Hello everyone. I'd like to take just a minute to update everyone on my progress. Last Tuesday (June 9), I went to Lake in the Hills airport to take my written test. Needless to say, I passed with a fairly good score (90%). For those who don't know, there are two tests one must take to become a private pilot. One is the practical test and the other is the knowledge test. The practical test is the flying and oral examination portion of the test and the knowledge test is the written test.
The knowledge and practical tests may be taken at separate times, but the knowledge test must be taken before the practical. Anyway, the entire process started last Saturday. I obtained a set of King Schools Private Pilot Test Prep. Although it wasn't the most current version, it still helped tremendously. The content is packed onto 8 DVDs and definitely takes more than one sitting to complete. If I remember correctly, it took me about 12-15 hours to watch everything. Once the learning had been complete, it was time to prove to my instructor I knew the material. You can't just walk into a FAA testing center and take the test. Your flight instructor must sign your log book stating that you know all of the topics that FAA wants you to know (a list of them is contained in the Federal Aviation Regulations (Part 14 CFR §61.105 b).
To show Dana I knew the material, I decided to take some pre-tests. Monday afternoon, before my first night lesson, I logged on to my favorite test prep site (www.MyPilotTests.com) and took 3 tests. Each test was 60 questions long, contained actual questions that would be on the written exam, and had a completion time of 150 minutes. I scored a 92%, 95%, and an 83% on the three tests. None of them took me over 30 minutes. Most people would be satisfied with theses scores, but not me; I needed better. I decided to take a fourth one right before leaving. I scored better than my previous ones with a 97%. The next day (after getting my endorsement), I called Blue Skies Pilot Shop to set up my test. I was penciled in for 11:00 that morning. I choose to do take my test at Blue Skies 1) because FAA tests can only be taken at authorized testing centers and 2) it was close to home.
When I got there, we went through a lot of paperwork. I was required to bring a photo id (with signature) and my endorsement. I also brought my E6B, plotter, and a calculator to use on the test. Once all of the information was entered into the computer, I was led into a room with computers and cubicles. After I was seated, the proctor stayed with me for the introduction. The computer program went through an introduction explaining how to use all of the different features of the test. It also asked me to verify my information. Finally, aviation-related questions appeared on the screen. The test interface was easy to use making it easier to focus on the actual test. Half an hour later, I completed my test and exited the room. Back in the main area, the proctor congratulated me, printed out my results sheet, and stamped it with the official seal. I left the airport with a smile on my face.
A few people have asked me where I am in my training and how much longer until I can take them for a ride :p . The short answer is no sooner than September 5. Once I turn 17, I will be eligible to take my practical test (as long as I meet the flight requirements). In order to meet my flight requirements, I need another 7/10 of an hour of simulated instrument time, 5 hours of solo time, 3 hours of test preparation, and 2 hours of night time. As always I will keep you posted on my dealings in aviation. Thanks for reading!!!