The follow up check ride to my failed multi-engine flight was uneventful. I had gone down on Wednesday, October 23rd and had yet another lesson with my instructor. We did three landings on a single engine, just flying the pattern around 25L at Long Beach. I did well on each of them, even the last one, where Zach messed with the power lever, pulling power from the failed engine, simulating a feathered propeller becoming unfeathered.
The following week, on Tuesday, October 29, I flew down in the morning and the Designated Private Examiner went over what had happened on the preview check ride. I just kept nodding and saying, “Sure, sure…” because it was not worth arguing about. I needed to just go out, do one good landing with him and then I was done.
He said it would be easier for me if we did one normal landing first. That seems like it just gave me more time in the plane to make a mistake, but I wasn’t going to disagree with anything at that point. After the normal landing we took off again and he failed the left engine. And even though I identified the engine, showed how I would secure it, he never moved the power lever up from the idle position. That was wrong, but I wasn’t going to argue with anything. I had already demonstrated the previous week that I was capable of flying around the pattern and landing with one of the engines pulled to idle.
We had an extended downwind because there was a JetBlue flight arriving. Long Beach is a busy airport with scheduled airlines, the maintenance facility for Gulfstream, military maintenance facilities, and a bunch of helicopter training. Since the examiner had not returned the proper 10% of thrust to the left engine, we stayed at pattern altitude limping along at 95kts. We were eventually allowed to turn and I used less than fifteen degrees of bank, as required for single engine operation. It was a little tricky to get the descent rate correct, and I might have delayed a little too long on deploying the last bit of flaps, but I put it down just past the numbers. As I brought the operating engine to idle there was a moment of yaw which I corrected with the rudder.
We came off the runway and I brought us to a stop. I had reached for the checklist as we were exiting the runway. Once I had done the few post-landing items he reached over to shake my hand (always awkward in a small plane cockpit, it’s tight in there). He said, “Congratulations, you are a multi-engine pilot.” He paused and then said, “It would be better to wait until you came to a stop before reaching for the check list, any distraction on the runway can cause you to make a mistake.”
Now I need to take a few flights in the Twinstar that are just for fun, so I can see what it is like to fly the plane in normal conditions, without having an engine shutdown.