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Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport?
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Andrew Gideon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 11:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport? Reply with quote



Drew Hamilton wrote:

Quote:
It's just that I always feel like I'm making an imposition on the Toronto
Terminal controllers by asking to be in their airspace. And the "big
guys" all have specific intentions in mind, like "Request direct to
Coehill VOR at 9,500" or "Inbound for the ILS approach", whereas I have
a request like "I want to kind of follow along the shoreline to Hamilton
and then go to Brantford" or "Cennsa UOB requests to fly to Guelph via
Highway 401 and Highway 6". I always get the feeling that the guy's
sitting there thinking "what on earth is this yokel doing?"

Phoo.

When I started my instrument rating, I flew with a number of instructors
"trying them out" (thanks to the sound advice I'd picked up here). One did
something almost irrelevent to the training, but significant enough that it
was one of my major reasons for choosing him.

All I did on those first lessons was air work out in the practice area. And
this CFII was the only one to call up for advisories while we were merely
"futzing around".

Until that point, I too imagined that controllers would only speak to me if
I'd some fixed plan in mind. This small event trashed that idea. Since
then, I'll pick up advisories whenever possible.

- Andrew




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David Megginson
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 12:09 am    Post subject: Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport? Reply with quote



Andrew Gideon <ag7337 (AT) tagonline (DOT) com> writes:

Quote:
All I did on those first lessons was air work out in the practice
area. And this CFII was the only one to call up for advisories
while we were merely "futzing around".

Until that point, I too imagined that controllers would only speak
to me if I'd some fixed plan in mind. This small event trashed that
idea. Since then, I'll pick up advisories whenever possible.

Funny -- my IFR training did the same thing for me. I realized that
you can ask ATC for almost anything legal, and they'll try to
accomodate you as long as it doesn't mess up their traffic flow
(i.e. circling your house three miles from the threshold under the ILS
approach in use is probably out).

It also helped me when I was flying on Canada Day sharing the Ottawa
tower frequency with the Snowbirds. The radio calls from the lead
pilot (whatever the military term is) were along the lines of "yeah,
we're done with Parliament Hill for now, and would like to go and play
over Rockcliffe for a while." It's also instructive to listen to ATC
conversations with planes doing aerial photography, pipeline patrol,
or banner towing.


All the best,


David

--
David Megginson, [email]david (AT) megginson (DOT) com[/email], http://www.megginson.com/


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Gilan
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 12:51 am    Post subject: Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport? Reply with quote

I started at a Cessna school at a busy airport and they seem to want to draw
out the training to get more money out of you. Because of the high overhead
at the busy control tower airport they seem to enjoy having you sit on the
ramp waiting for your turn to taxi or take off so the Hobbs just keeps
ticking. I now fly at a very small uncontrolled airfield in the country and
the atmosphere in training is so nice. I roll 50 feet from the tie down and
take off. No tach time wasted. The radio training is a handicap but saving
so much money not wasting Hobbs time I'm sure I can just fly more and pick
up the radio experience in time.

--
Have a good day and stay out of the trees!
See ya on Sport Aircraft group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sport_Aircraft/

Private Pilot in 10 days
http://www.perfectplanes.com



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L Smith
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:03 am    Post subject: Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport? Reply with quote

Shawn wrote:

Quote:
I live in a southern suburb of Denver. My closest airport option is
Centennial which is a very busy controlled airport. I could also drive
about 35 miles to either Aurora Airpark or Front Range which are both
uncontrolled. Flight instruction time seems to be $30 per hour
regardless of location. Plane rental is $55-60 per hour at the smaller
airports and $75 or so at Centennial.

Any opinions on the relative benefits/disadvantages of each? I really
do want to be able to fly regularly at Centennial once I get my ppl.

Thanks.


When I faced this problem, my decision was finally based on the fact

that I drive by a
class C airport every day on my way to work, whereas the nearest
uncontrolled fields are
a good 45 minute commute each way. The only way I was going to get any
serious flying
time was by not spending it all driving.

Yes, I do spend eight or ten minutes each way getting out to the
practice area, but
the time doesn't have to be "wasted". You are getting experience dealing
with ATC,
and you can watch for other traffic or practice spotting emergency
landing locations.
(I also find the time spent getting to the practice area makes the
mental transition from
nervous wreck to pilot wannabe easier, and the time spent on the return
helps me
unwind.)

On the ground, my only significant delays have come when I've had to
taxi to the other
end of a runway that's twice as long as what your typical uncontrolled
field has. I've found
that by scheduling my lessons with a little foresight, I can avoid the
'rush-hour traffic'.

Whichever way you go, I'd suggest trying to get to the other on at
least one-third of
your lessons.

Rich Lemert


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Andrew Gideon
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport? Reply with quote

David Megginson wrote:

Quote:
Funny -- my IFR training did the same thing for me. I realized that
you can ask ATC for almost anything legal, and they'll try to
accomodate you as long as it doesn't mess up their traffic flow
(i.e. circling your house three miles from the threshold under the ILS
approach in use is probably out).

And it can be a Good Thing. I was doing steep turns today (I hit my wake
several times!) when ATC notified me of traffic. I looked, but could not
see the thing. After a second warning and still not able to see the
traffic, I maneuvered to avoid. As I started that, I spotted the traffic.

He was heading directly towards me, and just a little lower. So he'd been
lost in the ground clutter. That's not a good excuse for not seeing him, I
know, but I'm very appreciative of advisories for air work.

I showed my appreciation by air-filing back to CDW, and doing an approach
there. It was fun because there was a line of clouds that had moved in
between myself and "home". I could have avoided them...but it's more fun
not to bother.

- Andrew


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Andrew Gideon
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport? Reply with quote

Corky Scott wrote:

Quote:
[...]
That isn't less radio work, that's more!

Interesting point. Perhaps the hard part isn't speaking, but being required
to listen.

- Andrew


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David Megginson
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport? Reply with quote

Andrew Gideon <ag7337 (AT) tagonline (DOT) com> writes:

Quote:
That isn't less radio work, that's more!

Interesting point. Perhaps the hard part isn't speaking, but being
required to listen.

For me, at first, the hard part when I started visiting uncontrolled
fields was not listening so much as analyzing and understanding. At a
controlled field, things are easy -- tower will tell you "follow the
150 at your 12:00 two miles ahead, number 2 for landing"; at an
uncontrolled field, nobody customizes position reports for your plane,
so you have to figure out where everyone is relative to you and how
you fit in to the traffic flow. It's excellent experience, and
undoubtedly makes you a better pilot, but it's hard to argue that it's
necessarily easier or less intimidating than learning to fly at a
controlled field.


All the best,


David

--
David Megginson, [email]david (AT) megginson (DOT) com[/email], http://www.megginson.com/

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Robert Perkins
Guest





PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 2:23 am    Post subject: Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport? Reply with quote

On Wed, 30 Jul 2003 14:54:40 -0400, Andrew Gideon
<ag7337 (AT) tagonline (DOT) com> wrote:

Quote:
Corky Scott wrote:

[...]
That isn't less radio work, that's more!

Interesting point. Perhaps the hard part isn't speaking, but being required
to listen.

It's already saved my bacon once to use the radio lots&lots at an
uncontrolled field.

I called in at the approach checkpoint "gravel pits", and had a NORDO
Cub in sight. Someone else called in and reported just about the same
position *and* altitude. I did a scan to the left *quickly* and
started a shallow turn.

The other guy stayed completely silent. "Aircraft approaching
Evergreen, please say position."

During that I lost track of the Cub. So, I called UNICOM (same
frequency) and asked them to look out the window and tell me where the
Cub was. On downwind abeam, OK. Then I spotted him in that place.
"Aircraft approaching Evergreen, please say position." Still silence.

Then I hear "Spamcan 45689 left base runway 28 Evergreen".

Yeesh. He'd overtaken me during the first fourth of my avoiding turn
and stayed silent clear until he was on the base leg.

PLEASE report early and often at uncontrolled fields!

Rob

Quote:

- Andrew


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Andrew Gideon
Guest





PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Learn in big controlled or small uncontrolled airport? Reply with quote

David Megginson wrote:


Quote:
For me, at first, the hard part when I started visiting uncontrolled
fields was not listening so much as analyzing and understanding. At a
controlled field, things are easy -- tower will tell you "follow the
150 at your 12:00 two miles ahead, number 2 for landing"; at an
uncontrolled field, nobody customizes position reports for your plane,
so you have to figure out where everyone is relative to you and how
you fit in to the traffic flow. It's excellent experience, and
undoubtedly makes you a better pilot, but it's hard to argue that it's
necessarily easier or less intimidating than learning to fly at a
controlled field.

I'd content that a busy controlled airport - at least a class D - is still a
place where the situational awareness you describe is important. For
example, while upwind and then crosswind, it pays to know who is en route
to the downwind.

I was once surprised by a pilot sitting on my right. He didn't know that
there would be an airplane entering the pattern from the upwind/crosswind
(we were entering from "outside"). But the tower had very clearly cleared
that other airplane for t/o and closed traffic moments earlier.

He wasn't using the input from the radio to maintain situational awareness.
Tsk.

Anyway, I can see where this would be even more complex at a busy
uncontrolled airport...esp. as there's no requirement for a radio <grin>.

- Andrew


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