Lesson 72 – Starting the Checkride Prep

After a long Memorial Day weekend in Salt lake City, I got back in the air yesterday. The goal for now is to fine tune everything I have learned and to get ready for the private pilot checkride. I will do that with a series of solo and dual flights over the next few lessons. Yesterday was a very warm day but also very hazy. The visibility varied from 3 to 5 miles all day. That is below my solo limits so, this was a dual session.

We started with slow flight then went into stall and steep turns. I had a little trouble with my altitude control in both slow flight and in the steep turns. I was looking at the instruments too much and not keeping my eyes outside. I think the indistinct horizon was part of my problem but, it is one thing I need to work on more.

After the high work, Sandy pulled the power for a simulated engine failure. That went pretty well. I could have held my best glide speed a little more precisely but, we both agreed I would have made the field.

Next, she had me fly to Galt for some crosswind practice. I knew the general direction to the airport but, I had some difficultly finding it in the haze. By the time I located the field, we were only about 4 miles away. I made my first radio call then but, Sandy would have like me to have called earlier. The runway is 9-27 and the wind was from the south so, it was blowing directly across the runway. Another aircraft departed runway 9 so we decided to use that one too. I did three full stop landings and one go around. The first landing was shaky but the last two were much better.

On the way back to UGN, Sandy put me under the hood. We were already close to the class D airspace so she just had me fly headings and altitudes using constant rate turns and 500 fpm descents. Nothing really difficult this time. When she called the tower, Sandy requested runway 5. I took off the hood when were on base and made another pretty good crosswind landing.

We need another dual session to work on ground reference maneuvers and anther session of landings. I will also do a couple solo flights to practice the maneuvers on my own. Then I will have a phase check and whatever time it takes to work on any problems the phase check CFI finds.

  • David says:

    Won’t be long! Glad to see you’re making such good progress!

  • Tom says:

    Thanks David. I hope it won’t be long. We have been plagued with stormy weather here lately. The next post will be an example of how frustrating scheduling can be. If it isn’t the weather it’s grounded airplanes or my job demands. Seems like there is always something to keep me on the ground.

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