An anonymous forum to allow you to share those moments in flying that caused you concern. You can post without registering a username, registered users can log out to post
By Anon
I know that it's fatal to become fixated on a particular problem and ignore all the other stuff that I'm supposed to be doing.

I know that in IMC you keep the scan going, regardless. I know that you worry about keeping the aeroplane the right way up first and foremost and always, and that which direction it's pointing in or where you're going is an utterly secondary consideration.

So why, the other day, in a cloud somewhere, did I get fixated for several seconds worrying about why my DI wasn't working? (In fact I was right, it wasn't working, and I fixed it later on.)

When, after those several seconds, I looked back at the AI I saw something I'd never seen before in IMC, and possibly worse than anything I'd seen in unusual attitude recovery training.

I'm still here. (So the unusual attitude recovery training must have worked. I'm always impressed when the training Just Works.) But I don't want to see an AI looking like that again in cloud. Ever.

(Not enough instrument practice, obviously, apart from everything else.)
User avatar
By Paul_Sengupta
I wouldn't just rely on the AI in that case either. If it's the vacuum pump that's failed, both the DI and AI could be packing up.
By Anon
Good point, thanks.

I didn't even look at the vac gauge or the "low vac" indicators. Because I "knew" the problem was with the DI's setting knob (fixation again).

Which, in fact, turned out to be correct. But you're right, what if it hadn't?
By johnm
Scan is the first thing to come apart in rusty instrument pilots (ask me how I know) and getting fixated on one thing is a common problem. I find that regular practice on a simulator such as Microsoft Flight Sim helps with the scan because usually things are quite twitchy and keeping a procedure or hold in control requires a lot of scanning and frequent adjustment, much more so than with a real aeroplane in trim. Paul's point is a good one too. I once left Alderney with a duff AI and climbed into IMC partial panel, without drama. I then discovered I'd forgotten how the autopilot was driven, because things got quite interesting when I switched it on!