Since I started playing Elite in June of 2015, I never lost a single ship. Came close a few times, but always made it out.
Last night my Fer-de-Lance was lost in a Conflict Zone (High), due to pilot error. I have never played much as a combat pilot, not engaging pirates (I even pay them) or such. And I do realize that getting involved with Conflict Zones is not the best way to get started with combat. But it makes sense within the game world (working to defend my local minor factions).
I had been in and out of Conflict Zones for the last week, maybe 12 or 15 visits and always made it out. Using all fixed weapons and working on my aim it was slow, but I managed to score 6 or 7 Combat Bonds. Scored one Bond last night before my loss.
My ship build:FDL Build at ED Shipyard
What did I do wrong?
1. My factions were the underdogs, and I allowed myself to get drawn into a focus of enemy fire. This happens often in my CZ play, and I escape, but this time I let target fixation get the upper hand. Instead of breaking and gaining distance from the CZ furball, working from the edge, I drifted in.
2. F63 Condor swarms... My FDL turns on a dime, but even so I cannot land shots on those Condor (not with fixed guns, anyway). At least while I am turning with them, they can't hit me! But still a swarm of them is very busy.
3. Running straight away when making my escape. Probably the real fatal move.
I looked down, shields with only a slightly dimmed outer ring. Lase the shields off a Vulture, taking some fire but it's all good. Ready to go for Multi-Cannons. (I should have broken and gained some distance from the furball at this moment.) Suddenly shields are offline, and I punch the FSD to high wake out (my target system was already highlighted before I entered the battle). And I boosted in a straight line toward the jump system target. Hull was gone in 5 or 8 seconds.
And that big mistake of boosting straight away made me an easy target. I should probably have just kept turning while applying lateral thrust while the FSD charged. I'd have been 10X harder to hit, very possibly making it out.
I considered the Iron Man play impact. I used a D20 dice chart made by a guy called Mossfoot (on the offical FD forums), rolled a 14. Got a +1 overal modifier (due to circumstances at the time of my ejecting. So a survival with keeping the ship.
Good lessons learned!