jeff trikeAerotrike Cobra 912, with a Rival-X wing.

1800 hrs as of January 2019

Intermediate Syndrome

Last updated by jeff trike Comments (3)

Categories: Safety

We have had a spike in relatively new pilots getting into trouble this year.  You learn a lot in the first year or two of flying, and a lot of what you learn is not in the books.  Here is a list of topics that I had to learn on my own, or got help from other pilots, many of them GA pilots.  The best way to figure this stuff out is to hang out with other pilots, either physically or on the internet.  I am going to work my way down this list, any all comments are welcome.

1) fear of landing, no fear of takeoff
2) early morning itis
3) leaving the pattern to early
4) urge to land on dirt roads
5) mastering your radio
6) bullet proof tie downs
7) preflights and maintenance
8) weather fragility
9) cross winds take offs and landings
10) what to do if cross winds are too strong to land
11) landing at 30 min past sunset
12) fly to make sure other pilots see you
13) special dangers of tail wind takeoffs and landings
14) low and fast
15) trim system dangers
16) landing in rough air
17) flying in rain
18) frost on wings = death
19) the dark side of trailering
20) passengers
21) video
22) awareness of obstacles
23) dealing with loss of electrical power in flight
24) bladder management
25) fuel management
26) mountain and canyon flying
27) easy slow vs difficult fast wings
28) rotor awareness
29) learning to flying in rough air
30) route planning in the air - long XC



  • Rebel

    thats an interesting list. I happen to teach all my students that make it to solo except 21

  • madmik

    As a very new PIC still training, I can see merit in this list - one that ultimately would make for some pretty awesome insights and excellent read. These could be chapter headings surrounding safe flying and risk considerations. Great start to what can be an enlightening thread.

    At this early stage of my flying, I've only encountered No1 - fear of landing. Not fear as such, rather fear of hitting the ground hard. Flaring too early and by too much (which is why I just don't understand the bar fully forward landing). Sorted now but there were a few hours of repetitive exposure and practice. That said, No.24 'Bladder management' may have been handy a few weeks ago at 3500 over

    Thanks for your insights and contribution.

  • ULtrikepilot

    Jeff, this is a really great list! Since a couple stories were shared earlier I will share one where I found myself clearly at the edge or beyond my comfort zone.  It is related to 10, 16 & 28.  At a private fly-in last year I was doing some mid-day flying which was a bit rough due to building winds and mechanical turbs off the tree lined turf strip.  Once airborne I realized that winds were shifting and intensifying so that I now had to deal with 90deg Xwinds coming over tall trees.  I was in unfamiliar territory not knowing of alternate landing strips in the area so I knew I had to bring it down best I could.  I had to do at least 4 go arounds as I could not maintain a stable approach on final in those nasty rotors.  But in doing those go arounds I discovered the rotor was slightly less intense in one small patch.  On final approach I stuck the landing at much higher speed than I would normally land at.  No bounce and totally in control so I was happy about that.  One of those times when I was up and was really wishing to be down on the ground.  The situation was probably more severe for me in an UL due to lower wing loading than it would have been in a LSA.  The lower the wing loading the more you get tossed about.  Key learning:  never underestimate the havoc that rotor can create.  Thanks again for sharing a very insightful list!