Lessons Learned

There are several important lessons in this scenario. Any time that you start flying a new aircraft, there is an increased level of risk because you are less familiar with the aircraft. If you are upgrading to a higher performance aircraft, the risk factor is further increased because this aircraft will require you to be further ahead of the aircraft than you have been accustomed to. IFR operations require a different set of skills than VFR, and this change again increases your risk factor. All of these factors combined result in an unacceptable risk level for a relatively inexperienced pilot. That is why it is important to be conscious of your own limitations and not try to take on more than you can handle, even though it might be offered to you.

Many small companies use a self-dispatch system, where each pilot is assigned a flight and then they are responsible for all decision making regarding that flight. Although you were assigned to this flight, you were also told not to take on IFR flights until you had built up a little experience on the aircraft. The self-dispatch system assumes that you will follow all of the company's requirements, as well as those of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Therefore, it was not appropriate to take on the challenge of this flight.

The difficulty we face is that we all enjoy progressing in our career, and we all tend to be over-confident regarding our ability. Therefore, it is hard to turn down a flight because the challenges of the flight may be more than we can handle.

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