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Aug 23

Practice Skills Test (2)

After a couple of attempts that were cancelled due to the weather, I was finally able to complete my practice skills test today.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

First up was doing the three stalls – the first (a full stall with no flaps, recovering when instructed) was fine – a slight peep from the stall warner as I brought the nose back up (should have left it a second or so longer to build up some more speed), but not a major issue.

The second was a stall in the landing configuration (full flaps), recovering at the first sign (which in the 172 is the stall warner peeping, as this tends to happen well before any buffet etc) – this was generally OK, though again I should have left it a tiny bit longer before bringing the nose up.

The final one was a stall doing the base to final turn – I don’t really like these ones as I find it quite hard to actually make the aircraft stall, and indeed my first attempt we ended up doing a 360 degree turn without stalling. When I actually did make it stall, I then did something I’m not supposed to, which was (almost instinctively) start to try to level the wings at the same time as breaking the stall – in less ‘stable’ aircraft this can lead to a spin, so needs to be avoided. We then did another one, which was much better.

Next up were some steep turns – while I could do one to the right with no problem, I kept struggling with the one to the left, tending to end up descending and having to roll back to correct that. Some more practice is going to be required here.

We then did a PFL – I would have ended up missing my first field as I had underestimated the surface wind, and so ended up too high, fortunately there was another one that I could change to. On the go around, the instructor then pulled the throttle to simulate an engine failure at takeoff (EFATO) – I’m used to these being done much lower, so I was looking for a field too close to the aircraft at first, leading to me inadvertently pushing the nose down and picking up more speed than was ideal. After realising this was what I was doing I looked further ahead and picked a good field which we would probably have made.

The wind was essentially straight across the runway, which I knew was going to make the landing interesting – the approach following a right base join went OK, though as we got close to the runway the rate of descent started to increase noticeably – ideally I should have put a touch of power in to cushion it, but I was concentrating on getting my crosswind technique right, leading to a rather ‘firm’ touchdown.

I’m going to have to do at least one more lesson practising the steep turns (and probably a PFL+EFATO for good measure), so hopefully the weather gods will smile and I’ll manage to get this done soon, and then onto the real test…