Day: December 6, 2018

How To Not Crash The Airplane Under Pressure

Let me supply you with a hypothetical high-pressure situation.

You’re the pilot of any small, single engine airplane. You take off, alone, in this particular single engine airplane, and leave over a large body of open water. At about 800 feet above this water, your single engine sets out to sound funny (rather than in a “ha-ha” way), and also you notice you just aren’t gaining altitude on the rate you need to be. At around 1200 feet on top of the water, your single engine quits.

This can be a high-pressure situation. What do you do?

Fortunately to suit your needs, it is a hypothetical high-pressure situation. Unfortunately in my opinion, it was not hypothetical in the event it happened for me several years ago.

I do not want to keep you in suspense, so I’ll just claim that I survived. As did the airplane. As the plane was falling to earth, I was creating a quick U-turn and, with only inches to spare, find a way to land around the runway from where I had just departed.

So why did this high-pressure situation employ a happy ending? Well, it reduced to two elements – the identical two elements that can assist you survive your high-pressure situations likewise.

Preparation… while keeping your focus.


I ended up in situations which are similar to this before. During flight training, my instructor put me through dozens (otherwise hundreds) of simulated engine-out drills. Granted, we were looking at at a better altitude (meaning more time to get better), and in addition they were only simulated, but I still knew the procedures. Also, I had (coincidentally) recently begun glider training, together already soloed, so I was accustomed to flying without the need of engine. Again, not identical, but I still were built with a bit of an “I’ve been here before” feeling. And finally, on account of some special training I had carried out with an instructor exactly the week before, I knew what angle of bank hands me by far the most turn to the least altitude loss.

In simple terms, I had prepared for circumstances like this. When the trouble began, the preparation kicked in. I knew how to proceed because, again, “I’d been here before.” Your takeaway: One – when you’re in a very high-pressure situation, think time for a time when you’ve successfully gotten by using a similar situation in past times. It doesn’t should be identical, just similar. Remind yourself, “I’ve been here before.” And two – anticipate the high-pressure situations you’ll probably face, and train for him or her. Practice them if your pressure’s off, therefore you’ll be better equipped to tackle them if your pressure’s on.


Primarily on account of my training, in the event the pressure hit I went into sharp focus. Analyze the challenge, solve the situation. Nothing extraneous. No thoughts of, “Boy, if I wreck the airplane – and am somehow competent to walk (or swim) away – exactly what are people planning to think of me? It’ll be so embarrassing. And expensive. And if I’m delayed (or worse), who’s gonna feed your new puppy?” This is all just noise, and in a very high-pressure situation, you’ll want to shut out the noise. Your takeaway: When you’re within a high-pressure situation and you also hear the “noise” beginning enter your mind, contemplate, “What’s essentially the most important thing to me to consentrate on right now?”