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By Anon
#1455777
Every now and then I feel an insurmountable feeling of dread about a flight that should be well within my capabilities l. Does anyone else ge this..Oh and I have an instructors ticket, a variety if different ratings, single, multi, instruments and around 550hrs.

What's going on?

Happened this morning so I drove to work instead...
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By leiafee
#1455782
I'd look for any pattern and work from there.

Is it weather (and if so vis or wind or gust or unstable forcesat or something else), complex nav, controlled airspace, other people's expectations, currency? Particular combination? When it's more than X of those all at once?
By johnm
#1455783
I have a basic rule of three. If three things go pear shaped in the preparation for a flight I don't go. They may not be related to flying, just things that wind me up into the wrong frame of mind.
By Anon
#1455865
The rule of three sounds sensible but it troubles me since it doesn't sound logical although it is exactly the excuse I am giving myself to not fly.

If I look for patterns then either weather (only viz) which is a shame as I am quite happy flying in cloud in the cruise, actually it makes no difference between 10km and 10m at 3000' but the descent and landing seem to figure highly in the uncomfortable sensation.

The aircraft developing a technical fault is another area that concerns me a lot. I have had a 2 engine issues, one partial failure in the air which failed completely shortly after landing and an undercarriage failure. All of which I have walked away from but still the nagging feeling of developing a tech fault during the flight makes me very tense and flying is currently very tiring.

Lastly, currency. I don't fly a lot 2 or 3 times a week I guess, that said it is a lot more than some.

It starts the night before and on the morning of the flight I am sometimes hoping for a bad TAF!
By riverrock
#1455866
Is it nerves?
Someone once told me that every time you feel "nervous" about something - tell yourself its actually excitement and you'll perform all the better! Our perception of nerves is essentially the same as our perception of excitement - it is just a slightly different state of mind / reaction to the same perception.
By Anon
#1455877
Yes, it is certainly nerves and I don't seem to be able to control them to the extent that flying is not currently enjoyable.

Having invested 17 years of my life albeit on a part-time basis and invested literally hundreds of thousands of pounds in training, aircraft, flying and even aviation related businesses, I am loathe to draw a line under it but as I feel today I may well just do that and be done with it.

This thread is turning out to be a rather cathartic experience.
By jayeff
#1455892
What you describe sounds nothing out of the ordinary for me. Several times I've binned a flight for no other reason than I suddenly didn't feel like doing it. No obvious cause(s) - just a nag, and that's enough for me to zip up the flight bag and head for the pub. There's always another day.
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By leiafee
#1455894
Anon wrote:The rule of three sounds sensible but it troubles me since it doesn't sound logical


If it helps - it is logical. It's generally accepted that stress is cumulative. The number could be three of four of whatever you like it's just a benchmark.

I do something similar in that of the things that make me cautious - poor vis, wind over 15 knots down the strip or 10 across it, a new non-flying passenger, a new destination - I only ever pick one to deal with at once!

If I look for patterns then either weather (only viz) which is a shame as I am quite happy flying in cloud in the cruise, actually it makes no difference between 10km and 10m at 3000' but the descent and landing seem to figure highly in the uncomfortable sensation.


Does it make any difference how familiar you are with the area/airfield in low vis? What is about the low vis that is unerving? Traffic sighting (absence of), losing the aiming point? Unseen terrain? Uncertainy of position?

What workarounds do you use at the moment for those things? what could you add ro change?

(The reason for the barrage of questions is it usually helps to find something concrete to focus on rather than vague unease.) So the reading says and it works for me!

the nagging feeling of developing a tech fault during the flight makes me very tense


D'you have much invovlement with the tech side? Would more understanding of what and how the things happen help? More practise of emergencies to know for certain you could deal with it?

Lastly, currency. I don't fly a lot 2 or 3 times a week I guess, that said it is a lot more than some.


Similar flights? Different flights?

It starts the night before and on the morning of the flight I am sometimes hoping for a bad TAF!


Don't want to sound fluffy but some form of mindfulness/meditation/relaxation technique might help with the brooding on it - whatever buzzword name you want to out on those things it's all just practise in not dwelling!

And in the air the physical "if your thighs are relaxed it's almost impossible for the rest of you to be tense so concentrate on relaxing the thighs!" is something I learned here from AndyR who if I remember correctly had it from a former Red Arrow!

What counts as 'bad' by the way? Do you use a standard set of personal go-no-go rules? I find the decision making one of the most stressful things so rules help. Even if they're only made up personal ones!
By Anon
#1455920
leiafee wrote:I only ever pick one to deal with at once!


This can be difficult when instructing and other instuctors go off in conditions that sometimes make me uncomfortable.

leiafee wrote:Does it make any difference how familiar you are with the area/airfield in low vis? What is about the low vis that is unerving? Traffic sighting (absence of), losing the aiming point? Unseen terrain? Uncertainy of position?


Mainly the fear is losing the localizer or glidslope low level or having to fly an out of practice NDB approach which, Shoreham's hill nearly killed me of a few years back.

leiafee wrote: What workarounds do you use at the moment for those things? what could you add ro change?


Not sure I understand what you mean, sorry

leiafee wrote: D'you have much invovlement with the tech side? Would more understanding of what and how the things happen help? More practise of emergencies to know for certain you could deal with it?

Yes that would help. I practice emergencies with my students but somehow the emergencies I have had seemd to have stayed with me.

leifee wrote: Similar flights? Different flights?


All sorts really, local lessons, x-coutry, different aircraft, not many overseas at the moment. I think some relaxation technique would be good. If the TAF is OVC 500' or below and less than 3km then I am ok to set off im the twin and have done many times but sometimes something just stops me. I have heard it described as imposter phenomenon, it really bites sometimes.

I sound like a right wet nelly but it really beginning to be a PITA!
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By Paul_Sengupta
#1455970
You realise that as an instructor, the feeling of impending doom is normal? :D

But no, I know what you feel. It's happened to me, and it seems not to have a cause. It has also happened to me when setting off on car journeys as well, or just leaving the house. The trick is just to ignore the feeling and get on with it.

As for problem feelings when things are marginal, well, you could do two things - increase your minima, or mitigate the approach, meaning either have a backup, or elect for the "safer" approach, e.g. over the sea at Shoreham.

As for giving up, there is such a thing as flying too much, and if it's instructing it's not on your own terms to go and do what and where. It might be an idea to do some fun trips, in easy VMC to somewhere with ice-cream. :clown:
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By Rob P
#1456081
I have certainly had this quite a lot since my EFATO, but I have simply written that down as 'only natural' and mostly try and push on through it, though I have binned a couple of flights I'm sure I would have flown before the incident.

I find it goes away once the prop is turning and I'm back in the familiar pre-flight routine.

Rob P
By Ellie Vator
#1456166
Really interesting to read this. I am also an instructor, and experience the same thing, to the extent that it has made me feel so sick with nerves that I want to just jack it all in

The problem - as already mentioned - is that you are not flying when YOU want to, but in an instructional capacity. I have also had the experience of calling off a flight re wx, etc, only to watch another instructor at the school take to the air... This leaves you feeling worse.

I have also been in the position where I feel sick with nerves, but still go, and the other instructor(s) call their flight off.

I have no idea what the solution is, I cannot offer you any help, but maybe there is some form of relief by realising that it is not just you experiencing this.

Myself - this is now ruining something that I use to enjoy to the extent that I have been thinking 'should I give up' for a long time
By Anon
#1456382
Ellie Vator

Thank you for posting, that's all I can say!

Even today I wanted to go fly my own aircraft and just couldn't get to do it so drove off.

I felt so bad having read all the positive posts about students and PPLs alike struggling with weather and all the other reasons to stop flying and I walked away from a perfectly good evening's flying because of my frame of mind.

Thanks to the Paul, Rob and Leia to, all of whom I have met face to face (hence posting anonymously because I feel like a wally).

I just need to get over this and crack on!
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By leiafee
#1456389
Struggling with frame of mind is no worse or more wally-ish than struggling with a particular aircraft handling skill.

Humans are humans that's all - some days we grease it on in a stonking crosswind others we splat it down in a zephyr.

Some days we're steely-eyed unflappables, some days we're nervous and can't work why.

Mind/body, it doesn't matter - we're imperfect creatures and sometimes our minds and bodies do things that we know full well are incorrect reactions.

It doesn't mean there's something fundamentally unsuited to flying about us.

I was talking about nerves and flying the other day with another another pilot who suffers with nerves and describes each landing on a profanity scale depending how much nervous swearing was done on the approach.

I reckon it affects way more people than actually talk about it.
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By Paul_Sengupta
#1456415
Back in the early days of flying the Bulldog, I'd often notice that I had a dry mouth after landing back at base - I'd head straight for the diet coke after getting in the car!

Sometimes the sense of foreboding isn't that, it's just a general "can't be ares'dness" (did I spell that incorrectly? :D ). If there's no actual reason to fly, no people to meet, no places to go where anyone's expecting you, I sometimes CBA to go flying. This is why I like the social aspect of the forum, coupled with fly-ins, etc. It means you arrange to meet people or meet up and fly with people, or fly in formation with someone, and so on. It means looking forward to spending the day with people you like, and the flying just gets you there and back...that's how it starts out, but inevitably you find that you end up enjoying the flights having had a reason to fly.
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