Showed up at 7:30am, chatted with instructor, we thought about shooting a few tngs but fixed a couple of bugs in my paperwork instead ...
Examiner showed up at 8am. The oral consisted of :
- MELs / Required equipment
- maintenance, annuals, 100 hours inspections etc.
- Procedures to enter different airspace
- Required equipment for the various airspaces
- CGs and forward vs aft CGs
- Briefing on checkride contents
I preflighted the airplane, verified approx half tanks as the examiner is quite a big guy.
Buckled in, then taxied (uncontrolled airfield) to rway 9er. Runup was a pain as 625 wouldn't run clean until leaned at 1800 and left for a bit. It was quite hard holding it on the brakes. Eventually the plug cleared and I had a reasonable mag check. Getting pretty hot in the plane at this point.
We took off about 10am using a softfield takeoff. Took me a second to get Vy of 69mph, as I held the nose a bit high to start with but came out ok. Got cleaned up and departed the pattern from downwind, towards my first 'XC' checkpoint, the towns of richmond and rosenberg, 16 nm west of the field.
Called sugarland tower at this point to notify them that i was transitioning to the west, just south of their airspace. Also, to cover myself just in case I got a bit close ... :o
Pretty soon I was over richmond and was asked to calculate GS from leaving the pattern, to present location. I did this (96 knots as winds were bit lighter than forecast) and was diverted south towards Bay City and asked to calculate an ETA.
Climbed up to 2000 and started on manouvers. Did some slow flight, a power off stall, power on stall, steep turns, and s-turns near a convenient road.
After this, I put on the hood and did some turns, climbs, descents using just the t&b, vsi, asi. No ai in the plane I was flying.
I was asked to head back to the field at this point, and after getting established on course, the examiner cut the power. I hadn't actually done a PFL for ages, but I established best glide at about 65mph, then looked for a field, there was a runway nearby, so I headed for that. Luckily, I just had to head towards it and make a base leg, and estimate where I was going to land on it. The examiner really wanted me to land a bit nearer the end, rather than 500 feet in, but I got set up ok, and would have made it fine. At 200 feet, he said go around and we headed back to the field.
I overflew the pattern at 1500 and made a right turn descent to downwind to be at 1000. Made a pretty ropey short field landing and stopped on the runway, to do a short field takeoff.
At this point, I was really very tired, and boiling hot in the 90oF Texas heat, but the takeoff went ok, and the pattern, but I was high on final, and I muffed up and added too much power in the flare for the 'soft' field landing. It rapidly turned pretty nasty and I added power and went around ...
Of course the pressure was really on now, and I just managed to salvage a semi-decent softfield, though I was so tired it really wasn't that great and I had to basically hold the stick back until it settled (lifesaving tactic in the Citabria! -- used on first solo).
All in all, some good flying, so ok flying and I think I showed some character to make it through the bad stuff.
Think I will definitely try and take any further checkrides somewhere a bit cooler than Houston ... !!!!