This is my fourth check ride with DPE Mike DeRuggiero (CFI, CFII, Multi Add-On, and MEI). I will give a quick rundown of the exam and any notes as I can remember them.
- Oral / Ground: The ground portion was about 2.5 hours – but this includes about 45 min of paperwork as well as a good 30 – 45 min of shop talk unrelated to the exam. Biggest topic was Vmc Certification and the relationships with performance etc. While I didn’t have to “teach” a lesson on it – I basically did just that. He sent me the video below the night before, and its a very good video for students to watch. I highly recommend. It also helped prepare me for the exam – and I addressed part of my “lesson” towards the video. COMBATS is a useful acronym to remember the 13 certification points. COMBATS is frequently quoted incorrectly – it is not Maximum Weight, but rather Most Unfavorable Weight, which is typically the lightest possible weight with an Aft CG.
- Normal T/O to the North West: Don’t start your takeoff roll while still on the taxi-way that is prior to the threshold on 15. Other than that, textbook, no surprises.
- Slow flight – demo: Not much to report, standard slow flight.
- Vmc Demo – DPE Performs: He asked me to critique and assess his performance of the maneuver. He performed it very well with only a few deviations – altitude and flap retraction. On altitude he got a bit high at one point but corrected. He let the flaps come all the way up due to the way the flap lever works on the Cougar, and was likely looking to see if I would catch that as part of my critique. (The cougar flap switch springs to all the way up, so if you want to bring the flaps up incrementally you have to manually stop the flaps at each point) I did, and he was happy.
- Vmc Demo – I performed: I did the Vmc demo twice. My first one was a little rough. I got a bit off on heading – not much maybe 5 degrees, and as I began the maneuver I pushed power up on the right before pulling power back on the left. He would like to see power always pulled first – makes sense as you are simulating an engine loss. I pointed out my mistakes and performed a second demonstration as a teaching event.
- Drag Demo- Of all the maneuvers this is probably the one where I made the biggest mistake in terms of procedures, but I caught myself halfway through the maneuver and used it as a teaching opportunity. Namely, I started to do the configuration changes while I was still slowing down and prior to capturing Vyse. When I noted my mistake and used it as a teaching moment, I modified the procedure to ensure all the configurations were performed. I think he was happier that I made the mistake and used it as a teaching moment than if I had just done it perfectly. One thing he did note was that you should also include varying airspeed above and below Vyse. I have not been doing that in practice.
- Single Engine Shutdown – No surprises here.
- Single Engine Maneuvering Demo – Also no surprises.
- Emergence Decent – POH has two techniques. MRA has been using the latter (gear down) for the most part. I also prefer that technique. Useful to know that there are two. My preferred technique is to do a maximum slip as well. Get the airplane as draggy as you can make it, and come down hill like gangbusters.
- KDMW – 50% power t/o: I had never performed the maneuver on a “student”. Easy enough, but may want to practice a bit more with applicants acting as the instructor vice just doing the manuevers.
- Failure > 500’: Caught me a bit by surprise even though I knew it was coming. I did all the right things, if a bit slowly, and then we departed the pattern.
- SE Landing back at KMTN: Also no surprises or mistakes. Mike likes to talk about using differential power in a crosswind on a ME plane – something I should practice.
If you missed my post on the Commercial Multi-Engine Add-On, and you are interested in earning your multi-engine rating, please watch the video below.