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10 Of The Most Nerve-Racking Situations You'll Face As A Pilot

When you're starting out and flying is new, there are some things that can get your heart pumping. But once you've done them a few times, they start to feel like a walk in the park...

1) Practicing Stalls

Whether it's the fear of falling out of the sky, or accidentally putting the aircraft into a spin, practicing stalls can get your adrenaline rushing the first few times. Fortunately, there's a solution to face your fears.


2) Your First Solo

The most nerve racking, yet exciting moment in a pilot's life is the first time they solo. Knowing that you're the only person who can safely land the plane again after taking off is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just remember, your CFI wouldn't have endorsed you if they didn't think you were ready.

Chung Ho Leung

3) Gusty Crosswinds

Gusty crosswind landings can be very intimidating. If you're feeling rusty, have an instructor go up with you on a windy day. They'll give you tips and tricks to help ease the nervousness when dealing with crosswind landings. And if you want to prepare for crosswind landings before your flight, we have just what you need.

4) Your First Solo Cross-Country

Deteriorating weather, getting lost, and aircraft problems - these are the thoughts that ran through all of our minds the first time we flew a cross country by ourselves.


5) Checkrides

No matter who you are or what experience level you're at, everyone gets nervous for checkrides. Just know that your examiner wants to see you pass - relax and have fun.

Chis Saulit

6) Your First Passenger

Having your first passenger on board can feel a bit overwhelming. Take your time and walk your passenger through what you're doing. It's a good way to ease everyone's nerves.


7) Equipment Malfunctions

Remember to stay calm, use your checklists, and to keep flying the airplane.


8) Your First Flight In IMC

The moment you lose sight of the ground can feel a bit disorienting. Get a good scan going on your instruments and remember: your instructor is there to help you get comfortable with instrument flying.


9) Flying At Towered Airports

If you're learning to fly at a non-towered airport, ATC and other pilots on the radio can be intimidating at first. It's normal to feel nervous when your instructor tells you to contact ATC for the first time. Just remember, we've all made some really embarrassing radio calls, but you have to start somewhere!


10) Your First Flying Job

Your first flying job, like any new job, can make you a bit nervous at first. You've worked hard to get where you are, and now it's time to enjoy your new job in the sky!


Corey Komarec

Corey is an Embraer 175 First Officer for a regional airline. 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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