Fourteen Lessons Every Pilot Must Learn

2 Feb 18 10 Comments

The posts have been very in-depth lately and I’ve not got the next one quite ready yet.

However, I did find this great video by instructor Judy Robus. She’s taken YouTube clips and compiled them into a video lessons on the pitfalls of becoming complacent.

It’s twelve minutes long and well worth watching, even if you aren’t a private pilot.

I hope that you enjoy it. Next week I’ll have something with more words for you!

Category: Learning to Fly,


  • I have little knowledge of the intricacies of flying, but I do look forward to your articles. The video is a good watch but there are a few inadvertent spelling errors in the captions I.e. obsticles instead of obstacles.
    However a good illustration of what can and does go wrong! Unfortunately the result can be tragic.

  • A lot of those look like Darwin awards, but too many take other people with them — and that poor cat! I don’t remember coming near any of those in ~210 hours of flying (although I was probably edging over gross weight once — never trust a strange FBO to follow refueling directions when you aren’t there!), but videos like this would have been a win 45 years ago; something fancy phones are actually good for!

  • Always worth remembering that every landing is a controlled crash…😉

    All well worth watching.

  • I think we saw the cat one before, in one of your articles. Nice to know it’s become an example to others….

  • In spite of some spelling mistakes it is not a bad article.
    But in my book the flight does not end when the engine stops. Because it can happen before landing. And that is definitely not the moment to stop flying the aircraft!
    The flight ends when at the gate the engine(s) have been shut down, slides disarmed, doors opened, ;passengers disembarking, shut-down check list performed, tech log and other documentation filled out and the aircraft handed to the ground crew.
    When I was training for my PPL we flew the J3 or L4J Piper Cub. It was winter, freezing, the mechanic did not want to leave his tea so my instructor decided to swing the prop himself.
    Since the temperature was very low, he decided, just like in the video, to turn the prop first to suck in the mixture.
    He called “Prop, brakes, contact OFF”. And of course I inadvertently turned them ON. The engine started instantly and I still think of this moment with horror. But the instructor was very, very experienced.
    I had been far too tense with my landings. This time, I was too furious with myself to care. The result? Greasers. After a few circuits I was allowed to go solo. I still remember leaning sideways to look past the instructor – who was not there. The Cub was flown solo from the rear seat.
    Situational awareness? OOPS ! Once I had a little incident with a Super Cub: we used to park it with the tail close to the fence. The brakes are tiny pedals, operated by the heel of the shoe. One brake full on, a blast of power and she swings around one wheel. Only, one day it was wet, my heel slipped off the brake and a wingtip hit the fence. Shamefaced, I went to the boss who happened to be talking with an insurance agent. We went to the aircraft to inspect the damage, but it was laughed away: A patch of linen, dope to stretch it and some paint. Ten minutes later it was fixed. I doubt that it was that easy with that Boeing!
    Crosswind. Can be a handful. My own achievements were about 42 kts crosswind component (YES forty-two knots !) in a Citation 550 and a Shorts3-60 on a night cargo flight. The real struggle was to keep the Shorts from blowing over, both my F/O and myself had to hold the ailerons full into the wind until we were at taxi speed.
    Crosswind landing in a taildragger: land on the owndwind side of the runway because if you cannot prevent a ground loop you still have the width of the runway. Done that deliberately quite a few times, a Super Cub can usually stop within the width of the runway. Then call for a ground crew.
    Checks and W&B: I was caught out once. I was bringing an exchange crew of a fishing boat from an aerodrome Lelystad (EHLE) in the Netherlands to, I believe, Billund in Denmark. the aircraft was a single-engine type, I believe a Mitsubishi.
    Three sturdy fishermen with some luggage and a large box. I was told it contained loaves of bread. I asked how many and in the restaurant weighed a loaf. Not, of course, from the box. It was light enough. I reckoned we would be a little bit overweight but Lelystad is at the bottom of the former Zuiderzee and in those days there were no obstacles.
    To my horror and surprise I needed every inch of the (then grass) runway. Only later did I find out that the bread in the box had been deep-frozen and was a lot heavier than the loaves in the restaurant.
    VMC into IMC? Dangerous. unless the aircraft is properly equipped AND the pilot rated for flight under IMC.
    Failure to go around, no not a sin that I can be accused of.
    Forcing an aircraft to land: Actually every pilot should have some time on taildraggers. The best way to teach proper landing techniques!
    Steep turns at low altitude and (too) low speed: unfortunately still the cause of accidents.
    And taking off from a beach: Do NOT, unless properly trained and briefed. An emergency landing is another matter, of course.

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