Most Embarrassing Aviation Moment

Dazzler

Well-Known Member
What was your most embarrassing moment in aviation?

Mine was when I had just soloed and I was in the pattern by myself at a busy towered airport, and therefore an audience including my instructor back at the FBO. I had just landed but locked up the brakes and went skidding off of the runway into the weeds.

The radio conversation then went something like this:

ME: "Tower, Cessna 564 has just skidded off the runway"
TOWER: "Do you need any assistance 564?"
ME: "Negative, I managed to miss all the runway lights. I can taxi off the runway from here"

A close second was when I nearly took out the windsock on final approach during my first ever attempted approach with my instructor.
 

Bert

New Member
Many I'm sure...but the one I remember best was repeating a radar vector from approach...to heading 380.
 

triple7

Well-Known Member
I was at a local unctrolled field transmitting on what i thought was comm2, but the toggle switch was still on comm 1. everything i said was transmitted over teh #1 radio that was turned down "so i could hear #2". i was wondering why noone else in the pattern was talking. when i called tower to report 10 out he said, "oh yeah, i thought taht was you" i heard everything you said in stafford." embarrasing and i have never made that mistake since.
 

FL270

New Member
A CFI buddy and I were flying a beat-up old 172 to GSO a couple years ago. Unbeknownst to us, we had a stuck mike for several minutes ... during which time we were discussing, in rather lurid detail, our then-boss and his alleged sexual conquests. He used to like to brag about that stuff, and we were basically saying what an @$$ he was ... including using his full name several times! When the mike button unstuck, GSO Approach said, "Uh, be advised you've had a stuck mike for the last fifteen minutes, sir. We heard everything you were saying."
 

SUSPilot

Well-Known Member
Didn't involve me but a mutual friend of FL270 and me got intercepted flying in the restricted area that was getting ready to go hot for a shuttle launch.
 

Dazzler

Well-Known Member
I just thought of another...
it was during the "sensitive times" immediately after 9/11 when we (i.e. pilots) were encouraged to have one radio monitoring 121.5 at all times. Well I was in the pattern at an uncontrolled field, with the CTAF set on COM1, and 121.5 on COM2.

Guess which frequency I was accidentally transmitting on?

The operators on the emergency channel were listening to my announcements like "Cessna 12345 turning left downwind for runway 27" for a while !
 

StExupery

New Member
My instructor had decided to take me to Tampa and Orlando for my long cross country in order to be immersed in class B and get some exposure to the real thing.
The flight had already started on a shaky note when Miami FSS rejected my routes due to the fact that they wouldn't go on the computer. My instructor helped me correct the aim and we set off for a 7:30 PM take off from our uncontrolled airport. I was already feeling behind the airplane because of that incident with flight service. Arriving at Tampa, it was now pitch dark and after I called the controller, he came back asking for what I had thought was aircraft type.
I then keyed up the mic and said:" 734TD is a Cessna 172."
I still hear his sarcastic voice when he said: "734TD, this is not going to work out. I asked for your assigned heading and you give me your aircraft type, now this is a biiiiiiiiiig airport with loooooooots of jets flying around, now turn to 2 ..........7...........0, you'll be last."
Needless to say that at that time, I wanted to disappear under the floor mat. My confidence was at its lowest and the sarcasm in that controller's voice angered me so much that it had distracted me from my essential and imminent duty, which was to fly that airplane in a busy environment and pay attention to the voices in the headset.
After another shaky call, I asked my instructor to take over the radio since I was in no shape to handle it all. I was now battling with a NDB approach to minimums, no lights in the cockpit, a far from perfect flash light, crosswinds gusting to 21 knots and a shattered ego. And to make things worse, I was late applying the wind correction so we drifted east of the approach course which the controller didn't fail to advertise loud and clear. Now I am first to admit that my flying that night was not up to par, however what that controller did was plain unprofessional. Take a busy environment such as Class B, have a C172 in it, then destroy the pilot’s confidence from the get-go because he missed one radio communication, add to it the NDB approach, night time with weather and you are setting yourself up for a potentially dangerous situation for all.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
I have mentioned it before, but shooting an ILS approach with the VOR freq tuned into the number 1 nav. made even worse by the fact the the vor is not on the field. (airlake...Dazz, you know what I'm talking about.)
 

triple7

Well-Known Member
nothing beats landing and being told to call a number....possible tfr violation. first flight after getting my ppl and my dad in the left seat. we go to look at our house from the air and realize very abruptly that our house was on the edge of the washington dc tfr. not inside, but enough to let them think on radar that i was in it. i had to call national approach(pre potomac tracon) and square things away. then wait 4 hours for the secret service to come interrogate me. lots of fun, buti will never not look at another chart before i takeoff, and wont go vfr if i am going to be close to restricted areas or any tfrs.
 

RiddlePilot

New Member
Last summer I flew from San Diego to Prescott to visit some people in a beat up ol' C172N. For one reason or another, I was trying to impress this one girl (never do that in a plane
), and instead of a nice "squeak, squeak" sound as I touched down, it was more like "WHAM! *bounce* smack! Screech, screech, shimmy." You get the idea. At any rate, I was told my landing was audible from the terminal. Man.

The second one was on departure from an airport, with a friend and I wanting a quick turnaround so we could go to the next airport to eat. He was working PF roles on this leg, and I was navigating and talking on the radio PNF-style. We took off VFR (that's an entirely different story... don't be too lazy to walk back to the airplane if you forget your IFR charts!), and while on Center the controller says "[callsign], uhh...you takin' the long way to [airport]?" We look at each other somewhat confused and verify our heading...Sure enough, we were supposedly heading the right direction. Well, here's the shtick: I don't care how hungry you are, make sure to reset your HSI. We'd both been used to slaved HSIs, but we weren't so spoiled on this aircraft. We ended up departing (VFR thankfully) with an HSI ~30 degrees precessed! Two multiengine instrument pilots (him a CFII) making a seriously fundamental mistake. It happens.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
Precessed HSI's don't help on a VOR approach either.
Yuck.
Was half way through the second attempt before I figured it out.
"N12345, I show you 3 miles south of course. Again. Say intentions."
 

bluelake

Well-Known Member
entering on a 45 for left traffic runway 20 and all the time announcining right trafic for runway 2. heck.. it was NIGHT.
 

jonnyb

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Many I'm sure...but the one I remember best was repeating a radar vector from approach...to heading 380.


[/ QUOTE ]

I did the exact same thing a few years back!
Same heading and everything.
Sheeesh, "what a freakin' idiot", I said to myself.
 

Freight Guy

New Member
Let's see, I've had so many it's hard to tell which one was the most embarrassing one,there was the day I cashed my first flight instructor pay check and used it all to buy cheap groceries and it still wasn't enough to last until the next check, then the second check, and the third, etc....

 

PEACE OUT

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
My instructor had decided to take me to Tampa and Orlando for my long cross country in order to be immersed in class B and get some exposure to the real thing.
The flight had already started on a shaky note when Miami FSS rejected my routes due to the fact that they wouldn't go on the computer. My instructor helped me correct the aim and we set off for a 7:30 PM take off from our uncontrolled airport. I was already feeling behind the airplane because of that incident with flight service. Arriving at Tampa, it was now pitch dark and after I called the controller, he came back asking for what I had thought was aircraft type.
I then keyed up the mic and said:" 734TD is a Cessna 172."
I still hear his sarcastic voice when he said: "734TD, this is not going to work out. I asked for your assigned heading and you give me your aircraft type, now this is a biiiiiiiiiig airport with loooooooots of jets flying around, now turn to 2 ..........7...........0, you'll be last."
Needless to say that at that time, I wanted to disappear under the floor mat. My confidence was at its lowest and the sarcasm in that controller's voice angered me so much that it had distracted me from my essential and imminent duty, which was to fly that airplane in a busy environment and pay attention to the voices in the headset.
After another shaky call, I asked my instructor to take over the radio since I was in no shape to handle it all. I was now battling with a NDB approach to minimums, no lights in the cockpit, a far from perfect flash light, crosswinds gusting to 21 knots and a shattered ego. And to make things worse, I was late applying the wind correction so we drifted east of the approach course which the controller didn't fail to advertise loud and clear. Now I am first to admit that my flying that night was not up to par, however what that controller did was plain unprofessional. Take a busy environment such as Class B, have a C172 in it, then destroy the pilot’s confidence from the get-go because he missed one radio communication, add to it the NDB approach, night time with weather and you are setting yourself up for a potentially dangerous situation for all.

[/ QUOTE ]

It happened something similar with me... when flying in the country´s 2nd busiest TMA, also in a 172. Those unprofessional controllers $#*¬!!! It can be really bad to, as you said, destroy the pilot´s confidence.
 

UA_Wildcat

Well-Known Member
It was one of my early solo's a couple of years ago and it was a fairly cold morning and I was trying to start a 152. I cranked on it for awhile and it just wouldn't start. I was doing everything right...I thought and I was getting concerned because I knew the battery wouldn't hold out much longer. Finally a CFI walked over and opened up the passenger door and looked around and had me prime it again and crank...it popped and sounded as if it would start but it didn't. Then he looked down and noticed my mixture knob was pulled...I had been sitting there trying to start an engine with no fuel for 5 minutes. I felt like an idiot and I hung my head for awhile with that one...ouch.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Probably the funniest thing was watching a Piper Tomahawk trying to taxi out of the parking spot with the tie down still attached.

You figure if the pilot didn't get any forward motion with full power and four minutes of trying, that something wasn't right...
 

sbe

Well-Known Member
my first unassisted landing, on my second lesson. Somehow, as luck would have it, I absolutely greased it in. I don't know who was more shocked, me or my CFI. In my euphoria over such a momentous occasion, I completely forgot there were brakes to be used and put an entirely new spin on the meaning of 'high speed turnoff' as I made a 90 degree turn onto a (non-high speed) taxiway at a very good clip. The tires made the most god-awful screeching sound you've ever heard. I don't know how we kept from coming off the right main.
Oh my Lord, that hold-short line is coming up fast....oh yeah! Brakes! Hit 'em and send another loud screech emanating from the tires as we jolt to a halt on the far side.

*silence* I'm mortified, waiting. My CFI is silent. No, wait, he's laughing hysterically. So much he's not making much noise.

My beautiful landing had a horrific ending. I still waited. Finally, "okay there, Andretti, why don't you call up ground there and take us back to the ramp..." more giggles from the right seat...

To this day he remembers that. AND, come to find out, a friend of mine was on the ramp across the field and saw this happen - and never knew it was me until a couple months ago when I was talking about it! ("That was YOU?")



Sarah
 

pkloop

New Member
Flying to Orlando Executive:

Orl Approach: Cessna 123 you're cleared through the bravo airspace descend to traffic pattern altitude and contact executive tower on 119.something

Me: Roger cleared through the bravo descend to traffic pattern altitude and contact Executive tower on 119.something

Me pondering and quickly looking at my airport guide, What the F is TPA here?

Me: Good morning Executive tower Cessna 123 with you at 1500 inbound for landing with julliet.

Executive tower: Roger cessna 123 enter a left downwind for 25 , report downtown and descend to traffic pattern altitude

Me: Roger enter downwind for 25 report downtown and descend to tpa

Me: Now panicking can't find TPA anywhere.

Executive tower: Cessna 123 descend to TPA NOW.

Me: what is traffic pattern altitude here?

Some other aircraft: 1000 feet.
I believe this aircraft was on Orl Appr and Got handed to Exec tower with me. Like an idiot I couldn't remember 1000 feet is standard TPA. And due to the 2 airports that are near me that are not stndard this one slipped my mind.

Then after landing I asked for a progressive taxi to an FBO that was literally 100 yards in front of me
 
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