...I learned that it is better to divert early than to press on
in deteriorating conditions hoping for a positive outcome. No
one should attempt to "scud run" in marginal VFR conditions
as I did (with a near disastrous result).
...Even though I have been flying for a number of years, I learned
a valuable lesson about how fast weather can close in and how
stupid it is to "assume" that the weather will clear.
...For every flight I make now, IFR or VFR, outside air temperature
and icing forecasts will receive very close attention. I will
never again fail to scrutinize approaching IMC for icing. It is
an insidious trap.
...Not knowing if the other aircraft was being provided advisories
shouldn't have been a factor. It's always, "see and avoid"
...They say a good approach leads to a good landing. Early recognition
of a bad setup will enable a go-around and prevent getting "into
the hole" where few options remain.
...No matter how familiar the other guy says he is with the airport,
monitor, monitor, monitor.
...From now on I'll visually check the fuel myself and I'll keep
track of the fuel I'm using in flight.
...Here is what I learned: 1) To the extent possible, always get
prepared on the ground, not while in the air. 2) Don't let external
pressures like time make you do something you haven't thoroughly
...I was making a rushed approach to land. I have learned that
when I am rushed is when I really need to take the time for the
...I guess the lesson to be learned is not to let personnel (station,
refueling, etc.) or situations rush and distract you in your normal
duties. Sometimes inattention to the small details will cause
as many problems as the large ones.
... In a real-life emergency, the work load and noise can be more
distracting than the simulator can emulate. Don't get distracted
from the first priority - fly the airplane! Concentration is key.
...Post-flight concentration may have dropped after a successful
landing in poor conditions. As they say, "The flight's not
over until the aircraft is stopped and the engine is shut down."
...I was counting on the autoflight system to fly the departure
as it was supposed to and got a little lax. Lesson learned! Always
back it up and don't relax. Garbage in, garbage out. If the route
isn't in there or it drops out, you're not going to fly what you're
thinking you'll fly.
...In retrospect, doing a go-around to troubleshoot the problem
wasn't too smart. We had a perfectly good runway right in front
...Any time an aircraft is damaged, don't fly it until it can
be proven that all necessary actions have been taken to return
the aircraft to an airworthy condition.
...I blame the mistake on simple overconfidence. Experience, it
seems, is no replacement for doing one's homework.
...Line check airmen can make mistakes.
...I could have done a better job of communicating. It must be
difficult enough to be a controller in these situations, let alone
a mind reader. The old saying goes, "Aviate, navigate, communicate."
And, as I just learned, communicate clearly. Leave the guesswork
on the ground.
...I learned, that if ever there is a doubt, not only as to what
ATC said, but also what they meant, I should become absolutely
clear of ATC's instructions, especially before taxiing onto an
...I assumed that the traffic situation would work out. I learned
a valuable lesson for controllers: "Never assume anything."
...It has been my experience that transmissions shouldn't be made
to aircraft during the takeoff roll unless absolutely necessary.
...Looking back on it, I learned two things: 1. Take the time
necessary to do the work right even if there is pressure to get
the plane out. 2. Always check the part number, no matter who
says it's the right part.
... Always carefully check the MEL book when deferring an item
and also check for special procedures. Special procedures may
not be listed on the MEL placard.
...I pointed out to the gate agent that Federal Aviation Regulations
specifically prohibit boarding a passenger who appears to be intoxicated.
Never let anyone talk you into it. The situation never gets better.
It only gets worse.
...The timely and accurate flow of information from the cabin
to the cockpit was vital in resolving the situation. Lesson learned:
CRM (Crew Resource Management) works!