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Stupid pilot tricks. (featuring a cast of thousands). What is the stupidest trick of them all?. Hint: all in this room are performing this trick right now. It can happen to me. It might? It will. Two ways to stay safe.

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stupid pilot tricks

Stupid pilot tricks

(featuring a cast of thousands)

what is the stupidest trick of them all
What is the stupidest trick of them all?
  • Hint: all in this room are performing this trick right now.
it can happen to me
It can happen to me
  • It might?
  • It will
two ways to stay safe
Two ways to stay safe
  • Be really smart: Think of all the things that can go wrong, and figure out ways to prevent them
  • Be rather stupid: Pay attention to the problems other pilots encounter, and learn what you can from them.
  • Goal: Make it a bit less likely that you’ll fall into the known traps.
  • Face it: This is a really bad pastime for anyone with a big ego.
  • You will look foolish - regularly
  • People can be bluffed; weather, gliders, air, gravity etc. remain quite unimpressed
  • Ego interferes with perceptions that help you succeed
  • EM: “Soaring is about seeing things as they are, not as we wish them to be.”
case study the r 101
Case study: The R-101

Conclusion: Human nature is complex and not especially rational. It intersects with aviation and its hazards in many strange ways.

mental rigidity
Mental rigidity
  • The monkey trap
  • The pilot trap
case study final glide at 2005 senior contest
Case study: Final glide at2005 Senior Contest

Conclusion: Pilots can have trouble letting go of the rice. EYA!

can do
“Can do”
  • A positive, confident attitude is expected of pilots
  • But it isn’t the best approach in every situation
case study aero retrieve at new castle
Case study: aero retrieve atNew Castle

Conclusion: Your response should be appropriate to the actual problem at hand. EYA!

Other cases:

Problem early in tow

Tail dolly left on

margin for error
Margin for error
  • Form the habit of thinking about how close you are to a problem
  • Experiment with “virtual” limits

Final glide to a point above the field

Landing at a chosen spot

case study tree landing at 2005 senior contest
Case study: Tree landing at2005 Senior Contest

Conclusion: When you plan a maneuver with a low margin for error, don’t expect to get away with even a small mistake.

assembly problems
Assembly problems
  • If it can be done wrong, it’s only a matter of time until it is done wrong
  • Your job is to postpone that problem
  • Other pilots will show you where your time & attention should be spent
  • PCC vs. CAC
case study asw 20
Case study: ASW-20

Why does this problem keep happening?

  • Proven value
  • “Proper & purposeful prior preparation persistently prevents poor (perhaps pitiful & painful) performance”
  • Often ignored, skimped, skipped
  • Standard vs. customized
case study gear up landing
Case study: gear-up landing

Conclusion: A “nearly correct” checklist “sort of” properly applied isn’t worth much.

If problems form a pattern, it’s time to pay attention.