I’m a Private Pilot!

I just passed my private pilot checkride with Peggy. She signed off on it and printed me out a temporary certificate. Woo!

We started a little late, but the gave me some time to get everything setup and load up on Hershey’s kisses. The oral exam lasted about 1 hour at the end of which she gave me the hold short question – which side of the hold short line do you hold short on. The solid line side!

So we went flying. The plan was to fly the first part of a trip planned to Williamsburg, VA. I planned it to transition through Morristown’s airspace. When we got off of Caldwell, I called up Morristown and they said, “677DM, stay clear of the Class Delta.” Doh! I pulled out my chart and tried to figure how far their airspace goes. I also took a look at the GPS distance to make sure we were more than four miles from the airport. We got around it and were back on course.

Around Somerset Airport, Peggy pulled the engine on me. I flew over the field and planned a left traffic pattern. By the time we got there, we were at pattern altitude. I turn downwind, then base, then turning final realized I was way too low. I kept it too wide. So, I did a go-around. I am not happy about that, especially cause we had practiced many forced landings during training.

Peggy gave me another shot at it. This time I kept it too close and was slipping it to the max to try to get down to the runway. We would have touched down beyond midfield, and it wasn’t that long of a runway. So, I hit the power and we went on to the other maneuvers. I was not too happy about that either.

The other maneuvers went fantastically, though. We did some S-turns, then headed up North. We did some slow flight, power on and off stalls, and a steep turn. She then put me under the hood and had me do a climb, decent, and some turns. After that, some unusual attitudes. Those all worked out and her comments on the checklist were “Very Good.”

She had me pinpoint our location while I was still under the hood. We happened to be over Boonton Reservoir. From there, Caldwell’s easy to spot.

On downwind, Peggy said she’ll give me another shot at the forced landing and she pulled my power. So I called up to request a short approach and started emergency procedures. I ended up slipping a lot and touching down long, but we made it. That was the first time I had to get off at Gulf after landing on 22.

And that’s all! It was a great day and now I’m a pilot. Thanks to all of the instructors that had flown with me and all the private pilots that had taken me flying with them.

My blog is now the “Adventures of a Private Pilot.” I imagine there will be more pictures from now on.

Plane: N677DM (C172)
From: CDW
To: CDW
Duration: 1.3