Friday, December 28, 2007

Student Pilot Journal Podcast #7

Emergency practice day and towered airport operations.

Today was the introduction to dealing with emergency situations due to engine failure on takeoff, cruise, and landing. Casey pulled the power back to simulate a failure. It always amazes me how you can have a cool head on the ground and think that you will have no problem picking a field, only to freeze at 1800 feet like a deer in the headlights. Practice makes perfect is what I tell myself. I will say that when the lesson was over I was more relaxed than I have ever been...which makes me feel like I am making progress. A good motivator for me is looking forward to the day when things become more second nature.

We flew over to Melbourne International (KMLB) and practiced some landings and I was able to get some experience with ATC. Things got fairly hectic...very fast. Upon approach I was getting ready to announce my position and intent when a foreign helicopter student pilot chimed in and announced his position and intent for touch and go's. Apparently ATC believed him to be on the wrong frequency and instructed him to changed over to Space Coast tower in Titusville. He came back that he was indeed wanting to land at Melbourne, but there was a bit of hesitation in getting his request across and the language barrier did not help matters. When you watch the video you will understand when I say he did not make any new friends with ATC that day. You will hear a second pilot of similar country origin who it seems that they mistake for the first person, and he is promptly given the same treatment. It is extremely busy for ATC and I definitely can understand the importance of pilots being accurate and to the point....for safety purposes. A good lesson learned today.

-Greg

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