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silly things you've done

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You name it - I've done it;

 

Going to exterior view at 2000' after T/O and seeing Ground Power Unit dragging behind.

Main Exits open at FL360

Pitot covers - regularly

Taking off on wrong RWY

Landing on wrong RWY

for that matter; 

Landing at wrong Airport

 

Don't get me started on Vatsim.

 

Endless fun.

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On a long haul flight, accudently pressed the gear button on my joystick gear down, near stall and Im not aware why

 

Gears pins on MJC q400, gears still locked down, near stall

 

as Ganter Said: Endless Fun :)

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10 seconds ago...  Landing A350 at KFLL disengaged autopilot by mistake at 700ft.  No big deal until you realize you never lowered the landing gear. So that's why we have landing checklist!  Dope! :fool:

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Real life one this...

 

Taking off, got a sympathetic buzzing vibration emanating from the main instrument panel, moments after lifting off. I think it was a slightly loose screw buzzing and vibrating in the screw hole. So there I am climbing out and arsing about distracted by that and trying to figure out what the noise is, and because of that, not watching the airspeed. Fortunately for me, this was a training flight on an aerobatics course, so there was a very good instructor on board behind me, who just said: 'airspeed'. Oops, 15 knots above stall and the needle winding down. That was a lesson learned: screw the distractions, fly the goddam plane.

 

Have to say, that instructor was great, he knew exactly how long to leave off saying stuff before he'd either correct you or say: 'I have it'. Learned loads off him. He was a sneaky b****** too: He once slyly opened the spoilers when I was on approach...  there's me wondering why one minute my lovely, slightly high, approach, which I was planning on flashily sideslipping down to land perfectly, was instead going pear shaped and turning into what would have been a massive undershoot into the airfield's perimeter wall. Eventually I did notice the lever was out and sorted it, but he had me puzzled for a short while. He loved pulling crap like that on me, and I appreciated why; it made me a much better pilot in so many ways, not least in improving the way I am aware of the aircraft configuration at all times and never allow myself to be distracted by stuff that isn't a priority. :-)

 

A decent instructor is worth his or her weight in gold.

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Amusing posts Captains, and an interesting anecdote Chock - I agree with your last sentence, and I think that a kind of 'tough love' mentality/demeanor is usually the most effective teaching/learning style.

Re: the original topic, here are my top / 'best' / worst events:

 

  • Accidentally opening the cabin door at FL200 in cold, windy weather. (Opening a door at that altitude would be bad in any weather!)
  • Taxiing in dark weather at an unfamiliar airport, inadvertently taking a small biz-jet down an unmarked service road towards the highway!
  • Pretty much any maneuver which began with the the infamous words "Watch this!"
  • Believing that one is having a private conversation with the public mic button depressed.

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Interestingly, I've been watching a lot of those air accident investigation dramatisations recently, as a bit of research for a book I'm writing, and one thing which is a recurring theme with them, is pilots not following correct procedures, either in terms of CRM, duties, or following checklists and confirming stuff, with predictably bad results.

 

Actually there are some unbelievable ones that you could easily forgive someone doing on a flight sim for entertainment, but certainly not with a real aeroplane, particularly one with passengers on board. The worst one I think I saw being the two pilots of an ATR-42 in Venezuela (Santa Barbara Airlines Flight 518) not doing the checklists for the instrument set up (specifically not being bothered to wait less than a minute for the AHRS to stabilise) because they were trying to depart in front of another aeroplane coming in. As a result, they took off into IMC in amongst the mountains and tried to fly through them using just the standby compass alone, whilst simultaneously attempting to set up the alignment of the instruments in flight (like that's ever gonna work). Needless to say they ended up flying a mountain at 14,000 feet ASL and killing everyone on board.

 

So either in a flight simulator or in real life, watching all that stuff definitely affirmed with me the notion that doing checklists and following correct procedures is a good idea; quite a lot of the silly things we've listed on this thread wouldn't have occurred if we'd have all been doing that stuff properly :-)

 

I know we're mostly all doing this flight sim stuff for pleasure, but I suspect there is certainly more pleasure to be had in doing it well.

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One that commonly comes up for me nowadays while primarily using X-Plane: The view system is quite advanced, and it's easy to toggle to an free camera outside-the-aircraft view where you can simply pan and move the camera around, anywhere you wish, with it not being tied to the aircraft whatsoever. Explore the airport, zoom up several thousand feet, whatever.

 

However, the key is that is it isn't tied to the aircraft. Forgetting that small detail, when you're getting right near the runway on approach and decide that you have a very quick second or two to check out your pretty aircraft on approach and maybe grab an outside screenshot... you hit the toggle and realize that the camera has stayed put while your aircraft is zooming 'away' from you, rapidly, towards whatever you left it pointed at.  I've had a few 'rough' landings because of that. :smile:

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Accidentally lowering the landing gear during cruise is something that happens every now and then. Luckily the A320 have alpha floor protection.

Another thing is activating slew mode by mistake and then wonder why the aircraft appears to be completely still in the air.

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landing like 0.5nm behind AI hoping for the best too lazy to make a missed approach, then braking little harder right behind so that they don't touch and exiting runway together.

 

Doing the same when a departing AI (more exciting).

 

taxiing at 60kts when in a hurry.

 

fly a passenger long haul with a tail strike on take off then come back after few hours to find cabin depressurized and carry on to destination anyway.

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landing like 0.5nm behind AI hoping for the best too lazy to make a missed approach, then braking little harder right behind so that they don't touch and exiting runway together.

 

Doing the same when a departing AI (more exciting).

 

taxiing at 60kts when in a hurry.

 

fly a passenger long haul with a tail strike on take off then come back after few hours to find cabin depressurized and carry on to destination anyway.

 

I once had a private pilot tell me he taxis fast to skip the run up portion.  I didn't question him, but is that good or bad?

 

Ya, we gotta get more checklists and follow them.  Sometimes, they seem soo long and time consuming, but your life is worth it and the few "extra minutes" is worth it too.

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Just remembered another silly one I did (also in real life). I was going to fly a type of glider I'd never piloted before, an old Schleicher ASK-18. I was used to flying more modern composite types, and unlike modern composite gliders these days, the ASK-18 is an old single seater built in the traditional manner of a welded steel tube frame with fabric doped over it, so I was looking forward to seeing how it handled. I'd been assured that I'd be surprised how good it was, since I was kind of under the impression that as an older type, it'd be clunky and not very nippy.

As I'm sure anyone who flies for real knows, there is always a bit of trepidation involved in flying a single seater type that is new to you for the first time, since - being a single seater - nobody can really show you what to do. On such occasions, invariably lots of people gather round offering little tips and such, but that generally just makes you feel a bit more apprehensive lol.

So, I was super careful on pre-flight checks and I don't think I've ever tightened a harness as tight as I did that day lol. It was to be a winch launch. Now, if you've never done a winch launch in a glider, I can tell you that it involves a fair bit more than taking off in, for example, a little Cessna or some such, since you have to control the speed with a comparitively steep pitch (thus you can only judge your attitude by comparing the left and right wingtips in relation to the horizon since there is no artificial horizon instrument and you are so steep in a climb that you cannot see what is ahead). But, you also have to lay off your course with a bank so that when the cable back-releases, or if you manually release it, you will be sure it drops onto the airfield if there is any sort of crosswind, which there invariably is. So there are two conflicting interests on a winch launch: Of course you want to get as much height as possible, so you pitch up as steep as you dare, but you also have to watch the airspeed and balance that staying at a safe speed against your desire to gain plenty of altitude, and all whilst also banked a little to compensate for any crosswind so that the cable doesn't drop beyond the airfield perimeter. You also have to signal the winch operator to adjust his reel in speed by doing things such as waggling your wings and (in the old days before it was frowned upon, since it can cause a spin) yawing. It's fun, but you have to concentrate a lot. Thus any distractions are not a good thing.

So, the guy on the wing signals the winch operator to take up the slack, then signals to commence the launch, and off I go, picking up speed really quickly, I hold the thing level at about 7 feet agl to gain the correct speed, then haul the stick back into a steep climb and swing my eyes to the ASI to observe when to stop hauling back, then glance left and right to judge the bank angle, having observed the windsock and noting which way to lay off. All goes well and we are climbing, then I try to make an adjustment to an instrument on the panel in front of me, which is when I discover that I've tightened the straps so much that I can't actually reach the instument panel lol.

Actually, prior lessons stressing the importance of not being distracted by stuff ensured that I ignored that difficulty and concentrated on the airspeed and the layoff and worried about the straps after I'd released the cable and trimmed into level flight, but it was nevertheless another lesson learned. I mean, who'd have thought about whether you could actually reach the panel with your straps tight? A silly thing and no disaster ensued, but yet another thing I check whenever I fly now.

And incidentally, they were right, the ASK-18 does indeed go up like a rocket in a decent thermal, I was able to outclimb quite a few more modern GRP types which were about that day.

As an interesting aside, someone told me that same aircraft was destroyed some years later when someone was flying it and the elevators jammed, they jettisoned the canopy, undid their straps and rolled it over onto its back to succesfully bail out of it in good old Spitfire style. Farewell to what was a lovely old aeroplane which taught me another good lesson the day I first flew it. Enjoy aeroplane heaven, good old Delta November Juliet :-)

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Interesting observations Chock. The so-called autopilot mindset is a killer; however, it is dangerous not only because automatic action occurs without thought, but because it's like a cold - there are symptoms, one of which is a lack of self-awareness (or an inflated sense of ability and/or reason to behave that way).

I find it ironic, too, that your signature announces the upcoming Hindenburg - a fatality for altogether different reasons, but an aviation tragedy nevertheless. Do big airships still fly nowadays?

Oh and here is another one which should rival others' mistakes:

 

  • Taking off then realizing you forgot to load any passengers!

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Going to exterior view at 2000' after T/O and seeing Ground Power Unit dragging behind.

 

That one nearly caused an undesirable coffee/monitor encounter here. 

 

 

 

Actually there are some unbelievable ones that you could easily forgive someone doing on a flight sim for entertainment, but certainly not with a real aeroplane,

 

I thought the Varig one was particularly bad that way, or else it betrayed a frightening ignorance of geography. The crew set a 270o heading and left it at that for a destination that lay to the northeast. That's like steering west from JFK and expecting it to take you to Halifax, or from Dublin when you want to get to Edinburgh. Granted, there was confusion caused by a change in flight plan formatting, but even so...

 

I think my most stupid FS moment was in a Twin Otter arriving at Dublin EIDW for runway 10 and being much too high, so I went missed (Radar Contact), the controller gave me a course to steer, so I steered it and a couple of minutes later she gave me grief about not being on course, and I was thinking "yes, I am, what's her problem?". After she got on to me several more times, the light dawned, I hadn't synced my directional gyro with the magnetic compass for over for over an hour, and it had wandered well off true...   I fixed that problem, but I was feeling lazy at that point, and asked for a landing on 28 because I couldn't be bothered going back around after having gone so far astray on my missed approach. The controller said OK, and when I was just short of the threshold, I saw a Ryanair 737 landing at the other end. I slammed the Totter down hard, bursting at least one tyre (I was using FSPassengers at the time), and swerved fast onto the grass to avoid the oncoming 737. Then heard the controller telling the 737 to go around and saw it pass overhead as it did. Not my best flight. In my imagination I could see myself telling the passengers, red-faced, "Sorry about that folks, I'll organise a bus to come out from the terminal to pick you up...please do fly with us again...er..." Then having explain it all to management, the IAA...  :Doh:

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