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I’ve passed my skills test!

Tuesday was the big day. My skills test. The toughest and final hurdle before a Private Pilots Licence can be granted.

I arrived at EFG Flying School nice and early with most of my planning complete. I had already prepared the weather, notams, weight and balance and performance calculations.

Before I knew it my test had begun and I was airborne at Biggin doing an overhead departure out to the East. The first navigation leg of the test allows you no radio navigation aids and so my dead reckoning, heading keeping and planning had to be spot on.

I transited the Rochester ATZ, made my way over to Manston Airport, transited the Manston ATZ and turned overhead to head South West towards the town of Tenterden. On route I had to make sure that I stayed clear of Lashenden / Headcorn ATZ and then soon after that I was given a diversion to a little private airfield called Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey.

I did the necessary diversion steps such the as required heading, distance, time and ETA, factored in the crosswind component and I soon enough found myself overhead Eastchurch having found it ok. It wasn’t easy to spot though!

At this point the air work part of the test began. I was asked to demonstrate a couple of stalls, steep turns, instrument flying under the hood, a practice forced landing, an engine failure after take off simulation as well as a couple of other manoeuvres such as a spiral dive recovery.

With my air work part complete, I did two VOR tracking exercises. One of which to the Detling VOR and the next to Biggin Hill’s VOR. I joined at Biggin Hill, completed a few circuits, landed and taxied back to the flying school after the longest and toughest flight I’ve ever been on. My brakes to brakes time was over two and a half hours.

The first thing that Ray my examiner said after shut down was that I had passed and wow was I revived and really chuffed. I wasn’t entirely sure wether I would or not as there were certainly areas that I could of done better in, but it was a pass and I was so happy! Ray and I debriefed quite thoroughly, completed a whole heap of paperwork and now that has all been submitted to the CAA for my licence to be sent out!

I’d like to say a huge thanks to the team at EFG flight school and a special mention to Christof my instructor for being an incredible teacher! Thanks guys!

Mike