Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Partial Pass

I got a partial pass, which means that I passed the test on everything except for an element that the examiner wants to see again before he can sign me off conclusively. Neill called this "Fantastic News" and others have congratulated me on it too, so quite clearly, among fellow pilots that is regarded as a good thing. The examiner did say that the word fail did not come into it anywhere and actually he was terrifically complimentary, so I am pleased.

What I partialled on was "engine failures". I did one safe one and a very dodgy one, where I drifted too close in to the field while losing height, so that I would have landed too fast and long into the field, but where I wouldn't have had quite enough momentum to get over the end hedge into the next field. Disappointing.

My examiner is a discreet man, so I know he won't want me to name him, but I do have to say that he is really friendly and reassuring with you in the air, so that you don't feel constantly stressed. In point of fact, amazingly, I actually enjoyed the test; I suppose because I knew at each stage that I had handled each exercise correctly. I'd been worried about losing height on my 15degree banked look-out (HSELL check), though he says he does it at 30deg, which would get it over more quickly and where the wing is less likely to dip. So that is one for the future.

My high energy banking was a little abrupt; he says he rolls the wing in just as steadily as he does a 15 or a 30. My stalls and unusuals were fine - phew. My fast and slow level flight was fine, though I was using the trim setter, where previously I had been told that it was of negligible use, as it is more a load control on the Quantum, so that added to the workload. Another addition to workload was that I wasn't allowed to opt for the examiner to take the RT calls, as Neill had thought I could.

All in all, a very positive experience, I thought, with my examiner, who is a stickler for detail and who I therefore feared having, being hugely supportive. He even came in on his day off because he knew that the weather was not looking good for my test the following day. Also, Phil, my instructor at the start of all this, gave me some pre-test instruction (as Neill was unable to be there) on soft and short field landings and take-offs, which I very much appreciated because I was rusty on them...and it gave me a chance to chill out, as I haven't flown for a fortnight and this worried me. Thanks Phil.

If the weather improves, I hope to be able to do my brushing-up tomorrow or, failing that, Thursday....with the chance of doing the partial this weekend or next
. The sooner the better.

Fingers crossed.

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