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Do pilots ever get scared when they are flying?

Dan A

New member
Ofcourse there would be some situations where pilots get scared, however they are trained in most situations to understand the position they are in and keep calm at all times.

From personal experiences (I am doing a PPL) I’ve been in many situations where I am scared but it’s all part of it, it’s normal and it’s human.
 

Spyros

New member
A330?

Interesting to see that a TCAS message means transferring control to the captain. I wonder about the reasoning for that... it seems that a transfer of control can be a destabilizing factor, at a moment when you REALLY need to be paying attention at what's happening!

On topic, this looks like a good example of being scared but keeping it together!
 

Cobalt_Pilot

New member
For sure. Its just the training that keeps us calm on the outside (even if we are screaming on the inside!).

A great example I saw once was this: "That big propeller at the front is just for keeping the pilot cool. When it stops spinning, you'll see the pilot start to sweat!" :ROFLMAO:
 

Spyros

New member
A great example I saw once was this: "That big propeller at the front is just for keeping the pilot cool. When it stops spinning, you'll see the pilot start to sweat!" :ROFLMAO:
It makes you wonder about those poor unfortunates that fly without a propeller at the front!;)

Actually you reminded me of an old roommate who was a nervous flier in jets, but said he was always calmer in turboprops. He reasoned that with the propeller on the wing, he had a visual reference of the engine working properly, which was missing from the view of the jet engines! I started to explain why this was kinda backwards, but eventually I gave up...
 

s_p_s

New member
Hi, nice topic here. I don't think she was scared, probably she was surprised with the situation, like any pilot with a TCAS warning. I don't know the SOP's from this company, but she react really fast, and the procedure to handover control looks to me part of a well defined procedure not because she was scared. She follow a standard call outs, "Traffic, TCAS, You have control" and inmediatelly start looking for the traffic first in the Navigation display and then ouside as the are in VMC conditions.
Beside this particular video, Pilots are humans, and of course somethimes we are scared, but a combination of training and experience help us to mitigate any situation until the end.
 

BusDriver

New member
Nico, the answer is yes. Sometimes, there are challenging situations that goes beyond of our feelings, we can’t avoid the feelings, but we are trained and prepared to keep calm, think and act properly under stress or fear... hundreds or thousands of flight simulator hours and real flight time under our belts helps us to deal with difficult situations, but they can’t avoid to be scared sometimes.
 

boregos

New member
A330?

Interesting to see that a TCAS message means transferring control to the captain. I wonder about the reasoning for that... it seems that a transfer of control can be a destabilizing factor, at a moment when you REALLY need to be paying attention at what's happening!

On topic, this looks like a good example of being scared but keeping it together!
Re: her startle, the TCAS & GPWS warnings (and the cabin call buzzer!) are quite loud, and can be a bit startling if you’re not expecting them, but after that you just flow into the procedure. In my airline, either the Captain or First Officer (whoever is Pilot Flying) will fly the TCAS. If a Second Officer is the Pilot Flying in the seat, they would announce “TCAS, you have control”, handing over to the Captain or F/O (whoever was in the other seat). Not to say that the S/O isn’t qualified to fly the manoeuvre... it is one of the exercises that is done in every sim, it is just Company policy in my airline - obviously, if the S/O was alone in the flight deck for whatever reason, they would fly the avoidance manoeuvre themselves.
 

Feldegast

New member
have pilots ever been scared of a situation and still taken off despite this? getting scares while already in the air i can understand cos sometihng totaly unforseen may happen but before you take off?
 

BusDriver

New member
Feldegast, a good pilot NEVER takes off expecting to face a fear situation. A good pilot makes a good pre-flight planning. Personally, whenever I foresee a risk, I keep my plane and my 220 passengers safe on the ground until the situation is resolved or another option is taken. Never take off worried or fearing on something, that's the first step of a disaster ladder.
 

RobertGary1

Active member
I can honestly say no. Even when I've had emergencies I can say I was very focused but can't say I took the time to get scared. Scared implies you're sitting there contemplating your emergency. Now I have had a couple emergencies that made be a bit scared afterwards.

-Robert
 

DeAnn

New member
can't say I took the time to get scared. Scared implies you're sitting there contemplating your emergency. Now I have had a couple emergencies that made be a bit scared afterwards.


-Robert
I remember watching a documentary about the British Airways flight where the windscreen popped out, and the Captain got sucked out and was stuck by his feet in the yoke. The FO did a phenomenal job of staying cool and handling the crisis. After, as he was leaving the airplane, he was so drained he could barely walk. People were holding him up.

Same thing happens in medicine. You can't exactly lose it and freak out during a crisis, but you sometimes feel it after.
 

Mr.Plop

Member
The only time I've seen one of my CFIs scared is when I was flying looking at the instruments around thunderstorms and saw a flash of light followed my instructor "nope, nope, my controls, emergency descent" He later told me we almost got struck by lighting in a Cessna 172 :ROFLMAO:
 

redhaven

New member
I am not a pilot but I try to apply what I have read about how pilots train to my own life. Of course things are going to happen and you are going to get scared once in a while but freaking out about it solves absolutely nothing. One of my favorite movies is Apollo 13 and Gene Krantz played by Ed Harris urging the staff to always "work the problem."
 
I have always wondered if pilots get scared at all like ever when they are flying?
A friend is a recently retired American Airlines senior pilot, who did long passenger flights. He told me it gets boring at times, but that he has been concerned during flight. They too are human + can run into nasty weather, etc.
 
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Siris

Active member
There's a great quote out there: The second greatest thrill in life is flying. The first is landing.

Joking aside though there are always situations that get a bit hairy and can get your blood pumping but as other have said training is mostly focused at keeping you calm and task oriented when things start going off the rails.
 
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