Author Topic: Nervous, low-time pilot confesses to ATC and asks for help  (Read 5870 times)

Offline KSYR-pjr

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Nervous, low-time pilot confesses to ATC and asks for help
« on: April 07, 2005, 12:04:12 PM »
For an interesting listen, go to the LiveATC archives and download the SYR feed from 20:00, April 6, 2005.  

About 10 minutes into the feed, a low-time pilot operating a C172 after sunset becomes very nervous when he cannot (or forgot how to) activate the pilot controlled lights at his home airport just to the west of Syracuse, NY's class C airport.  He calls Syracuse ATC, confesses his problem, then asks for extra help in getting vectors to the Syracuse airport.   The controller at first gives him standard vectors and phraseology, but the pilot, who was very nervous, asks for more basic help than that.

A few minutes later and with his mind still trembling, this pilot cannot see the SYR airport, despite being only a mile away from it.   ATC then offers to send up another aircraft to assist.

You can certainly feel this pilot's tension.

Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline C172SP

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Nervous, low-time pilot confesses to ATC and asks for help
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2005, 08:52:36 AM »
Some pilots do a lot of griping about controllers who are rude... "he yelled at me..." But it's amazing the number of times you'll hear the controllers drop everything to help someone out who needs it. It can be extremely tough to find airports at night - even when the lights are on. You'll even hear airline pilots ask for "the light show" for a little bit of help.

I once made the not-so-bright decision to go out for touch-and-goes at night with reported visibility of 5SM... I had about 80 hours at the time. Lost sight of the airport at one point and the tower controller noticed I had drifted off course sooner than I did. I ended up using the localizer just to find the runway.

For new pilots, gaining experience and learning limitations is an essential part of becoming a better aviator. Thank goodness ATC is there to help us when we need it. It sounds like this pilot at Syracuse did all the right things to get safely on the ground.

Offline united777lover

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sure did
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2005, 12:26:38 AM »
Couldn't agree more C172SP. when ever I fly to uncontrolled airports, although I know where the airport is, be it via visual reference or by looking at the GPS, I always click the airport lights to max intensity till I can maintain a constant eye on it. This way I don't look at what 'appears' to be the rwy but isn't...

he made a smart move and the right moves!

Communicate- with ATC
Confess- to Atc'er
Comply-with instructions.

The worst thing a pilot can do is over estimate their abilities. I always ask for clarification if I don't understand something 100%. last thing I want is to cross a not cleared rwy. I always get on the radio and say "Tower, Cessna xxx crossing rwy 10 continuing on Echo to Echo 21" Just to let them know I am where I should be.. Also makes the controller more likely to be friendly to ya! :-)