Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Jan Lueders » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:27 pm

I've flown all of the eleven CATs. After CAT-11 I thought communication with the ATC would be no problem in the future.
After one week without flying on PE I was as nervous as I was on my first flight. First I called the tower of San Luis for the taxi clearance, then I didn't unterstand the tower-ATC and needed a "say again".
Both no problems, but I think, I'll have to train a little bit more. I'm still to nervous. :-)
Jan Lueders
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby pkofman » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:35 am

Dumb error

I was flying into klas the other night from the south and requested the ils 26 l approach. Innocent enough I thought!
I was in for a surprise

I tuned the Ils freq ( found on my up to date foreflight and on skyvector and it did not work.
I was a bit flustered as I got closer and had to ask for a change as the cdi was not indicating any signal
I had the same freq from all the required up to date sources upon which I rely in both online and real world sources
Luckily weather was good for the visual

Later that evening thinking about what had happened it dawned on me to check the real world notams
Sure enough, the freq has changed for the ils ils 26l into klas
I do not routinely check notams when flying online
I went back and flew the approach and it worked perfectly with the new freq.

So lesson learned. Check notams just like in real life.
Another great take away from PilotEdge and thankfully I had this experience in the sim not out in the system

Peter Kofman
Real World Pilot
Night and Water./FLOATS AMPHIB..
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Location: Toronto Ontario

Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby ccrepon88 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:15 am

I was Alaskan 3355, an IFR airline flight (can't recall if I was in my Rotate MD-80 or another aircraft though). I was flying KRNO to KSEA, and up at FL280 as a cruising altitude. Well, for some reason I missed a call for a frequency change from I think Seattle center (sorry I'm from east coast, could be another ARTCC name) to Seattle approach. So here I am at FL280 on the HAWKZ star asking "hey uh.. am I over HAWKZ right now?" Center nicely told me yes, and to descend to about 14,000 as I recall. I should have been at 12,000 at that point on the STAR.

So here's the main mistake in my view, although the aforementioned was no small error:
When contacting Seattle approach, I acted as if the controller didn't know my situation. So my check-on was something like "Good morning, Seattle Approach, uh... Alaskan 3355...uh we're up at flight level two eight zero, and uh..hah, on the STAR here should be at 12,000 but I missed an uh.. a call about 20 minutes ago. Sorry about that. We're having some trouble with the FMS for some reason, not sure why but ah.. yeah should be at 12,000" (yikes, I know)
So I get this kind of sharp response from approach telling me "Good day 3355 and radar contact.. I didn't need to know ANY of that. Just who you are and your altitude is fine. We're all in communication with each other so I'm aware of your situation". He then went on to ask me if I recall being assigned a heading of 180... meanwhile I'm like 90 degrees or a bit less away from that heading, since I"m focusing so much on telling ATC about this problem, rather than actually obeying my last turn command!

So there's the main story. One issue for me is that I have borderline personality disorder. That might sound totally irrelevant to aviation, but when it comes to air traffic control - and general human interaction, it means I'm offended very easily. So I need to work on not letting a controller's honesty offend me, taking it personally somehow. Any feedback on this of course is welcome. Also hi, I'm from Connecticut and age 29. First post on the forums. G'day
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Keith Smith » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:29 am

ccrepon88, don't take it personally and try to avoid the "life story" check-ins. Understand that the radio is a shared resource and that the controllers are working literally hundreds of positions at the same time. Brevity is key. The difference between "Seattle Approach, Alaska Thirty Three Fifty Five, flight level two eight zero descending to one four thousand," and 1-2 paragraphs of information is significant in terms of the controllers' ability to handle other traffic at the same time.

On some of my live streams, you'll see my reaction when I'm working 10+ pilots, with everything going well, then that call starts coming in...."Santa Barbara Southern California Approach, THIS IS Cessna Skyhawk November One....Two....Three...Alpha Bravo.....WITH YOU....umm.....approximately seven point eight nautical miles, of Kilo Sierra Bravo four thousand three hundred and twenty feet.....we would like to LAND at ....KILO....SIERRA...BRAVO.....ALPHA.....we have information Quebec on board.....OVER."

During this time, I have literally shaved (twice), picked up a foreign language, and had to contend with 3 other calls during that time, or I've had to talk right over the top of you on other freqs to vector someone onto final, or clear someone to land who also checked in midway through the speech.

The trick is to drop the words that don't mean anything and just provide the info that's needed. In the case above, "Santa Barbara Approach, Skyhawk One Two Three Alpha Bravo, ten miles west Santa Barbara, landing with Quebec." ATC will then issue a squawk and likely ask you to say altitude (I specifically didn't include it in the first call simply for brevity...and we know they're going to issue a squawk anyway, so there will be another opportunity to provide the altitude shortly).

Regarding the personality disorder, it's good that you're aware of your tendency to be offended easily. That's going to be an ongoing challenge as the controller provide direct guidance as a matter of doing their jobs here. This is something to try to keep in mind on every flight, along with the ultimate goal of nailing the comms such that there are no corrections to give.

The most likely way to achieve that would be to take on flights that don't overstretch your current level of experience and ability. Do some procedurally simple flights, with procedurally simple aircraft. That way, the likelihood of encountering a tricky situation is reduced. Then, slowly build things up over time, perhaps.
Keith Smith
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby RogerW » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:57 am

Hey everyone. Happy Monday :)

This is my first post in this thread. Hopefully it is my last but more than likely, as I am human, it won't be.
I was doing the Cat-5 last evening and messed up due to human error. Wow, that never happens, right?

I did my homework prior to starting the engine in my Skylane sitting on the ramp at Santa Maria and wrote down all my frequencies and runways I would need for the entire flight. I try to be efficient and this will save me time later as I won't be scrambling to find them as I am nearing my destination.

The flight had its first glitch when I was given a squawk code by the the controller. I was told to ident, which I did. After a few minutes, having never gotten an acknowledgement of radar contact, I contacted the controller. He wasn't seeing my transponder blip on his radar screen. He was seeing a blip out there which, after having me turn to a heading of 360, figured out it was me. This is the first time I have used my transponder for anything other than a VFR flight and was unaware of any problem. As it turned out, for whatever reason, my transponder wasn't transmitting even though it was turned on and set to mode-C. "Nothing," the controller said. He asked me if I was using the plug-in or the external client. I use the external client for fsx and he told me about the work-around in the client menu that will turn on my transponder. It worked. Problem solved!

Everything went smooth from there on out. I was about eight miles from the Bakersfield and informed the controller that the airport was in sight. He acknowledged that, told me to squawk VFR and to contact Bakersfield tower on 118.1 ??? He was a little busy at the time so I wrote it off as confusion. I responded accordingly and proceeded to tune to Bakersfield CTAF, which was the frequency I had written down earlier. I called my positions, landed, and parked on the ramp. Done. ??? Okay, how do I get credit for this flight?

I went to the PE website and looked up the Cat-5 procedure, figuring it will have instructions for receiving credit for the flight. OOOPS!!! I am currently sitting on the ramp at Bakersfield Municipal and was supposed to be sitting on the ramp at Bakersfield Meadows. So I tuned my radio back to Bakersfield Approach. "Bakersfield Approach, Cessna 7365W currently at Municipal but should be at Meadows for the Cat-5. Guess I will start over." "Cessna 7365W, Bakersfield Approach. Not a problem. If you like you can just take off from there and go to Meadows. There is no law that says you can't stop somewhere else first." "Okay, I'll do that, Cessna 7365W." So I took off on runway 34, did a left base departure and contacted Meadows tower on 118.1 Hmmm... Wasn't that the frequency the controller handed me off to a while ago? I contacted the tower, got my clearance, landed, parked, and passed the Cat-5!!! Whoo-hoo!!

Moral of this story... When the controller seems to be confused, chances are it's much more likely that it is the pilot that has a better chance at being the confused one, at least when it comes to Cat Ratings. I am sure they have dispatched this route for the Cat-5 a million times over the years and probably not once have they ever handed anyone off to the CTAF at Bakersfield Muni !!!

Hope you enjoyed this little story, got a chuckle from it, and maybe, just maybe, I have kept you from making a similar mistake.

Roger W.
Home: Valkaria, Fl (X59)(but lost in SoCal)
PE Rating: CAT-11, I-2
Experience: RW 7 hrs, Virtual 3000+ hrs
Aircraft: A2A Cessna 182 Skylane
Tail Number: N7365W
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Location: Valkaria, Fla (X59) USA

Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby pkofman » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:49 am

Heres what i learned on Friday the 13th!

Im a long time pilot in the real work. I decided to fly online on Friday the 13th. It was not a good day. I make endless mistakes.Got myself into loads of trouble with the online atc. Bad day in the sim. Never again on Friday the 13th! Maybe I'm just a superstitious dummy but it did not go well. What is interesting is that when I fly poorly online I find it destroys real-world skill confidence.At least this is a safe environment to make big mistakes an practice/understand errors. Maybe that's just me but it shows how real Pilot-edge can be. ( btw things don't always go smoothly in the real system so i should be used to it ). So if it does not go well on PE on any given day take the experience, learn from it in this amazing safe environment. Good safe place to mess up. I've been around long enough to realize that It does happen to everyone eventually. Anyway, time to get back into the saddle and challenge myself again and after all its April 16th so I should be ok!. ( and it's an ice storm here today so time to fly the sim!)
Peter Kofman
Real World Pilot
Night and Water./FLOATS AMPHIB..
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:35 am
Location: Toronto Ontario

Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby huseyydemm » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:42 am

I will think of stories too. because as a beginner I have some :D ugly, popping landings, getting lost, a lot of small ones.

But what I have learnt to perevent big mistakes.... is like... we all DO mistakes, like it or not, because we are humans. Nobody is perfect and nobody can controll their mind 100%
1. never cut edges like skip the checklist etc. if you do it by the book, one or two small mistakes will not roll into a disaster, so keep calm and you can manage them
2. think before act. usually have time to correct the mistake of you stay calm and dont panic crazily
3. keep yourself trained and updated... when even no chance of flying, get an app, a book, close your exes and imagine the cockpit etc etc etc... do something to dont get out of training.
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Anex80 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:31 pm

I had just completed a successful flight from KEMT to KSBD including successful transition through Class C airspace and flight following. I was instructed to land on Rwy 15L. The landing was a bit rougher than normal so once I was safely parked and had shut down the AC I decided watch a video replay of the landing to critique.

About 3 minutes later I’m watching a replay of my plane touch down on Rwy 15 and I hear “One Niner Eight Juliet Tango, Tower” calling. I respond and realize quickly that my replay was reading through to the PE controller as though I was actively flying that approach again. Fortunately it was late and there was no other traffic at the airport or that could have been detrimental.

Lessons learned: Disconnect from PE before watching a replay.
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Casimir » Mon May 28, 2018 11:44 am

I was flying from Bakersfield to Mojave. I had everything all set to go - I fly using an Oculus, so I use an open Notepad app, import it into FlyInside, and have all the navigation points, radio and VOR channels, and all that included for my flight prep along with airport diagrams for both Bakersfield and Mojave. I received my clearance and took off, happily on my way, confident that I knew what I was doing, where I was going, and that I'd have a largely uneventful flight.

Until I began to realize that something was off.

I realized I was flying across the San Juaquin valley, and the mountains I *thought* were the Sierras were way out ahead of me, much further than I thought they should be. I checked my Heading Indicator, and sure enough my heading was 104. I kept looking around, slowly realizing that I looked like I was flying West, even though my HI clearly showed I was flying East. Becoming really confused, I brought up my GPS and checked to see what it said (which I never fly with - I prefer to use VOR channels and my CDI and VOR indicator to navigate with). Sure enough, it said I was headed West. At that moment I was contacted by ATC and asked my destination, verifying that it was Mojave, which I confirmed. ATC then verified that, indeed, I was headed West.

After I turned around, I did the one thing I neglected to do during my confusion - check the compass.

I realized after I did that crucial step that my HI was incorrectly set, and was instead set nearly 180 degrees from the compass heading. This was something I never checked during my usual pre-flight checklist while still on the ground (I fly with the A2A C172 and run though the entire pre-flight procedure when I fly on PE). As such, I've now made sure that it is indeed part of my usual checklist procedure. While this was rather embarrassing, it was actually a really good learning experience that taught me a valuable lesson.
Cessna N5351E (A2A C172 / REP XPlane 11 C172)
Piper N5351A (Carenado Seneca V)
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Keith Smith » Thu May 31, 2018 8:37 am

Great post, Casimir. There's a simple check you can do on the runway just prior to your takeoff roll, which is to verbalize the runway number, then check your DG and mag compass to make sure they more or less match the runway number.
Keith Smith
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