Features

April 2000 Issue

Think Twice

Your mental attitude may make you a worse pilot than you think you are

My first and only accident is a good example of how psychological factors affect piloting decisions. I was 17, inexperienced and anxious to try out a new set of wings. I had little money, so my primary radio was a used unit of doubtful reliability. In fact, it had malfunctioned on the ground several times, and I was unsure how it would do in the air.

Everything worked well until I got into a steep turn. In most planes, a radio malfunction will not lead directly to a crash. But in a radio-controlled model aircraft, you can guess the result.

Despite what you might think, the cause of this crash was not faulty equipment it was pilot error. I made a bad decision to fly with deficient e...

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety

The monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention, is packed with useful, timely information on basic and advanced technique, accident analysis and, most important, practical articles on how you can develop the judgment that will keep you in the air and out of the NTSB's files.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.