Practice tests on tests on tests and forced landings. This week was spent primarily revising for the upcoming PPL Theory Exam, much like the last few weeks. It does appear that the test will happen next week and I know said that last week but things happen, people get sick, schedules change and it’s something you have to get used to. Some days can feel deathly quiet and then turn into a frenzy the following day. Aircraft might need unforeseen maintenance and the weather might take an unforecasted turn for the worst, or the opposite could happen in which case everyone pushes to get out and fly while there are planes and the weather is good. It’s real world, which I like. You feel connected to the pulse and rhythm of it all and that movement keeps things flexible and spontaneous, which is what often leads to tower or fire station visits, it all ebbs and flows.
I’ve mentioned before about the practice exam system, and it’s what I used mostly all this week. Recalling is a great way to build and retain knowledge, so when I read up on whatever topic or subject I’m studying I then do the revisions at the back of each chapter in the textbook, then once I feel confident I go and do a practice test. If you are not superhuman like me you will no doubt get some questions wrong, so what I then do is print off the KDR‘s which tell you what areas you need to improve, work through them and then sit the practice exam again. Each time you sit it is like a new exam as the system randomly pulls down questions from a database, there will be some overlap but it’s good enough, you want to be aiming to hit 90% or better before you take any exam. That’s mainly my method, I just repeat that, then when I get to the end I go back to the start and make sure it has stuck. My instructor Jack also set up a more thorough practice exam, which took quite a while to complete and was significantly harder than the other practice tests I was doing, but I passed which is good, putting me closer to the real test.
Jack and I also did a nav, with the first leg to Casino. We took off and ATC had us turn to the left of track for traffic separation, fairly normal from what I’ve experienced, this meant we couldn’t use the VOR for our leg to Casino, had to do a 1 in 60 and rule up a new track using the GPS to confirm we were indeed on the right track. We did a touch and go at Casino, then tracked for Evans Head to start the Forced Landings part of the flight, but some locals were out with their RC planes and so we decided to move up to Tyagarah instead. On the way Jack put me under the hood onto the instruments where I did my first radio position fix. By establishing the outbound radials from the Ballina NDB and Gold Coast VOR that we were on and then ruling them out on the map, you should technically be where the two lines cross over. So I ruled them up on the map and got Rocky Lake, Jack said look up and sure enough, we were overhead Rocky Lake! I thought this was absolutely awesome and couldn’t believe it, such a good skill to have. We then did Forced Landings at Tyagarah, including my first landing on a grass strip which was cool, I felt in my element and am really looking forward to more remote flying.