Made the same mistake twice

Im currently training Cross Country flights and I’ve made a bad call to avoid a collision twice and now Im super stressed out about it and have trouble sleeping and have been thinking of dropping out because in the heat of the moment, I’ve made a wrong choice that could lead to death. I’ve been told to come on here to listen to what others think and also to ask if there is a flight simulator I could buy for home use that allows unexpected situations to be put in the flight to practice on what I should do.


Sounds like you’re a little freaked out which is understandable. First don’t be so hard on yourself. Pilot skills and behaviors are learned, they’re not innate.

You’re still here so clearly it wasn’t that bad an error, but I’m sure there were better choices available. I’m not aware of any home sims that generate random traffic but I’d be surprised if there weren’t any. I wasn’t there and don’t know the details but I’m willing to bet you simply reacted without much thought. We call that panic and it seldom leads to good decision making. There are very few circumstances that occur in an airplane (or in life) that require an instant response even though it may seem that way at the moment. In the military they have an expression, they say “wind your watch” when something occurs, even something seemingly urgent (when I say that many people don’t really understand as fewer people actually wear watches and even fewer watches that require winding but again it’s an expression). What they’re saying is before you act take a few seconds, one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, to assess before you act. It may seem very simple and it’s actually more difficult than you might think but I think you’ll find the practice yields far better decisions. This is a process and you will encounter setbacks. Learn from them.

Or you can just quit :wink:



No flight sims that I can think of.

Welcome to aviation. Everything is unexpected. No two flights are ever the same. Every second that ticks is a new scenario. You can never keep your guard down. The Aeronautical Decision Making process is cyclical, meaning it never stops.

A lot of new students think that they need more experience in unexpected scenarios. They are wrong. What students need is to develop Aeronautical Decision Making and Single Pilot Resource Management. These are ground lesson subjects that are practiced before, during, and after every flight. If you choose to continue training, you need to get back with your CFI and the two of you need to work together to develop your ADM and SRM.

Lastly, your CFI should be intervening before allowing the situation to get too unsafe. If your CFI was on board during these two flights, then I would question their judgement. Rarely do accidents or incidents happen all at once. An event typically begins long before the pilot(s) realize. If you’re not recognizing it, your CFI should be stepping in before it gets too far off track.

At the airlines, we preach the Swiss Cheese Model. The model is used to illustrate Threat and Error Management. You should Google this. TEM is at the core of what we do. It’s what gets us from A to B safely.


Yeah I agree with Tory. Your CFI should be able to tell when you are going to mess up, or when something is going to be unsafe, long before it gets to the critical point. Telling you to come in here for support isn’t a great look either, they should be providing you some of that support, and focus on how you BOTH can improve on things.

My instructor would always tell me “I knew you were about to F up, ten seconds before you F’d up”. Never understood how that was possible until I became an instructor haha.

Keep your head up, keep learning.

Thanks for the response. The instructor did not let us get to the point where we were in an actual emergency, but if he did not take the controls and do the correct thing, then there could have been an actual emergency. My worries come from me making the same mistake that could lead to a real emergency if I was alone.

Thanks for the response. We weren’t in an actual emergency, but if he did not take the controls and do the correct thing, then there could have been an actual emergency. My worries come from me making the same mistake that could lead to a real emergency if I was solo

Thanks for the response

Well then it’s a good thing you weren’t soloing and your instructor isn’t (or shouldn’t) sign you off until you’re ready. Students make mistakes all the time, sometimes potentially deadly mistakes. CFI’s know this. Flying is not intuitive. It’s the CFI’s job to keep the two of you and everyone else in the air and on the ground safe. It sounds like your CFI did just that.



Without knowing the full details, it is hard to really provide solid guidance. What I can say is that you are a student pilot, you are still learning. There is a lot going on in the cockpit and a few mistakes, especially in the beginning, are part of learning for to fly. Press on and try not to focus on it too much.

I am not a fan of flight simulator, I don’t think it really does anything to help teach people to fly, it is more of a video game than anything.


Also I should have mentioned this in a previous reply already, but the instructor did not tell me to get on here and ask this, I was talking with my parents and they told me to get opinion’s from other pilots, so I posted on here.

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I been told the best way to improve is to fly for real, learn from mistakes. There is FSX (newer edition coming out), XPlane11, DCS… (but that is mostly a combat sim). I been told flight sims are not truly realistic.