Flunking a CAT rating was the best thing for me

Questions and comments about the PE Pilot Training Program

Flunking a CAT rating was the best thing for me

Postby Redrum » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:44 am

I flunked my CAT 11 rating not even two minutes into the flight. I heard clearance give me my departure instructions, but I didn’t listen to them. I watched others on YouTube and just assumed mine was going to be the same. So I took off from 25L at KLAX on a heading of 255 and flew to the coastline and mad my left turn and proceeded on course. What I didn’t do was make a left downwind departure like I was instructed to do. When the SOCAL departure informed me of my error, he said one thing to me, “Pay attention”.
So I started to pay attention, especially to the details. I haven’t retaken the CAT 11 yet, but I have been prepping for the flight like I should do for all my flights. I am a Florida native and never visited the west coast. I am getting myself familiar with the areas I will be flying. I have my TAC charts and studying all of the VFR landmarks on the chart, so when instructed to fly to one and report over one I will know where I am going and won’t be fumbling around the chart hunting. I am also becoming intimately familiar with the Class B airspaces. This is helping with my situational awareness.
Thanks for the fail.
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:48 am

Re: Flunking a CAT rating was the best thing for me

Postby Keith Smith » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:36 am

Good to hear. That's called "Expectation Bias" and it's a very real factor that leads to pilot deviations (at best), or accidents (at worst). I'm happy to hear that you're learning these lessons in the sim.

ATC is a very dynamic environment. Just because you or someone else received a particular set of instructions on one flight does not mean it'll be exactly the same on the next flight. There are so many factors that come into play, the only solution is to listen up and comply with the instructions every time.
Keith Smith
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: Pompton Plains, NJ

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