Published in July/ August 2018 MENTOR magazine by the National Association of Flight Instructors.
Recently I sent my final student to his private pilot checkride with a local examiner. Like all students approaching their checkrides, he was nervous about the oral examination. While he had little to worry about, the first checkride is a daunting task in aviation. It is arguably just as much of a “rite of passage” as the first solo. This time, he wasn’t trying to prove himself to me, his instructor, but to a stranger whom he had only seen in passing.
The day arrived and he was overly prepared for that white and black temporary certificate to be handed to him, but he didn’t feel that way. I tried the normal techniques of relieving nervousness by asking some easy and common oral questions and by cracking a few jokes, but nothing worked. A happy, go-lucky guy normally, he was all but petrified of this checkride. Nothing could crack it, even though he was attempting not to show his dread.Read More »