Preparing for Stage 1 Check


It seems that Tim wants me to go through the Stage 1 very soon, and he’s preparing me for that Stage 1 check with Sarah, another Certificated Flight Instructor. As I mentioned before she’s apparently quite strict and really expects you to know your knowledge, especially in the verbal part of the Stage 1 check. Tim was saying that you’re not expected to be perfect in executing the maneuvers, but still there’s a minimum standard she’ll be expecting. So this has clearly put the pressure on me.

Today 02/18/2012, I arrived at my school on very cold but bright sunny day, and the plane I had booked was covered with frost and I almost slipped and fell as I tried to climb in to the cockpit for the preflight check. A few moments later Aaron, the mechanic at Thunderbird arrived with some kind of spray and sprayed the plane to melt the frost.

We flew out just beyond the 10 mile lakes outside of Crystal airport to execute some maneuvers. As we were on our way, Tim spoke about how in his class for Law Enforcement he was pepper sprayed to give him a taste of what it’s like to be sprayed. He said he was in extreme pain the first 10 minutes, but interestingly, that pain grew worse after the 10 minutes. I was expecting him to say that after the first 10 minutes pain was decreasing. Tim said, “Now I can really appreciate the power of the Pepper spray and how completely he was immobilized”, and then he laughed. He took control of the plane and said, “Let me show you my school, Hennepin Technical College where I was sprayed”. Tim actually pointed at the roof top of the building where his class was taken to experience the Pepper spray.

Today we did Steep turns, Power-on and Power-off stalls and Slow flying. I also learned the flow check which one needs to do just before some maneuvers such as an emergency landing. The flow check is when you go through the routine of ensuring what might be the cause of the problem, failing that, then you do a reverse flow check. Flow check involves the following steps:

  1. Fuel Pump on
  2. Carburetor Heat on
  3. Mixture is set to rich
  4. Throttle adjusted to desired setting (Also known as Power)
  5. Primer in and locked
  6. Magnetos check
  7. Fuel tank on fullest tank (if on lowest)
  8. Seat belts secure

If things don’t change, then try the reverse path. That is, change fuel tank setting, check magnetos, throttle setting would not be changed, nor the mixture setting, Carburetor heat off and fuel pump off.

According to the syllabus I’ll be tested on the following for my State 1 Check with Sarah. It’s at her discretion as to what she wants to test me on and she may not test me on everything:

  1. Power-Off and Power-on Stalls
  2. Turns around a point
  3. S-Turns
  4. Emergency descent / landing
  5. Slow flying
  6. Normal Take off
  7. Normal Landing

Tim has given me a list of the above maneuvers and the steps taken to execute each. Finally, I told Tim that I don’t think I’m ready, and he said, “Well we won’t let you go on your own until I think you’re ready, and until you feel comfortable to do so”. I felt good about that and that also give me time to go through the list and learn the steps for each maneuver. 😀

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