Failed instrument checkride today.

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by stratobee, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have nobody but myself to blame, but it still feels awful. My first fail on a checkride ever. I'm a grown man and I almost feel like crying..:sad: :mad2::confused: Funny thing, I thought the oral was going to be the part I'd fail on if I'd fail anything (as I can't remember sh*t these days), but in the end it was the flying that got me.

    No need to go blow by blow, but the root of all my troubles was the 430W in my plane. I didn't "come up" flying Garmins (or GPS at all), and didn't have one in my old plane, so my knowledge of it is skin deep. I must have fooled my instructor enough to think I was proficient in it, but in the end that was the beginning of the unraveling. If it's in the plane, database current, then it's fair game for the DPE and he did what he should have done. I know this DPE very well as he's trained me before and I've taken rides with him in the past. He's tough on you, but fair. I couldn't fault him at all for failing me - I would have done the same. Awful flying and knowledge about systems on my behalf.

    In summary, I was late switching over to VLOC for a VOR circling approach, fast and high and had to scramble to get it in. On top of that I had always done that circling approach by crossing the rwy, but now he got mad at me for not joining the downwind on the closer end. It threw me and from there on it was all downhill. I was also supposed to go visual at VDP, but was fuzzy on how a VDP was defined. Not something I'd really spent any time on.

    I departed airport using the DP in use as per clearance, but then they started vectoring me and finally said "Join V389". That was the final trap - I didn't know how to enter a V airway into the 430 (and it turns out you can't) but I should have put in one of the wpts that was on that V airway to intercept. He even hinted and tried to help, but my lack of 430 knowledge and understanding was just not there.

    After that partial panel stickers came up. I started navigating by the GPS, but he had the page up with the CDI on the screen, and I'd not had enough experience on that one. If I'd recovered from here and improved, I think I would have passed. But I didn't. By this time I was well behind and he now failed my right engine on me. I was disoriented by now and turning to the wrong heading on the 430 CDI, forgetting ATC's vector etc. "My controls" and that was it. Finished off the remaining items - RNAV approach, but again had trouble with the hold as it was a wpt in the middle of nowhere on the 430. I'd never done anything but the published or missed holds on it before.

    Funnily enough, I know that had I just gone old school, done VOR's, LOC's and ILS's, pen and timer, I would have done much better. The GPS - that's supposed to help with situational awareness - was what got me. Again, my own fault.

    Hey, live and learn. I'm clutching a huge drink as I write this. It feels good to get to write about it, like a catharsis. I'll need to do two approaches and hold on the next ride. Hopefully I won't screw it up a second time. I need to learn the 430 front and backwards and be ahead of it, not behind.

    Thanks for you time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  2. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    Like I've said before, and as you just mentioned - live and learn. Thanks for the write up. Sounds like a PITA.

    It's a terrible feeling watching them dig into a subject area that you know you're weak on.

    When are we going to see more videos? Been a subscriber for quite some time now. :D
     
  3. asgcpa

    asgcpa En-Route

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    Know how the Garmin is to us older folk. I've got my ride next week and learning the Garmin was the toughest part. Feel bad for you my friend, but you'll succeed. Keep a positive attitude.
     
  4. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Line Up and Wait

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    Yup. BTDT x2.
     
  5. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Live and learn just like you said. Keep on practicing, you'll get it next time.
     
  6. bqmassey

    bqmassey Line Up and Wait

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    Sorry about your ride. Seems like a big deal now, but in the long run it really isn't. You'll get it on the retake.

    Go download the Garmin 430 sim. It's free. Run through all kinds of scenarios with it. I'd recommend even find some tutorial videos on Youtube and working through those as well.
     
  7. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks Kirk. I'll get around to doing some new videos when I've licked my wounds a little.

    Brandon, I'll try to download that 430 sim. Is it an online thing, or a computer program?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  8. bqmassey

    bqmassey Line Up and Wait

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  9. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sorry for the bust,the 430 can be a handful ,once you get it ,it's a great piece of equipment . Relax you'll hit it next time.
     
  10. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Failed your right engine? So you did this ride in a twin? Since you have a multi rating already I guess it makes sense, but it sounds like doing it that way has the potential to further complicate things.

    But yes, when you have a modern GPS the buttonology is half the game or more. I needed a LOT of time before the checkride getting familiar with the 480 in the plane I bought. If I had tried to take the checkride during the first few months I owned it, I'm sure I would have failed because of lack of familiarity.

    Heck, I was surprised by some things it did AFTER the ride -- and this was solo, in IMC, kind of the worst possible time to find out that you still have a lot to learn about your GPS. It's probably for the best that you found this out before being cut loose with enough rope to hang yourself. Now you'll do an intensive self-study course with the sim and ace the ride on your next try. :yes:
     
  11. CTLSi

    CTLSi Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I'm gonna have the opposite trouble. My plane is all glass and Garmin 796 gps. For me to even practice NAVCOM I will have to rent a plane. So I am gonna wait till I get my new plane in two years which is gonna be certified and have both glass and NAVCOM and see about instruments.

    You are a nice guy to come here and do a debrief on your checkride. Not sure I would have the guts to do it given how fearful I am of not getting past one.
     
  12. VWGhiaBob

    VWGhiaBob Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks so much for the write up! Takes courage to put it out there, but you'll pick yourself up and do fine.

    I'm just getting started and overwhelmed learning to read all the charts, DME Arc's, LDA's, RNAV....

    I echo the comments about a twin though. Gosh, doesn't that make it 2x as difficult? Faster, more to remember, more scenerios to test. For me, it's going to be a slow, simple 172. What kind? Hmm...time to post...
     
  13. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hey, stuff happens. Enjoy your drink and take comfort in the fact a huge part of the ride is behind. Next time will be a piece of cake. Followed by a celebratory drink!

    Now, back on the horse....
     
  14. ssonixx

    ssonixx Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Great write up. Often hear about hero rides on this forum and I guess I have done my fair share of those as well, so it is refreshing to read your story and I am sure it will be helpful to others who read it.

    I will tell you that I also was never really super comfortable with the 430 as well for a while. Wasn't until I started doing longer cross country flights with the 430 that I started to use the time behind the wheel to figure out the buttonology as well. And the kicker for me ultimately was the IFR training. Finally had no choice but to use and learn every page in the machine. It clicks at some point. I only offer words of encouragement and wish you good luck.

    Look on the bright side, you only have clean up to do on this next ride and you know where you busted the first time.


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  15. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Since he is already ME rated, if he had done the IR ride in a single, he would have had to do it again in the twin.
     
  16. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Don't worry, it is not the end of the world. When you do the recheck, you will be surprised at how much easier it feels. I know. I failed my first instrument ride as well, but it was on the NDB approach. Funny thing is, we went ahead and did the rest of the ride and all I had to do for the recheck was the NDB approach to a go around. After that it was back to the airport for a visual landing..... uh oh.... I haven't done a visual since the private checkride. I was seriously thinking I am going to fail an instrument checkride on a visual approach. But the world was well that day and I was a new instrument pilot. You will to, and then you will know the feeling.!!
     
  17. Dav8or

    Dav8or En-Route

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    Don't beat yourself up about the bust. I busted mine too, although I failed the weather portion of the oral. 2nd go was all good and yours will be too.

    When I did my IR check ride, there weren't any GPS equipped airplanes available to me so it was all VOR/ILS/DME. I made a point of taking a plane that had an INOP AFD. The last thing I needed was for the DPE to ask me to use that piece of crap!

    On the 430 though, don't feel bad for a second. I swear that stupid box was designed to kill pilots. When I bought my plane, I insisted that it have either a 430, or 530. I have now had a 430 for four years. I do like the capabilities, but it's a miracle I haven't beaten the thing to death with my flashlight yet!!

    I went to go get an IPC after not using my IR since 2006 and after two sessions, I realized the frustration of the 430 wasn't worth it since I don't really need an IR anymore. The 430 may have been genius in 1998, but now in 2014, it's pretty crappy IMO.

    I am glad I have it though. It runs my cool auto pilot and it does display TIS traffic info. Direct To is easy enough for VFR pilots and if you have plenty of time on the ground, you can program a flight plan on the ground. If you want to do it in the air, like you would if you want to actually would flying IFR, then you will need training,training, training and also the Windows only simulator.

    By now, you can probably tell that I have little tolerance for shiddy tech and that's very true. The 430 was awesome in 1998 but now... not so much. It is what it is.
     
  18. Swampfox201

    Swampfox201 Line Up and Wait

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    I was trained old school before GPS so I would struggle with using the. 430 on a IFR check ride too.

    First couple times doing an IPC I told the instructor to turn it off and just give me the needle. After using ForeFlight I can't stand the 430 interface. It's counterintuitive.


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  19. Swampfox201

    Swampfox201 Line Up and Wait

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    I would love to use this but I believe it doesn't work in the newer windows systems.


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  20. Z06_Mir

    Z06_Mir Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't think you're giving the 430/530 enough credit, at all. Yeah, it's old technology... but so is a 2014 182 with the IO540 and we're still flying those happily :dunno: For me the 430 is excellent (though I wish I had the WAAS on mine) and has managed to get me through not only my IR but my CFII. It doesn't have to be the latest and greatest thing to be useful in instrument flying. I've never had an issue programming it in the air either.. just something you get used to when you utilize it frequently.


    I'm sorry you failed your ride. I think your CFI could have done a much better job. Chances are he is uncomfortable with the 430 also. Most of that stuff is pretty basic "buttonology" to teach, IMO. Personally I fly with the CDI screen up, I love it. It sounds like you just need to immerse yourself in the 430, and also do some review of odd stuff like VDPs. You'll get it next time though. Thanks for sharing with us.
     
  21. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    LOL you ran into the SoCal Victor Airway trap on the GNS series radios. One of the first times I was using one, I was coming across Lake Arrowhead heading for Long Beach, and the Long Beach Cloud was there, just a thin layer around 250', the entire rest of the basin was clear and a million. I filed to shoot an ILS and ATC gave me one of those circuitous clearances that took me all to way to Gorman and had a bunch of V-airways, some with intersection dog legs, and I didn't have paper charts, just an MX-20. I had to fess up that I couldn't program that route fast enough and didn't have the paper to fly it and asked for vectors to the ILS.

    The GTN series radios takes care of pretty much all the shortcomings of the GNS series.
     
  22. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    BTW, GPS in and of itself does nothing special for situational awareness, all it does is tell you where you are in space between some satellites. It's the interface between the person and that piece of information that is what makes it work. The 430/530 series have always IMO, and I've used most of the boxes that have been made, is the worst user interface, I'm not even sure what I could do to make it worse to use in a single pilot IFR environment. I find the 480 architecture far more intuitive as well as full featured, the 480 takes V-airways.
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No, he only has to do a single engine approach to get the instrument privs in the ME, not repeat the entire instrument ride.
     
  24. GCA319

    GCA319 Cleared for Takeoff

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    My favorite 430 moment was the time center had to hold me at a fix along an airway at the last minute (as in 3 or 4 miles from the holding fix) due to spacing into my destination. Only thing is, I didn't have the fix in my flight plan, so it took quite a bit of scrambling and high speed knob twisting to get it in there before I blew past it (it was a DME based fix and the airplane was not equipped with DME, so there was no way to "downgrade" for a minute and use the nav 2 to identify it so I could take my time). I now make it a point to program all of the fixes on the final segment of an airway before my destination in case something similar were to happen in the future. Had I not been GNS proficient when this occurred it would have been "interesting to say the least. Another reason why the GTN series is so much better...Though, every time you start to hate the 430, just be thankful it's not a KLN series.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  25. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yep, when I did my Com ME ride, we did the approaches and it added the ME IR, prior to that I was VFR restricted in my Travelair. Didn't even charge me extra.
     
  26. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Sad huh? I would have had to tell them "can't work the radio that fast, call my turn.":redface:
     
  27. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Cleared for Takeoff

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    The 400W/500W sim works on my 64-bit W7 machine.
     
  28. asgcpa

    asgcpa En-Route

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    Won't load on mine. :mad2:
     
  29. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Cleared for Takeoff

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  30. Dav8or

    Dav8or En-Route

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    Oh, I gave it it's due when I said-

    It is capable and reliable. That's all I can say that is good about it.

    and like I said-

    If a pilot did their PPL with a 430 and it was all they knew, I suspect the IR after that would come easier. Those of us that flew for a decade or more with just a KX-155 and DME, it's steep learning... no scratch that, memorization curve. It can be done with lots of training, training, training.
     
  31. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, but it is still a separate ride with typically a full examiner fee. That is my point.
     
  32. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    I failed on the first attempts, instrument, my comm multi, and my CFI-A. I never beat myself up over it. I always took it as a learning experience which seems to be exactly how you are taking it. Sometimes failing the first time is the best learning experience, make you humble, but more determined.
     
  33. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I've been less likely to encounter pitfalls with the GNS-430 than the KLN-94, but I did have a momentary difficulty with the former a few days ago (although I probably would have had the same problem with the other model). I flew the same approach twice in a row, and when the controller vectored me onto the approach course for the second one, about the time that I reached the approach course, I noticed that it was still displayed in white, and realized that I hadn't reloaded the approach after flying the missed. Fortunately, I'm familiar enough with getting approaches loaded that I was able to get things squared away before I got too far off course.
     
  34. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I mentioned that my VOR approach into Bracket (KPOC) was the beginning of the end as I was late and not set up properly for the VOR radials. Late coming off GPS, basically. I still am a little fuzzy on how long into a VOR, LOC or ILS approach I can have guidance from GPS. If someone could explain that for me I'd appreciate it. Anyway, I'd practiced that approach quite a few times, but the more I look at it, the more it actually confuses me and I'm convinced we didn't do it right during training and predictably not on the checkride.

    Take a look at it.

    http://download.aopa.org/ustprocs/current/SW-3/poc_vor_or_gps_a.pdf

    I was coming in from the Seal Beach (SLI) VOR on the ride. The plate gives no way of getting to the IAF LAHAB coming from that direction. How do you get to it without GPS?

    PRADO wpt is not an Intermediate Fix (IF) at all, which we kind of had flown based on the 430 and (in my mind) assumed. And the R-043 off of SLI VOR isn't a way to get to it, it's just a radial. So PRADO is just a missed approach holding point? Thirdly, I didn't even until after the ride realise that it has a lower minimum if you have DME for POM. I just went to the MDA of 1800ft and did the approach from there. I should have been at 1640 once I'd switched over to VOR and got a reading on the DME.

    Lastly, DPE was talking beforehand about a VDP at this airport, so I was forewarned. Where do you know when the VDP starts?

    DPE was telling me that on the last 4 check rides he had done, nobody had gotten the approach right. Good approach for a checkride. I take my hat off to him - lots of ways to screw this one up, just like I did.:yes:
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  35. ssonixx

    ssonixx Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Looks to me like PRADO is a GPS waypoint and also an identifier to mark the inbound course fro LAHAB or PDZ VOR.

    I would have probably asked for vectors to final or to an IAF to fly the approach if at the SLI VOR.

    Also the VDP is at the MDA/POM VOR from where you either level off at the minimums or you can continue your descent if you have the runway.

    Another option is to fly it GPS. :)
     
  36. GCA319

    GCA319 Cleared for Takeoff

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    ILS/LOC:You must switch to VLOC prior to or when joining the final approach course.
    VOR/NDB: You must switch before the beginning of the final approach segment (FAF).

    Ref: AC90-108
     
  37. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    One of the biggest barriers to on-time completion of the 10-day IR course I teach for PIC is lack of knowledge about the GPS in the plane. PIC and I both strongly encourage trainees to get good training on the unit (such as this course) before starting the 10-day course. I can tell in about ten minutes whether my trainee has done such training beforehand, and if s/he hasn't, I know to add one full day to the course program to work that issue. The one thing that is certain is that if you show up for the practical test without being fluent on the system in your plane (430/530, 650/750, KLN89/94, G1000, whatever), it will not end well. For that reason, I consider it my responsibility as instructor to make sure my trainee is that fluent before signing the 8710-1.

    So, my advice is to buy that course I linked above, do it, and then practice what you've learned with your instructor before going back for the retest.
     
  38. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I was under the impression that VDPs were supposed to be marked on the chart. I don't see one on that chart.
     
  39. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    My take is that, if you're coming from SLI VOR, PRADO is a waypoint along the feeder route to the IAF GOLDI. Although, if your clearance is from SLI direct LAHAB, then you fly that as long as you have a GPS. If you're /U, then "unable", as all you can legally fly is the feeder route SLI PRADO GOLDI.
    The profile view shows a stepdown minimum of 1800 at DME 1 from POM, with the course descending beyond that. That's the clue that the DME minimums refer to POM 1. If you can identify it (and GPS is legal to substitute for DME for that purpose), then you can go down to 1640 after passing that point.
    If there's a charted VDP, there will be a symbol over that point in the profile view. AFAICT there is no charted VDP on this approach, so I have no idea what that DPE was talking about.
    If he means that no one correctly identified the VDP, then I'm not surprised. I would have "screwed that up", too.
     
  40. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    VDP's don't "start" anywhere. A VDP is a point in space. You might want to dig into the books and talk to your instructor to learn more about Visual Descent Points and how they are used before you do the refly.