the attitude of the controllers toward me as a pilot negatively affected my decision making because the approach and second tower controller were both in my mind agitated i could not have the visual on the airport when i was expected to. this is dumb to a seasoned pilot, but i was trying not to make anybody mad. this is 99% my fault.
Never, ever let a controller get inside your head in that manner. There will be other times as a pilot, even as an experienced pilot, that you will be on the receiving end of some type of actual or perceived attitude. Sometimes it may be justified but most times it may not (as this perceived attitude may have to do with a controller's personal issues or mood that day).
You should not allow your concern for the controller's opinion of you affect your flying and your focus. If you did not have the runway in sight it is your responsibility to your safety and that of your passengers to never call it in sight, despite the controllers' perceived or actual annoyance. It is my friendly advice coming from a 1,200 hour GA pilot to never answer a controller's question with the answer he or she expects (impatiently or otherwise) unless you actually mean it, be this a question of sighting traffic, the airport, an obstacle, or any other safety of flight issue.
There have been documented and discussed cases of a pilot's interpretation of a controller's off-handed comments and expectations possibly contributing to accidents. One that comes immediately to mind is the fatal accident a few years ago where a GA pilot attempted an instrument landing, despite the lower than minimum weather conditions that were present. Prior to the pilot starting the approach, the pilot queried the controller and was told, "Other aircraft have made it in with no difficulties."
It was surmised by the author of the Aviation Safety
article (or what is IFR
? I cannot recall the mag now) discussing this accident that the pilot may have interpreted this comment as a challenge or possibly as an offhanded statement about his piloting abilities.
In the end, you are the ultimate authority of your aircraft's safety, which is why I originally questioned your comment that the controller shared some of the blame. Do not let a controller distract you from that primary goal, even if it means that the controller has to spend a few extra minutes with you than s/he had originally planned. The alternative is much less acceptable.