Weather was about 400 OVC and it was about 4am (been flying all night). Took off and forgot to leave the strobes off (because of cloud) and entered cloud on the climb. Being blinded by the strobes I turned my head to turn them off and got an uneasy feeling, after checking the VSI it showed a very unhealthy decent!!! A good pull on the controls put the needle back where it should have been all along and I realized how close that really was.
Fatigue+Improper trimming (ever so slight)+Inexperience = Way too close a call for my liking.
Was I ever happy to break out at the top.
Prioritize trimming so the nose stays up when you let go of the controls (obvious to me now but back than when your tired, inexperienced and not all with it, not so much)
Delegate duties to your FO especially if your tired, a simple "you have control" while I turned the stuff off would have done wonders.
Anticipate conditions and aircraft requirments (again obvious now but at less than 100 hours multi and on my 3rd trip ever, not so much)
It did not happened when I was flying, but...
One of our flying school's plane died on run-up. It was -30C day and got just pulled out of the hanger.
I saw them pulling the plane from the run-up bay and I decide to help them. So, I grabbed the towbar and hooked it up and I was helping them to bring it back to the hanger. And I was pulling it b the prop (C172).
After they're gone flying in another 172, I decide to rup the dead plane up and .... I found out that the mags were left on both, full ruch mix, full throttle...
We were on the ground, a guy was taking pictures of us in front of the aircraft.
After this, we took place inside talking and joking as usual.
Everybody was strapped and ready to go. I was ready to start the IO-520F engine, ready as one could be. Primer done, left hand with the keys, right hand with the mixture then something rushed into my mind....
"Wait a sec. where is this photograph guy !?"
He was out of direct sight sitting on his knees, still taking pictures (the door was left open upwards) one out of the 3 blades, couple inches above his head.
Did I ever called "CLEAR" before ? ...no...stupid me!
He never realised how close of being badly injured he came this day.
Take your time out there!
It was one of my first multi lessons and we've done a few single engine procedures by then.
We were gonna do simulated engine failure at altitude during simulated go around.
Don't know where it went but my situational awareness was not there and I got very close to going below Vmc.
Instructor took control right away then and recovered, was obviously unhappy and did the item again, and again...to standards this time.
Not that it keeps me awake at night but this story changed my whole thinking when it comes to multi-flying...I hope to never forget it!
Good thing the lesson happened early on eh?
Did I mention that I had my wife, two kids, and dog all on board? The dog was very happy to be on the ground again, and luckily for me, the whole family was still willing to fly with me in the years to come. I'm a big fan of staying visual around TCU and CB these days.
After landing on the last lake before our short hop to base, I mis-judged my shutdown and realized I was going to contact the sloping smooth rock shore with a thud.
Not thinking, I hopped out onto the float ahead of the strut just after I killed the engine, hoping that I could cushion the impact a bit. ( )
The prop was still turning when I stopped just inches away from feeding the walleyes my brain.
I still thank my lucky stars, Jesus and Goldilocks & the 3 bears!
I was trying to cut a few miles off a fairly short 206 trip through the mountains by using a slightly more direct but higher pass I had nt been through before. The weather at the entrance of the pass looked good. It deteriorated slowly as I climbed into it. Confidant in my lightly loaded plane and 1200 hrs of experience, I continued. Ten miles in, I was about 5 miles from the valley and road on the other side, the road being about 2000 feet lower than where I was, at the high point of the pass. The vis was down low, I don't know how low..l could still see where I would turn, as I puttered along with flaps 10 and maybe 90 kts. The valley petered out into flatter terrain at the top, making navigating a bit harder.
Finally I came to the point where the terrain dropped away, down to the lower terrain and hopefully better vis. It dropped away much more steeply than the valley I had climbed up.
This was my mistake, and not one I had ever been cautioned about...flying down a steep slope in poor vis. As the ground dropped away, the vis didn't improve as I had hoped. Also, to maintain reference to the ground, I would have had to drastically reduce power and add flap. I did neither, or not enough, and as I continued the ground dropped away steeply from under me. I could see nothing but cloud ahead. Too late I started my left turn 180 back the way I had come. I had already descended down the mountainside, and realized I would have to fly a turn that descended with the slope at first to maintain visual, then transition to a steep climb back the way I had come.
Halfway around the turn I thought I saw an opening below and ahead, and hesitated, slowing the turn. Another mistake. Changing my mind again, I added power and pulled hard, desperately trying to maintain contact with the ground. I have no doubt that if I had lost the ground at that point I would have died. It's dangerous enough to transition to instruments low down, but in a steep turn, close to terrain, I was so twisted up I wouldn't have had a chance.
I didn't, and I managed to probe my way back to the top of the pass, where the weather seemed to be worse than before. I tried to follow my gps track back the way I had come, couldn't, and finally ended up getting out and down another way by flying with flap 20 and 65 kts just above the trees for half an hour before conditions improved.
Life seemed particularly vivid and special for the next few days.
I learned a few things that day. Don't push so hard. Don't bother with the slightly shorter new way in wx. Don't try to fly down a steep hill in fog. Turn around before you think your life is in danger, not when it is. When you do decide to turn, turn, don't stop and think about it halfway round.
I'm sure everyone has a moment like this, when they almost die and learn a few things, maybe changing how they fly. It bothers me that this has to happen, because of course quite a few don't survive it.
If this story kept me awake at night, it would be because when I train people, I realize its the things I never thought of, or never experienced, or was never taught that will be the greatest holes left in their knowledge, and the biggest risks.
So use your imagination, think what might kill you that your instructor never thought of.
Strictly limited to flying anecdotes of course
I was able to focus on the instruments long enough to get the wings level, applied full power and got myself reoriented. I thought I was in the clear when I looked at my VSI and altimeter and saw both going down. I rechecked all my instruments and saw myself wings level, full power and fuel flow, nose and airspeed set for a good climb, needle and ball centered...but still descending. The GPS (an Aera 510) started yelling at me "TERRAIN, TERRAIN" and the screen went completely red. That's when I broke out of cloud and saw the hills coming towards me. After a quick prayer I started to gain some altitude and got back into cloud. It took me almost 20 minutes to climb to 5000' and continue enroute.
I shook for the rest of the flight.