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Hazardous Attitude, What's Your Vice? (Poll)


Hazardous aviation attitudes poll  

50 members have voted

  1. 1. Which hazardous attitude are you most guilty of?

    • Anti-authority: “Don’t tell me!”
      10
    • Impulsivity: “Do something quickly!”
      10
    • Invulnerability: “It won’t happen to me!”
      16
    • Macho: “I can do it!”
      13
    • Resignation: “What’s the use?”
      1
  2. 2. Which hazardous attitude are you least guilty of?

    • Anti-authority: “Don’t tell me!”
      13
    • Impulsivity: “Do something quickly!”
      3
    • Invulnerability: “It won’t happen to me!”
      11
    • Macho: “I can do it!”
      3
    • Resignation: “What’s the use?”
      20


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What's your biggest vice when it comes to the typically mentioned hazardous attitudes? We're all human and we've had all of them at some point. It's mostly a matter of being aware of our hazardous attitudes and proactively mitigating them. Keep those bad boys bagged up!

I'm curious if there is a greater prevalence of certain attitudes in pilots and particularly Mooney pilots. If we can, as a community identify them, then hopefully we can proactively work at mitigating them in the ways we discuss things online.

The FAA identifies the 5 most common hazardous attitudes as:

Anti-authority: “Don’t tell me!”

Impulsivity: “Do something quickly!”

Invulnerability: “It won’t happen to me!”

Macho: “I can do it!”

Resignation: “What’s the use?”

 

Vote in the poll which of these you have seen or resisted most in yourself and share stories about how battle these attitudes. Do you have any that aren't listed?

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I chose invulnerability as the one I'm most susceptible to.  But for me, it's not so much "It won't happen to me", as it is "What I'm doing has increased risk, but I'm going to do it anyway, because a lot of other reasonable people do it too, and I've done it in the past without coming to grief".  I speak here of reasonable assumption of additional risk, e.g. flying in IMC, flying over mountainous terrain, deliberately performing slipping and skidding stalls as part of CFI training, and so forth.  Lots of people do these things.  The risks are reasonable.  But sometimes people die doing these things, and the honest truth is that I don't have to do any of them.  In fact, I don't ever have to get in an airplane at all.

My mild beef with the way the FAA treats the five hazardous attitudes is, the textbook stuff seems to treat them as binary things, when in reality they span a spectrum of increasing risk.  Invulnerability is an example of this, as discussed above.  Another: I submit that a certain amount of machismo and "I can do it!" attitude is required to be any kind of pilot at all.  A person with absolutely zero I-can-do-it attitude is never going to climb into the left seat for their first lesson.

If I was writing the textbooks, I'd say the five attitudes in excess are of concern, but that all humans exhibit all those behaviors to some degree from time to time.  It's part of what makes us human.

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I think like most personality traits/disorders they have to cause dysfunction to be considered pathologic. If you ever look at the personality disorders in the DSM-IV (they’re on DSM-V now but I’m not familiar with it) you’ll see that a lot of the traits listed on the personality disorders are pretty common. When they’re present to the degree they cause dysfunction then that’s when it becomes a problem.

I believe this is mentioned in the PHAK, but perhaps not very clearly. I agree, we all have those traits to varying degrees.

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I have battled each of the hazardous attitudes at some point and I'm not 100% sure I am entirely past them. However, close calls, scares, stories, years of aviation, and having nothing to prove does help minimize them over time for me.

The attitudes I personally exhibit least are probably anti-authority and resignation. I think I'm pretty well versed in the rules and have virtually no temptation to break them. I feel that there is more anti-authority feelings in pilot-maintenance than the flying. I don't do much maintenance so I don't get into those debates. I use ATC services on nearly every flight and often file so I am pretty comfortable working with authority. Being super familiar and appreciative of ATC services in the NYC metro area probably contribute largely to that. As for resignation, it's really hard to think of examples of. I think most pilot types are the opposite of this and we'll see from the poll. Perhaps I have a bit of resignation about all the paint peeling off my bird, but I am inching closer and close to a paint job. The only resignation I can really think of engaging often is choosing not to fly because of conditions. But not flying can't be a hazardous flying attitude.

Macho is the attitude that is most in between for me. It's not often but not completely unheard of. I think it is most brought out by a fearless passenger to impress. A few abrupt maneuvers or steep turns, but never anything aerobatic. In the absence of such passengers, these macho impulses pretty much never appear to me. I see the Mooney as a cross country flying machine and not something to hot dog in.

Now invulnerability and impulsivity are a different story. These attitudes are most often the ones that need to be kept at bay for me. It still isn't often that they come up, but of the 5, it would definitely be these 2 to think more about. I don't get much impulsivity any more. It's hard to come up with something I haven't already done in the plane so not much of it can be impulsive. I tend to plan and think my flights through so it is rare for them to be impulsive.

The invulnerability attitude is probably my biggest vice. I have flown cross country at night, IFR over mountains, over open water, in remote places, through bad weather, etc. I'm not sure that it's an attitude as opposed to a calculated risk per say. The outcomes were never bad and in this much flying, I haven't had a problem as a result. However, it does not mean that it couldn't potentially happen. Dicing it close to weather and things like that. I guess a better way to put it is that I have to spend more effort convincing myself not to do something, that shit could happen, is something I sooner have to think about than those other 4 attitudes.

As years go by, I have fewer and fewer scares. Is it because I've had them and become numb or because I learned from them and don't do it any more? Probably a bit of both.

Edited by 201er
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I am a hard don't tell me it can't be done!

Not in the sense I don't listen and learn from people I look up to because I do. 

BUT, if someone tells me it can't be done and it is possible to do then you bet your ass I am going to do it!

I posted this before but I thought it fit in here.

 

I had nice talk with my private/multi instructor. Reminded me of the day I got my private. Like everyone that gets their pilots licence i was excited and I was hanging around the flight school, I couldn't get enough. I had flown only a 152 and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread even though i knew almost everything out there was bigger faster etc. I was talking about my solo flights and on one of them I climbed to 7000.

Then in the background this guy that reminded me of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers said "I can't believe you got it that high". I asked why not the book says it has a 14,700 ceiling. he starts laughing just like the Fat Bastard and said "no way it would ever get that high"!

Remember I loved the 152 so i am like :grr: Later that day I rented the 152 filed a VFR flight plan so it would show up on flight aware. Filed KASH-KCON-KASH at 14,500. I called ground copied the flight plan and he cleared me to taxi. Halfway to the runway he asked me what I was doing so I told him the story. He clears me for take off and said good luck. I am thinking why doesn't any one think it will make it. I get handed off to approach and then they ask me "what are you intentions?" I tell him and he said with a laugh "altitude your discretion. around 10,000 I got handed of to center, she could care less and was rather busy. Knowing that you can't be above 12,500 for more that 30 min when I passed 12,500 I started the timer. It took 21 min to go from 12,500 to 14,000. Took pictures outside and of coarse the altimeter. I told center I would like to descend to Nashua"proceed as requested. handed back to approach and I said, I made it to 14,000. He said, I know we were all watching and I lost $10 buck to a bet! Back to tower He clears me to land and said I see that you made it up there. he asks what was the point of that? I said because Cessna said I could and someone told me I couldn't.

That following Saturday I Showed Fat Bastard the proof and he got mad that proved him wrong. It was hilarious! looking back at it now he reminds me of my 9 year old right before bedtime.

In his defense it most likely would not have made it there with him in it.

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14 minutes ago, Tim Jodice said:

Then in the background this guy that reminded me of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers said "I can't believe you got it that high". I asked why not the book says it has a 14,700 ceiling. he starts laughing just like the Fat Bastard and said "no way it would ever get that high"!

...Knowing that you can't be above 12,500 for more that 30 min when I passed 12,500 I started the timer. It took 21 min to go from 12,500 to 14,000. Took pictures outside and of coarse the altimeter. I told center I would like to descend to Nashua"proceed as requested. handed back to approach and I said, I made it to 14,000.

Couldn't get it up, eh? I guess fat bastard was right that you couldn't get it that high! You didn't get up all the way. Guess you'll have to get an oxygen system and try to prove us wrong... :lol:

Edited by 201er
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1 hour ago, 201er said:

Couldn't get it up, eh? I guess fat bastard was right that you couldn't get it that high! You didn't get up all the way. Guess you'll have to get an oxygen system and try to prove us wrong... :lol:

If I had access to a 152 I would try again. Based on that one experience any good running 152 would make 15K. The one I used was a typical shot box rental, the engine had 2900 SMOH 6200 SNEW it used a qt of oil every 3 hours. The propeller was the original McCauley propeller filed down countless times over the years. 

I would love to fly a nice 152 with a healthy engine and a new climb prop. HOT ROD!:)

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The limit of the C152 climb performance... is the one hour time limit at most flight schools... :)

With two pilots on board, half the flight hour elapsed before stall practice could begin...

108hp for a NA C152...

How much excess hp is available?

Best regards,

-a-

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@Vance Harral already said it better than I can... but that never stopped me before....

I like to think that my affliction with Invulnerability - It won't happen to me is from the place of I won't make that mistake because I've thought through it and have a plan to mitigate that problem... this relates to gear ups, go arounds, busting altitude, etc, etc. 

A little Macho can be a good thing as well... I've flow with guys without a hint of Macho in them anywhere... in my opinion they were always a mile or two behind the airplane. There has to be a minimum level of self-confidence to help one cross the line from passenger to pilot.

Unfortunately the FAA has hung all the negatives on these terms without any nuance. 

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Just now, gsxrpilot said:

Macho can be a good thing as well... I've flow with guys without a hint of Macho in them anywhere... in my opinion they were always a mile or two behind the airplane. There has to be a minimum level of self-confidence to help one cross the line from passenger to pilot.

Unfortunately the FAA has hung all the negatives on these terms without any nuance. 

Isn't "lack of macho" summed up in resignation?

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17 hours ago, Tim Jodice said:

If I had access to a 152 I would try again. Based on that one experience any good running 152 would make 15K. The one I used was a typical shot box rental, the engine had 2900 SMOH 6200 SNEW it used a qt of oil every 3 hours. The propeller was the original McCauley propeller filed down countless times over the years. 

I would love to fly a nice 152 with a healthy engine and a new climb prop. HOT ROD!:)

I've had the opportunity to fly both the 150 and 152 in their respective "nice" and "shitbox" states. The nice 152 was actually the AOPA 152 sweepstakes bird. The difference is phenomenal, although even the new ones have their limitations once you stuff 2 people inside. The thing is most 150/152 operators don't bother to take care of the smaller squawks (e.g. door catch, crazed windshield, mis-rigged throttle cable, etc.) and these all add up to a terrible flying experience. I'm checked out in the local FBO's 152 but I refuse to fly it because how badly looked-after it is.

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On 2/27/2021 at 6:29 PM, Tim Jodice said:

Remember I loved the 152 so i am like :grr: Later that day I rented the 152 filed a VFR flight plan so it would show up on flight aware. Filed KASH-KCON-KASH at 14,500. I called ground copied the flight plan and he cleared me to taxi. Halfway to the runway he asked me what I was doing so I told him the story. He clears me for take off and said good luck. I am thinking why doesn't any one think it will make it. I get handed off to approach and then they ask me "what are you intentions?" I tell him and he said with a laugh "altitude your discretion. around 10,000 I got handed of to center, she could care less and was rather busy. Knowing that you can't be above 12,500 for more that 30 min when I passed 12,500 I started the timer. It took 21 min to go from 12,500 to 14,000. Took pictures outside and of coarse the altimeter. I told center I would like to descend to Nashua"proceed as requested. handed back to approach and I said, I made it to 14,000. He said, I know we were all watching and I lost $10 buck to a bet! Back to tower He clears me to land and said I see that you made it up there. he asks what was the point of that? I said because Cessna said I could and someone told me I couldn't.

Now I'm hurt. I file for the high teens and flight levels all the time and no one ever asks what I am doing. They must not care.

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On 2/28/2021 at 12:43 AM, carusoam said:

The limit of the C152 climb performance... is the one hour time limit at most flight schools... :)

With two pilots on board, half the flight hour elapsed before stall practice could begin...

108hp for a NA C152...

How much excess hp is available?

Best regards,

-a-

The 150 is worse. I never practiced full flap stalls with students jn the 150 because if they couldn’t retract we couldn’t get back home. Cessna later removed the 40 degrees of flaps  

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Somehow I'm the only one here who self-identified in the survey thus far as having a resignation problem.

In my defense, I'm not quite as bad off as this guy  :lol:

image.png.a5ed8cafd16294501a992d1375b311c2.png

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I've been accused of being anti-authority. Does that count?

The problem with the unusual attitudes is that to a large degree, they represent negative extreme caricatures of good qualities. Macho and invulnerability are extreme negatives if confidence. Anti-authority a bad form of questioning authority. I think "resignation" might be the only one where I don't see a positive aspect. 

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By far my biggest vice is "it wont happen to me". I look back at myself with 250....500...750 hours and realized some of the stuff I used to do that was plain stupid and took me another 750 hours of experience to realize it. And I'm not talking about plainly stupid stuff like buzzing a house at 50AGL or loading 6 friends into a 4-seater- just regular day-to-day stuff that you don't realize. I've got a good story of how I don't blast off on a spontaneous night flight anymore and got a rude wake-up call, but that's something I'll only tell in-person over a cold one.

Tomorrow I'm headed to Flight Safety in Wichita for 8 days on a simulator to learn the C208 and the amount of knowledge I've picked up over the past week of indoc alone is perplexing that little Private Pilot me didn't even know existed.

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