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Nerves and flying for the sake of keeping current

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Nerves and flying for the sake of keeping current

Old 15th Mar 2016, 13:54
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I don't think I've ever felt nervousness or anxiety when airborne, only pre-flight.

Even in situations which, looking back, might have turned out badly (severe engine problems, extreme turbulence such as one can no longer control the aeroplane) I find the emergency concentrates the mind to the task in hand - no free brain capacity for nerves! And of course the much-practiced training kicks in so some things are 'Pavlov Dog' automatic (such as stick forward on power loss).
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Old 15th Mar 2016, 21:09
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Must admit there are a few things that get me nervous after 80 hours this last year!!

mainly I get a bit worried when it starts to get a little bumpy during mid day etc.. dont know why really, I don't feel good not being 100% in control when wind and thermals are pushing me around, I'm constantly fixed on the ASI incase i stall and loose control!! This is something i need to get out of the habit of!! as it stops me enjoying flying, when its smooth i love it but as soon as it gets bumpy i start worrying about wings falling off for some reason!!

the other thing is failure of something in flight, a flight control,engine fail or similar!!

one thing though, as soon as i get near landing i'm already thinking about when i can get back up!!

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Old 18th Mar 2016, 21:33
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Martin 123, please tell me you spend your time when flying KEEPING A GOOD LOOKOUT, not fiddling around in the cockpit, eyes inside.

And for the rest of you petrolheads, try flying without an engine. Its a lot more fun, and if they let you tug as well, can keep you current in power.

I had to step down from solo flying, alas, but since 1983 have clocked up over 1,800 hours in gliders and 1,400 in power, and have never been out of practice, teaching and tugging. The US is the best place to visit to keep current in power, the UK or New Zealand for gliding.
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Old 18th Mar 2016, 22:28
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Often nervous before a flight, but now experienced enough to know I won't be the moment I have the engine started and I'm rolling down the runway.

I think it's natural and very healthy to remember that you're not perfect and flying has it's dangers. The trick is to remember how much you enjoyed the last flight and how much you'd miss it if you let your (very human) self doubts deprive you of your next.

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Old 19th Mar 2016, 23:37
  #25 (permalink)  
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Licence to Learn.
Nervousness ahead of flying is a valuable skill. It makes you think. A pilot that doesn't think has a short life span. That's what they try to teach us. Avoiding the "Get-home-itis."
I admit that I spend many years just getting enough 5hrs/13months to make me unsafe. Then I'd get a dose of money and have a nice summer. One year I made a trip to pick up some family and take them for a jolly, then fly home. That last trip was dreadful. Scud running, descending cloud, rising ground, pissing rain dripping down my back. VFR visibility? Yeah, right. I needed to land.
As a conscientious pilot with a family I sacked myself and ended up not flying for 7 years.
Now, I am back in the air. I feel happier. Currency is key. I like the new rules.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 14:35
  #26 (permalink)  
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Martin 123, please tell me you spend your time when flying KEEPING A GOOD LOOKOUT, not fiddling around in the cockpit, eyes inside.
of course I keep a good lookout, the things I mentioned are just a side activity to keep myself busy, but keeping a good scan at all times
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Old 21st Mar 2016, 14:42
  #27 (permalink)  
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If you don't have at least a tiny bit of nervousness then you've become complacent. And, we know complacency kills.

Not about nerves, but about currency for the sake of currency. I am currently IFR current but not 90-day ASEL (SEP if you prefer) current. (Not to mention I was able to use "current" three times in one sentence!)

How did I do the above? My last ASEL flights were in November '15, completing IFR currency. Early February the ASEL currency ran out, but (FAA) IFR is good for six months. Two weeks ago I was in Texas and did seven approaches in a Redbird Advanced Aviation Training Device (can't call it a simulator by FAA definition) so I did one more that required to reset for six more months.

The only IFR flying I do is to stay IFR legal. If that's the only reason I'm doing it, why am I doing it? I don't plan to launch into serious IFR conditions, but I do want to be sure that if something ever happens I have some skill/ability to safely return. I paid a lot of money for that rating!

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Old 25th Mar 2016, 20:16
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It's funny I was just considering this matter recently. I'm just about to take my skills test for the CPL so have been doing a fair bit of (dual) flying recently and I'd like to think my standard is reasonable and I'm moderately instrument capable etc should I get inadvertent IMC. That being said I had to do a solo flight to make up a couple of hours I am short and I did find myself feeling the nerves on the way to the airport.

I think it's a positive thing - it keeps you on your toes and hopefully means you are more likely to take your time with checklists, flight planning etc. The day you just rock up and take off will probably be the one you make a mistake on...Hopefully one that at worst requires a new pair of trousers.

Safe landings.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 19:32
  #29 (permalink)  
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I have to say I've found the positive feedback and the fact that everyone seems to "suffer" the same feelings really has put my worries to bed.

In everyday situations I'm the kind of guy who prefers to listen than talk, who will have a good idea in my head but won't say it in a group of strangers in case someone shoots it down - you see where I'm going with this? I think confidence or lack thereof plays an important part of how nervousness/accepting of your abilities as quite good has a major factor in the thought process behind my original question.

Since posting the first question I have managed to go flying three times for an hour a time and both have been really fun. I think the key here is definitely currency.
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Old 3rd Apr 2016, 18:46
  #30 (permalink)  
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The dreaded flying rut

I got stuck in a rut with flying after getting in the "flying to keep current" trap. A very busy job, the demands of family life and poor Wx all conspired against any kind of flying I could do. Eventually I could only afford 1hr a month of flying yet again around the local area which if I missed ended up in yet another dual check. 150 down the drain and I wasn't even enjoying it, despite being a total flying nut all my days and flying in one form or another since I was 14. Pretty depressing. I ended up letting my SEP lapse and after a couple of attempts at renewing which were canx due Wx I got utterly fed up and just gave up.

Then I discovered gliding. My interest was rejuvenated, 25 for an aerotow and 20/hr for the most exciting, enjoyable and challenging flying I have ever done. The chance to fly lots of different, interesting types and meet lots of characters who are all willing to muck in and help out. Additionally I have the opportunity to fly a motor glider which I am taking up, just 45/hr, great fun.

Group A is old hat, regulated to hell beyond any pleasure by E-arse-A and completely useless unless you are stinking rich and can afford going somewhere. There are much more interesting and fun (and cheaper!) ways of flying. It's a pity it took so long for me to realise it...

I'd love to try microlights but can't afford a share in one at the moment.
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Old 4th Apr 2016, 11:46
  #31 (permalink)  
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Being slightly apprehensive before flying when you are lacking suffucient personal currency is not a bad thing. After a break of eight weeks last year I was slightly concerned when hopped back into my seat. But that soon went as the "process" kicked into action. By process I mean the pre-flight, set-up, briefing and initial execution. In addition, I made sure I could remember all the memory items a day or so before I went flying. If you are still under-confident, in spite of proper preparation do not go flying by yourself. Instead, get some assistance from an instructor. It's what they are paid for and its a nice change flying with people who can already fly. You can work on some of some more interesting stuff and expand their horizons.

Lastly, I can not see the enjoyment in flying to stay legal or flying just to stay current. It's the system's way of telling you that you don't have the time and/or money to go flying. My suggestion would be to change the type of flying you do. Gliding, micro-lights, paragliding or even model aircraft flying may float your boat and give you the satisfaction you are looking for.

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Old 4th Apr 2016, 12:09
  #32 (permalink)  
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I'd love to try microlights but can't afford a share in one at the moment.
You've been able to rent them for years - albeit that not that many places offer microlight hire.

There are plenty of schools who will do you a lesson or two however. For example: Learn to Fly in Scotland - Flexwing, Fixed Wing, Gyrocopter

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Old 4th Apr 2016, 12:53
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Private flying used to be a Rich Mans pastime. Thankfully things have changed so that it is in reach of most to enjoy.
Microlights have always appealed to me as do some of the homebuilts which can be fast and furious and some should be allowed to fly IFR

Which are the best designs in both categories?

I can well understand the appeal of gliding too and the challenges that gives you.
I would love to know Gs top 5 in each category Microlights and home builts

i know I flew a friends RV6A which was a dream to fly and quick with it

Taking the club 150 up once a month for a usual around the local area must be soul destroying

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Old 4th Apr 2016, 16:26
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Top 5 by which criteria Pace?

Tell me what your perfect cheap aeroplane does in your mind, and I'll gladly make some suggestions.

Some permit aircraft can fly IFR now, but not many yet.

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Old 15th Aug 2017, 10:30
  #35 (permalink)  
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Nerves and PPL

I'm a 250 hour ppl. I've flown all the usual types and have never had a real scare in all that time (apart from the odd "interesting" landing......anyone NOT been there???). I've been flying mostly with another, far more experienced PPL for a while now and had finally made up my mind to fly solo for the first time in ages but backed out as the time approached. I used to fly solo all the time before! Has anyone else experienced this sudden anxiety about going solo after a long spell with a flying buddy?
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Old 15th Aug 2017, 12:07
  #36 (permalink)  
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I got my PPL in 1991 aged 17 after an RAF Flying Scholarship and then flew until 1995 when I stopped as I had just come out of university, started a job, bought a house etc so had to sacrifice the flying.
Some 20 years on, I'm thinking of getting back into it and re-certifying but now feel that I am a lot more aware of my own mortality than I was as a youngster and am not sure if I will be able to get back up there and do it justice.
Am going to book an hour flight at the local flying school to see if I have the stomach for it any more. I really hope I still do but just feel I'll be a bundle of nerves all the way through it.
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Old 15th Aug 2017, 12:26
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Originally Posted by phiggsbroadband View Post
...I then realised that all that was between me and the 3000ft drop was a thin 1/16 inch of alloy sheet...
That sounds familiar. My earliest flying experiences were in the open cockpit of a T21 Sedberg glider and I can still recall looking over the cockpit rim and thinking that there was about 3/32 of an inch (that shows how long ago it was) of plywood between me and eternity.

Originally Posted by TelsBoy View Post
...Additionally I have the opportunity to fly a motor glider which I am taking up, just 45/hr, great fun.

Group A is old hat, regulated to hell beyond any pleasure by E-arse-A...
Is the motor glider you're flying not an E-arse-A type? Most of them are but can probably be maintained relatively cheaply under the aegis of the BGA as CAMO.

To the OP, I kind of see you at that time of life when financial, social and family demands can be high but for whatever reason it seems to me that you're not flying enough to get past the nerves and gain confidence. Perhaps you might explore some of the lower cost options like LAA permit aircraft, a share in a group, TMG, microlight, some of which would put many group A's to shame, or gliding. Any one of these activities will be more stimulating and rewarding than the occasional hour in a club rental and are more likely to put a smile on your face.
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Old 15th Aug 2017, 12:54
  #38 (permalink)  
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Speaking from experience, a couple of crashes under your belt tends to dull any heightened anxiety about flying. I also used to fret about how my significant other would cope if I bit the big one but a after a few expensive divorces and a mountain of lawyer bills any such concerns have been removed . Nowadays my sole concern while hurtling uncontrollably towards terra firma would be regret at prepaying my council tax for the year and perhaps foolishly buying more usable fuel than I actually now need.

Lifes for living!
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Old 15th Aug 2017, 13:42
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I did laugh at that ! "a few expensive divorces..." How many would that be ?
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Old 15th Aug 2017, 16:26
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Aireed - a few months ago I flew solo for the first time in three years - before that a complex rating two years earlier and a dodgy flight review in a C152 for an hour a year earlier - both dual.

I did have grand plans to do 10/15 hours in the US before heading home after a three-year saga getting my plane refurbished (rubbish work, lawyers the full nine yards). In the event the autopilots, first one then the other, were disconnected so that messed up the plan for a short cross country - so a couple of abortive flights and an extended series of touch and goes with an instructor was all I got fitted in. The instructor a very experienced guy was brilliant - no patter, just "you fly the airplane and I'll stop you if you're about to kill us" - so flew the airplane not listening to the usual patter - very good landings (and I mean really, really good - landing was something I always struggled with) - so after two and a half hours (one and a half of t&g and two short flights when the a/p issues forced a return) - he said "you're good to go". So first solo flight after three years 1,500 mile trip to Barbados from Florida, first leg Stella Maris - no problems.

I have been wondering what happened in the three years that caused my landings to be at best iffy to rather good. Oddly I think I have figured it out, playing a video game called War Thunder (I am an addict) and a plane called a BB-1 - it usually gets shot to bits but getting it back takes serious thought. One thing is bleeding off speed - I came to realize it when landing in Puerto Rico, could not find the airport (looking in the wrong direction!) - over the numbers in my Archer low at 100mph+ bled it off in a third of the runway for a rather nice landing - just like the game in the BB-1.

Whatever caused it things have seemed to slow down and flying is much more fun now I am not freaked out at the prospect of having to land - latest wheeze over the number just above stall and maybe 3ft and fly half the length of the 10,000ft runway at that height to the exit - no more holding up everyone as I taxi a mile to exit.

That said I do still think when I park the car before I fly whether I will be coming back - all part of the fun - we all tend to live boring lives why would we want a hobby where there is not some real chance of death or injury
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