CFI Preflighting From Cotter Pins to Piano Hinges: Lesser-Discussed Things You Should Mention (and Look At) on Your Flights and Checkrides

If you don’t know what to look for, you definitely won’t know what to talk about. A good preflight goes well beyond kicking the tires, wiggling the ailerons, and swinging the rudder before you hop in the aircraft and taxi merrily along to the runway.  

So what are we looking for? In this article, I talk about a number of things you should plan to mention on your checkride preflight, but you should check these on every flight. Even if particular terms not specifically named on your checklist, they are definitely part of a larger item.  

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Checkride Questions: Aerodynamics of Ground Effect

The principle of ground effect explains why airplanes float during landing. It is a concept that pilots need to be familiar with because ground effect affects how aircraft act on takeoff and landing. If you’re preparing for a checkride, you should know how to explain ground effect. You should also know that ground effect can cause your airplane to float and float and float down the runway when you’re trying to have a nice landing.

In some takeoff situations, ground effect can be used to an advantage to improve acceleration if the runway is long enough. In soft-field situations, where you want to take the weight off the wheels during the ground run, ground effect can be used to get off the ground before true flying speed is reached. 

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CFI Checkride Oral Prep: Runway Incursions Lesson Plan

Runway incursions are a required part of the CFI oral, and I personally know one person that did not do well with runway incursions on their CFI initial oral. Not naming names to protect the redeemed. So I’ve been trying to prepare for this – my biggest fear is being asked something and either drawing a huge blank from being so nervous, or somehow have completely missed studying and having to say – I don’t know. I know that practice can prevent either of those scenarios from happening, and also make the checkride be closer to 3-4 hours than 5-6, or worse.

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CFI Knowledge Quiz: Learning Theories and Domains

As my checkride date nears later in November, I’m going through all the material and have been preparing quizzes and reviews for myself. This morning I made one on learning theories and domains. As an instructor, it’s necessary to consider students’ needs individually, as everyone learns in different ways. Some students are creative, intuitive, and emotional (right brain dominance), while others are more verbal, analytical, and objective (left brain dominance).

Of course, this quiz is not comprehensive, but it is a good review. The answers are included at the end. You can print out the quiz right here.

Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights – An Unconventional Memoir

Alright alright alright…. this book is a treat, another silver lining 2020 has gifted us. You know that a book is good when you’re sad that it’s over, and that’s how I felt after finishing this one.  I recently listened to Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights on audibleand enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. Matthew is a great storyteller, he is witty and knows how to build a story and paint a picture that feels real. His stories are folksy, matter-of-fact, and without a trace of ego. 

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Rambo from Frosted Faces Foundation – Adventure Saturday

My 7-year-old daughter Ava and I took Rambo (very sweet 15-year-old Pointer dog) from Frosted Faces Foundation on an adventure/ outing this afternoon. We wanted him to feel cherished and loved – so we did a full itinerary of chickie nuggies, a visit to Zach at Montgomery Field – (he got to be an airport hangar bum for a little bit!), a Dog Spa visit, and a Puppacino run! All things that we enjoy doing with our dogs Penny and Peso – we wanted him to get to enjoy!

Getting settled in the Jeep in Ramona
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