VFR

ATC’s Expect to Cross an Intersection

I was sitting on the jumpseat in the cockpit of another airline yesterday and I heard a radio exchange between ATC and the pilot working the radio for the crew. It sounded like this. (The aircraft call sign, altitudes and the named intersection are fictitious.) ATC: “Airliner 167, at pilot’s discretion, descend and maintain Flight …

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Flying an Approach Into an Uncontrolled Pattern

You are flying an ILS approach into an uncontrolled pattern. The weather in the pattern permits VFR. There are other pilots buzzing around the airport. As you change from ATC’s frequency to the airport’s common traffic advisory frequency, what are you thinking about? Completing that ILS? Sure. If you are like me, you are thinking …

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Contacting Flight Service; Searching for IFR Traffic in an Uncontrolled Pattern

If you can get all the aviation weather data you need online, do you really need to know how to contact Flight Service on the radio? It depends on who you ask. I say yes. A Flight Service agent can save time and point you in the right direction. An agent can quickly sift through …

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Learning Radio Phrasing By Experience is Highly Risky

Experience means jack if you aren’t open to learning something new from your experiences. Fair warning, learning by experience without distinguishing good from bad can lead you to very dark and dangerous places. Nowhere is this more true than in an aircraft cockpit. Let me explain. I’ve been flying fixed wing airplanes since I was …

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Experience on the Radio Can Be the Worst Teacher

Experience means jack if you aren’t open to learning something new from your experiences. Fair warning, learning by experience without distinguishing good from bad can lead you to very dark and dangerous places. Nowhere is this more true than in an aircraft cockpit. Let me explain. I’ve been flying fixed wing airplanes since I was …

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Making Mistakes on the Aircraft Radio

In this episode, we’ll talk about why you make mistakes on the radio and what it says about your performance as a pilot. I think my analysis will surprise you (in a good way). Also, some pilots have asked interesting questions about the details of reporting your position in an uncontrolled airport pattern. Just when …

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