Preparing for the Checkride

Aircraft: C172 N52654

Flight Time: 1.2 hours

Total Hours: 35.7

Yesterday was one of three more dual lessons that will help me fine tune my skills so that I’ll be ready to meet the requirements of private pilot. After the difficulties with my previous outing, I was eager to get back in the plane and do better. With my flight training nearing and end, the focus now is preparing for my checkride and my FAA written exam. I feel confident with my overall knowledge of the materials and also with my general flying abilities, although, as I discovered last week, I need some more practice with my landings.

I was a little nervous as I did my preflight but quickly settled back into things when my instructor and I took off. We flew over to the practice area and Mark had me practice some VOR navigation. With the foggles on, I tracked inbound to the Big Lake VOR to fulfill my hood time requirement, then took them off and intercepted the 170° radial outbound as we turned and headed back.

Satisfied that my navigation skills were up to par, Mark had me do some practice landings when we came back to Merrill. He demonstrated landing without flaps, which could happen if you have an electrical problem. Essentially, it involves controlling your descent speed with trim and forward slips, and you end up having use up much more of the runway bleeding off excess airspeed before touchdown. For the second landing, I practiced landing without flaps and did quite well. I did a good job controlling my speed and touched down pretty smoothly.

We did three more touch and go’s and I practiced a soft field takeoff, a short field landing and a couple of slight crosswind landings. I was able to keep the plane tracking straight along the runway, although I used a little too much aileron correction and ended up drifting into the wind as I landed. As with everything else, it will just take more practice. Overall, my landings were much better than last week and I left feeling confident about how the lesson went.

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