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10 Situations All Pilots Hate

Nobody likes it when this happens...

1) An engine that doesn't want to start

There's nothing more embarrassing than being out on a ramp full of people watching you try to start up your aircraft multiple times.

Zen Skillicorn

2) Getting sprayed by the fuel sump

It doesn't matter what aircraft you're sampling fuel from, it seems like you always end up getting sprayed by fuel. If you aren't careful on windy days, it can even spray your face. Add cold weather to the mix, and it's even worse!


3) Canceling a flight

We all get excited to go flying, especially with other people. However, we dread the situations when you get out to the airplane and the wind starts to pick up or the clouds drop too low for VFR flight, inevitably leading you to tell your passengers that you won't be flying today.

Corey Komarec

4) Getting a route change from ATC

Small route changes aren't that bad. But if you're on an IFR cross country, there's nothing quite like reading back a full route clearance mid-flight.

Javier Rodriguez

5) Running out of time during a check ride

You go into a checkride ready to go, hoping that at the end of it you'll get that new rating or certificate. That is, until time pressures or weather interferes with your flight.


6) Flying in turbulent air

There are some days where the weather just doesn't cooperate. And if you're trying to fly maneuvers for your training, there's nothing worse than fighting bumpy air.

Corey Komarec

7) Busy traffic patterns

Traffic patterns are incredibly efficient most of the time, however, when a busy day comes along and there are 4-5 aircraft in the pattern, you can easily find yourself on a two-mile final being number 3 to land. To make matters even more interesting, try having the same situation at a pilot-controlled field. Time to test your communication skills!

Alan Wilson

8) Preflighting in cold weather

Preflighting an aircraft in cold weather is never fun. You are out in the snow, wind, freezing temperatures, or a combination of all of them. The only bright spot? Knowing that you are about to go flying.


9) Unprepared students

CFIs come to each lesson prepared (hopefully), just as they hope their students are. It can be frustrating when you're forced to repeat lessons or take extra time to cover topics that the student should have studied before hand.


10) Being stepped on

It's frustrating because it causes open-loop communication to occur, and it creates even more congestion as you request clarification or confirmation of your transmission.


What else frustrates you when you fly? Tell us in the comments below.

Corey Komarec

Corey is an Airbus 320 First Officer for a U.S. Major Carrier. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at

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