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Pilots are expected to know the various failure modes of any installed autopilot..

  Commercial Questions
--New written questions emphasize definitions of V-speeds.
-- specifically the basic VFR minimums (1,000' and 3sm) required (which was the correct answer).
-- The other 'answers' were the usual attempt to confuse (e.g. 1000' and 3 nautical miles and 1,500' and 3 miles).

2. The 'results' or the 'penalty' for OFFENSES INVOLVING ALCOHOL OR DRUGS 
--- specifically the 'suspension or revocation' (which was the correct answer). 
--The other 'answers' were about an offender having to submit an obscure report to the "Medical Branch" of the FAA within 60 days or The onus on the offender is to send a report "only if requested".

  3. Night flight: This one had a 'ring' of the JJ Kennedy tragedy about it...and went something like this...
'When on a night VFR flight... you know if you're entering diminishing conditions if:
i) you get a halo around the instruments
ii) you get a halo around ground-based illumination
iii) ground lights begin to diminish/disappear.

The updates posted here are presented in a top-down format with the most recent additions appearing first. The FAA randomizes the answer choices.

1. What limitations exist on a commercial pilot without an IFR rating?
2. What are the flight recency requirements for a solo commercial pilot?
3. Arrange the following in proper sequence as required by the teaching process: evaluation presentation, review, preparation and application?
4. What are the four steps of the teaching process?

1. Commercial pilots without IFR rating cannot carry passengers at night and are limited to 50 NM day flights.
2. Every commercial pilot must be signed off for a flight review within proceeding 24 months for solos.
3. Correct order for instructional purposes is preparation, presentation, application, review and evaluation
4. The four steps of the teaching process are preparation, presentation, application, review and evaluation.

Commercial Maneuvers (Opinion)
Lazy eights, chandelles, and on pylon eights all of them are commercial requirements. A chandelle is a maximum performance, coordinated, climbing turn that is designed to get you as high as possible while making a 180-degree turn. You start it at normal cruise power, lower the nose a bit until reaching maneuvering speed. Bank around 30 to 45 degrees and begin pulling on the yoke/stick timing everything so as to be 5 knots above stall just when reversing course...

Start leveling the wings around 135 degrees of turn, and ease on the yoke to recover speed without losing altitude...

The lazy eight is similar, but you reach stall + 5 on 90 degrees of turn and than maneuvering speed on 180 degrees. You then do the maneuver in reverse and complete the eight...

Left Torque Exercise
--Fly level and hold a heading while going nose up to 20 degrees pitch while keeping heading with rudder
--Lower the nose and relax rudder as torque decreases and no rudder required in level flight.

Right Torque Exercise
--From level flight enter dive at cruise power and note right turning tendency
--Return to level flight and notice right turning tendency ceases at cruise speed.

Initial Coordination Exercise

--360 turn beginning with 10 degrees going to 20 degrees and then back to 10 degrees.
--360 turn beginning with 10 degrees and stages to 30 degrees and back to 10.

Coordination Exercise
--180 turn first 90 slow increase to 30 degrees; second 90 back to level. Keep bank changes slow.
--180 turn first 90 slow increase to 30 degrees with slow climb; second 90 back to level in descent.
--Repeat exercise except with climb approaching stall speed.

Advanced Coordination Exercise

--180 turn with nose highest at first 45-degree point with decreasing speed.
--30 degree maximum bank at lowest speed at 90 degree point; five below stall speed
--Past 90 degrees speed begins to increase; descent arc equal to prior climb arc
--Repeat exercise in other direction…

Lazy Eight
--Do exercise as continuous maneuver in both directions with a constant power setting
--Select a target point on the horizon in line with a road and looking into the wind.
--Begin in level flight at 90 degrees to the road and make your first turn to the right as a climb into the wind.
--The right turn will negate the torque and right rudder may be required to maintain turn rate
--Slowest speed and highest pitch is at the 90 degree point and the nose is allowed to fall
--The fall continues to the 180 degree point
--You use right rudder in both left and right turns to offset torque effects on speed of turns.
--Control pressures are constantly changing throughout a lazy eight maneuver.

Q: What is pivotal altitude?
A: Pivotal altitude is used in performing the "eights on pylon" ground reference maneuver. It is the altitude at which the pylon may be held in a constant position and varies with the square of the groundspeed. Faster speed, such as when heading downwind, results in higher altitude; slower speed, such as heading into the wind, results in lower altitude. To estimate pivotal altitude, square the groundspeed and then divide by 11.3 if you use knots, or 15 if you prefer mph. That will provide a starting altitude. See AOPA Online for the "AOPA Air Safety Foundation Instructor Report" ( http://

Commercial Maneuver Change in 2002
Certification policy. The new standards require commercial applicants to demonstrate. Both private and commercial applicants will also be subject to more precise maneuvering standards during slow flight, power-off stalls and, in the case of private pilots, turns to a heading.

The first is the 180 degree accuracy landing. Abeam the touchdown point, at an altitude not to exceed 1000 ft, you bring the throttle to idle and fly a 180 degree turn to land, in a normal attitude and within a 200 ft window on the runway, without touching the throttle.

The second is the steep spiral. Think of it as turns around a point, power off, constant airspeed, and relatively steep bank (but not to exceed 60 degrees).
King video called "Maneuvers for the COM/CFI."

Commercial Requirements:
The regs are as follows: 61.129
(a) For an airplane single-engine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must log at least 250 hours of flight time as a pilot that consists of at least:
(1) 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in airplanes.

(2) 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least--
(i) 50 hours in airplanes; and
(ii) 50 hours in cross-country flight of which at least 10 hours must be in airplanes.

(3) 20 hours of training on the areas of operation listed in Sec.61.127(b)(1) of this part that includes at least--
(i) 10 hours of instrument training of which at least 5 hours must be in a single-engine airplane;
(ii) 10 hours of training in an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, or is turbine-powered, or for an applicant seeking a single-engine seaplane rating, 10 hours of training in a seaplane that has flaps and a controllable pitch propeller;
(iii) One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a single-engine airplane in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure;
(iv) One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a single-engine airplane in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of
departure; and
(v) 3 hours in a single-engine airplane in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test.

(4) 10 hours of solo flight in a single-engine airplane on the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.127(b)(1) of this part, which includes at least--
(i) One cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point. However, if this requirement is being met in Hawaii, the longest segment need only have a straight-line distance of at least 150 nautical miles; and

(ii) 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with a tower.

FAR 61.129 requires that you have logged 250 hours, 100 of those hours must be as PIC; these 100 hours must include 50 hours in airplanes and 50 hours of cross-country. Dual requirement is 20 hours, including 10 hours of instrument training and 10 hours in a complex aircraft. You will need one 2-hour daytime cross country of at least 100 miles from the departure point and another one at night along with 3 hours of test preparation from a CFI. The 50 hours of cross-country must include a *solo* 300 mile trip with one landing at a point 250 miles from the departure point. You finally need 5 hours of night PIC at a controlled airport.

No commercial flights a night beyond 25 miles without PIC having an instrument rating

1. Perform tasks specified within approved standards.
2. Demonstrate aircraft mastery with outcomes never in doubt.
3. Demonstrate proficiency within standards
4. Demonstrate sound judgment
5. Demonstrate single pilot competence

Commercial Oral
Be able to describe maneuvers by sequential descriptions, performance criteria and intended results. Must be emphasis upon anticipation

Change in the PTS
roy@panix.com (Roy Smith) wrote in message
I've taken on student working on his commercial, and the only thing that has me stumped is the (relatively) new requirement for 2 hours each of day-vfr and night-vfr X/C training. The guy has been flying for several years, instrument rated, and regularly flies X/C trips on his own. In short, he knows how to get from point A to point B. Exactly what am I supposed to be teaching him on these trips that he doesn't already know?

If I were looking to build hours, I would see this as a great way to pad my logbook at my student's expense. As it is, I'm struggling to figure out what real value I can bring to the experience so I don't feel like I'm just ripping the guy off for 4 hours of instruction fees.

Any reason we can't do it all in one flight -- 2 hours out to someplace in the afternoon, get some $250 burgers, then come back at night? Anybody have any clue why the FAA felt the need to add this requirement? Was the old system really turning out commercial pilots who couldn't find an airport an hour away in broad daylight? If so, did they think this would fix the problem?

Advice to Roy
It is the seasoned pilots that I often have trouble with. They pick up lazy flying habits over the years such as over-confidence, over-reliance on gadgets, and not doing a careful preflight. If he owns his own airplane, or has been flying the same airplane, try to find another airplane for this trip. Introduce new variables. Plan to go VFR on a MVFR day.

Fly on a moonless night along a featureless landscape and turn the landing lights off. Ask him to compute
groundspeed for every leg and give you an updated ETA using only a compass, sectional and a clock. Ask for a fuel status update throughout the flight. Check if he knows how to call FSS and get wx updates and give PIREPs. If you want to get real nasty, discretely place something metallic next to the compass. Get him lost at night in MVFR conditions. See if he can handle the situation. As you can see, this doesn't have to be a routine point A to B flight. There are numerous things you can do to add excitement. Your commercial certificate and an instrument rating is a license to fly for wages or salary.

Steep Spiral
Steep spirals are described in the "Airplane Flying Handbook" thusly:
A steep spiral is nothing more than a constant gliding turn, during which a constant radius around a point on the ground is maintained similar to the maneuver, turns around a point. The radius should be such that the steepest bank will not exceed 60°. The objective of the maneuver is to improve pilot techniques for power-off turns, wind drift control, planning, orientation, and division of attention. This spiral is not only a valuable flight training maneuver, but it has practical application in providing a procedure for dissipating altitude while remaining over a selected spot in preparation for landing, especially for emergency forced landings.

Sufficient altitude must be obtained before starting this maneuver so that the spiral may be continued through a series of at least three 360° turns. [Figure 6-15] The maneuver should not be continued below 1,000 feet above the surface unless performing an emergency landing in conjunction with the spiral.

Operating the engine at idle speed for a prolonged period during the glide may result in excessive engine cooling or spark plug fouling. The engine should be cleared periodically by briefly advancing the throttle to normal cruise power, while adjusting the pitch attitude to maintain a constant airspeed. Preferably, this should be done while headed into the wind to minimize any variation in groundspeed and radius of turn.

Figure 6-15.-Steep spiral.
After the throttle is closed and gliding speed is established, a gliding spiral should be started and a turn of constant radius maintained around the selected spot on the ground. This will require correction for wind drift by increasing the bank on downwind headings and decreasing the bank on upwind headings, just as in the maneuver turns around a point. During the descending spiral, the pilot must judge the direction and speed of the wind at different altitudes and make appropriate changes in the angle of bank to maintain a uniform radius.

A constant airspeed should also be maintained throughout the maneuver. Failure to hold the airspeed constant will cause the radius of turn and necessary angle of bank to vary excessively. On the downwind side of the maneuver, the steeper the bank angle the lower the pitch attitude must be to maintain a given airspeed. Conversely, on the upwind side, as the bank angle becomes shallower, the pitch attitude must be raised to maintain the proper airspeed. This is necessary because the airspeed tends to change as the bank is changed from shallow to steep to shallow.

During practice of the maneuver, the pilot should execute three turns and roll out toward a definite object or on a specific heading. During the rollout, smoothness is essential, and the use of controls must be so coordinated that no increase or decrease of speed results when the straight glide is resumed.

CFI comments:
When I first read this I got the impression that the steep spiral was performed at best glide. experience in practicing the maneuver showed that best glide may be too close or even below stall speed with such a steep angle of bank. I now teach students to set up the steep spiral at maneuvering speed and have them practice the spiral in both clean and dirty configurations.

After discussing this maneuver with local examiners they all agree that this was probably the best approach. None of the examiners really cared how you configured the aircraft; all they wanted to see was whether you corrected for wind drift and kept your airspeed and bank angle within tolerances.
C J Campbell

Commercial PTS
--Slow flight banks + 5° ; 20° during slow flight stalls
--Steep spiral + 10 knots; + 10° of heading
--The SEL commercial PTS requires a closed throttle abeam the touchdown point at 1000' AGL and to land past but within 200 fleet of it.

Lazy Eight:
--Nothing stays the same throughout the lazy-eight.
--Elements of constant change are bank angle, pitch attitude, control pressure, visual perceptions, airspeed, and anticipation.
--The absence of G-load is the sign of a well performed maneuver.
--All the senses are aware of the constant changes.
--Your combined senses will let you know the quality of your performance.
--Crossed controls are to be expected.
--Initial bank is at 30-degrees decreasing to 15-degrees at the 45-degree point.
--The key to lazy eights is to keep them SLOOOW. That's why they're called "lazy". Keep the changes constant, but at a slow rate, so your roll rate is slow and so is your pitch rate
A lot of people have trouble with this maneuver and its really a very easy maneuver.
Description: A Lazy 8 is a combination of a left 180 degree turn followed by a right 180 degree turn. Both turns require climbing and descending. The idea is for both turns to reach the same altitude, airspeed and AOB at the 45, 90, 135 and 180 degree points in both the left and right turn. At the 45 degree point the airplane should be at about a 15 degree bank and the highest pitch. At the 90 degree point, the airplane should be at a 30 degree bank and level pitch. At the 135 degree point, the airplane should be at a 15 degree bank and the lowest pitch. And at the 180 degree point the airplane should be straight and level at the same altitude and the same airspeed. Sounds easy! Not! Here are my hints:

--Remember to always look outside and only glance at the instruments to cross check your visual perception.
--To enter the maneuver, start out straight and level, in perfect trim, and at a specified airspeed. Begin by banking only 2 deg and then adding back pressure to the controls. Do not grip the controls, doing so will cause you to over control, two fingers will be all you need. Continue applying back pressure until the airplane is about 12 degree pitch up (changes slightly with each airplane type). Amazingly, by doing this the airplane will have turned 45 degree and banked to about 15 degree.
--Continue adding back pressure as the airplane's nose begins to dive, again amazingly as you do this the airplane will roll into a 30 degree bank at about the 90-degree point, and with some practice and timing you'll be nose level too.
--As the airplane's nose passes through the horizon at the 90-degree point, begin pushing forward on the control column and ad just a touch of roll out. Your goal is to pitch about 12 degree down. If you are too shallow you will come out of the maneuver high or slow and if you are too steep you'll come out of the maneuver too low or fast.
--The time between the 135-degree point and the 180-degree point is the longest. Be "Lazy" and don't roll out too fast, that is the most common error in this whole maneuver.
--Repeat the process for the opposite direction. A left turn will require less rudder than a right turn. And finally, remember its not possible to do this maneuver and have the exact same airspeed at the exact same altitude without adding power. That would be perpetual motion. But the FAA requires the maneuver be performed on the checkride without adjusting the power. Apparently they don't know about physics.

Turns on a Point
A turn on a point is a commercial maneuver.
It might be demonstrated to a student as a comparatively more difficult way of going around a point. I have read of instructors teaching this before the easier 'turn about a point'. I question this method. A turn on a point requires a constant ground speed. This speed can only be obtained by changing altitude as the wind affects your ground speed. In a C-150 at cruise this altitude is about 720' and will vary for every speed that is faster or slower. To keep the wing on the point you must make ever-so-slight changes in altitude so that your wing stays on the point. Should the point move ahead of your wing you must speed up by losing altitude. Should the point move behind the wing you should slow down by increasing your altitude. These altitude changes should be done smoothly and altitude changes will be determined by the speed differential between the head and tail wind you encounter.

Chandelle Basics
Exercise #1
While maintaining level flight, make 180-degree turn the first half of which gradually increases a bank to 30-degrees and the second half of which reduces angle of bank to wings level at the 180-degree point.
Exercise #2
Make a 360 that begins with 10-degree bank with 100' climbs and descents. During the second 360 increase and decrease the bank angle by 10 degrees while continuing sequence of 100' climbs and 100' descents.
While performing a 90-degree turn, slowly raise the nose while going from wings level to a 30-degree bank. As you start the turn and the nose begins to rise, smoothly increase power to full power. At this point continue the turn with the same pitch but reducing the bank angle until at the 180-degree point you are wings level.
Exercise #4
Use the POH to determine the clean power-on stall speed or do such a stall to find the number. Using that as a guide, begin a 180 in which you increase the power to cruise. Increase the pitch and bank angle in the first 90-degrees of turn, maintain the pitch constant for the remainder of the turn so that at the 180-degree point you are within five knots of the power-on stall speed you have determined with wings level. Lower the nose to level flight. The only change required for a chandelle is to increase the power to a climb setting.
Exercising #5
Again from level cruise gradually increase the pitch, bank angle and power to climb power so that at the 90-degree point you have a pitch angle that can be held constant throughout the rest of the turn. This will require greater right rudder pressure than has been used before. During the last 90-degrees the angle of bank will be gradually decreased until wings level coincides with the 180-degree point but the higher than before pitch remains so that you should have the stall-warner whimpering just before recovering to level cruise flight.

The purpose of the maneuver is to achieve a maximum increase of altitude during the performance of a 180-degree turn. The more powerful the aircraft the greater will be the torque and requisite rudder and aileron pressures to maintain a smooth entry and recovery from the desired bank angles.

--Why is opposite aileron needed to maintain bank as plane slows during first half of climbing turn regardless of direction of chandelle? (Stability designed for cruise)
--'Steep' is a relative turn when using controls and constant bank requires aileron counter forces to put it where you want it.
--Right aileron and right rudder is requires in left chandelle to counter elements of P-factor.
--Visual picture of left turns is different from right turns. Right turns tend to be slower.
--A maximum-performance climbing turn of 180 degrees designed for a maximum gain of altitude.
--Coordinated controls at all times.
1. Set roll #1; pitch angle #2 and full power #3 in sequence.
2. Set bank and allow to become steeper until at 90 degrees.
3. Set attitude for best Vx speed
4. Set rate of roll-out at 90-degree point
5. Wings level at 180 degrees
6. Recover with no loss of altitude or heading

Bank within 5 degrees
Exit airspeed Vx + 5 knots
Exit heading + 5 degrees

Entry altitude
Entry speed
Bank angle
Perform at altitude after clearing
Use a ground reference line(s)
Enter at Va with 30-degree bank
Practice setting Vx pitch attitude before
More rudder required to the right, less to the left
As bank gets steeper you will need opposite aileron and rudder
Sight reference out the side window
Wingtip should roll out smoothly until level at top.
Level off slowly to maintain altitude. Reduce rudder during acceleration.

Chandelle Revisited
--Basic is to add full power on initiation, have constant bank for first 90 degrees while pitch increases. Pitch then remains constant for next 90-degrees while decreasing bank angle to level. High performance aircraft
may use less than full power due to excessive pitch angles.

Key is consistency:
--Use the same power setting
--Use the same entry speed below Va
--Set the same pitch and bank
--Altitude gain is determined by use of available energy

--Due to change in speed aileron application will need constant change to maintain constant bank

Setting the Pitch:
--Set pitch to angle that will be within five knots of the power-on stall speed when completing the turn.

--As airspeed decreases ever more elevator is required to maintain constant pitch all the way around.
Coordinated Flight:
--Chandelle to the right will require initial right rudder and practically none during rollout. Yaw and left-turn tendencies cancel.

--Chandelle to the left will need practically no left rudder initially but increasingly more during rollout caused by yaw due to use of right aileron required to level wings.

Commercial Checkride1
The oral covered all the Private Pilot basics (VFR weather minimums and cloud clearances, Airspace, Light Gun Signals, Charts, X/C considerations), and added a discussion of commercial privileges, the landing gear system and turbocharger system on the airplane, high altitude operations, the commercial manuevers, and a detailed discussion of LAHSO (Land And Hold Short Operations).

The flight portion started with a soft field takeoff and obstacle climb, then we proceeded on the planned cross country. Once I'd identified the first checkpoint, I was told to divert to another airport. This diversion ended in an engine-out approach and a go-around. Then we departed the area and did eights-on-pylons, followed by a climb and chandelles and lazy eights. Slow flight in the clean and landing configurations led to power off and power on stalls. The recovery from the stalls took us back into straight and level flight, and then steep turns. We then headed back to my airport and did a short field approach to a soft field landing.

Observations: The key to all the commercial maneuvers is patience. Lazy eights are SUPPOSED to be "lazy", so gentleness and smoothness is the key. On the eights on pylons, when you notice the pylon moving, make a SMALL pitch correction and WAIT for it to make a difference. It's very easy to make a large change, and then have to correct the other way (pilot induced oscillation). Chandelles are the only maneuver with any "briskness" to them, just roll in the bank smoothly and quickly, then gently pitch up, and then gently roll the bank out. If it helps, think of them as ballet, NOT any modern dance.

While it is important and necessary to be able to perform stalls in order to pass a checkride, please don't lose sight of the following: The specific stalls we practice for check rides are totally contrived-- they are scripted from beginning to end (entry set-up, deceleration, break, recovery actions, exit conditions).

As such, the procedural "stall" we learn, practice, and mimic for the examiner bears little-to-no resemblance whatsoever to real-life inadvertent stall/spin scenarios--the stuff we as pilots must be on guard for and be prepared to deal with. In fact, one Princeton University study revealed the following about stall-only (no spins!) fatal accidents:
--60 percent of the cases, turning flight preceded the fatal stall accident.
--Turning and/or climbing flight preceded 85 percent of the fatal stall accidents.
--Only 15 percent of fatal stall accidents involved neither turning nor climbing prior.

Be sure not only to practice the scripted stalls necessary to pass the checkride, but also to make sure you and your instructor drill on the likely scenarios that you'll encounter when flying outside of the checkride environment.

Commercial Checkride2
I took my commercial ride in a Seminole twin-engine plane, but aside from a few maneuvers it was not much different than what you would expect in a Cutlass RG.

My oral was mostly on rights and privileges of commercial pilot. He covered everything here, from being able to recite the standard list of privileges, the requirements to be a commercial pilot, to specific examples, such as "two friends hear you are going to the Rose Bowl and offer to pay you to take them along" sort of thing. He tried to hit me on a few obscure things, like flying politicians on campaign trips and fish planting. (His point --if you are going to do anything odd, check with the local FSDO first. Imagine him thinking that I might ever do anything odd!)

We covered some systems, but not real deep. He did make me draw a hydraulic system for a Seminole from memory, and he wanted to know whether the fuel pumps were of the "push" or "pull" variety. He wanted to know several details about the electrical system, including the amperage of the alternators, the battery rating, and the voltage of the system bus. He also wanted to know at what voltage the over-voltage relay kicks in. He asked me to identify the marker beacon antenna on preflight by asking me what the "little stabilizer fin" was for. And he asked the standard questions about emergency gear extension, engine fires on startup, etc.

He made me do an accelerate-stop distance problem, which led into "What if the runway is too short to come to a complete stop and there is a concrete wall at the end -- do you try to take off or do you remain on the runway and hit the wall, and why?" He also made me calculate the maximum ground speed of the aircraft assumed by the chart, pointing out that it was considerably less than Vr and asking me why the manufacturer would do a thing like that (I think I detected an axe that he was grinding). He also asked me all the V-speeds, including my "opinion" on what some unpublished airspeeds such as Vmc ground might be. (Questions like that, of course, are gimmes -- you can't miss questions that don't have clear-cut answers. His real intent was to determine if I had studied the actual POH or the abbreviated "Cliff Notes" handbook given out by the flight school.)

He made me do a cross country flight plan before the oral (this examiner assigns about 4 hours of homework for a commercial; more for an instructor certificate), but he didn't review much of it except for altitudes and asking detailed questions about VFR sectionals; pretty basic stuff, really. He seemed to emphasize airspace a lot, both vertically and horizontally. He made me do a weight and balance problem.

He also gave me several FAR parts and made me summarize each of them. We spent some time speculating about the future of Part 135, but I suppose that is really not part of the oral exam.

We also discussed whether the AIM was advisory or regulatory in nature, and then got into specifics on runway markings (easy), prescribed departures from non-towered airports, light gun signals, and wildlife protection areas.

So far he hadn't completely stumped me. Then he surprised me with "which wing is the green light mounted on?" I got it wrong (I actually knew better, but somehow the mouth was not quite connected to the brain - a little nervousness can do amazing things), continuing a long streak of missing incredibly easy questions. Must be some kind of dyslexia or something. Anyway, when he stopped laughing at me he told me to get out of there and preflight the plane. I was already exhausted and hadn't even started to fly yet.

Unfortunately, the plane was not ready; the radios and intercom produced only a hissing noise and the transmitter was not working. I had to fly in a completely different plane which I had never flown before. Instruments and switches were located in all kinds of different places, the throttles were extremely stiff, etc. He crabbed at me the whole time, trying to distract me from completing my maneuvers (by the time you are doing your commercial ticket you should be on to this game, however; his intent was so transparent that it was almost comical). Before taxiing he pulled a breaker on one of the alternators to see if I would catch it. He was really hoping to see if I would catch it during the engine instrument check on takeoff, but I got it before taxiing. He kind of ran out of sneakiness after that (he told me that about half of the commercial candidates he tests miss this on takeoff, but he had seen very few catch it before or during taxiing). He also likes to pull circuit breakers before engine start to see if you really check these things, but he didn't try that on me, and I don't think it would have worked if he had. He asked me to get out the hood to fly an approach, and when I "reminded" him that the PTS does not require an approach for a commercial ride he smiled and said, "let's go home and do a short field landing." And I was thinking, "Does this guy never stop with the oral?" but that was the last "question."

I knew this particular examiner likes practical jokes (trying to make commercial candidates fly instrument approaches comes to mind), but I did not have time to implement the ones I thought of. If he sees that your FAR/AIM is not dog-eared and marked up, he criticizes your study habits. I considered bringing a new FAR/AIM to the oral, and in response to his criticism I would have replied that I didn't have to read the book any more because I had memorized the FARs! I would have had the first couple of paragraphs of a couple of sections memorized and started reciting them to him to freak him out, but I simply ran out of time to do all this in lieu of serious study. I did bring the new FAR/AIM, but the joke kind of fell flat. Probably should have had it shrink wrapped. I had also planned to run a bogus wire from the battery towards the engine since I knew one of his favorite questions was "how many wires connect the battery to the magnetos?" I would have told him "one, a yellow 14 gauge copper wire," which I thought would have been hysterical. But the plane was being used too much and I couldn't set it up. Besides, he didn't ask me the question anyway.

We covered some other stuff, but these are the things that stick out in my mind. I still don't understand why people seem to be terrified of this examiner. He really is very nice, and later he even offered to recommend me as an instructor to a flight school he has a lot of respect for.

Commercial Checkride3
Hey guys...
Just thought I would let everybody know that I passed my Commercial Checkride on Thursday the 26th. I would be doing a big injustice if I didnt post the specifics of the ride to everyone so here it goes:

Checkride started out at 12 noon. Examiner ate a sandwich while we went through the AD's, etc. He got me on a tricky one on a static and encoder check. One date for the static was older than the encoder and that was the one that took precedence....I don't remember the exact specifics of the scenario but it went something like that. We moved on to the cross country portion and I had to take him through the basics......how did you get the winds aloft and how did you plot your course stuff.....no biggies there....very predictable stuff so far.

Anyway, the cross country crap got pushed aside while we brought up the sectional and studied it very carefully. Fairly basic stuff....weather min.'s in the Greater Chicago Class B and C airspaces. He got me on a very tricky question about going into Fond Du Lac (I think that's how its spelled). Fond Du Lac is near the Illinois/Wisconsin border for those of you who aren't familiar with the area (as neither was I...). Anyway, he says....its late July and we want to go to Fond Du Lac.....anything we should be concerned with. I faltered and said weather maybe and couldn't think of anything that would keep us from getting into any great amount of trouble. Anyway....about maybe 30-40 miles away from Fond Du Lac is Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Do I need to explain further? Oshkosh....late July... If you are a pilot and have a heartbeat you know what I am talking about. He kind of tried to lead me into it and I finally got the point that he was trying to put across.....silly me! Anyway, check the FDC notams on procedures to get into there.....You know the jingle.... That's what we discussed on that subject. We discussed operations at a private airport on the sectional that had a 1300' strip and we studied the performance charts on that stuff....needless to say for the criteria I was given the RG couldn't make it without a jet assist on the empenage. The rest of the oral was long and there was so much stuff covered in the duration of it I cant hardly begin to remember it but just the highlights of it. The only system questions I really got were.....we run out of hydraulic fluid for the gear and need to get some more....where kind do we need and we have a flat tire....how much air do we need to put into it? (all found in the POH).

The flight portion was tough in the afternoon and it was fairly turbulent but I did okay on it. We departed the home airport on my heading for my x-country and we headed to a nearby towered airport (class D) after it was the x-country portion was over and practiced the landings. First up was a sort field landing to land on the numbers at the airport and stop before the next taxiway intersection. I came in too steep and too hot on the first approach and we did land on the numbers and I bounced the plane slightly and I asked to re-try the procedure and he said nothing but we did back taxi and back to the active and he said give me another one of those so I was saved there. The next one was fine....right on the numbers and heavy braking. Next was a soft field takeoff, soft field landing which turned into a go around and then a departure out to the west to go do the comm. manuvers.

The commercial maneuvers went fine.....not too hard. Find pylons is the hardest thing for me to do. Anyway, I never did get to read the PTS to see if he would try to distract me in flight during the checkride but he kept talking to me during the eights on pylons and rather than tell him to put a cork in it and then find out later that there were no in flight distractions on the commercial and look like a real prick I just flew the plane and pretended to look like I was listening and play it safe. He appeared to be okay with it and he might of thought that it was even maybe a bit more professional since I was not being mean to the passengers but still flying the plane safely ..... maybe not....I dont know. Anyway, we did the simulated engine out and that went perfect......almost. I had an awesome field picked out and we flew the pattern with plenty of altitude to spare and I was almost tempted to land it the field looked so accomodating....(kidding). Anyway, he says.....go around....good job...you made it but dont put the gear up. As we are climbing back out he says....whats your little saying that you always have? What is it....like...no discharge on the alternator....we have a light. Of course all the seasoned pilots know where this one is leading.... Yup. He turned the green gear down light off on me when I wasnt looking and I didnt look at it closely enough and missed it. That could have been bad but it was an emergency and I had my hands full and there was nothing we would have been able to do anyway so we continued on and did the eights on pylons and headed back home after that.

We came back in and landed on runway 18 and taxiied in and the rest is history. He got out of the plane and said......and the moral of the story Jason is to always check the gear light good.......the rest looks good..... congratulations.....you are a commercial pilot! Thanks to all who posted me back with questions I had.....its a great help and resource for me. yippe!
Jason H.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single Engine Land

Commercial Checkride4
Well, as I type, right now, I have *ALL* of the requirements met for the commercial pilot's license ...even down to the 3hrs. dual 60 days prior to the test. * I have everything *. I had my 'Comm. Prog. 3' on Fri. It
was a HAZY day and I had no horizon. I knew the maneuvers would be 'fun' with no horizon to work off of but hey! I'm the type of guy who adapts. He had asked me, when I made the appointment the week before, to plan a "one way direct dead-reckoning cross country" to Hanscom field (BED) from Brookhaven. No problem.
I took Thurs. off to "bone up" then went flying, in the evening, for 3 hours to practice. Fri. morn. I was up at 6AM, to get "the latest weather" and to adjust my flight plan. Was at the airport for 8:15AM ...for the 'oral' portion at 9:00AM. The oral portion was frustrating. I had boned up the wazoo so was poised and ready for anything. What does he do? He takes a look at my written score (99) and we "discuss" the merits, beauty etc. of certain low-wing airplanes; the Rockwell commander 114, the Mooney (he used to rent/fly 'the executive') etc. Argh! Not once did we touch on anything 'commercial'. As it turns out, (I found out later) all he was really interested in was to see if I could do the comm. maneuvers. Since he had a private pilot applicant the same day ...he wanted to get me out asap so he could fill the rest of the day grilling the pp-2-b.

I took 'pains' as I 'escorted' him out to the C-152...to mention things like "always approach/depart a plane from the rear and a helicopter from the front" ..."those are not footrests" ..."there's two fire-extinguishers over by the shed should we have an engine-start fire" ..."please don't open the window (on the ground or in flight) for fresh air or to spit or touch any of the dials" ..."let me show you how to fasten/unfasten your seatbelt and shoulder harness" ..."if you see any airplanes close by ...point them out to me"... etc. etc. (YES I was trying (earnestly) to be commercial-conscientious ...without being anal). As our 23,000 hour chief-pilot/DE he seemed amused, sometimes, but I was damned sure I was not going to "assume" anything with respect to "commercial ops." After all, I take the same pains/precautions when I take up passengers so I was not going to change my modus operandi just because I had an experienced-pilot/DE in the right seat (acting as a passenger). He had me do a soft-takeoff - no problem but never said anything about "starting the x-country". I smelled a rat. We were using RWY 24 with Islip's class C starting 2 miles off the departure end ..to the west at 1,400'. Winds were from 210 at 8 ..no biggie. I took pains to make sure I was on the centerline within ground effect and beyond the departure end. After 60KIAS, I retracted the flaps, pitched for Vy (6IAS), put in 2.5 up trim, rechecked runway alignment, watched for traffic and just let her climb upwards -- two fingers on the yoke and flying 'smooth'. e's a stickler for runway alignment. At TPA, *I* said, "well, since I haven't heard that you want me to go to the first checkpoint, I'm going to (take the initiative) (since we're in an uncontrolled field), make a left 45 exit (as per the AIM), climb up to 2000' MSL and head towards the south practice area".

He just nodded. He had me do lazy 8's, chandelles, steep turns, eights on pylons, slow flight, power on / power off stalls and one 'tricky one' -- slow flight 'dirty' (35 KIAS, full flaps, stall horn on).... and then he wanted a 45 deg. banked turn ...180 deg. change in direction. I replied ..."Bob, today is hazy, hot and humid, we're at 3,500' density alt. even though we're at 2,000MSL, and and I also have YOU (180lbs) in the plane -- even if I firewall the throttle we won't be able to maintain alt. but I can still give you the 45 deg. bank without stalling". He didn't say anything. I lost the 100' during the 180 deg. turn, but I didn't stall it and the turn was coordinated. He did chastise me for the 100' loss. Argh! He said that if, instead of having the asi at the bottom of the white arc (at 3IAS), if I had been doing 'slow flight' at 4IAS that I'd be able to do the 45 banked turn, 180 deg. change in direction with no loss of alt. Then I realized what he was talking about -- HE wanted slow flight at 1.2Vso ...not at Vso. He took the controls, got us into the green arc at 4IAS, brought the pwr down to 2300RPM and did the turn ...no loss of alt. I nodded this time - lesson learnt - 4IAS not 3IAS when asked for slow flight.

He had some 'tips' for me on the chandelles (which he actually liked) ..."don't immediately pitch for max. pitch and 'carry' the max. pitch all the way around ...but just plan your change of pitch so that you REACH max. pitch at the 90 deg. point then hold it for the second 90 deg. change of direction as you slowly take out the bank to then arrive at Vs at the 180 deg. change in direction.

He was reasonably pleased with my lazy 8's (my nemesis) but said that as I crossed the reference line that I still had about a 5 deg. bank in when the wings should be perfectly level. (I replied ..."because I still had about 10 deg. of heading change to go before *I* crossed my reference line") -- obviously from his point of view -- we had already crossed the reference line but I thought I was still short so was 'planning' my bank and remaining turn so as to cross it wings level --. We both agreed that the complete lack of a horizon was making *distinct reference points* an ambiguity. We agreed to disagree. He wasn't satisfied so took the controls so as to show me how to do a lazy 8. I knew we were in trouble within the first 3 seconds as he pitched up.... coz he was pitching up WAY to much. Before we even reached the 90 deg. point ...he stalled the plane and put us into an incipient spin. I don't make this stuff up.

There we are, the Atlantic ocean filling the Plexiglas, spinning around and him applying anti-spin forces. (I chuckled to myself). He returned the controls and asked me to perform 8's on pylons ..which I did...by first reducing to 90KIAS and picking two ground reference points (a white house and a round swimming pool) approx. 1/4-1/2 mile apart. On the downwind I reduced pwr by approx. 100RPM since we would be in a descent and on the upwind side of the maneuver, I added pwr since we would be in a climb. This is the way I was taught. You do this so as not to have "airspeed excursions" from your initial starting airspeed.He didn't like this. He pushed in the throttle so that it was at 2400RPM and told me to do the maneuver and damn the airspeed excursions. I was still able to do the maneuver and just 'vertically elevated' the plane (since the pivotal alt. depends on your groundspeed) approx. an extra 150 feet over the ground (ref points). I watched, almost in disbelief as the ASI varied between 103 and 85 during the descents and the climbs. Airspeed excursions didn't seem to bother him.

We climbed back up to 2,000' where he had me do the steep (50 deg. banked turns) ...no prob. -- if at all I had maybe a +/- 50 foot difference throughout the 720 change in heading and +/- IAS. Then he just said "emergency descent" ...and I went thru' the 'flow' with about as much fuss as opening a bag of Doritos. I can, I can honestly say, do all the maneuvers without having to think about what I have to do and in what sequence ...they're now pretty much automatic and I can do them within the PTS or better. My attitude is ...*I* am the airplane ...I can display mastery of the airplane (because it is a part of me!). My instructors, during post-flight critiques, say that "comes across" in my flying ...smooth and relaxed, yet alert, and with anticipation of what's coming next. (Well, hey! I *like* flying! and, geez, I practice enuf!)

Then he pulled the engine on me... no biggie. Did everything you're supposed to do ...and even mentioned to him (my passenger) that he should move his seat back and he can hold my sectional in front of his face if he doesn't want to watch ...and when we come to a stop ..if *I* can't get out ...then I want him to unbuckle his belt (like I showed him to back at the ramp!), get out and get help. When it was pretty obvious I had this part down pat he made me recover and take us back to the airport. I adjusted my airspeed and position in the pattern so as to 'flow' and join the other two planes already operating. He asked me to 'hit' the 1000' foot marker ...and I touched softly down, stall-horn on, nose high, on the mains, within 50 feet of it. I might mention that, throughout, I was using my checklists ...but only as a backup to my "flow". I'd refer to the checklist after I had a 'moment in time' ..so as to minimize 'head in the cockpit syndrome'.

After the flight my CFI sat in (his office), with me, for the 'post-flight' debriefing. It was more of a discussion than anything else and the only thing he wrote in my logbook was 'review slow flight and 8's on pylons'. He finished the conversation with "Mr. Murray ..if today was your test-day ...you WOULD have passed...." :-)

*THAT* both I and my CFI were glad to hear and in our own personal matter afterwards he just said that he, the DE, likes certain maneuvers done HIS way ...case in point ...the constant high power setting during the 8's on pylons. So! ...off we both go to the FBO desk to book the 172-RG "cutlass" for a full-day so that I can take the real test lickety-split and finish up this thing.

Then we get the bad news ...there's an Airworthiness Directive on the cutlass (the landing gear) and it's "down". It might be down for either 3 weeks or 6 months. They need parts and we're number 63, in the country, for the parts. The AD is costing them $2,500. My CFI asks "well ...I/we have a need for a complex airplane!" The owner replies that they're bringing in a 1967 Arrow (complex plane) to fill-in. My CFI hold his head in his hands -- he has ZERO time in an Arrow ..as do I. We get to learn that the arrow is REAL old ...even the
airspeed indicator is in MPH!

I say to the CFI ...."Gary, I have over 80hrs in the cutlass ...and I'm comfortable in it ...and would be comfortable in it taking a TEST in it! ....but why should I spend another $2000 getting some 10 or 15 hours in this piper arrow and taking a TEST in it ...merely because they don't have a replacement/stand-by cessna cutlass! ....On test-day I'm supposed to show "mastery of the aircraft" ....I could be easily failed for not showing
mastery of the aircraft/arrow ...and rightly so coz I'm NOT going to be as sharp with only 15hrs in this low-wing-piper-arrow as against 80+hrs in the high-wing-cessna-cutlass".

He nods. So that's where we stand. Here I am, poised, sharp as a razor to take the test ...and the FBO doesn't have a replacement complex plane (of the same type as *everyone else* has been trained in) to replace the one down for the AD. I told my CFI, Gary, that I'm NOT going to blow another $2000 just to get 15 hrs in the arrow and possibly blow the flight-test because of a lack of mastery due to "inadequate time in type". So, until such time as they get the cutlass back on-line, I'm just going to fly, once a week or so, just to maintain my current level of proficiency/sharpness and just bide my time.

AFTER I get the comm ticket ...THEN I might spend some $$$ building some 'low-wing' time ...completely devoid of any pressure ..and at my own time/pace ...and maybe even in this '67 arrow --- BUT NOT BEFORE!
So there we stand ...I'm on 'hold'.
P.S. Oh yeah, the pp-2-b, that was 'after me'? ....he failed him -- the applicant drifted way off centerline on the cross-wind landing portion of the test.

Commercial Checkride
One area I'd like some feedback on is what a Commercial Pilot can do with the certificate. I know the rules about "holding out" to the public, and that a commercial certificate holder can be employed to fly for a commercial operator, that the pilot himself is not a commercial operation. But what about specific single pilot operations? I know flying sight-seeing flights must be seasonal at the most. Are there any other jobs that sort of fall into gray areas that my DE might ask about?

From: C J Campbell
My DE asked me if I could carry fish and drop them in a lake (fish planting). Is this an agricultural operation or are you carrying property for hire? He did not really seem to care what the answer was; he just wanted to point out that sometimes you might want to talk to the FSDO before taking on a job.

Sightseeing is not a gray area. You can do sightseeing within the limitations described in the FARs. You must comply, however, with part 135 drug and alcohol requirements, which can be a problem. It can take months to
get yourself set up with a drug testing consortium, which is really your only viable option as a single pilot.
Agricultural work, banner towing, aerial photography (watch out for passengers who want to avoid the
restrictions on carrying passengers for hire by calling it 'aerial photography' or 'instruction'), fish spotting, pipeline patrolling, carrying parachutists, and so on are all things that you can do.

Bear in mind that some specialized activities such as fish spotting and fire fighting will require that you have some experience on the ground in those fields before anyone will hire you. Washington State Patrol, for instance, requires you to work a patrol car for two years before they will let you fly as a pilot for them -- but then, as far as the FAA is concerned, you may not need a pilot certificate at all to fly for them (the federal, state, and municipal government employee exception -- but every government agency that I know of except the military requires you to have a commercial pilot certificate if you want to fly for them). It is also not that difficult, once you have the required hours, to set yourself up as a single pilot charter shop; it is more time consuming than anything else and the insurance is murderous (don't make the mistake I made and get a new plane; the rates are based on hull value), but all the forms you need are available on the Internet along with sample letters of compliance.

Of course, even private pilots can carry federal election candidates for hire -- federal election laws require the candidates to pay for flights or they start to run afoul of contribution limits. The exception does not apply to state or local politicians, though.

Commercial Phase Check (Canadian)
Hi. Completed the Comm. Prog. 3 (complex aspects) in the cutlass, last Tuesday week ... here's what I remember:
Weather for the day was 10+ miles viz, winds 350 at 10 gusting to 19, scattered layer at 4,500'. I was at the office for 8:50AM for the 9:00 start. I was all prepped up and ready to answer questions on 'systems'
-- I could draw the fuel system and electrical system and hydraulic system on a blank piece of paper if asked. My head was full of 'numbers' -- v-speeds, max. limits, etc. etc. I had studied up on the weather and had 're-done' all the questions in the written (Gleim) book.

He asked me for my log book and asked me how much time is needed (dual and solo) and day/night-time
to 'qualify' for the commercial and what is *required* IN the dual and IN the solo requirements. (Huh?) I had to scratch my head a bit and although numbers like '20' and '10' were on the tip of my tongue (yet since I hadn't gone over the training requirements) I said to him "Bob, I know I have the requirements covered (and then some) since a long time ago ..but I'm not going to bluff -- let me look up the inside cover of the Gleim book and give you the actual numbers specified." So I did. He flicked thru' my log book and asked me where I went on the dual day and dual night and where I went on the solo day (long X-C). Then we 'discussed' the operation of a variable pitch prop. I said, in one 'discussion' that, if you set the prop at a certain RPM and then you climb to a higher alt. ...the RPM will stay the same but, because of the thinner air -- the pitch angle will become coarser (the prop will (initially) have less of a load on it so the governor adjusts to take a bigger bite). HE SAID ..."funny, I thought it was the other way around" (Huh!)

And so, this to-ing and fro-ing went on -- any time I tried to speak more than two sentences in a row, he'd butt in and, raising his voice a smidge, overpower what I was trying to convey and end up answering his own question. (Argh!)

Truth be told, I felt as though I hadn't been given an opportunity to show that I had done my homework. The constant interruptions left me feeling like a blithering idiot.

After this 'oral'' ...and whilst I waited for the desk-clerk to organize the clip-board... he became engrossed in some operational issues as to what planes were allowed at what tie-down ramps and who's bill wasn't paid up and who's was etc. This 'administrative stuff' seemed to be grinding on his nerves and I made a mental note that he might be a lil wound up by the time we flew.

Since this was my FIRST time flying with Bob in the cutlass, I made pains to convey that I knew what the hell I was doing. I knew the right hand door was "iffy" so waited until he seated himself in -- told him to buckle himself in and tell me that he knew how to unbuckle the belt -- and to bring in his elbows as I'd have to secure the door from the outside -- giving it a hefty shove so that we wouldn't have an inadvertent door opening' during flight.

As I went thru my 'before start' checklist and organized my csg, sectional, pencils, knee-board, x-c plan etc. I mentioned that if we have an engine fire start ..even though the fuel truck is nowhere to be seen ..there IS a fire extinguisher on the wall of the blue hangar just behind us. I taxied gingerly - -and I mean gingerly -- 950 rpm out of the tight area and out to the run-up area for runway 33. Since it was a gusty day I made sure I positioned the controls as appropriate for the wind. I made sure I was on the yellow taxi-way centerline too.

I told him, just before I did my "Lights, camera action" routine that I'd take-off, then after TPA, exit 45 deg. to the left, climb up over the field, simulate initializing my VFR flight plan with FSS (122.6) then either have a listening watch on 132.25 (since we would be on our way to Montauk) or establish contact for flight following. Before I took the runway (33) I wrote my time down on my lap board.

"Make this a soft t/o" he blurted. I engaged 10 deg. flaps, pulled the yoke ALL the way back, gave her some juice -- just enough to roll us onto the runway without causing any 'side loads' during the turn to line up, lined her up on the centerline, added more power to significantly reduce any load on the nose -- even having it a couple of inches off as we began to roll, and reduced the amount of right aileron as we gained speed. As the benefits of ground effect began to take place, I kept a smidge of right aileron in (to prevent skipping) and waited until the upwind wheel was ALSO off the asphalt before pitching down,
leveling off and establishing a right-hand crab angle. Because of the gusty winds, I'll admit there was some 'porpoising' but I still kept her within 36 feet of the ground until the ASI was well past 76 (Vx). At that point, I raised the nose, pitched for Vy (84), established a positive rate of climb, raised the flaps, and, when there was no more usable runway, brought up the gear. I kept looking outside, scanning for traffic, and just beyond the departure end of 33, verbally went thru the enroute climb checklist ..."airspeed, power (25/25) , mixture, fuel, undercarriage, cowl-flaps, alignment". AFTER this I picked up my checklist and referred to it.

As I climbed up over the field I took a time check, established my (calculated) heading, I said that we'd be abeam Spadaros at 56. As I climbed I simulated talking to FSS and ATC but could see that there would be no way that I could climb to 3,500 and be VFR legal -- there were clouds (scattered) from 3,500 on up. I said to him "Even though I had planned for three-five -- (hemi rule eastbound) -- that's not going to happen, so let me stay here at 2,900 so that we'll not be above 3 and also clear of Gabreski's class D.".

"Well why don't you just level out at 3 thousand', he said, initiating a discussion on why the hemi rule applies to feet AGL (I knew that) as against MSL. So, to keep him happy, I leveled out at 3,000 MSL instead. It was a bit bumpy but I kept us on heading and within 50 feet of target alt. I set the MP to 22" and the RPM to 2500 for 65% power as previously calculated.

"Why do you have it at THAT high an RPM?" he asked, "WHERE'S THE POH". As I flew the plane I reached back into my flight bag, Extracted the POH, flicked to the performance pages and handed it to him. As he ran his finger up and down the columns of numbers I *gently* nudged him that we were on course and abeam Spadaros and the time was (I lifted my wristwatch up to show him) ....56 past the hour,
and that we'd be at our next checkpoint at 03 past the hour.

"Good". He then wanted me to use 23 inches and 2300 rpm saying that would give us (pretty much) 65% power but would make things 'quieter'. He said, almost admonishingly, that when you get your own plane you can abuse it and run it at 2500 rpm and 22in, but *I* want you to reduce the wear and tear and use 23/23 instead. (Fine.)

Like clockwork (no pun intended) we were on course and just south east of Mattituck at ...03 past the hour -- bingo! Then he said ...."let's go to Bridgeport!" I turned over my sectional and referred to my "Divert!" checklist, flew with my feet and drew a line from present position to Bridgeport, correcting every so often for wing-dips coz of turbulence. As I flew the 320 heading I said (if we were higher we'd have to fly at say, 4,500' feet - hemi rule) (he nodded) and worked out the time to, fuel, etc. on my CSG whilst, again flying with my feet. I estimated we'd be at BDR within 21 minutes and would use 2.9 gals. I also said that I'd be contacting FSS -- letting them know about the divert -- and that when we'd land at BDR we should call the people we were "supposed" to meet at Montauk'.

"Show me a power off stall - dirty configuration". I did my clearing turns, "dirtied up the plane" stalled it (with no wing dips), on heading throughout and with a loss of maybe 50 feet. If I say so myself it was pretty much textbook.)

"Now take me to Calverton". I dialed in Calverton, (117.2) identified it, and had the CDI dead center or (at most) at a tangent to the donut (sometimes but mostly within) for the entire trip there. Any time I had a "lull" I'd do a compass to DG check and a flow-check -- making sure everything was in the green and
"no red lights showing" - -and looking out for traffic.

As we flew to Calverton I'd periodically break the silence with lil' snippets like "As a commercial applicant, Bob, I take pains to fly with as much anticipation as I can muster -- I strive to fly with finesse -- I don't always get it right -- I'm still learning -- but I always make the effort". Take us back".

I dialed in the Brookhaven AWOS (the winds were still gusting) -- asked for advisories -- self-announced on CTAF and entered on a 45 for the left downwind for 33 at TPA.

"Short field landing". n the downwind I did my pre-landing check and GUMPS check but didn't touch the prop control until the base leg ..."Props to go". I timed my rate of turn from base to finals so that I would neither undershoot nor over shoot ...as I rolled out I was lined up just fine and
THEN, when the wings were level, I put in 30 deg. flaps.

I had her lined up on (extended) centerline at approx 500 feet approx 1/4--1/2 mile from touchdown at 63 KIAS and approx 11-12" MP -- stabilized with a right hand crab. Again, on finals, I did my GUMPS check with "props to go".

At about 50' off the deck I pulled pwr to idle and with Fred Astair's feet kept the nose lined up and us on the centerline as I literally (unashamedly) greased the upwind wheel onto the runway. When all three wheels were on the ground, and me still looking ahead and maintaining us on the centerline, putting in more right aileron as we slowed, I retracted the flaps, put in some braking (but not too much) and taxied off (first left taxiway). I cleaned up the plane, went thru' the checklist and took us down to 33 again.

"Normal takeoff this time". As I rotated and established a crab angle he blurted "There you go again ...! the ball is way out to the right!" On this landing he wanted a 'normal' one ...which I did and, again, put her down nicely and on centerline - despite the gusts. (I have no doubt that all those "pattern work mornings in gusty conditions" paid off.)

When I was parking the plane the nosewheel rolled over the 'tail-tie-down' and stayed on the parking-line until I engaged the hand-brake, shut shop and closed the cowl flaps.

When I got back into the office he said that he was NOT HAPPY with my clearing turns (for the pwr. off stall.). (?) "When you raise the wing I want you to look up ..out past the end of the raised wing and then down past the end of the lowered wing -- not just along the horizon." Also, he was NOT happy that during the transition from the slip to the crab on the cross-wind take-off that the ball was out to the right. "Why are you riding the upwind wheel?" "Do you normally climb out in a side slip?" "Where did you learn THAT!?"

I calmly went to the flight training hand book, flicked thru' it and showed him the page covering the cross-wind take off -- and how to prevent skipping until the plane is FULLY off the ground, adding...

"Bob, I know that engine has a lot of torque ..so if I'm not putting in enough right rudder for torque AND for the (initial) right turn in order to establish the right hand (level attitude) crab then, fine, I just have to remember to put in MORE RIGHT in a situation like that. But believe me, I do NOT look at the ball when I'm rotating and I do NOT climb out in a side-slip -- I was merely preventing skipping until I had ALL of the plane FULLY off the runway".

"I watched the nose go from being aligned with the centerline on the takeoff roll to going to the right then moving left then moving right again as you established the crab and the ball out to the right as the nose went left". "Watch for torque effects and anticipate them ...don't REACT to them".

After he signed my logbook I shook his hand and thanked him for his time and the "feedback", mentioning, that the whole purpose of a prog is to highlight those things that (the student) needs to work on. "I don't know what I don't know", I added, "so I am really depending on YOU to bring these items to my attention."

So NOW I know, a LOT more right rudder esp. during a right crosswind takeoff and look out MORE than I am currently doing when doing clearing turns.
(BTW, he didn't say anything else about anything else.)

Commercial Checkride6
Ride was good. This DE really treats it as a learning experience and is constantly talking and pulling strange questions out of his head, if you don't know the answer he doesn't hold it against you as long as you can tell him where to find out. Then he goes on explaining different reasons for what ever the answer is. He did this through out the entire ride. Sometimes I couldn't keep up with what topic he was talking about or was he talking about the maneuver I was doing? lol

Maneuvers all went great, he complimented me on every one, said I was a lot smoother than alot of applicants. We did each maneuver at least twice, then did 3 emergency descents to a power off landing. His big thing on these was that you circle down over your critical point at a rate of 1 turn per 1000 ft of altitude loss so it sets you up for a normal power off base to final, just like the 180 degree power off spot landing.

Having just completed the Commercial last Fall, here are my experiences:
Written focuses deeper on weather, weight and balance, aircraft performance, aerodynamics and regulations on commercial operations and piloting(there is a difference between the two, so be well versed). Beware the FAA has started mixing up the answer stems randomly, so while you may remember the answer to a question is choice 'A' in the prep book/software you use, the actual test may have that same answer as 'C',

Practical test involves proving competency in a high performance- complex aircraft, as well as more advance maneuvers (8's on pylons, lazy eights, chandelles). You can find all this in the PTS, widely
available on various web sites including the FAA's own.

Out of the Private, IFR and Commercial, it was the easiest of the three, but that's not to say it's 'easy'. The maneuvers are challenging, but very FUN! The written was, well, a written. Proper preparation for that will guarantee a 90+ score.

About Twins
--Risks involved in single engine operations of twins:
--A spin
--A Vmc rollover
--Vmc and stall speed determines what you get.
--A twin single engine stall can cause a loss of 1000 feet
--A Vmc roll will take 3000 feet for recovery.
--Vmc demonstrations are very gentle, deceptively so.
--Entry and recovery efforts apparently must be violent to cause Vmc roll.
--Cause Situations:
--Engine failure during power-on-stall
--Engine failure during final when low and slow and applying full power on only one engine.

Recovery from Rollover
--Pull off all power quickly.
--Continue aileron roll until upright.
--Initial gentle forward pressure when upside down.
-Gentle back pressure when upright.

Multi-Basic Performance
Able to make a 30-degree banked 360 while keeping the speed between Vsse and the blue line while in the takeoff configuration with gear and flaps. At some point after the 360 to lose one engine, roll level, identify and feather, clean up and accelerate back to blue line and all to be done without altitude change.

--Thirty percent of all light twin accidents are preceded by engine malfunction. This is the largest single category of twin accidents.
--when you lose 50% of your power, you have lost 85% of your performance.

Twin Commercial Checkride
To cut a long story short ...
i) Had me do everything to commercial standards
ii) Steep turns (50 deg.)
iii) Slow flight
iv) Power off stall
v) Vmca demo
-- shut down the 'critical' engine, establish a zero-sideslip then demonstrate
"loss of directional control" and 'recover'
vi) Use checklists judiciously -- "do then verify"
(The plane travels fast so you *cannot* afford to have your head buried in the cockpit and be wandering all over the place ...just to 'complete' the checklist.)

I had memorized everything so did everything by memory (whilst keeping my eyes outside) and then
(time permitting) backed up "the flow" with the written checklist.

vii) On my first approach to a (normal) landing he called "go around" 50 feet off the deck ...and after I'd
cleaned up the plane, and was turning (left) crosswind, he pulled the _right_ engine on me.

I had been warned about this. He does NOT want you to use the checklist or attempt a re-start if the engine fails on take-off, climb-out or anywhere in the traffic pattern -- just secure it (props to feather, mixture idle cutoff) and get the plane back on the ground. There's too much going on, in an airport traffic pattern, to be fidgeting with engine controls, pulling out checklists etc.

viii) I still flew the crosswind, secured the 'dead' engine, established a 'zero slip' condition, closed the cowl flaps and put us on the downwind with the one (good) engine pulled back to a power setting (23") that kept us in the air (10 kts above blue line) without over revving the engine. Then landed on the remaining 'one' engine with the other one windmilling (set to zero thrust via the prop control).

He wrote "Good Job" in the Remarks section of my log book. (My instructor was pleased ...hey so was I!)
---> Now I'm "cleared" to start instrument training/work in the twin for the next Prog. check. <----

The 'favorite' stunt ...is to pull the left engine when you're in a right-hand procedure turn -- and vice versa --
so that the (remaining) right engine tries to force you (yawing/rolling) to the *opposite side** (left) -- even though you STILL need to turn right -- effectively 'canceling' the right turn -- which is, of course, needed to intercept the final approach course, and coz you need to ALSO maintain the minimum altitude for the intermediate segment ...invariably it's also at full power ...so you have your hands full flying the plane AND keeping the sunny side up AND maintaining tolerances for the instrument approach.

Flying a twin (when everything is working) is not that hard ...it's a bit like flying a (very) high performance single ...lots of power under your right palm, but when ONE engine goes ...you *really* need your 'single engine' technique to be up to par (to maximize your time aloft on the remaining engine) otherwise you'll end up losing directional control. In a twin: directional control FIRST ...performance SECOND.

To keep myself 'proficient' (not just current) I've been flying ACTUAL IFR for the last couple of weeks (in the Skyhawk) doing cross countries. In this way, by the time we start to do instrument apps. in the twin. I'll be instrument *proficient* and (should) (hopefully) not make a complete idiot of myself under the hood. I also thought this prudent coz, twin time being what it is -- EXPENSIVE -- it would NOT be smart to be in the twin and 're-visiting/regurgitating' instrument procedures whilst learning "new stuff" (-- trying to fly an approach with an engine out.) Each 1.5 hour lesson is running me around $340. Yeah, I know, ouch! But, hey, I don't smoke or drink!G.

Basic Aerobatics as a Requirement for the Commercial Pilot Certificate,
August 1997, from a survey of (49) instructors employed by ERAU:

--82% disagreed that spin awareness training is more effective than spin flight training.
–86% agreed aerobatics training [including spins] is safe"
--98% agreed that aerobatics training [including spins] would benefit flying skills
–98% agreed that aerobatics training [including spins] would increase confidence in my flying ability"
--96% aerobatic training [including spins] would improve safety"
--82% agreed that basic aerobatic training [including spins] should be mandated into commercial pilot training

The Commercial Training Continues! :-)
Lessons are going well. Apparently, all the way through the Commercial training and through my CFI training, afterwards John insists that I will be flying from the right seat from now on (at least for the training). Last week's lesson we were taxiing down the taxiway and John looked where I was sitting (the left seat) and asked me what I was doing there. I told him I wasn't sure if he had only wanted me to try the right seat out, as we did in our previous lesson or if he wanted me there on a regular basis. I offered to shut-down in the run up area and change seats, but he declined and said we would just make sure next time that I was in the 'right' seat.

The lesson before, last, we did some ground training (required as part of the rating), about 2.5 hours worth. We were originally going to do that last week, but in the week preceding I was starting to feel like I might be
catching a cold, so I opted for a ground session a week earlier.

Last lesson we did more Chandelles, Lazy Eights, Steep (50 degree) turns, and added a new item to the mix; steep spirals. We were so high, that the notion of descending with the engine at idle in a steep spiral wasn't so
much an issue as I thought it might have been. I DO need to add more of the 'steep' to my steep spirals as I was making a few of them with fairly shallow banks - but being the first time I did them, John looked past that
and pointed out that I had done a good job. Can't remember if I told you, but in a steep spiral the purpose is to allow one to descend to a desired point that is directly below the airplane. For instance, you lose your engine and the only good spot to land is directly under you, yet you have LOTS of altitude. So, rather than risk trying to lose altitude moving away from the point and then back again (risking the possibility of misjudging gliding distance and ending up short of the desired point), the steep spiral allows you to keep it directly underneath you at all times. The pilot test standard {PTS) for the maneuver is that one maintain a constant airspeed +/-
10 knots and fly a bank angle no greater than 60 degrees (actually around 40 degrees or so is just fine).

I've been through the training for the Commercial Written test (from King Schools on DVD), once already and I have already begun going through it from the beginning. I will do this at least several times (it is a 3 DVD set). Soon I will be getting the Commercial Written software from Gleim, which allows the user to take the tests (in the same visual format as at the testing centers) in tutorial mode (where you can ask for explanations) and actual test mode (as one takes it at the testing center).

I will also be copying the audio portion of my training DVD's onto some audio CD's that I will play in the portable CD player that I have plugged into my service van. In this way, I can be studying at all times and take advantage of what would normally be 'down time' for studying.

I used the latter method to study for the three instrument written tests I took, previously; Instrument Written, Instrument Ground Instructor written, and the CFI Instrument written exam and got a 90, 90, 88 respectively -
which I've been told is a good score for any of the instrument written tests (I was quite pleased). So, not to mess with success I will be doing the same for the Commercial Written exam and train in a similar manner as I did for my Instrument Oral exam.

While, the Commercial flying is LOTS of fun - I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am to be able to look out that windscreen again; the maneuvers are no simple cakewalk and most challenging (something that makes me enjoy them even more). The information for the Commercial is also intensive (but all quite manageable with good study) and goes a lot more than any previous rating did on the function and operation of aircraft systems and training for more emergency scenarios. Also, I will (after I can do the maneuvers,
and well) do some training in a retractable gear plane with a constant speed prop. I already bought a copy of the pilot information manual for the Piper Archer III. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was more than a little
excited about flying a totally different plane (i.e. low-wing, with retractable gear and constant speed prop) and at the same time a little bit intimidated by the prospect - I'll actually have to remember to check the gear before landings (before my landing gear has ALWAYS been 'down' J). I guess that is one of the many enjoyable things about aviation is that it provides constant challenges while maneuvering in a 3-d environment.

John had 'fun' with me, right from the start of the lesson last week. I remember thinking as I was flying to the practice area that John (normally kind of a 'Gary Cooper' type) was certainly very talkative today. At times
he seemed to be 'just chatting' and other times would ask me about specific regulations and where they could be found. It eventually dawned on me (and he confessed later) that he was trying to introduce lots of distractions (as a Commercial pilot in a small air-taxi operation might be getting from his/her passengers) while I was flying.

One of the things that he is moving me towards (also why he is having me fly from the right seat) is being able to perform complex maneuvers WHILE explaining them at the same time (this is required for the CFI checkride, so he is trying to get me 'started' early). So far, I am just learning the maneuvers so I am only asked to give a description BEFORE the maneuver is flown; but I know that eventually he will have me giving a 'play-by-play' account of the maneuver AS I'm performing it.

I'm actually very grateful that John is introducing some of the CFI requirements into my Commercial training as it will make the CFI training (after I pass my Commercial checkride) much easier as I will already be
comfortable with the right seat and with explaining the maneuvers as I do them. We'll be introducing spin recovery training once I begin my CFI training, officially.

When the time comes (and I really am just trying to keep my eye on the task at hand; The Commercial Certificate training) and I begin the training for the CFI there will be LOTS of ground time spent in learning how to devise lesson plans and just how to teach someone to fly in the first place. The only 'CFI' written test is the FOI (Fundamentals of Instruction) exam (which I already have the software for but I won't begin studying until after I get my Commercial certificate and begin my CFI training.

My next lesson is tomorrow afternoon and I'm understandably eager to learn the maneuvers some more! Sometime in the next month or so, I'm going to try to schedule some 'extra time' to get some real cloud time and approach practice with my CFII, just to keep the Instrument skills from getting rusty. Goodness knows I worked hard for them and they can decay rather quickly.--
Good Flights!
Cecil, PP-ASEL-IA, Student - CP-ASEL

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