Daily Pilot's Journal

Read the complete day-by-day flight log of an actual student pilot, from the first takeoff to the signing of his private pilot's license. Written promptly at the end of every flight, each entry is completely unedited - detailing the successes, failures, and mistakes we all encounter along this long road.
Day 30 - Getting Ready for my Flight Test
Wednesday, 8/16/06 7:00am - Blue skies, no wind. Awesome day. Today was the complete antithesis of yesterday, where everything I did turned to shit. Today, everything I did was golden.

Yesterday's cold front had blown through, taking all the turbulence with it. Even better, it took the haze. Took off runway 19 into the greatest visibility I've ever seen. New York City was not only visible but each building stood out in stark clarity. Clouds were nonexistent, not even those high cirrus formations that always seem to exist. Best of all the air was smooth at all altitudes, from takeoff to landing.

Called a right downwind departure and headed toward Northport this time. Stan decided to train me in the Port Jeff area since that's where Jerroll took his flight test. He'd made a command decision to schedule my test out of Islip and would tell Frank so. Once over the stacks I tracked the Bridgeport VOR and flew a few miles into the sound where I made a clearing turn and started maneuvers.

Becoming one with the taxiway to runway 19
One left steep turn, one right - both perfect. Even ran into my prop-wash on the first turn. Seemingly impressed Stan directed me toward the Port Jeff stacks where he explained Frank would most likely call my emergency landing. He had a particular field picked out that Frank would probably pick, so he wanted me to get familiar with it. Stan seemed on top of his shit today, I'll say that.

On the way over, Stan put the plane in unusual attitudes and had me recover from them. He'd never done this before, so of course he yelled at me when I didn't do things exactly right. Normally I'd have pointed out that he completely forgot to train me on this important aspect of flying, but at this point I just grinned and listened. Learning was more important than being correct. The basic gist of unusual attitudes is this: immediately determine if the airspeed is too fast or too slow. Remove power or add power as needed, then adjust the ailerons and pitch to a level flight attitude. That's all there is to it. After doing this four times, I got it perfect. That's when Stan pointed out the emergency landing field.

The field, if you could call it that, was nothing short of enormous. Not having flown near Port Jefferson before, I had never seen it. It looked to be about 2 miles long and at least 3/4 a mile wide. It was unbelievably flat and completely empty. I could land the Space Shuttle in there. Stan killed the power at 2,000 feet and pretty much took over, just showing me how the emergency landing should be done. Things to remember: best glide speed first, then head toward the field, then (if altitude permits) do the restart procedure. Call for mayday, squawk 7700, then make your approach. You want to be over the field at 1,000 feet, about 1/3 the way through. Then you make a short circle back to a straight in landing and raise flaps once on final approach. It was easy, especially with a field this large. I could see how simple it would be to do a power-off landing in it. I'm hoping very badly that we're anywhere near this field when Frank kills the power on my flight test, because I'll totally nail this field.

Came back to Farmingdale for some TnG's and nailed some of the best landings I've ever had with Stan in the plane. "That was a Stan Anderson landing", he told me after the last one. I think I'm ready.

Flying hours today: 1.2       Total: 40.8

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