Rookie mistake and CRM failure

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Unit74, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    So I went for an evening flight tonight. Lots of chatter before saddling up and on the taxi. Took up a guy who was a pilot too, but hasn't flown in a while. We went sight seeing in the local area. On run up, I failed to return the left mag to both. WTF was I thinking! Fixed that and departed.

    Moderate chatter about this and that. Decided to make a low approach to a close field. Got all set up, pulled up the plate for the GPS approach and flew the plate in VFR. Made my calls, about 3 miles out heard another aircraft call 10 miles out, entering on a 45 for the same runway we are using. Cool.

    Mid field on the low approach a plane on the ground gruffly tells us we are flying the opposite of what we are calling.

    Yes, I'm calling 36 the whole way but we are actually on the 18 approach end. I have never done that before. So I announce I'll climb straight out, heading 18 and depart the area west.

    Here is what I feel happened. I almost never have PAX in the cockpit. Having him there, I default to CFI in the right seat mode and "he'll keep me straight" if I screw up. Because that's what CFIs do, right? It's the only time my right seat is filled when I fly. I basically dropped my caution flags and felt confident in my skills. WTF was I thinking!

    We had a lot of chatter between us the whole flight. I was dividing my attention from flying the plane, showing him the sights and lost my situational awareness. I had the correct plate pulled up, but had mentally wanted 36 because it has a better view for him on approach.

    Before the approach, he was checking out Foreflight and hit the AHRS screen calibration button on the iPad in front of him. I have two in the plane. It ended up with an unusual attitude displayed. And, it then crossed filled to my iPad in front of me so now mines out of whack too.

    I didn't let it get to me, but I realized that I have heavily depended on using FF to get me to the destination airport. No flight plan was on the FPL and thus, no runway centerline extension lines. This flight was not normal because I always have a plan loaded except for closed pattern work. I was expecting the lines and remember looking, but I never verified my approach on the DG or the compass.

    I feel completely like a terd and know better than to let my cockpit degenerate like that. I wanted him to have a great flight and failed to manage my pax and let him tinker with systems he was unfamiliar with. I let him dictate my flying and I really hate that feeling. Like, really, really hate what I did. I know better and failed to appreciate where this flight had gone.

    I can only hope my experience may help someone else realize what can happen to you when you don't manage your airplane AND pax.
     
  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like you learned a few lessons on that flight. That's good as you most likely won't repeat those mistakes. It happens, you recognized it, have a solution to prevent it from reoccurring, and learned some valuable lessons. Now onto the next set of mistakes! I kid!
     
  3. bluesky74656

    bluesky74656 Line Up and Wait

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    I've made the runway heading mistake before. Also taxied out to a runway on only one mag (on my IFR checkride no less). Can't say I forgot it, just didn't turn the key far enough.

    It's embarassing, but you learned how important it is to double check. Learn and move on.
     
  4. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did the opposite runway deal in Korea when I was learning to fly. Flew a C150 from Osan AB to Kunsan AB and tower said something about entering for 36. Dummy me turns onto a left base leg for 18, towers hollers, I get out of the way, and notice an F-4 waiting to takeoff on 36 once my dumb arse is out of the way.
     
  5. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Line Up and Wait

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    Good on you to debrief and share, thank you.
     
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  6. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Been there....done that. It's humbling.
     
  7. HouTxPilot82

    HouTxPilot82 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for the debrief.
     
  8. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think everyone has a bad day like that at some time when low time. Sometimes high time as well. Sounds like you learned from them.

    I still maintain that gadgets can be distractions, and there are costs to their use.
     
  9. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Thanks for the write up. Sometimes my passengers can be distracting and it gets to me. I have to be better with the isolate button!
     
  10. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Line Up and Wait

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    I saw an ASF video where a very experienced pilot took his young son flying in his amphib. His son was flying straight and level and they were talking/bonding. In the process he got distracted from his normal operating procedures and did a water landing with the wheels still down. Plane flipped and his boy died. It was a well done lesson learned video about passenger distractions with a heart breaking ending. Can happen to anybody if they let their guard down even for a bit in our unforgiving (at times) world of flying.
     
  11. airheadpenguin

    airheadpenguin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I saw the same video, and it was painful. I think every new pilot should have to watch it, to understand what the possible outcome of this is and decide if they really want to accept that.
     
  12. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Dude, just close the damned cockpit door!

    ;)
     
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  13. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Checking out those hotties are ya? ;)
    Wait 'til spring break!
     
  14. hotprops

    hotprops Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    out of 1000 out loud, pax will ask what did you say? respond i need to concentrate now, so shut up and dont touch anything
     
  15. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Line Up and Wait

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    Fist off, good write up. It takes guts to fess up to mistakes made. The biggest thing I got out of it was the trend nowdays of pilots to become dependant on the gadgets, Know as children of the magenta line. It can cause total loss of SA.

    Bob
     
  16. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-Flight

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    Well, you are a better person than I because I still can't bring myself to share my biggest mistake flying. Hint: it is very similar to one that you just mentioned. Freaked me out when i caught it. My wife was my passenger and I was trying to explain to her what just happened and how serious it could have been. Her response was, "good thing you caught it" and "bet you won't do that again". What really struck me was that once you get "into" a mistake flying, there is not always a clear and easy way out.

    As for the electronics, I have been very "old school" to date with planning and using steam gauges with only a little use of gps. Just started to use FF. Thanks for sharing so that I can hopefully keep the electronics as a tool and avoid them becoming a distraction.
     
  17. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Spring break is here. I'm going to Punta Cana this week!
     
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  18. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    With Dad? :rofl:
     
  19. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    No an actual vacation for 4 nights!
     
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  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just messin' with ya! Have fun and enjoy yourself!
     
  21. bluerooster

    bluerooster Cleared for Takeoff

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    My problem with flying an HP aircraft is deciding on the best point to go to high RPM.
     
  22. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    I suggest before deciding to fly down the wrong approach end is a good a time as any.
     
  23. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Was that on Lk Goodwin in WA?

    Edit:just saw that it was. Sad, sad deal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  24. timrb

    timrb Pre-takeoff checklist

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    123weld
    All the CFIs I've ever flown with gleefully allowed me to get as deep as I wanted to into any nondangerous mistake I felt like making, just so they could see how I got out of it. The CFI is only there to see that you don't get killed while teaching yourself to fly.

    Tim
     
  25. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    If there is a tailwind and the pilot uses ground reference for speed (we all tend to somewhat) there is a danger of a stall if you come in like that. Seen that exact thing happen. He came in with a tailwind (why we don't know) and stalled it. So keep an eye on that airspeed!
     
  26. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    At any point where you don't have enough throttle to maintain set RPM.
     
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  27. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

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    Lesson learned. Checklists help. I've broke the chain by restarting the checklists. Preflight, walk the pax around as I perform it. Once inside, pull out the list and walk through it with them. Each step very deliberate... until it's not.
    I have made a few mistakes I caught. Some the CFI caught. One that stranded the plane at a remote airport on the Outer Banks. Lessons learned. . Take off on one mag. Alt not on. Door left unlatched. Altimeter not set. Wrong runway declared. Truly a bear when the airport doesn't even have that one. Wrong freq. Xmit on atis. Volume down. Nothing bent... not yet anyways.
    It's always good to debrief the flight. And now I know why the pope kisses the ground after landing.
    Good for you to fess up.
     
  28. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    My approach power settings are based on 2400 rpm constant. My standard procedure is to not touch the blue lever at all... even once the rpm isn't maintained with the throttle. It's one less thing to have to do on the approach. In the event of a go around my method is all levers forward. Takes nothing to slide the throttle and prop simultaneously. Even if I forget the prop at 2400 I'm climbing out of there no problem. I will immediately know the sound difference and correct the prop quickly.
     
  29. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That works in a 182, but not in a 206. Takeoff RPM is authorized for 5 minutes. I'm sure there are other examples.
     
  30. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    I do this based on my CFI recommendation. I'm in a pa32 301. I'm sure it wouldn't work for everyone.
     
  31. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    already mentioned? Put heading bug on landing runway heading when in range and it is not needed for other purposes.