By Paul Illman
Real-life pilot tales, helpful "save-yourself" options and an motion time table of preventive innovations to prevent hazards.
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Extra resources for Controlling Pilot Error: Communications
Am unfamiliar with the term. ” “You were cut out. ” “Am unfamiliar with the area. ” (The normal pattern is left downwind. ) Believe me. Every controller would much rather have you clarify an instruction than go off on some tangent that could endanger you or other aircraft operating in the same airspace. Covering up uncertainty just to save face is hardly worth the potential consequences. The controller is similar to a coach, with the pilots the players. While we know that the pilot is ultimately in Radio Communications: Problems, Causes, Solutions 31 command of his aircraft, the coach is still calling the plays.
It’s what, where, why, and when you do or don’t do something. How you do the “something” is another matter: The how represents the skills with which the knowledge is applied. The first four come primarily from study and mental absorption; the last is the product of instruction, practice, and handson experience. Regardless of your experience level, if you have qualms or uncertainties about your radio communicating skills, you might buy an inexpensive aircraft-band radio that picks up the various aviation frequencies.
3. Is subject to air traffic control instructions. At the same time and to the extent its workload permits, ATC will offer certain services, when requested, to VFR aircraft. These services, which may include advisories of other traffic on cross-country flights, even though the VFR pilot had filed only a VFR flight plan or no flight plan at all and was just out on a Sunday afternoon sight-seeing trip. “Uncontrolled” airspace is the rest of the airspace and includes the majority of airports in the United States and most of the airspace below 1200 feet agl (above ground level).