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The Comedy of Errors (AKA CFI Certification) Continues!

August 4, 2009

After a fretful night of sleep, I awoke this morning ready for my (going on three year) journey toward my Certified Flight Instructor certificate. Last week, the flight was hampered by marginal weather. This week, weather was not going to be a problem…the examiner and I were scheduled early enough to beat the thunderstorms. One would think this was a recipe for success.

I’m ready, the instructor is ready, the airplane is ready, and we takeoff out of KAPA. It’s a very beautiful day with smooth air and little wind. As I check things off the required tasks from the Practical Test Standards (flight by reference to instruments, ground reference, performance maneuvers, etc.), things are going pretty well, save a crappy steep turn. Upon recovery from a power-off stall, the airplane decides to throw a wrench in my well-laid plans. As I brought the gear up, the LOW VOLTAGE and gear warning lights began to blink and the ammeter, oil temperature and cylinder head temperature gauges began to bounce along with the lights. Something was definitely amiss, and it wasn’t the examiner’s or my fault. We tried recycling the alternator to no avail. No circut breakers popped. Only when we brought the gear down for landing did the problem stop. At that point, we had already mutually agreed to discontinue the checkride and were in the pattern for landing.

I received my second Letter of Discontinuance for the CFI practical with two-and-half Areas of Operation left. What is that saying again? “Third time’s a charm?” One can only hope.

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