Monday, April 14, 2008

Check Ride... Completed!

I finally got my second check ride done this morning... What a pain in the butt.

I did OK. I was nervous for some reason, and I didn't respond well to the airplane. My altitudes and speeds were off, and I really sucked at bringing them back to where they needed to be. The instructor noticed this and kept telling me to relax. As soon as I heard that I started to tense up again.

I tried to ask some questions and get a light conversation going to ease some of my tension away, but the instructor would have none of it, and kept things way too professional.

My landings were good, the winds were relatively calm so landings really were not the issue. The problems were my approaches were too high, my landings too fast. I was set the airplane down at near 80 knots on my first landing. Bad, bad, bad.

I cleaned everything up towards the end, my last landing was good, but I still am coming in too high, and floating the landings. I need to work on that.
Despite all of my problems, he signed off on me. So I don't need to do a check ride for a while... As long as I keep flying at MLE.

MLE is a relatively busy airport, so it was kind of fun landing with two airplanes waiting for departure, one airplane leaving the runway after landing, and another two airplanes in the pattern. It made me feel good that there are some areas where aviation is still very much alive.

The Archer is a fun airplane to fly. It is very powerful, 180 hp, and climbs like a champ. Even on a clear calm day like today we were cruising at about 110 knots at about 50% power. Really helpful in head winds that will push the little Cessna 172 with its 150 hp engine around.

Piper PA-28-181 in flight. This is just like the one I flew today.

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