Next day I go for a flight with my chief pilot. Due to a variety of SNAFUs, there hasn't been time to book an examiner and do the required training for a PPC renewal, so although my IFR expires in a few days, we're not doing the six hours of training required to renew it, just the one hour for the company annual. I'll be restricted to VFR flight only, and to part 702 work--no night VFR with passengers--until we get that straightened out.
The flight is practice and demonstration of competence at a few procedures that I never do in the normal course of work. We start with steep turns, 45 degrees of bank, maintain altitude and airspeed, roll out on the initial heading. My first one is terrible, but I try a few more each way and determine the sweet spot. Still not stunning, but the chief pilot is satisfied. Not banking is generally what I am paid to do.
Stalls are simple. Reduce the power below the setting at which the airplane can maintain level flight, let the speed bleed off and trim down to blue line or so, then maintain back pressure on the control column and hold altitude until the angle of attack approaches a critical point. If I let it continue right to the stall, the nose would pitch forward as the centre of pressure moved aft. It's not entirely dissimilar to the feeling when you're not pedalling a bicycle hard enough for the grade and it slows to a stop and would flop over if you didn't put your foot out. The standard for the exercise calls for me to recover at the first sign of a stall, which in this airplane is the stall light and horn, so when it flashes and bleats I apply full power and pitch the nose down just enough to fly again. We repeat the exercise with the flaps and gear extended. This time I have to raise the gear and reduce the flap setting gradually to aid recovery.
My worst exercise is recovery from the engine failure in the overshoot. Considering that I do mentally practice for an engine failure on take-off, and that I know I'll be given a failure as we simulate an overshoot, I should have been much better at simulating the feathered engine while maintaining speed and heading. I do another and the procedures are better but the airspeed control, but the third one is the charm. I'm fairly horrified, but the chief pilot is tranquil. I remind myself that the purpose of training is to train, not to be perfect already, but I hate being bad at things I should be good at.
Once I have the airplane cleaned up with the simulated engine failure, my next instruction is to turn to a heading. It is the reciprocal of the heading I am on. I look for traffic, and then bank, saying out loud, "turn away from the dead engine." Pilots who turn towards a failed engine can find themselves unable to control the airplane. And it turns out the instruction was a test.
At the end I do an ILS approach, go missed, fly a circuit and come back and land. I'm signed off for another year of company service, and we'll try and schedule a PPC before too long.