If you are like me, you tend to forget things. Probably at the most inopportune times.
Remember way back, when you were going to elementary school, your teacher would use examples to help you remember things? Here is a good one to remember the planet names:
Pizza pies: Pluto
Well, I think there needs to be a few for Private Pilots when flying. After bumbling through radio communications for a while, I started to make up tricks to help me remember what needs to be done with flying in general. Below is a list…I am going to add more as I think of them…and please feel free to add your own.
– Airports on aeronautical charts – blue for towered and magenta for non-towered – just think of a guy in a blue uniform sitting in the tower.
– Magnetic deviation on a compass – on a northerly heading, making a turn will make the compass lag. Just think of north as your kids…always lagging behind.
– Radio communications – this is a big one – just remember when initiating a radio call, you need to say four things…distance, altitude, where you are going and what you want. From, height, where and what.
After initiating contact in class D airspace, you would say, “I am 2 miles north of the field, 2,500 feet, heading in for a landing with information sierra.”
Another example would be for entering class E airspace. “I am 5 miles west of Stewart, 4,500 feet, heading towards Columbia County via the Kingston VOR and am requesting flight following.”
When entering class G airspace to land at a non-towered airport, you say, “I am 5 miles east of the field, 3,500 feet, will be entering the pattern on a 45 for a landing on runway 21.”
Sometimes your communication doesn’t fall exactly in the proper order, but just remember that you need to say four things.
When repeating information back to ATC, just remember the facts. They will tell you what seems like 20 things. Just repeat back what matters. Say, “Four Delta Sierra, right hand pattern, runway 29 with the option.” You don’t need to put this statement into a wonderfully written sentence.
– Taxiing – When taxiing and passing another airplane, drive like you are in England…the other side of the road.
Please feel free to add to this list as a comment. I will place your tip in the post.