Finally.. back in the air..

#1
Last year, I didn't manage to get much flying in, which culminated in my single engine piston rating lapsing. We had one of the finest flying summers since I have been here (22 years), but various commitments and a protracted house move prevented me from taking to the skies.. typical.

Anyway, towrds the end of Summer, the rating lapsed and this means one has to do a renewal by proficiency test (sort of a BFR in the old days - no longer needed in the safety-conscious EASA land that believes as long as there's a paper trail, everything is safe).

My normal examiner had gone on a month or so holiday so I thought I would wait until he was back - no hurry. Then, he was off ill for a bit and then on another holiday so I thought sod it (by now it is December) and time to find someone else. So, I booked a revision flight with the examiner in the morning and then the test in the afternoon of 8th December.. The revision flight went well better than expected right up to the PFL, where for some reason, my field selection was a "little" awry. Bummer. Basically, on turning final, I realised I was going to overshoot, which was odd given the picture out of the cockpit, but I had selected an approach dutilfully assisted by a decent tailwind. And, the field itself stood out as one of very few that probably wouldn't graciously accept an aircraft, forced landing or not. Basically, my restart checks, mayday, passenger brief and shutdown checks were fine.. I just forgot to apply the checks to the field selected...

We did another PFL which was better and then returned to te airfeld for the obligatory circuits (short field, glide, flapless and a simulated EFATO)... landings were OK.. during the debrief, we decided to bin the tet in the afternoon and I would go home and reflect on the PFL... Yesterday, the weather finally almost played ball conincident to my booking and we went up. It was very claggy with a base at 2000' (the airfield has an elevation of 840' but one over a line of hills, elevation is a couple of hundred feet). I decided during the test I would do what I always used to do have a field in gliding distance alongside a distinctive landmark fille out, with the image of the approach and hieghts alreay layed out... When the exampiner pulled the carb heat and power (which he tried to do when one seemed otherwise occupied), it made the whole thing much easier. Got a few extra feet while going for best glide, identified the land mark and already had the approach worked out; by the time I had all checks, mayday, briefings and shutdowns completed, I had what seemed like an eternity to get the aircraft down - in fact I started to think I may have missed something.. He called go around; and of course, to make it interesting, waited until we climbed maybe 300' and pulled it again... Managed to look like I would make the second one as well...

Back to the airfield for the obligatory circuits - this time he called EFATO as we were turning crosswind... Only place to put it down "safely" was a field with a wooded area at the end and chances are, it would have collidided with the wooded area. His lesson - sometimes you don't have great choices and you have to take the one that gives the best chances of survival...

I am now legal again!
 
#5
Thanks, Nomad... It is good to get out with the requisite marks..

Hi is a good examiner for sure - not my usual one who also likes to put me through my paces..

And no - he wasn't trying to fail me - we wanted to make sure I was safe... at the time, anyway
 
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