Do you ever get nervous when a cross country flight is going to well?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Lndwarrior, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I do, and yes I'm serious.

    Over the past two years I have flown frequent semi- long cross country trips thru congested airspace and multiple micro- climates.

    It seems every flight has some unexpected drama - weather, traffic conflict, aircraft issues. Something always seems to come up on every flight.

    I was flying back home yesterday along my normal route. I'm 3/4s home and nothing has gone wrong. And it bothers me.

    I start checking my gauges closer, double checking traffic on ADSB extra carefully, focusing on my traffic scan for aircraft, birds, whatever.

    Nothing happens.

    The air is totally smooth. The sky is clear and a thousand. My plane is purring like brand new Cirrus.

    So I get more nervous. Something is going to happen, I just know it.

    I'm approaching the Sierra foothills when it happens.

    Whammo! I get slammed with a thermal that smacks my head on the canopy!

    And I immediately start smiling. For some stupid reason I feel better that the unexpected has happened!

    Am I'm the only one who gets nervous when a flight seems to be going to well?
     
  2. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yesterday’s perfect xc ended in a go around.
     
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  3. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    I knew a kid like you when I was growing up. He just wasn’t happy unless something ached, or hurt, or needed sutures or a cast. He was a real drama queen. :) To respond to the question, the answer is most definitely no, I do not get nervous when things are going well on a flight. I monitor gauges and instruments, fuel burn, time of flight, position, etc, and I always have a solid idea of where my emergency landing spot will be, even if that spot is the least bad option of s small number if really bad options. I try to minimize risk and I fly fur the enjoyment of it, not to terrorize myself or passengers. I understand what you’re saying, though, because complacency is a killer, so being prepared is the key to salvation. Awaiting the next disaster is just another form of expectations and preparedness.
     
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  4. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Don't worry, be happy.

    Maybe you're stressed about flying, and unconciously dreading the uggh-known that is about to kill you? Then when something trivial comes up, and proves manageble, you gain some perception of control, and that gives you relief?

    Embrace the possble - there are a zillion paths to a gruesome end, when flying GA; it is not safe, and the safety puttering we do around the edges probably improves the odds by a only a tiny fraction.

    IMSAFE, ORM, VFR flight following, always keeping a forced landing spot identified? I think, in my subjective view, they are all a crock; or very marginally of value - other than to soothe the subconcious. . .
     
  5. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No
     
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  6. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The times when I get nervous are when there are things in the forecast that make the go/no-go decision iffy, especially if it's a long enough cross country to make a pretty full day of flying. That spurs me to look carefully at my diversion options in case the doubtful parts of the route turn out unfavorably. For example, on my last trip from the San Francisco area to Phoenix and back, the forecasts for the Tehachapi Pass area were iffy for both the outbound and return trips. Once I got close enough to the pass to see that the conditions were flyable, I was able to relax.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  7. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    Riding mountain turbulence with my head banging against the overhead or smooth crystal clear air? I’ll need to think about this. Get back to you soon.
     
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  8. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    With your thinking I believe you would be labeled by a psychologist as a hypocrosschondriac.
     
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  9. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    "Too.' It's like a whole different word.
     
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  10. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No. I just thank my lucky stars.
     
  11. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No just go with the flow. Time to spare go by air.
     
  12. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    I get nervous when I have planned out a trip ad nauseum ....... kinda backazswards.
     
  13. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Do I get nervous when things are going well?....

    Huh? :dunno: Can’t say that I do...
     
  14. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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  15. RingLaserGyroSandwich

    RingLaserGyroSandwich Pre-Flight

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    I'm still inexperienced but I get nervous whether or not a cross country flight is going well. The only thing that would make more more nervous would be if something going poorly is actually a legitimate problem and not just a minor inconvenience. Deteriorating weather is definitely a constant source of worry for me. Get-there-itis will kill you. Being overly conservative, calling up the flight school, and saying "sorry, I can't make it back with your plane this afternoon, I saw a small cloud in the sky" will eventually get you killed too!
     
  16. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Ditto on weather concerns, having ADSB helps a lot. This time of year especially. No IMC for me though, Nexrad radar only good for getting the big picture.


    Tom
     
  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No. Too many cross countries to even remember.
     
  18. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  19. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Yes and no. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.
     
  20. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    I love totally eventless XCs. I always plan for the worst and want the best to happen.
     
  21. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    (psst, don't tell the FAA. They might disqualify you for being bipolar :))
     
  22. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    So, for doing what I'm supposed to?
     
  23. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    <humor, it isn’t for everyone>
     
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  24. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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  25. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    This is not unusual. If you are just coming out of a training environment doing air work, landings and dealing with busy traffic patterns, the long idle time during a cross country can cause some discomfort. It feels like you are forgetting something important. This will go away eventually. Some level of anxiety is a good thing, but irrational fear is not.
     
  26. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    Some of the angst will disappear with experience. The biggest variable for me is weather analysis. It always has been, but the weather products are better now, and having ADS-B and/or XM weather in the cockpit makes a world of difference for in-flight decision making. If you plan well, most flights will unfold pretty much as well as you planned it, with few surprises. There will always be the random mechanical issue, crazy clearance changes, and occasional weather surprise, but even those are typically manageable events. The biggest surprises I've had over 35 years in single engine flibs is a handful of mag failures (two in the air), a lost exhaust manifold nut (that was interesting, but a 50 cent repair), a spinner failure (that was due to improper maintenance by my ex-mechanic), and a boatload of VOR and/or ILS failures (God I hated the Narco stuff.) Oh, and the mysterious (and fortunately reversible) engine failure that was probably an encounter with carb icing, although the cause was never definitively found.

    Be ever wary, but enjoy and expect a well-planned trip. Quite frankly, I marvel at how fun and practical GA flight can be. It's still amazes me that I can get to DC or Maine or Boston in 3 hours or less from Central NY. Only a pilot could get up in the morning in Central NY and decide, "Hey, lets go to the Smithsonian Natural History museum today" or "Let's catch a Sea Dogs game and some losbster tonight in Portland" and actually make that happen.
     
  27. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is an old syndrome.
     
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  28. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I have flown a lot of XC, if the planning is done properly all the XCs should go as planned.
     
  29. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Only thing that makes me nervous is getting behind the airplane.
     
  30. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    Exactly. The more you have an idea what the trip is looking like, the more ahead you stay.
     
  31. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    This reminds me of the saying, "If you're flying along and you find yourself doing nothing related to flying the plane, figure out what you SHOULD be doing related to flying the plane."

    I like to be coupled up and "relaxing" at about 800' AGL. My plane, EFIS, and GPS Navigator all know what to do. Those tools help me manage the tasks more easily, but I still have to do them. I can't just punch up Hair Nation (XM39) and practice karaoke for the whole flight. <- that's what commercial flights are for.
     
  32. RudyP

    RudyP Line Up and Wait

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    Since there’s a typo in the title, I’ll choose to interpret it as “do you get nervous when a cross country flight is going to hell?” In which case, yes, a flight going to hell could lead to some nervousness. If it is going well, then no, I would not be nervous... with 2500+ hours of cross country flying and very few issues, none major, over the years, I’m quite accustomed to cross country flights going well.
     
  33. pburger

    pburger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If my plane was "purring like a brand-new Cirrus", I would definitely get nervous. In fact, I'd probably pull the chute! ... err, wait... I don't have a chute... CRAP!