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Scared to make a mistake

Asked by: 1580 views Student Pilot

Hello, I have my commercial check ride next week. My problem is I am terrified to make a mistake on front of my cfi. When I am flying with a friend who also is a pilot I am confident and in control. With my cfi I feel like after anything I say he will correct me in some way.  He says I am his best flight wise. But he has no idea how much effin pressure I feel every time I set foot in that airplane. I feel the only reason I may be the best of his students is because I think of every single word before I say it and think of every action in huge detail before I do it. By doing so I fall behind when thrown into unusual situations such as diversions. Today he had me divert to an airport while I was practicing my commercial maneuvers. My brain instantly locked. I was scared to make a mistake and not do the proper steps. This is pretty much how my brain went today when he told me to divert to an airport that I was directly over.  Divert? wtf. Where am I? Shoot you already know where you are idiot. Ok atis..not yet. Gotta lose some altitude, while getting the atis. Decent check, should I still be circling? Ok get the atis on. Runway 1.. great, never landed on rwy 1 before. Right traffic, ok think about it, think how I would do right pattern at your home airport. Blank tower cessna 123 directly over head at 4000 inbound to land with papa. Ill cut to the landing now. I landed fine. Pulled off the active and realized I did not know what ground freq was. So I asked the tower and said " blank tower cessna 123 off rwy......hang on." I forgot what runway I was off of so I released the mic and came back on with the correct runway. Then taxied to hold short and tried to make my request to the tower only to find that I was requesting my take off clearance to all of the surrounding practice areas. I switched to tower and continued on my pathetic day from hell.  This crap happens with my CFI for some reason. I have never done well in a test situation and every time I fly with him I treat it as a test. I want to do excellent, and make him proud. Instead I think like a turd on a stick. Does anyone have any advice for me? And This is a serious question, I just really suck at writing.

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1 Answers



  1. Sam Dawson on Sep 29, 2013

    I can’t sympathize as I, of course, have NEVER made any mistakes. 🙂

    Every flight will have mistakes, the idea is to minimize them, make sure they are the small ones (such as transmitting on the wrong frequency), and analize your flights for mistakes that can be eliminated. Also try to learn from the mistakes of others- reading NTSB reports can be a good place. At times I’ve caught myself doing something and then stopped when it started sounding like an NTSB report.

    Finally, you may want to discuss this with your CFI. Sometimes one of the most difficult things to do as a CFI is… Nothing. Let the student make mistakes and learn from it. Often I will just take notes on a flight and just debrief after the flight. Often I will have the student brief me on their errors and most of my notes will be covered by the student.

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