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Worst mistake you've made?

Old 18th Feb 2006, 21:16
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alderley Edge
Posts: 120
Worst mistake you've made?

Hi all, am just wandering what is the worst mistake you´ve made during ur training?
Mine so far, although not entirely my fault was when my radio button got stuck in the "transmitting" position whislt I proceeded to discuss with my instructor in four letter words a certain member of my flying club. Needless to say I got a severe telling off from the tower and the guy in question (who was flying in the circuit at the same time) hasnt spoken to me since.

That and almost taking off on the wrong runway, however that was due to a mistake by the tower.
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Old 19th Feb 2006, 10:54
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On my 3rd flying lesson, I hopped out of the car, hopped into the plane, grabbed the keys, stuck it in to the ignition and tried to start the plane....just like my car. The instructor ( who was a bit grumpy ) looked at me and said; " have you got a F***ing problem reading a checklist?"
Other screw up wa flying to a remote airfield, no-one was talking on the air/ground radio, overflew the runway, looked at the windsock, elected to fly downwind for a 27 approach, only to find a Cub on the take-off run in the opposite direction. I peeled off to the right and did a touch and go in the opposite direction. Whoever that guy was never said a word on the radio, even though he must have been aware of what I was doing since I made all my calls. Either he had no radio, or else I was on the wrong frequency. Either way, I'm sure I read the wind correctly....still put my heart crossways nonetheless. I BLAME HIM TOTALLY....couldn't have been me surely?!
Did a lovely kangaroo impression in a 172 a few weeks back, not surprising since I hadn't flown one in 2 years, I was high and fast, with only half the fuel, so I couldn't get the bugger to slow down and loose alt on finals.
And during my first PPL test, I never checked my compass on the runway heading, so I took off and proceeded to fly on my heading with the compass 15dgs off...needless to say I had to re-do the nav part of my PPL!

Last edited by powdermonkey; 19th Feb 2006 at 12:23.
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Old 19th Feb 2006, 10:59
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High Wing Drifter
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Being totally maxed out during my first session in the Seneca and inadvertently grabing the mixtures and not the props, tugging away and thinking why isn't the RPM dropping, why has the engine note change - eeek!

If something doesn't seem right, it isn't!

Old 19th Feb 2006, 11:15
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Dundee, Scotland
Age: 57
Posts: 1,263

Possibly the worst mistake anyone can make during training is to have a really really REEEEEEALY hot chilli and then go off on a 2 hour nav trip. .

Sorry. Had to.
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Old 19th Feb 2006, 11:47
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Join Date: May 2003
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rooney thats not a mistake, thats just your personality making the most of an unfortunate situation. From what you've written in other threads I would have thought flying the a/c outside your personal limits would be more for a mistake.....

For me my biggest mistake was towards the end of my PPL, was doing some solo consolidation, everything was going fine. It was late in the afternoon and the sun was low in the sky and when I came back I found that EDI had switch runway to 24, problem now was that the sun was right on the horizon. Circuit and approach was fine, with the nose low the sun was blocked out, I didn't take into account how much of a problem it would be when I flared. So as I flare sun comes into view and I suddenly can't see anything. Problem was that I had flared slightly too high, which usually is easily corrected, but needs you to be able to see out! Anyway a/c was sinking down, realised that it wasn't a good situation and was just about to go around when THUMP, hit the runway with a mighty bump. Wasn't dangerously hard but enough to shake my confidence abit.
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Old 19th Feb 2006, 11:58
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Often wondered what you would do if caught "unawares" on a long nav. with no airfields close by?
Land in a field and take care of business?
HAS THIS HAPPENED TO ANYONE? not getting too graphic here, but I make sure such details are taken care of at least twice before departure!!!
Any horror stories out there? It is something that I have been concerned about in the past. WHAT DO YOU DO???!!! Sorry, a bit off thread
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Old 19th Feb 2006, 12:05
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Surrey
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Well I've never had problems in powered a/c but I've had a number of 4-6 hour flights in gliders and in those situtations either use a bag or a bottle and dispose of it later. My mate can vouch that using sick bags for it is a BAD idea
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Old 19th Feb 2006, 12:09
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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There have been at least two yarns in Pilot about landing in fields to relieve oneself. Both ended with serious damage to the aircraft so not to be recommended. I think one was a Gipsy Moth which, having landed safely in a stubble field, caught fire and was completely destroyed.
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Old 19th Feb 2006, 12:26
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Wow, expensive relief!! Still, better to destroy the evidence than arriving at destination with brown trousers and slightly soiled ac! What do you tell the next guy going up for his lesson???
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Old 19th Feb 2006, 15:54
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Mine 2

Hi all,
I had two things.
One is at the end of my ppl test. I was about to land and instead of lowering the flaps from 15° to 40°, I pulled them up!!! I was extremely tired and stressed out due to the fact that I had 2 examiners in the a/c. My examiner was being examined!!! But they didn't say anything because I corrected it right away, actually didn't even remove my hand from the flap handle.
The second was during the "tour de france aérien des jeunes pilotes". And it was during the only lap I was accompanied by an Air France A320 captain. During this 4 hours nav, I had to take a leak twice. Fortunately I had a bottle with me but full of water. I managed to empty it from a small hatch in the window and did my business. Needless to say that the weather was crappy and my Robin DR400 was hopping around. At least the captain was hadling the stick and me mine!!!
Have fun.
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Old 19th Feb 2006, 18:29
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 56
On my second or third solo I went up with the instructor before hand. Did a few circuits, came back in and he jumped off. Everything seemed fine. Taxiing out though, I noticed the radio seemed really mute (through the headset). I could just about make out what the controller & other traffic were saying.

So off I went, doing my checks, keeping a good look out, doing the radio calls I was used to, but in the air I couldn't make out what anyone was saying. I thought, "Right, my headset must be frigged". I reached behind the seat and grabbed the spare headset, disconnected the one I was wearing and connected up the other. No difference. Calling final to land, I could just make out the controller.

Taxied in, about to shut down .... I look at the radio volume knob.

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Old 19th Feb 2006, 21:44
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: London
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During my training several years ago, was on a very boring and long solo night-nav to get the required night hours. Bombing along in the vast emptiness of East Florida's airspace, I decided I'd catch the moment on camera. With my eyes fully adjusted to the dark, arm outstretched, cheesy grin in place, and camera pointed towards me, I clicked the shutter........


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Old 19th Feb 2006, 23:43
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Atlantic-44, That is brilliant!!!! absolutely must have laughed about it later!
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Old 20th Feb 2006, 10:38
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Denmark
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I've made a lot of mistakes, and I hope I've learned from all of them.

My worst one: Landing without clearance. Was cleared into the control zone and told I was number one. There was zero traffic and I was unused to being told that so early, somehow confused me. Landed. When the wheels touched, I realized what I'd done and swore. Taxied off the RW, had to cross another RW so had to call tower, the female occupant asked in her sweetest voice: "Could it be possible that you accidentally landed without clearance ?". I said "ahem, that's entirely possible". And that was it. I guess she didn't report it, as she had failed to notice me land !
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Old 20th Feb 2006, 15:13
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Location: England
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Took off with the parking brake set at 50% - Only second time on grass, so the reason for the slow roll was obvious! Good job I realised it in the air.

Pulled up into my "parking" spot (more like a hill). As I cut the engine and removed the keys I dropped my pen. Bent down to pick it up, bought my head up and realised the plane was rolling down towards a nice new Archer! Missed it by whiskers. - Yep, that parking brake again.
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Old 20th Feb 2006, 17:06
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA FOR NOW
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I think the worst mistake I ever made was believing I would earn lots of money as an airline pilot.

Superpilot, nothing can explain the sense of relief after releasing the break before landing. Did exactly the same thing from my first grass strip takeoff.

ALV2500 is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2006, 17:13
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Not changing IR instructor quick enough before damage was done
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Old 20th Feb 2006, 17:27
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Started the engine without making sure the parking brake was on.
Graham Borland is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2006, 17:40
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Thumbs up

Sometime last year I decided to take my niece to france (le touquet) as I promised I would a while back. Like most pilots I checked the weather in advance bbc, sky , metoffice. It was a sunday and everthing was going to be ok so i thought. I got to school and did all the usual paperwork and took off from stapleford. Everything was fine until we got to Ashford there was a huge cake of cloud believe it or not down to 1100 ft. I agonised over turning back and it just got worse. So I decended to cloud base flew visually to dover tracked the Vor out to cap griz nez. You will like to know I crossed the chanel at 1000ft! Fortunately i had done a couple of lessons in IMC which helped a lot. The viz over the chanell despite decending was no more than 500ft. Thankfully there were a lot of other brits crossing in the same situation and lille was quite helpfull. When we touched down she had no clue how scared I was as it turned out There were a couple of other guys there who said they've made the same silly mistake. Lesson always call and double check the weather as ridiculous as it may sound. Needless to say coming back was easier as cloud this time around stopped mid chanell and she fell asleep as soon as we took off.
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Old 20th Feb 2006, 19:14
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Someplace where the water smells
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Once tried moving of with the chocks still in, the CFI was watching and found it hilarious!

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