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Feature Article: Teaching Airplane English
I am in the process of 're-treading' two pilots who have radio
problems. They are both experienced complex-high performance
pilots but they have never been exposed to the latest ATC radio
It is so much easier to teach people correctly in the first place.
These pilots have about 50 years of flying between them and now
must learn to 'talk' Y2K airplane. One has not flown in ten years
and the other has English as a second language and has avoided
use of the radio for his entire flying career.
The pilot who has not flown in ten years has excellent procedures
for that period. He flew a cabin class twin. The problem is that
he has these procedures so ingrained that, under pressure, he
reverts back to 'his' way. The new runway incursion procedures
seem strange to him. He has bought a C-210 and I'm trying to
bring him up to date on procedures before he begins his checkout
in several weeks. His flying is good in basics but airport patterns
need some rust removed.
My friend who has trouble with English is different but similar.
I go over the expected procedure even to the extent of having
him write it out. When it works, it works well. If ATC changes
a wording or adds a twist he's in trouble.
Yesterday, I took him to Oakland and back using TRACON. We made
a full stop and went over the procedure for a return to Concord.
It went reasonably well. We made a low approach at CCR and headed
back to OAK without using TRACON. He had some difficulty responding
to a traffic 'point-out' and convincing OAK that we wanted to
do a low-approach with on-course CCR. He landed at CCR very pleased
with what he had learned. I was pleased, too,
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