Thursday, September 22, 2005

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So, after taking a break, here are the standings:

Mr. Confusion is leading the race handily now. Mrs. Confusion started actually studying. We have done about 15 hours of ground instruction of late, and I'm starting to think she is getting a grasp of the material now. She's making a few final leaps of knowledge that are letting her figure things out. Still a couple struggles there, but significant progress. Amazing what a little bit of knowledge does.

Joe is starting to bring it together. His main issue has been tension. If he gets the least bit tense during the flight, he starts doing everything badly. When he relaxes, he looks good. So we have to overcome that, so that he won't be nervous on the day of the checkride.

The most nervous student I ever had, managed to impress me on the checkride. Frankly, I'm amazed that he remembered his own name to tell the examiner. He sure didn't remember much else. So that checkride lasted about 10 minutes, but the retest went better. As much as I hate having any student fail a checkride, I wasn't able to calm him enough to do that one right. But sometimes that happens. Now, it is ancient history.

DC and I had been waiting to hear about the results of the crash investigation. The NTSB decided it was an instructional flight (as I figured they would). It was sort've instruction, and sort've just a pleasure flight. So we told them in the report that the designation of pilot in command was on them.

After a discussion with the head of the FAA Flight standards district office in Richmond, we were encouraged, believing that perhaps nothing much would be made of it. I figured, at worst, I would be directed to perform a 709 ride, to test me and see if I am competent. That would be no terribly big deal to me.

On Monday, DC called. He received a letter, directing him to take a 709. I have yet to receive any letter. I figured that chances were high that I would get one, but so far, nothing. His letter was issued on Sept. 14th, so I ought to be getting one soon, if at all. I just can't figure why they would have chosen him. They usually prefer hooking the bigger fish.

Pending that, we still have to prep him for his ride. We started flying again on Tuesday, in preparation. He was a little weak on most areas. I made a little bit of an intuitive leap, and covered up the entire instrument panel, and made sure he flew only visually. That seems to have been the difference. Suddenly, his steep turns were impressive. His second try, after covering the panel, he performed one, only losing 20 feet. I'm not sure I could do that routinely. The stalls got much better also.

Today, we had to wait for VFR weather, so we did a litlte ground work on weather. He knows weather theory well enough, but the retrieval and parsing of reports is troublesome to him. By the time we finished that, it was good enough visibility to fly. Not enough to work on the maneuvers, so we stayed in the pattern. I started him on the soft-field takeoff and landing, and he finally discovered in himself, the ability to feel what the plane is doing, rather than have to interpret it. Most of those landings would have passed a commercial checkride. So I upped the ante, and started giving him simulated engine failures, with a spot landing at the end. This is a commercial maneuver, but one of the most useful ones that ever gets taught. To my amazement, he nailed it on the first try. I don't recall ever having a student do that well on the first attempt. Then he continued to get it right on the spot, 4 of the next 5 tries. I was a bit stunned. I think he just turned the corner, and will only improve with time now.


At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Ruth said...

Did you get a letter yet re any retest after the accident?
It's good that DC is doing so well with his flying now, I'm sure he has you to thank for a lot of that.
I still have nil flying...


At 2:29 AM, Blogger kiwiruth said...

Hi again- are you still continuing with this blog? I know sometimes it's not easy, you may feel like there's nothing new to blog about, or that no-one's reading, or that your focus has shifted. But I'll keep an eye out for when you post next anyway.



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