Stuff happens! If you can be honest with youself to find out / try to find a reason then you are IMHO just another pilot who has made a mistake. The secret now is to try to find a way to stop repeating it
Interesting that check lists appear in many posts.
Ive borrowed Club check lists, POH checklists, some old laminated list hanging around in the cockpit type list but they all had the same thing in common. They didnt fit the aeroplane I was flying very well!
Most called for the pilot to move around in a blur looking for some item or other wherever it may be located in that particular cockpit. Patterns are often non existent. You can end up thinking "well that's the check list done but what did I actually check?"
I sit for ages in the cockpit on the ground rearranging that tatty bit of card so that checking has some logic to it, ie a flow pattern or grouped as subsystems. Finally, a simple standard check from memory that fits all aircraft and backs up a checklist is used just prior to take off, after take off and prior to landing. This has saved me a few times.
On the subject of CRM in single pilot light aircraft not being applicable. Thats just where CRM does come in.It is after all "resource management". We all ask the non pilot pax to keep a lookout but how many brief a qualified pilot to help out? I always brief instructors of what I expect of them!
Oh, and yes Ive done a few senior moments but hopefully its just old age and probably lack of skill that lets me down now.
New on the 747 under supervision, two parked nose in. Did my external walkround. Sat down and started checks. Reg on panel didnt quite match the reg on the nosewheel door I'd just seen outside. Bugger another walkround in front of supervisor. Laughs all round. Stay safe SFD
Had just purchased a Piper Pacer and was taking it to my home field. One of the last things the previous owner mentioned was 'don't takeoff on the right tank' and placarded on the panel was a similar statement. Piper, in the interest of saving a buck, hadn't plumbed a fuel line on the back of the tank so, when the wing reached a certain angle of attack, all the gas ran to the back and you got the big mag drop. Without a pause, I blythely opened the throttle, popped off and RRRrrrrrrrrr..... - headed towards quiet. Fortunately, my hand instinctively reached for the tank selector switch and order was restored. Needless to say, that tank got another fuel line and became my cruising tank from then on.
I've already had a few...Just got my NPPL through the other day, I'm 20. Most of them when I was rushing or otherwise distracted.
Done the harness one, and only realised at 500ft on takeoff when i noticed it flapping. To make things worse, I was flying an open cockpit flex-wing microlight...
2nd one - Second flight using radio, solo XC to a nearby airfield, called up as I was approaching, no response after 3 calls. So joined the circuit and tried again, they pointed out if I was transmitting, I was transmitting carrier wave only. Turns out I'd plugged into the P2 socket rather than P1...
No excuses for those two...more attention now paid to checks.
More caught out than anything else, but first solo XC. Flew the route with my instructor, went great, weather was brilliant so he sent me off to do it myself. Got to the first airfield and landed, a little more hazy but still fine weather. Took off 10mins later and the rest of my route was a total white out so decided to head back on a reciprocal track (route was clear)- forgot to adjust my return heading by twice the wind correction.
I didn't correct for wind at all actually, so I ended up half way home, down at about 500ft in pissing rain with a steaming up visor with the clouds closing in. I started to panic a little, and when the thunder started I decided it was time to make a precautionary landing.
Landed in a farmers field, parked beside his barn and chapped his door, really nice people, and quite exciting for the kids so I took them out and let them have a look at the plane.
The weather cleared a bit about an hour later so I made it back fine, but lesson definately learned there...won't be in a hurry to repeat that one.
On my solo XC (and not at all senior) took off from second airport and realised on climbout that I had never even looked at checklist.
More recenty pulled Citabria out of hangar on cold day; so, left engine blanket on while fuelling and doing preflight in deliberate manner. Got in, strapped up, pulled out checklist, started engine, checked oil pressure, right mag and alternator on, looked forward to taxi and found engine blanket still on
Mixture very quickly off.
First flight in third type of single seat glider. Everything worked normally, except sent up with handheld radio. Heard garbled message while slowly sinking but unable to establish comms. Headed back to field and found I had set myself up for landing on reciprocal runway I had took off from 12 minutes ago and not enough altitude to change my mind
So had to accept the ignominy of continuing as planned Got a big lecture, but better a good approach into a poorly selected field than a poor approach into one that suddenly looks better. There's a number of fatal accidents to back that one up.