He probably wasn’t a “bad stick;” after all, he’d flown successfully — well, usually — for many years. But it had been in rural areas with no knowledge or concern about density altitude, performance charts, weight and balance, checklists, interpreting weather reports and forecasts, airspace restrictions, notams, radio navigation, and communications. I know a lady named Sophie Gilgean — a gracious, patient, knowledgeable, beautiful, fiercely demanding and kick-ass flight instructor — who teaches at a nearby airport. I told the applicant he could schedule with another examiner but that I wouldn’t fly with him again until he worked with Sophie and she told me he was ready. He agreed that an hour or so of ground school probably wouldn’t hurt. After considerably more than an hour or so, Sophie signaled he was ready, and he rescheduled the test. I was right; he was a pretty good stick, but now he knew a lot more. He had an idea of what he didn’t know, and he walked away with a new private pilot certificate.