Thursday, February 6, 2014

Flight Training Completed! - PPL Checkride Preparation

1 Year, 1 Week, and 2 Days later, my flight training has officially been completed for my Private Pilot's License. On December 28th, 2012, I was getting ready for my first flight training experience, a little nervous but very excited. I now write with 41.9 hours under my belt, and have an endorsement in my logbook signing me off to take the final checkride. 

Logged flight time to date: 
  • Total Time: 41.9 Hours
  • Single Engine: 40.9 Hours
  • Night: 4.4 Hours
  • Day Landings: 101
  • Night Landings: 11
  • Flight Training: 26.5 Hours
  • Cross-Country: 15.8 Hours
  • Solo Cross-Country: 5.4 Hours
  • Solo/PIC: 14.4

On the right hand column of this page, you can see all of the aircraft I've flown, including all the airports I've been to. From a Tecnam at Hanover KOFP and a Cessna 150 at First Flight Airport, to a SGS-2-33 Glider over Lake Tahoe and a Piper Warrior over my family reunion, I've had some great, diverse flight training! 

This final flight training flight was focused on preparation for my PPL Checkride one week from today. If I had my choice, I'd have flown closer to the checkride date, but because of scheduled maintenance on N16HV, that wasn't possible. Our final flight consisted of the following (my instructor checked off the list I created as we went through the flight): 

Right from takeoff, my instructor began to really test me. At about 600AGL, he pulled the power and told me that I had an engine failure. I quickly pitched for best glide and returned to Runway 34, landing about midway down the runway after a sideslip.

We flew out to Lake Anna Airport (7W4), to practice short field/soft field landings and takeoffs. The runway at Lake Anna is only 2,500ft long, perfect for practicing my short field work. We also worked on mock soft field takeoffs and landings while at the airport. Luckily for us, the wind was calm, so we landed and then turned around and took off, which we did 6 times. 

Our route of flight is shown below via CloudAhoy. You can also see some of the pattern work we did at Lake Anna: 

(*Note some GPS Inaccuracy, we weren't driving on the ground for our pattern!)

(*Note the GPS Inaccuracy, we didn't miss the runway!) 

Returning to Hanover, we did all of the maneuvers covered on the flight test. I didn't have trouble with any of the maneuvers except for power-off stalls, of which I had some difficulty not using aileron to correct for heading change. You have to use full rudder controls to point the plane during the power off stall. 

We ended our flight with a mock soft-field landing on Runway 16, and taxied back to the ramp to fill out some paperwork. Not a bad flight, around 1.4 hours! Afterwards, we went over the flight, filled out my logbook, and registered myself on IACRA, for pilot registration pre-checkride. 

I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't nervous about my checkride, but after today's flight, I feel much more confident about it. What a great note to end my official PPL Training on! 

Thanks for reading,
-Swayne Martin
Twitter: @MartinsAviation

PS... My Checkride is scheduled to begin at 8am the morning of my 17th Birthday, hope the weather works out! I have to plan a 283nm xc from OFP to AVL. 


  1. Good luck Swayne! Can't wait to see you join the ranks of certified pilots.

    1. Thanks for the comment Brent! I can't wait too!

      There will be a big post once I've gotten it, so visit back soon,


  2. Awesome congrats! looking forward to hearing about the flight test!

    1. Thanks Steve! Will let you know how it goes,

  3. Awesome, Swayne! Have fun on the ride and good luck. -Aleks

    1. Thanks Aleks! I'll make sure to have a big post about it once I get the PPL!

  4. Good luck, Swayne! Can't wait to book a ride once you pass the flight test.

    1. You'll really love seeing Richmond from the air, a completely new perspective!


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Many Thanks, Happy Flying,
Swayne Martin