Two Review Rides, and Turn in a New Map

One afternoon this student, from another flight, returned to the flight room after taking his Nav Check. He had failed it. I didn’t learn of it until later when his flight commander was discussing the issue with our section commander. The student’s flight commander was HOT, to say the least.

Apparently the student had flown a ‘flawless’ check ride; a 2-hop out-and-back. Upon returning to check section for the debrief, his check pilot looked the student’s map and discovered that Emergency airfields along the way, had not been circled, in red, as directed by regulation. So the check pilot “smoked” him. Unsat!

The check pilot was a VMI (Virginia Military Institution) grad. A strict by-the-book kind of guy. In essence, because of the governing regulation, there was no arguing with him.

I do remember the ensuing conversation in our section commander’s office. What do we do about this situation? Typically with a failed Nav check, we would authorize ‘review’ out and back, to address the deficient items, followed by “progress” Nav Check. In this kid’s case, it was hard to justify 4 flights to clear up his Unsat. It was then that his flight commander came up with idea: “Let’s give him a review out-and-back ride, and have him turn a new map!”

I don’t know how it sorted itself out in the end. I do know we had to restrain that flight commander from heading down to Check Section and taking the check pilot’s VMI ceremonial sword down off the wall – and shoving it up his ass!

My take-away with this incident was how important “common sense”and “good judgement” is in grading on check rides. It was a lesson that was never lost on me, and I used it frequently when presented with situations like this…

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