The first checkride is officially upon me. The oral portion of the practical test for my initial flight instructor certificate was this afternoon, and it wasn’t that bad. It only lasted perhaps two or three hours. The flight portion is tomorrow.
I’ve heard stories of CFI orals taking eight or ten hours, which seems a bit excessive to me. On one hand, I appreciate the seriousness with which the instructor certificate is approached by examiners, because these guys will be training tomorrow’s pilots. But does it really take eight hours to go through the PTS requirements and figure out whether the applicant knows what they’re doing? Checkride or not, we were prepared for the test as though the oral was going to last that long.
I’m finally feeling comfortable enough with both the Seminole and ATP’s procedures to know the checkride will be a success unless I just have an unlucky day (in Vegas?? That never happens…) and do something boneheaded like forget to put the landing gear down. I’m tempted to say ‘that can’t happen to me’, but I’ve seen enough good pilots do it to know you should never say never.
I said it before and I’ll say it again: the key at this point in the process is to
always bet on black get a good night’s sleep, drink plenty of Jack Daniels water, and panic just relax. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to bed. Got a plane to catch in the morning.