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Pilot Errors

Old 2nd Apr 2013, 01:16
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Location: Australia
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Pilot Errors

Hello everyone,

I'm currently doing a school project and need help in finding out common (or not so common), little (or large) mistakes that us Pilots may sometimes make.

I will then use these on a poster campaign to hang up around flying clubs/schools and things like that.

Any help is appreciated!
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 01:47
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  • Thinking accidents or problems always happen to "the other guy"
  • Running out of fuel
  • Vfr into fir
  • Overloaded
  • Take off in wrong configuration
  • Over or undershooting
  • Overestimating ones skills/abilities
  • Ignoring checklist/procedures
  • Low and dangerous flying

Last edited by piperboy84; 2nd Apr 2013 at 01:50.
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 05:14
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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You might take a look at some accident and incident reports. These are on line on various aviation authority websites. Bear in mind usually there is more than one cause for an accident, often a chain of individually minor events.
Sounds like a useful project, please let us see the results.
Good work!
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 05:51
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Originally Posted by piperboy84 View Post
  • Thinking accidents or problems always happen to "the other guy"
  • Running out of fuel
  • Vfr into fir
  • Overloaded
  • Take off in wrong configuration
  • Over or undershooting
  • Overestimating ones skills/abilities
  • Ignoring checklist/procedures
  • Low and dangerous flying
All of the above plus

-Not recognizing the engine is developing carburator ice before it is too late.

-A too fast approach which results in a nose wheel first touchdown and then multiple bounces resulting in nose wheel failure and/or loss of of control
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 06:26
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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Get-There_Itis
Passenger influence
Forgetting to put gear down......

(this is gunna be a long thread..)

Last edited by TunaBum; 2nd Apr 2013 at 06:27.
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 07:52
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Vfr into fir
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 08:04
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Yeah im guessing VFR into a fir tree would be dangerous
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 08:15
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Forgetting to take account of Density Altitude.

Getting behind the aircraft; especially, for example, on an approach in hard IFR when something else has gone wrong to distract you.

Inability to cope with system failures on the aircraft such as a blocked pitot tube or other instrument failure.
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 08:40
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Getting married rates quite high on quite a few pilots errors.

Some can do the same error 5-6 times
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 09:41
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hard IFR
Simulated or Actual?
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 10:07
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Here you go: http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/topics/gatrend.pdf
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 11:08
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Hi JSeward, I suppose you are still at school, and have not yet started to learn to fly.

The first thing you learn, whilst doing your PPL, is that everyone makes mistakes. Whilst learning you will be told by your instructor of the mistakes you are making, this will be once every 5 minutes.
Even as you complete your PPL you will still make mistakes, little things such as forgetting to fasten the seat-belts for the next pilot, as you leave the plane.

Some mistakes are just an annoyance... Putting your Chart on the back seat which is almost out of reach from the front seats, without undoing your seat belts.
However some small mistakes can prove fatal, if they occur at the wrong time... Whilst doing 60 knots 50ft agl. you don't want even the smallest of distractions.

The List is endless....

Last edited by phiggsbroadband; 2nd Apr 2013 at 11:27.
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 11:41
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Hi... I just remembered my very first 'error', (apart from getting into the aircraft in the first place.).

Instructor says 'If you are you Ok on the radio... request Start'.

So, as I was a radio ham, I knew what a PTT button was, and also knew the phonetic alphabet, I decided to give it a try...

'Liverpool Tower this is Golf Alpha Bravo Charley Delta would like to start flying please'

Instructor interjects on the radio... 'Make that we request Engine Start...'

Liverpool Tower... ' Engine Start approved, best of luck!'
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 12:03
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Thanks for your replies everyone, keep them coming they are helpful!

And Phiggs, I have been lucky enough to have support from my parents and got my PPL last year in November when I turned 17 (passed all the tests before but had to wait until I was 17 to get it) flying is great! (As long as we don't get replaced by computers the future is looking good!)
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 13:36
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mad jock - you sound like a man of experience

to add to the list:
leaving the fuel filler cap off
leaving the oil filler / dip off
leaving the tow hook / tie downs / pitot cover on
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 14:14
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Thankfully only sat next to experience.
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 14:31
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Misjudging ice thickness = capacity...

Flying - Thin Ice
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 14:39
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I very nearly turned a Seneca into a two tonne glider once.

My instructor had turned off an engine using the fuel cut off switch without saying anything. When the engine died I thought: 'ah ha we have an engine failure' I went through the whole drill to 'secure' the engine, since the fuel had actually been shut off I did everything for real, feathered etc, then went to turn off the fuel on the shut down engine (which of course was already shut off but I did not 'know' this as part of the exercise). I'm not sure why but I think something in my brain thought 'oh that switch is already in the off position therefore it must be the other one that needs switching off...'

About 10 seconds later the other engine started to die, quick as a flash my instructor realised what I had done and restored fuel to the other engine.

What is sometimes seen in aviation is that for some reason, once in a blue moon usually, the mind, for no good reason just decides to do something different from what it usually does.

...Shuts down the wrong engine, raises the gear instead of the flaps after landing, grabs the mixture instead of the the throttle when reducing power etc...

To an extent aircraft cockpit design can reduce the likelihood of these sorts of things, for example having the gear and flap handles in different and representative shapes, having different style knobs on the different engine controls and having fuel levers that actually match the 'direction' that the fuel is going to flow.
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 14:57
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I would honestly admit that I probably make at least one mistake on most flights - something as simple as missing an item off a checklist, keeping head down too long in the cockpit, not checking regualrly enough from map to scenery and vice-versa. Mostly small and inconsequential.

Problems usually occur when you make several mistakes that build on each other - classic for me was being rushed in my "A" check and leaving the pitot cover on, this was exacerbated by the cross wind being just below my limits and the third was not checking that the indicated airspeed was live during the take-off.

Result - in the air with no airspeed indicated, cross wind limit now increased beyond my experience and capabilities. No terrible results as I flew on to my destinatin where the wind was straight down the runway and landed using power + attitude to set airspeed for the approach.

Sweaty moment though which COULD have had a much worse outcome if (for example) I had another problem to add to my mistakes.

The trick is to LEARN from mistakes, it won't stop you making them and making new ones, but hopefully it will reduce their frequency and avoid mutiple issues on one flight.

My two pence worth.
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Old 2nd Apr 2013, 15:18
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Not making the performance calculations because "it always works out"
Not checking the fuel inbalance when flying a SEP with 2 fuel tanks
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