The other day I did my mock Private checkride and during the flight portion I took off then contacted approach. They then gave me a specific heading that completely through me off course from my VFR flight plan for traffic. If I were to encounter this on a checkride, what should I expect and prepare for when this happens.
So the controller gave you a heading that had you flying in the opposite way of your planned course? Seemed to me that the controller needed separation from you and another traffic inbound/outbound, and if you started your timer as you would for your flight plan, you would just update your time and check fuel burn at waypoints. It is common to get a “vector” off your course on departure, you don’t always hear “proceed on course” when you’re flying in and out of busy airports. Some airports will take you 25 miles on a heading before proceeding you on course, then its your job to update your fuel schedule and other calculations as necessarily. DPEs are aware this can happen during checkrides and as long as you can demonstrate pilot-in-command authority to get yourself back on course once approved.
It wasn’t completely opposite it was more like 90 degrees off for about 10 minutes. I would have to do all those corrections in the air it seems. Most practical as well considered I would be PIC.
Every flight is different, one day you may have your “as filed” plan and the next you are vectored 20 miles off course. Many times my course is directly off the right side (90 degrees) of the planned routing and we’re proceeding on a 265 heading when my course should be near 360… ATC does their best to safely separate traffic. That is why it is important to understand the fundamentals of flight planning and quick judgements in air. Here is a YouTube video I found helpful during my skill building when teaching to think of diversions if your previously planned route is not useful anymore:
In the airlines, even then you have to consider off routing vectors etc. Per my company, if we are 30 NM or > laterally from our planned route, we must contact our dispatcher.
I am curious, what did your CFI say about this?