- I'll take a quick pause to explain a really great strategy for the flight portion of your checkride. Make sure you are very vocal with your examiner about what you are doing and why. He isn't in your head, so go through the checklist aloud, say what you're looking for, what decisions you're making, and why... all the way through the checkride. As you'll see in a little bit, there were a few times that it was especially good to explain why I was making certain decisions or veering from a normal procedure. Also, remember to make checklist usage a big part of your whole flight, it has become a real focus in the PTS.
- climb to a given altitude
- descend to a given altitude
- straight a level flight
- turn to a given heading
- unusual attitude recovery
- he put the plane into a high, left climb, and cut the power - I had to correct the airspeed and attitude
- straight and level slow flight at 43 kts
- turns to given headings
- recovery from slow flight
Overall, I was surprised by how easy the checkride felt. I was over-prepared, as most students are who go into the exam. I actually enjoyed being tested on my knowledge and skill with different tasks. If you're well prepare, you'll be surprised to find that you enjoy being tested on everything. I learned a whole lot from the experience too. Flying with the examiner, he pointed out small things I could fix or improve to be an overall better pilot, which was awesome!
As my english teacher would say, you should be happy to have the opportunity to "show what you know" through testing. The checkride isn't something to dread, rather something to get excited about. An endorsement from your instructor to take it symbolizes the fact that if she or he were given the opportunity, they'd feel safe giving you the license on the spot. The checkride is in place almost to serve as a second opinion on this decision, so it's not supposed to be something extremely hard once you've gotten to the point of taking it.
Thanks for reading! My first flight as a private pilot is scheduled for this weekend, with my grandfather!