sudden lack of confidence

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by LOC, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The mistake so many of you make is waiting until you’re old to learn. If you do it before age creates awareness of mortality this **** is way easier.

    Seriously just get in there and fly. Stop worrying and have fun.
     
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  2. AirHare

    AirHare Filing Flight Plan

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    My biggest regret with aviation is that I didn't get my PPL sooner.
     
  3. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So, do you think continuing on for two more laps was in compliance with the regulations?
     
  4. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Since it's not about the wings falling off and you're comfortable with someone whether they're a CFI or a friend who knows nothing about flying seems like maybe it's just more of a psychological hurdle of the idea of being 'alone' - while I can't say I've been in your shoes, if I were in your shoes though I'd take babysteps.. first commit to one turn around the pattern.. then a few more.. then out to a practice area 15-20 miles away.. then a 50-75 mile cross country, and slowly build that confidence back up

    ..same, I love it!
     
  5. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Start incorporating practice stuff into every flight. Have pax? Do the soft field landings. Solo, take the time to practice some engine outs, stuff that might "scare" your pax and see if you can get and stay proficient to deal with emergencies. Practice and proficiency builds confidence and real skill that will help mitigate the possible emergencies you are more aware of.
     
  6. AirHare

    AirHare Filing Flight Plan

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    Absolutely. I could have legally flown a full cross-country with the aircraft in that condition.

    91.205's requirments for VFR flight:
    (1) Airspeed indicator.
    (2) Altimeter.
    (3) Magnetic direction indicator.
    (4) Tachometer for each engine.
    (5) Oil pressure gauge for each engine using pressure system.
    (6) Temperature gauge for each liquid-cooled engine.
    (7) Oil temperature gauge for each air-cooled engine.

    (8) Manifold pressure gauge for each altitude engine.
    (9) Fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank.

    (10) Landing gear position indicator, if the aircraft has a retractable landing gear.

    8 & 10 don't apply to a 172. The C172 MEL is even more generous than the FARs with regards to minimum equipment.

    Next part: Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's safe. So.. was it safe?

    It absolutely was safe.

    I had full fuel. Engine was making normal power. No abnormal sounds/smells. Losing left vacuum then quickly losing all vacuum strongly suggested a leak in the system rather than locked-up vacuum pump. Electrical system had good voltage, COMs, GPS, NAV (ILS) were still working. Alternator was still making power, so I knew the belt was still there. Conditions were 10SM/CLR. Airport has two perpendicular runways, so even if the engine decides it's done, the nearest runway is no more than 90 degrees away and we'd practiced engine-outs to the alternative runways before. I even did two days of full-on spin training and recovery before my solo.

    Seriously, what more ideal conditions would you want for doing pattern work?
     
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  7. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The 172 MEL? Did you have one? I doubt it.

    If not, did you comply with the requirements of 91.213?

    “(3) The inoperative instruments and equipment are—
    (i) Removed from the aircraft, the cockpit control placarded, and the maintenance recorded in accordance with §43.9 of this chapter; or
    (ii) Deactivated and placarded “Inoperative.” If deactivation of the inoperative instrument or equipment involves maintenance, it must be accomplished and recorded in accordance with part 43 of this chapter; and

    (4) A determination is made by a pilot, who is certificated and appropriately rated under part 61 of this chapter, or by a person, who is certificated and appropriately rated to perform maintenance on the aircraft, that the inoperative instrument or equipment does not constitute a hazard to the aircraft.”

    And did you consider this part of 91.7?
    “The pilot in command shall discontinue the flight when unairworthy mechanical, electrical, or structural conditions occur.”

    To your question if it was safe. Yes it was, but as a student pilot on you first solo, you lacked the knowledge and experience as well as the certificate required to make that determination.

    But no harm, no foul. Right?
     
  8. AirHare

    AirHare Filing Flight Plan

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    Actually, I do carry the POHs, MELs, full Maintenance Manuals (both airframe & powerplant) for the aircraft I fly on my tablets (tablets plural, for redundancy). I’ve actually read them as well. The POH doesn't mention that the attitude indicator's gyro will run for 15 minutes after losing vacuum, but the MM does. As expected it gets lazier and less responsive over time, but I'd already written off the vacuum-powered gauges as soon as both vacuum pump idiot lights illuminated.

    I'm extremely anal when it comes to the aircraft I fly, as the field's mechanic and avionics shop can attest to. My CFI discovered my anal-ness on a night cross country when some of the instrument lights weren't operating as he expected. I opened the Maintenance Manual on the iPad and they were working perfectly as designed. Terrible design, but indeed working to factory specs.

    I grounded & pulled the aircraft off the schedule immediately after the flight. And yes, I'm anal enough to carry a P-Touch in my car and did put INOP stickers on the affected gauges, along with a note tied with safety wire(not taped) to the yoke describing what had transpired. After a debrief with my CFI, the aircraft was taken directly to the mechanic's shop and repaired. CFI and A&P fully agreed with my thought-process and decisions, BTW.

    What was un-airworthy about the aircraft for doing VFR laps around the pattern? The powerplant was operating normally, electrical system was fine showing normal amps & volts, the airframe was still intact. The vacuum-powered gauges weren't going to implode and create a mushroom cloud. Absolutely was NOT fit for IFR flight or IMC conditions...but this was not that. Definitely not worthy of a mayday call, not even a pan-pan.

    Taking a cue from QF32's Richard de Crespigny, when this failure happened I took note of what was wrong, but more importantly took note of what was still working. Everything I needed to fly safely was still working. If I had any questions, my CFI and tower were just a radio call away. I did not have any questions.

    A lot of assumptions in that statement because of the word "student". Student != inexperienced.

    I may just be getting my PPL now, but that doesn't mean I haven't been around aviation for decades, including Part 121 and 135 operations. I was already comfortably using VORs and did my first ILS landing by my second lesson. I've done just a bit of engineering work over the years over a wide variety of industries, including automotive and aviation, in multiple continents.

    There's a certain large transport-category aircraft currently in-flight which I forced a redesign of while it was still in development. I was invited to see some prototypes of the systems and a mockup of the cabin and cockpit. Me being the eternal smart-ass, found a way to inhibit some of the aircraft's systems in under 10 seconds by doing things regular passengers would normally do. Upon me demonstrating this, they were floored. They did completely redesign those systems, and reviewed other systems in the aircraft to see if they'd made similar mistakes. I'd have no problem flying on that aircraft today.

    I'm not an A&P or IA, nor claim to be, nor want to be. BUT, I am a pilot, and as you're aware 91.7 also says the PIC is responsible for determining the aircraft is capable of safe flight. Not the A&P, not the IA -- the PIC is. As part of that responsibility, I'm using my past experience + learning all I can about what equipment I'm flying now...and yes, that means knowing what's underneath the cowl and seeing what's behind the panels when the plane is in annual and understanding how the rigging works.

    As Wolfgang Langewiesche implores in Stick and Rudder’s first paragraph, an airplane may sound and smell like a car but it’s completely different. I ask A LOT of questions and my friends who work in ATC, A&Ps, Part 121, and NWS fortunately have a lot of patience and answer them.
     
  9. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wow. That is perhaps the biggest pile of BS and ignorance that I have ever seen in one post. Good luck with your flying because with your lack of knowledge and your attitude, I see possible enforcement actions in your future.
     
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  10. Kitch

    Kitch Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @SkyDog58 enforcement may be the least of what's coming...
     
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  11. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Way too many words. I don't understand the bit about losing vacuum at all. The only confusing part to me was why anyone would fire up a glidescope for a VFR landing, and what that has to do at all with losing the vacuum systems. The whole thing seems silly to the point of being made up. Who needs or even looks at the DG or AI for flying in the pattern?
     
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  12. Deelee

    Deelee Pattern Altitude

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    Pretty much this. But... a few things...

    What 172 has a MEL?? It's a trainer for chrissakes, not a 738. Last time I checked, a MEL was pretty complex with lots of variables for when certain types of equipment is required or not in certain conditions/phases of flight/etc... maybe you are referring to a KOEL? Kinds of equipment list... one that has a checkbox next to what is required and what's optional? One of the rust-bucket, clapped out 172s I flew for primary training had something like that... (looked like it was as old as the dead-sea scrolls).

    Also, have you and your CFI talked about hazardous attitudes yet? Or maybe, more fundamentally, being a little more humble in your training and admitting that, as a student, you are a student and are inexperienced. To fix it for you -- Student = inexperienced. That's great that you have been around aviation for decades and we are all pretty impressed that you are comfortable using VORs and could shoot an ILS when you were wet behind the ears... But with the attitude that you have... wow. I would perhaps recommend taking the opposite approach - and when you are with an instructor, to think of yourself as absorbing any and all knowledge they can impart unto you. You seem to take this learning approach from the Quantas incident and what Captain de Crespigny did (I like that book, too...) ... try taking that learning approach with your instructors... you might actually learn something.

    Student pilot. There is a massive difference.
     
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  13. AirHare

    AirHare Filing Flight Plan

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    SkyDog58 appears to think you need a DG and AI to fly a pattern... he got rather nasty about me continuing the fly the pattern with those gauges slowly failing.

    I've always put the ILS in as a habit, more of a security blanket from my first few flights where I had trouble figuring out distances/altitudes visually which led to an irrational fear that I was going plow the plane into the runway. As time moved on, I learned the sight picture for an approach and round-out which took care of that fear.

    Nope, MEL: https://support.cessna.com/docs/cus...ons/documents/ce-172-MMEL-EU-RevOriginal.docx

    The reason I even have the MEL is that I was pre-flighting a plane and noticed a static wick missing and asked my CFI about it which led to a half-hour long discussion about what's legal, what's safe (just because it's legal doesn't mean it's safe), and what can be deferred. He walked me through the MEL for the 172 and also for a transport-category aircraft he's type-rated on to show me the process of looking it up. If anything, I'm overly-cautious.

    This week I noticed a missing cowl screw during my pre-flight and aborted the flight. I sent pics to the A&P who then said it wouldn't be a problem (he replaced the screw a day later), so I continued my pre-flight and did more dual with my CFI. Similarly, there's been a few times when I wasn't happy about the weather and reached out to my CFI before even bothering to go to the airport.

    I think my response to SkyDog is throwing you off. On a personal level, I'm quite timid and have practically no confidence. The CFIs I've had will tell you that. My CFI was pushing for me to solo after 8 hours and 23 landings. Due to my lack of confidence I dragged that out to almost 20 hours, 90 landings, and added spin training and flew in multiple aircraft before I was willing to let the CFI hop out. In retrospect, yes, my CFI was correct -- Skill-wise, I was ready at 8 hours. I'm glad I took the cautious route though.

    I ask A LOT of questions. I take all of the extra instruction I can, whether it be from the CFI directly, flying with experienced pilots, seminars, webinars, etc.

    I'm not happy to follow checklists like a robot -- I want to understand the hows and whys...which is how I ended up with the maintenance manuals. Trust but verify. I don't ever plan on turning a wrench or screwdriver on these aircraft, but I want to know what's really going on. My CFIs and A&Ps have been very good at explaining things in detail.

    Aviation is not forgiving of mistakes. Growing up we had a plane and a commercial pilot to fly it. He was a mentor to me in many ways. Unfortunately he and the plane are now at the bottom of the Atlantic due to his failure to check the weather or possibly get-there-itis. We'll never know why he did what he did, but we do know the end result. I'm reminded of this every time I fly, as I have to pass by our old hangar to get to the aircraft I fly.
     
  14. Deelee

    Deelee Pattern Altitude

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    Ah, so a doc from the European Aviation Safety Agency... I guess I assumed that you were flying here in the USA or Canada... (PoA tends to focus on these two nations). Here in the USofA, 172s don't come with MELs.

    Good on you for trying to gain as deep an understanding as you possibly can about systems, aerodynamics, regulations, procedures.... What's that dreamy mzeroa guy always say? A good pilot is always learning? He's right. As for your confidence... maybe think about it like this - From your posts, you clearly have a passion for aviation. You strive to learn all you can about aviation. You seem to understand that aviation is an unforgiving ***** of a mistress and can kill you if you fail to plan, pay attention, or just get unlucky. Your CFI thinks you gots skillz... he/she wanted to solo you after 8 hours. CFIs don't just send students up to solo unless they think the student is ready. So maybe think back on these things when you start to lose confidence and pump yourself up a bit. But then try to temper that confidence with humbleness and realize that, regardless of how much you think you know about aviation, you have a lifetime of continuous learning ahead of you.

    Fair winds and blue skies to your mentor pilot.
     
  15. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    THIS! My CFI told me to park in the transient and grab my logbook. He signed it off and told me to make three takeoffs and landings, then got out of the plane. I just about s*** myself.
     
  16. Loc

    Loc Guest

    OP here.

    just an update, I was able to break this streak and fly alone after quite a long time. just few flights including one 4 hour xc :). Appreciate all the responses. I am also taking this opportunity to get IR done shortly.
     
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