In a few weeks, as soon as the doc gives the OK, I need to get back out and get a checkride in an airplane for currency. I don't fly often but it's a skill set I not only enjoy, but don't wish to lose. Even if it means a checkride.
For, like any pilot, I hate taking exams.
Written or otherwise. I think it started in early school years when I got a question really wrong.
The question was: "Where do women mostly have curly hair?
Apparently, the correct answer was Africa.
Checkrides are the one part of the job that I think most civilian commercial and military pilots hate. Doesn't matter how many hours you have, how many missions you've flown. And they don't get any easier. Doing maneuvers to perfection while everything on the airplane seems to fail, one after another, while a check airmen is peering over one shoulder and those stripes on your uniform are resting on the other. It never mattered how many years I'd done it or the fact that I'd never failed one, taking that first step into the briefing room to start the oral, my mind would go completely blank. Circumstance and fear had a way of subtracting information from my brain with surgical precision.
Yet somehow, when the first question came up, everything resusitates, not by sheer brilliance but simply from the fact that I'd studied my rear end off for weeks ahead of time. To this day I can still draw the entire electrical system of a 727 on an unfolded cocktail napkin.
I think it looked something like this.
click to enlarge