, she asked for a short field takeoff. We took off heading north, cleared on course. I turned toward my first checkpoint on the planned XC and maintained the climb at target airspeed. I think she was trying to distract me pointing out birds above us, and complaining about the pine needles blowing in the fresh air vents. My first checkpoint was just over a mountain ridge, and was an abandoned airfield. I arrived right over the checkpoint at around the right time (she had me level off 2000' below my planned altitude to save time, so my numbers were off). She then asked me to divert to an airport about 10 miles north, and it was no problem. At that airport we did a soft field landing, a short field takeoff, and a terrible short field landing. She told me it wasn't to PTS standards, and asked if I wanted to do the rest of the maneuvers, and of course I said yes. We did some slow flight, then an emergency descent to 1500AGL, and then turns around a point (in my case a water tower). Back up to 3500, and under the hood for 20 minutes doing unusual attitude recovery, VOR tracking, straight and level. Then we did steep turns (remember clearing turns!!) a power off stall, then a power on stall. Afterward we headed back to HKY. I assumed I had failed because of the miserable short-field landing, but she asked me to do a short-field upon arrival at HKY (second chance!) and I nailed it. Passed!

I think the bad short-field was because this airplane has 40 degree flaps, and the C172 I have been flying has 30 degree flaps. I used all 40 on the first attempt with bad results, but only used 30 on the second successful attempt. My point is this-know the airplane! I only have 4 hours in the plane I took to the checkride, and the plane flies very differently with 40 degrees of flap.
That is an EXTREMEMLY thorough oral exam huh? What do that counterweights on the ailerons do? I would have never gotten that one, I still don't think I know what they're for.

Well done.

Flutter yes, in the wind, no. Unless you mean relative wind. It's to reduce control flutter (while flying) and to add control feel. It also assists when using a relatively smal control surface on a larger airframe (for example, the Cadet aka Warrior does not have a counterweight, but the Seminole does. The ailerons are about the same size but they're moving a much bigger mass.

OK....soI've asked about 10 people here about this. What the heck does a VOR symbol on a chart mean when there is no compass rose? You said you got asked about it on your checkride and I've only seen it once but it's not in the chart users guide and nobody seems to have any idea....
www.aeroplanner.com has an online sectional to refer to.

Look at ROA (Roanoke VA). The symbology for the airport indicates a co-located VOR (Woodrum), but the compass rose is not shown on the chart due to clutter. It's a class C airport with a VORTAC just to the west and lots of obstructions. The chart would get really messy with two, nearly overlapping compass roses.
It usually signifies a terminal class VOR (the illustrious T-class that the books all talk about, but you never really know are there), and usually involves an instrument approach. There's nothing that says you *can't* use it for navigation, but remember that a T-class is theoretically usable only through 25 nm rather than the 40 (practically speaking, usually about 60) nm of an L-class (or an H-class depending on altitude).

I believe there are a few that don't show the compass rose due to clutter on the chart too, so you'd really need the A/FD to determine what class VOR you're really looking at.

OK...I think I've got this one figured out.

I found the one you mentioned (ROA) and started thinking it was due to clutter or maybe just co-located VORs don't have a compass rose.

Then, I pulled out the Atlanta sectional and found another co-located VOR right on Hartsfield. This one has a compass rose.

Now, head SW into Alabama and look at the JUNIOR (JYU) VOR-DME. This is also a co-located VOR, but in a totally uncluttered area!

FInally, it hit me. The only VOR's that I can find that DON'T have compass roses also DON'T have VICTOR AIRWAYS coming off of them.

Best I can do at this point, but it's going to drive me crazy until I see it in writing somewhere. I just ordered the Aeronautal Charts User's Guide (NOAA)..hopefully that will have it. If not, it will at least be a useful reference.

You're right, the VORTAC at ATL is even an H-class. The one I mentioned at ROA is indeed a T-class VOR. Let's keep looking, this is getting interesting.
Great post!
There has been a few questions over on the AOPA message board about PPL checkrides.
I refered them to this board, and this post! Great info!