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Aviate, Navigate, Communicate - A Pilot's Priority Checklist - Clayviation.com
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It's a common practice for a checkride examiner to try to distract the pilot applicant. Ah yes, the old 'drop the pen' trick. Here's how it goes. You're a student pilot taking your checkride to become a certificated pilot. In the right seat, your examiner sits with a clipboard. You are flying the airplane and performing various tasks and maneuvers at the request of the examiner. Each task asked of you requires a certain degree of competency to satisfy its requirements. Maintaining plus or minus 100 feet of the assigned altitude, for instance. After a few of these, you grow accustomed to the examiner proverbially asking you to jump and you responding, proverbially, with 'how high?'


At some point, the examiner drops his pen. It's deliberate, but you don't notice that. It's his mistake, but it seems reasonable to happen in a moving aircraft. Wait, or is it your flying that caused him to drop it? Oh man, the very instrument that is used to either confirm or deny your chance at becoming a pilot has just been dislodged from the examiner - and because of your less than perfect flying? 'Do you mind handing me that pen?' he says, pointing to it under your seat. When he asks, you do.

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