Real Answers from Real Pilots

A Bad Flight

Hey Mentors,

So, I’m fortunate enough to be flying everyday with my college program. This morning, I had a bad flight. Felt like nothing was clicking for me. Even things that I nailed yesterday. Never felt that way before. My question is, how do you mentally get passed a bad flight? I know it’s over and I’ll be back in the airplane in less than 12 hours, but I’m sure this is not the last time it’ll happen so I would like some advice on this one.

Thanks!
Yuran

Yuran,

I’m a little confused? So are you telling me EVERYTHING else you’ve done in your life has been perfect? You never had a bad day at school? Never had a bad game? Never had a bad date or whatever? The sun rose the next day and you moved on right? Correct me if I’m wrong but you’ve only been flying a few months. Yuran my friend you are not a bird and you were not born with things. These are learned not innate skills and there will be good days and bad days JUST like with everything else in EVERYONE else’s life! It’s not just you but for some reason I think people make the decision to fly and for some reason assume that’s enough and they’ll just naturally be great at it. No one is so lighten up. As for getting passed it you will because you must. Trust me I have seen people who can’t and that has been their undoing. If you want to be successful I suggest you remember that this is a process and will take time. Thinking anything else is frankly arrogant and counterproductive.

Adam

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Adam,

I definitely had many bad days and failed at many things, but never had a bad flight before (only have 10 hours TT). What I fail at depends how I look at it and move on. Having a bad day on the field is not the same thing as having a bad day in the airplane, at least not for me anyways. I hold myself to extremely high standards when it comes to academics and any type of training (working out, aviation, job, etc…) so I feel like I’m my own worst enemy at times. You’re not wrong in what you said, but I’m just disappointed in my performance today. Luckily, I still have tomorrow.

I know every pilot has a bad day, but I hold myself to a standard where no day should be a bad day if I plan and prepare accordingly. I know that’s not always the case, but that’s something I need to work on.

I’m rambling on now, but not knowing what a bad day feels like in aviation left me feeling disappointed and weird for sure.

Yuran

Yuran,

With all due respect, while I appreciate your desire to excel and to “hold yourself to extremely high standards”, YOU HAVE 10 HOURS, to say you’ve never had a bad flight is really kind of absurd. You say “not knowing what a bad day in aviation left you feeling disappointed”, again with all due respect, you have 10 HOURS, you really don’t know what anything in aviation feels like. You’ve only failed if that’s what you believe. I’m really not trying to be harsh but this strive for perfection is actually a dangerous behavior and one that the industry has tried to eliminate. There’s a concept called “The inevitability of human error”. Pilots that accept that are FAR superior in they recognize they’re not perfect and fallible. By acknowledging and accepting this truth they can a) learn, b) move forward, and most important c) ALWAYS look for threats and errors and how best to manage them. Those who think their perfect are often heard on the CVRs saying “this doesn’t make sense, I KNOW I did this right” just before impact.

Adam

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Adam,

That last part really hit me hard as I study air crashes, but failed to realize my thought process. I definitely appreciate your input. I’ll admit, my father flew jumbos and was an exceptional airman. Unfortunately, we never got to have an in depth conversation as he passed away when I was young. So, I definitely try to be the exceptional airman that he was.

I just have to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. This is definitely a process. I’ll keep that in mind for sure.

I appreciate your advice and input, Adam.

Yuran

Yuran,

I have no doubt your father was an exceptional pilot nor that you will be as well. All I’m saying is cut yourself some slack. Tomorrow’s a new day and you’re going flying :slight_smile:

Adam

Yuran,

My father and both my grandfathers flew for the airlines. In fact, my family has been flying for the airlines continuously since 1940. Like many sons do, I too looked up to my father and held him and his flying in very high esteem. When I had a flight or simulator session that did not go so well I would beat myself up over it to, thinking that none of my family would have made the mistake that I just did. But, the reality is that they were human too and susceptible to mistakes, errors, and bad landings just like everybody else is. Regardless of how good a pilot your father was, he still had his good days and his not so good days, I guarantee it. What probably made him so good was that he learned from his mistakes and moved on.

Somewhere up there your father is probably getting a small chuckle out of watching his son, with ten whole hours of flight time, beat himself up for not having the perfect flight.

Chris

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Adam,

I definitely will! My father would appreciate the compliment as do I! I’m excited for tomorrow!

Chris,

You’re right. Everyone has bad days and I’m sure that our father’s were no exception. I’m going to start fresh and keep moving.

That last part made me laugh :joy: I’m excited to get back to the airport!

Adam, you brought an awesome perspective into light.

Chris, you definitely made me chuckle haha

Thank you gentlemen!

Yuran

Gentlemen,

UPDATE: Went on my flight this morning and did awesome. Not perfect, but much much better! Also, got a 100% on my stage one exam!

Thanks for the motivation!

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Nice job.

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Yuran,

That is great, keep up the good work :slight_smile:

Chris

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Arrogant and counterproductive?

Me? Definitely! :slight_smile:

Adam

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