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In this paper, we address the issue of imperfect channel estimation in coded systems on fading channels. Since performance of channel codes is influenced in different ways by different components of channel-estimation errors, we develop a simplified model which separates the estimation errors of a Wiener-filtered received signal into the amplitude error and the phase error. Based on the model, we derive tight bounds on component error variances. Moreover, we prove that the classical Wiener filter results in a biased estimate of the channel amplitude. We also show that the probability of having a phase-estimation error large enough to cause decision errors in the receiver is significant. Using our model, we derive an approximate upper limit on the optimum pilot-symbol spacing and approximate lower limit on bit-error rate performance of coded systems with a given pilot-symbol separation. The proposed model and derivations are confirmed by extensive simulations.