Checkride passed- I'm a private Pilot!!!


New member
Hi- I'm so pumped right now. I just passed my Private pilot checkride! I've heard it's good luck to share your checkride story and luck as a pilot can not hurt so here's my story.

My oral was yesterday at 400. The bad weather in the Northeast yesterday ment that I knew I would not be flying. I actually liked that as it let me focus on one part at a time. I went and it went really well. It was about 45 minutes and I was ready. The examiner and I agreed to meet today for the checkride at 330.

Today comes and the weather is not great again. Marginal VFR for most of the day and ceilings at 2800 throughout the area. I'm pretty sure the checkride is not going to happen and actually call my flight school at 100 to see if what's going on. I checeked the TAF's and it's not looking good so I called and cancelled. I'm really bummed now because I really wanted it behind me. 2:30 comes along and my phone rings. It's my flight school and they tell me that "the examiner is going up with another applicant and he says its good to go so do you want to come down for the ride?" My mind is racing as I drive towards the airport. Am I making the right choice???- ceilings are now 3300. Get to the airport and call the weather briefer. No updates really, ceilings still the same and calling for lower. While I was waiting for the previous guy to finish his checkride I've never looked outside and studied clouds more than I did then!

The examiner finishes his prior student and says the weather is fine so go pre-flight the plane and he'll be out shortly. Off I go with one of the flight school workers out to the plane to fill it with gas and pre flight. He fills the plane and wishes me luck. I'm still not really believing I'm about to go on my checkirde. The examiner comes out and by this time it's around 400. It's dark here around 5 so I know I'm in for rapid fire maneuvers! Taxi out, do the run up and am told to do a short field take-off. Flaps to 10 align with the center line, hold brake pressure, full throttle release the brakes and off we go! Climbed out right on the money- held in 60 knots till over the obstacle then pitched for 70- flaps up and climb out nice! Off to a good start! ATC tells me on course to the practice area so I turn to the heading the examiner tells me. Here come the foggels. He does some unusual attitude stuff- no problem! Then he asks where I am in relation to a VOR. Tune, Identify and twist the VOR and tell him where we are in relation to it( I knew because of common sense and thankfully did not just blurt it out and went through the steps he was testing me on.) He's happy so far! He then says, take off the foggels. Time for slow flight. As soon as I take off the foggels, I notice that we are about to fly directly into the clouds- I calmy say to him, "We are in the clouds" He says "ohhh shoot I did not see those coming while you were in the foggels" I turn us out of the clouds and head away from them. Set up for slow flight- goes great. The usual maneuvers are next, stalls, steep turns and engine out procedure all go great. He says "get me back to the airport" and I said "ok let me get the ATIS and contact ATC( I trained in class c airspace)" Return to the airport with a moment of " ohh god where is the airport" It snowed yesterday and I have not been up since it did or any other time it snowed so my landmarks are covered in snow. Found the airport fine and made the usual landings and takeoffs. Soft field went well. Short field not as well because I pumped the elevator he said trying to find the right flare. On the climb out he tells me to try and not do that on the slip to land. Third time around ATC tells me to do a wide right 360 to let a Southwest 737 land. Great- not what I need right now. One more landing and I'm a private pilot and then theirs this. On the wide 360 we had some time so I asked the examiner, " I'm not sure you can tell me how I'm doing but how am I doing?" He chuckles and says very well. Slip to land has been my nemesis and of course it's last. I honestly did the best slip to land I've ever done. Nailed my airspeeds and avoided the dreaded float down the runway,got a great flare angle and held it without pumping the elevator! We exit the runway and he says, "congratulations you've passed! Now just get me back to the parking area without crashing so I don't have to take that back!" I think that's about the time I started grinning and I'm pretty sure it may have just warn off some 3 hours later.