I just got off the phone with a former student, (former, as of this morning).
He was excited.......
He took his checkride this morning and is now officially a helicopter pilot!
Taking a checkride is stressful for the student, but it's not without stress for the instructor too.
To get to this point I've had to teach the student to hover, then learn all the aspects of flying in the aviation system as it exists today.
That means teaching him not only how to fly the helicopter, but the regulations, weather, communications, navigation/map reading, emergency procedures, airspace restrictions, and a ton of other things.
It's a daunting task.
This particular student knew how to fly airplanes when he came to me, so he already knew how to talk on the radio and get from point A to point B. That made my job a little easier, although there are some airplane things I had to help him "unlearn".
It still took me 50+ hours of flying to get him comfortable in the helicopter, and hours and hours of ground instruction to insure he knew what retreating blade stall and other emergencies are.
So I was also taking a test today.........to check my skills to impart my knowledge in a way he could understand well enough to regurgitate to the examiner.
He did fine. In fact, the examiner told him it may have been the best oral he had ever administered.
Quite a compliment.
I'll take part of the credit.
But the student has to have the right attitude and has to work hard to absorb all the information.
This was a good student.
Today he just started the learning process, believe me.