Saturday, August 30, 2008

Training nearly over, stress rises!

As you can see by my updated flight hours on the right of this blog, I've FINALLY completed all of FAA Part 61 requirements. In fact the I only have 1 more hour of "review" training in preparation for my checkride. I should be feeling releaved, but I'm not. If anything I'm more stressed out than ever.

So WHY am I more stressed out? Well, it comes down to three things: A)Knowing the checkride is very near, B)Having some doubt to my abilities under pressure, C)The monies have run out.

I recently sold some of my valuable music gear just to have enough to finish up this effort. So if I goof, freeze, blunder, or make some other folly on the checkride, I'm in serious hurt. I can't afford to "try again." I've never been a pressure mind tends to lock up, and it takes allot of concious effort NOT TO!

In addition, I've never considered myself as a "duck to water," when it comes to flying. Sure, I can handle the immense amount of technical knowledge, but the "art" of flying is just that..."art." Still, I've come a long way, and I find my landings are usually smooth...with a few slight bounces from time to time. I'm pretty comfortable on my cross-country flights, and chatting with ATC. Lately though, I've had hit or miss type of days. You know what I mean...some flights go really well, and I'm flyin' great. Other days, I just can't get it together.

For example, we've been working on landing on a spot & short field. Now my smooth landings are more like "soft-field" in execution, and I've never worried where the wheels actually touch. I tend to come down to hard, and often bounce when trying to "force" the plane to land on specific points. It's taken me allot of practice to know my float distance (which is usually longer than most) well enough to consistently land where I called out. So, now finally to the point where I can do all this, but at a cost. Yup, I'm no longer smooth on regular landings... Gone it seems, are the frequently greased landings... So now when the instructor wants the soft field landing, I've been less than 50% succesfull. Aiee yiee yiee. In fact, I'd have taken my mock checkride already if I could! Everytime I'm not perfect, I get aggrevated, because I don't have the funds to mess around and screw up.

I wish I could do what most do, and fly everyday leading up to the checkride, but I can't. I've got to conserve every dollar I have. If my "mock" checkride goes well, then I might have the extra cash to fly a couple more times...if not...well I might not be able to afford the checkride at all.

Why is it these DPE charge so much anyway? Does anyone have a breakdown of what the 400$ in fees goes to?

If any other pilots, who've been through this...any words of advice would greatly help!