11 months, 83.5 hours, 235 landings, four cross countries (Pratt, Ponca City, Pratt again, Emporia), five instructors, sweating my face off, freezing my ass off, getting sprayed in the face with av gas, straining my fingers to unscrew too many tight oil dipsticks, an infinite number of flights canceled for weather, bitching, whining, complaining, constant fighting with that odd impulse to get back in the air even when it wasn't nice to me.
it was not my greatest flight ever. the examiner kept telling me to relax, I kept telling him I WAS RELAXED and then he'd say to quit over-controlling the airplane if I'd just relax and let trim do its job we'd quit drifting off altitude. The first few minutes I was constantly 50-80 feet over or under and it was annoying. I never got to the 200 feet "violation" but he wanted me to do better anyway.
But there were some cool things too. We had a simulated engine failure, I looked around and realized there was an airport in sight and figured I'd make it. I was actually a little high, did some 90 degree turns, and went in and landed. It was weird, I'd never done an engine failure to a full landing and I think he knew it but he said, "It's a nice confidence-builder, isn't it?" heh, yeah.
You have to demonstrate a go-around at one point during the flight and I did. Not because I wanted to demonstrate a go-around, but because I really shot past a short field approach, you'd think it was my first pattern ever, it shook me up but no real harm done. Did a nice job on that go-around!
At the end of it all I got my official Temporary Airman's Certificate, which I cut out and put in my logbook on top of my student certificate, and in a few weeks I should get a fancy plastic pilot's license in the mail from the FAA! I've seen them, they're blue.
I went out to lunch and called Marc, my dad, and instructor S. Poor kid will have to find himself another student! He'll never have one as awesome as me, right? He was happy, and said if I ever had questions I was still more than welcome to call him, and said nobody ever feels like their checkride was perfect so don't sweat the little imperfections. And as usual he had no other grand words of wisdom for me.
This week I've got some after-work flights scheduled... it might get crazy windy so I'm not sure if I'll get to go up, but if I do I can take Marc or someone with me and we can go off to exotic places without a special instructor endorsement! No one cares where I go, no one has to sign me off, I don't have to meet any crazy flight school weather restrictions, I have proven to my instructor, the flight school, and now the FAA that I can fly small airplanes safely.