Saturday, May 17, 2008

Checkride around the corner

Hi All,

I'm still plugging away at my Citation X training! Checkride day is tuesday....

Pictured at left is my training partner, Chuck, and I. Chuck is a ex Air Force C17 pilot and we are paired up throughout the training and checkride. We have two sim sessions each day, so someone sits left seat for two hours and then we swap.

Interestingly enough, it's the right seater that works harder here. The person in the left seat "only" has to fly, while the co-pilot runs all the checklists, increased by the sim instructor's introduction of various malfunctions and emergencies. The co-pilot is also talking on the radio and programming the avionics. Things can get pretty busy!

The left seater is the Pilot in Command (PIC) though, so he or she is ultimately responsible for what does or does not happen on their flight. So, although the PIC can delegate tasks to the Second in Command (SIC), the PIC still needs to monitor everything going on in the cockpit.

Usually, especially at the experience level of Chuck and I, this is not a problem. But add into the mix an unfamiliar aircraft with different controls and associated "feel," this four hour session is EXHAUSTING. In fact, the checkride should be the easiest session because it is so straightforward. Unfortunately, most pilots are very self critical and exacting, so we want everything to be "perfect."
Our sim instructor assures us we are progressing normally, but yesterday we both felt as if we didn't do very well at all. So we took the evening off and didn't think about flying at all.

Sound strange? I have learned that it is difficult to "study through" the low points. I KNOW how to fly the airplane, so I just took a break to de-stress a little bit. We'll see how it goes today, as I am off to my sim session right now...

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