EGSUcrew
Topic Author
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 6:01 pm

I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:30 pm

There's a write up section in (I think?) 'Flyer' magazine called "I learnt about flying from that..." where people write in with their near misses/good calls/bad calls, etc etc and basically what it taught them about flying.

Thought it might be cool to see what stories you guys have!
 
bluejuice
Posts: 318
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:10 pm

When flying VFR, never ignore the lesson to do a traffic check before making a turn and never rely on ATC to point out potential conflicts. When I was doing touch and go landings one day, it probably saved my life as well as the lives of several others. The airport I learned out of gets pretty busy with a mix of VFR and IFR traffic. Everything from students in single engine pistons to military aircraft to the occasional 747SP and everything in between from twin props to large business jets. On the downwind, the tower instructed me to make a right 360 for spacing. All the while a busy tower controller was calling out traffic as best he could. I kept a mental picture of where planes were by paying close attention to the radio calls.

Before reentering the downwind, I told the school's senior CFI with me that I would check traffic. He gave a thumbs up to show his approval. I lifted the right wing of the 172 and saw clear sky. I then lifted the left wing and made eye contact with the passenger of a Piper Comanche. Within a split second the CFI, who was also flew F4s in Vietnam, and I both slammed the throttle to the firewall and pulled a heck of a turn to avoid the collision. By then I was pretty shaken but the combat vet in the right seat was cool as a cucumber. He calmly radioed the tower about the errant Piper and requested we go in for a full stop.

After landing and pulling back into the ramp, I was shaking like crazy. CFI told me just stay put, relax and step away when I was ready. It took a few minute before I able to stand. Found out later the Piper requested a westbound departure which should have taken him straight out. Without informing the tower, he decided to do a touch and go for his passenger and entered the downwind without calling out his intentions. The very busy tower controller did not see this happen. Had I not checked for traffic, I'd probably be living in the could permanently right now (or a much warmer place further south)/
 
xjramper
Posts: 2318
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:10 am

RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:26 pm

Kind of reiterating what BlueJuice said above is the simple fact that you don't trust anything or anyone but yourself. Instruments fail. ATC can be wrong (not saying they don't know what they are doing, but the controllers at busier terminals have a lot on their plate). Other pilots mis-heard or didn't follow ATC directions and can place them in your or other aircraft way. This list could go on and on.

Bottom line is that flight training drills into your head that while everything may seem normal, you must have the know-how and the patience to stave off immediate or close in danger without losing your cool.

I honestly think that maybe a collective of my 10-20 hours total was actually dedicated to learning how to fly the airplane. The rest went to emergency procedures, maneuvers, and engine out procedures. What are my chances that I will end up in a situation where its IFR, one of my engines quits, and I am on final approach with partial panel in a 15 kt x-wind? Very, very slim. But I know for damn sure I know what I would be doing to increase my chances of survival and safely set the aircraft on the runway.

Don't get me wrong, experiences like what BlueJuice experienced above will forever be burned into his brain as he will always check for traffic no matter what.

Situations like that I would never like to experience for myself, but thats why we train over and over again.
Look ma' no hands!
 
rwy04lga
Posts: 1976
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:55 pm

I 'Learned' about Flying From That is in Flying Magazine
Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
 
brains
Posts: 242
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:27 am

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 3):
I 'Learned' about Flying From That is in Flying Magazine

Thank you for noticing that.
Brains
 
rlwynn
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:55 am

I learned about flying from growing up flying out of a non controlled airport in the Los Angeles area. And from a guy who crashed twice and lived to tell about it. Even flying straight he would occasionally tilt a wing up and have a look.
I can drive faster than you
 
CaptainKramer
Posts: 266
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:12 pm

RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:43 pm

I am not a pilot, but if I ever muster up the funds to learn to do so, I will keep in mind the lesson I learned while watching a you tube clip filmed from the back of a light aircraft, with two guys up front as they were on final approach into a small airport. They passed over the threshold initiated the flare - then the teeth grinding sound of the belly coming into contact with the runway. The lesson being, always run a check list no matter how small the aircraft. At least the pilot now knows he has a gear up landing under his belt, a pretty decent one too.

CK
 
bluejuice
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:59 pm

 
CaptainKramer
Posts: 266
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:12 pm

RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:17 am

BlueJuice,

Thats the one! Thanks for posting the link. Certainly one way to extend the life of your tyres.

CK
 
rwessel
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:39 am

As has been mentioned, it's "Flying" magazine. AOPA Pilot has a similar section called "Never Again."

For what little it's worth, I actually wrote an article (never submitted) for ILAFFT, involving checklists and getting distracted by the antics of a new lineboy* during a preflight of a glider, and missing a major item (namely the removal of the tail dolly**). Nothing like a flight with the W&B way past the aft limit.


*Which is not to say that my failure was in *any* way excused by the lineboy's actions, or in any way his fault.

**You'd think a great big red/orange thing attached to a white glider would be hard to miss... (although I'm hardly the first to have done it - which is probably the main reason I never submitted it).
 
JRadier
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:23 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 9):
during a preflight of a glider, and missing a major item (namely the removal of the tail dolly**). Nothing like a flight with the W&B way past the aft limit.

It the clubs in the Netherlands I know they have a very simple yet effective rule to prevent this. If the pilot gives the OK sign with the dolly still attached that means a giving a round at the end of the day. Not only does this make you check the dolly twice (with 20+ people on good days it's an expensive mistake), everyone on the ground is keeping its eye out for it to happen as well, as it means free beer at the end of the day. Result? It hardly ever goes unnoticed by the pilot, and as of yet I don't know of anyone that actually took off with it.
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
rwessel
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:21 am

Quoting JRadier (Reply 10):
It the clubs in the Netherlands I know they have a very simple yet effective rule to prevent this. If the pilot gives the OK sign with the dolly still attached that means a giving a round at the end of the day. Not only does this make you check the dolly twice (with 20+ people on good days it's an expensive mistake), everyone on the ground is keeping its eye out for it to happen as well, as it means free beer at the end of the day. Result? It hardly ever goes unnoticed by the pilot, and as of yet I don't know of anyone that actually took off with it.

Although had there been anyone other than myself, the (inexperienced) line boy, the tow pilot and the guy in the office (neither of which were in a position to see*) around that probably wouldn't have happened either. It was apparently a quiet Saturday (8/29/92) - according to my log book, the following flight was pretty short, with little meaningful lift.


*the guy in the office did let me know when I took off past his window...
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:44 pm

I learnt/ed from Airliners.net that...

Quoting brains (Reply 4):
Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 3):
I 'Learned' about Flying From That is in Flying Magazine

Thank you for noticing that.

... British English and American English have slightly different spellings of certain words

Seriously guys  
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
RaginMav
Posts: 335
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:27 pm

Oh goodness, which tale do I tell...?

Not my scariest learning experience, but definately the most educational: I was a new student pilot, not quite to solo yet, practicing crosswind landings on a grass runway. The strong wind had been slowly shifting from north to south, eventually forcing us to switch runways and land south. Due to an enormous lack of judgement and experience on my part, and inaction by my inexperienced instructor, we very nearly ran off the end of the runway, stopping with less than 20 feet to spare.

What I learned:

-Being fast on final is just as bad as being too high. Case in point.

-A crosswind that shifts to a slight quartering tailwind is not to be ignored. That few knots of groundspeed very nearly did me in.

-Runway slope can be incredibly important. Switching to land south meant landing slightly downwind, as well.

-If you're not on the ground in the touchdown zone, go the hell around!!! This has since saved my bacon at least once.

My instructor and I laughed it off at the time. The next night, he called me and we came to grips with how close we had come to an accident. We both learned more in 20 seconds than we thought possible. The next saturday, he made the proper endorsements, and sent me up solo! 
 
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Revelation
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:56 pm

Quoting JRadier (Reply 10):
It the clubs in the Netherlands I know they have a very simple yet effective rule to prevent this. If the pilot gives the OK sign with the dolly still attached that means a giving a round at the end of the day. Not only does this make you check the dolly twice (with 20+ people on good days it's an expensive mistake), everyone on the ground is keeping its eye out for it to happen as well, as it means free beer at the end of the day. Result? It hardly ever goes unnoticed by the pilot, and as of yet I don't know of anyone that actually took off with it.

That's one thing that's different between most US and EU glider clubs - the EU ones usually have much better facilities, usually including a club bar!
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: I Learnt About Flying From That... (Discuss!)

Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:01 pm

If you want to become a better pilot, become a flight instructor. It is EXTREMELY different flying from the right seat. I've learned 10x more in my flight time as an instructor than as a student.

Also:

-If you think a student is about to do something stupid, trust me, he will.

-NEVER relax, always be vigilant, even with your best student.

-Keep your head on a swivel, regardless if you have TIS-B, ADS-B, TCAS, etc etc traffic can and WILL sneak up on you. Then again there are times where no matter how good your scan is, you will have some extremely close calls. For me every time that has happened was when the offending aircraft was on my blind spot, and I was on his.

-Challenge your students, but only if they are ready. ie: Lots of instructors specially in my school limit their students to cross country flights to uncontrolled airports in the middle of fecking nowhere. And when it comes time for them to go into an unfamiliar controlled airport, they freak out and screw up their radio calls and mess up their patterns. Whereas for me, I took my kids around the local class bravo numerous times, hopping around all 6 controlled airports in the area, until I felt they were capable of doing that on their own. If they can handle that no problems, then they can handle almost anything.

I've got tons more, but I'll add them later.

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