Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Peristarkawan » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:34 am

So, I flew the I-06 rating last night and made a real mess of things. My troubles started on the takeoff roll. There was a moderate crosswind, yet it was trying its best to flip my 172 and I ended up on the right wheel briefly before taking off. (Have you figured out my mistake yet?)

After take-off from 25L I couldn't seem to stay over the runway no matter what I did and kept floating off to the north over 25R. Meanwhile, I found that I was having to apply tons of downward trim to keep to a reasonable climb pitch, and my airspeed was way low, below Vx. (Have you figured out my mistake yet?)

Finally at about 1,200 feet I realized what was happening and I retracted the flaps. :oops: I know one doesn't normally retract them all at once while climbing, but I was at 1,200 feet over the coast and figured it was safe. The degree of the shift from climbing to plummeting still took me by surprise, though. It's an experiment that I've never actually tried before, and so it was educational to see just how much altitude I lost.

The next thing that went wrong: while I was busy troubleshooting my flaps problem, I overflew the SMO radial specified in the departure. The CDI went from full right deflection to full left deflection without my noticing. I didn't realize just how close the radial was on the departure and when I did glance at it, I got mixed up and just thought "full left deflection, I haven't reached it yet" and happily kept flying the 250 heading until the controller helpfully reminded me to turn.

Then there was some confusion where I continued to maintain 3,000 feet even after I started the turn. The departure procedure reads "All aircraft expect further clearance to filed altitude 5 minutes after departure" so I was waiting for the controller to clear me up to 4,000 feet as filed. Instead the controller called up to confirm that I was climbing up to 4,000, at which point I confirmed and started the climb. Did I misinterpret the procedure here?

From then on, everything went smoothly -- right up until I landed at KSNA. Somehow during the flight the parking brake got toggled on, and I touched down with full braking. Chalk that one up with "things that would never happen in the real world".

But despite all this comedy of errors, at least I passed the rating. 8-)
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Shawn Goldsworthy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:18 am

In your IFR clearance you would have gotten "Climb via SID except maintain 4000". So, you meet that 3000 ft restriction at the SMO 154R, then continue your climb to 4000. I remember, because I worked you out of KLAX last night ;)
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Keith Smith » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:02 pm

That, and 172's generally don't use flaps for takeoff unless it's a soft or rough field. :)
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Outsidenote » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:11 am

It pains me to admit to my two really big screw ups on my first day. Either one would have resulted in my ticket in real life. I busted airspace and entered a runway. Unbelievable! Both came from not taking the Sim environment as seriously as real life, insufficient planning in complex unfamiliar airspace, and attempting missions beyond my experience. I wanted to see what PE was all about and I have been seriously humbled. I also made a few other, not as serious but unprofessional , goofs. The environment is a lot more realistic than I expected. I’ve never really been a Sim person. I do see what an incredibly useful tool PE is for learning provided I take it seriously, which I certainly will from now on. I also appreciate the correction (and education) from the controller. Sorry that it was necessary. Working my way through the CATs now.

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The Landing Light Helped in Cruise

Postby mabbts » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:18 pm

I flew to Palm Springs. Using Sky Vector it had limited to the LA sectional so I didn't have Palm Springs on it but I didn't think too much of it since the GPS had a good line. (I used a lot of VOR help to avoid the LAX Class B earlier in the flight.)

I started my decent from 7,500 about 20 miles east of the airport, a nice easy decent profile.

There's a Far Side comic where the pilot says, "What's a mountain goat doing up here in a cloud bank?" On this dark moonless night I was left wondering, "Why am I seeing trees in the landing light at 5,000 feet?" Suddenly, I realized why I hadn't yet seen the field though it was less than 15 miles away! (I had been thinking it was the sim effectively simulating 10 miles visibility.)

I instituted an immediate climb fighting the autopilot set to descent and aimed toward lights as I knew that had to be a clear path. I quickly tired of fighting the autopilot so I disconnected it. As I was fighting it, the autopilot was fighting back by rolling the trim all the way forward. So the plane pitched down precipitously. I had no external references so it was recovery from an unusual attitude with a really bad trim on instruments.

In the end I made it through. That does give a bit of adrenaline even in the sim.

I don't know what we look like on the scope and I wonder what it looked like to the controller. I don't really know what it looked like to me. But I was really happy to see the airport lights appear finally.

And I do wonder how Pilot Edge handles crashes. As I reflect I guess if I had hit the mountain I would have fessed up before disconnecting. Or do people just disconnect when it gets that bad?

In the future, I'll make sure I have all the charts available. (I had reviewed it before the flight but forgot about the mountain.)
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Keith Smith » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:48 am

Great post, but I'm a little confused, the LA Sectional definitely has PSP on it. Perhaps you were using the LA Terminal Area Chart (TAC)? That ends just east of March ARB. All you need to do is click on LA Sectional, or World VFR and boom, you have the charts you need.
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby mabbts » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:43 pm

Yes, that's what happened--I left the TAC chart open and didn't go back to the sectional. I had a lot of time to get it right too.

I am ordering the LAX paper sectional and TAC--since those will get a lot of use. I am still old school I guess. I like zooming in by holding it closer. I also like being able to spread it out and see the whole trip at once while planning.

I think IFR charts lend themselves to electronic presentation better than VFR charts.
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby punder » Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:38 pm

Got my first (probably not last) fail this afternoon, on CAT 7.

I got flustered right off the bat, flubbing the first talk with ground, and that set the tone. Then, freaked out and nervous, I forgot the 2-way com rule for class C, flying around waiting for a "clearance" to transit Ontario, and the controller just went ahead and put me out of my misery. Told me to go study the airspace rules. Of course I've studied airspace--I have a (rusty--which is why I'm here) sport pilot license and am signed off for class B/C! But being all nervous and embarrassed, I simply lost my mind.

I disconnected and sat there a few minutes, then went back on and passed the flight.

Why do I get so out of whack on PE? Seriously, I don't think I ever got this flipped out ITRW.

BTW, what's the rule for disconnecting? Should I have informed the controller beforehand?
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby ayarov » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:47 pm


I decided to share my recent two flights on PE that both resulted in disconnect (one event in a crash) due to mistakes on my part coupled with frustration. Both flighs were IFR from KSNA to KLAS with the 738

Flight 1 - On APP freq after been cleared for the visual 26L I lined up and configured for landing. Approach did not request to call back when on base or final. So I am 1NM on final and finally decide to call up on approach to
ask when I get the switch to tower. I immediately got told that I should have called for the switch earlier, on 5NM final, and ultimately get my switch to tower some 0,5NM before TD. I decided to disconnect because I could not do it on a such short notcie and was kind of frustrated that it was me that should have called earlier as there was no one else on the radio. I learned that I should call for switch to tower no later than 5NM or at least advice for it regardles of how much the frequency is blocked.

Flight 2 - On APP freq after descending via the KEPEC6 arrival and after passing SUNST I get "fly present HDG desc & maintain 5000" to which I comply and look forward for the left turn and ultimately the expected visual 26L. After a while
flying present hdg and at 5000 just clearing some clouds I get terrain warning and see mountain comming up right in front of me. I call up approach and ask for vectors due to terrain and get "turn left 270", alas it is too late and I got slammed intothe mountain. I should have put my terrain radar on and had more situational awareness, but should not ATC be making sure I stay clear of terrain when issuing vectors?

Somehow these KSNA - KLAS flight always end up unexpected, but these last two were really something. I am here to learn, looking forward to your comments.
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby FDXDave » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:03 pm

Part 2. The biggest problem i see there was you said you saw the danger and then requested vectors.
You are aloud to do what ever you need to do without ATC permission to avoid such a dangerous situation.
You can turn then when safe let ATC know why you deviated and request further guidance at that time. Maybe even
Ask to cross check your altitude with what they are showing on their scope. Maybe you forgot to set your Altimeter at
The trans altitude. As for part one , yes I'm going out of order here. There has been times I'm on final and i don't get the hand off due to high radio traffic. So i just went around. And at first break i told twr i was going around, or missed if i was on a instrument approach. But yeah if it's quite and you get no hand off its ok to ask for the hand off at the faf or so. Some might say to not DC because if you ever want to fly in the RW you can't just DC. But this is the place to learn. Just have fun and brush it off. It's only a fake mountain. : )

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