Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

On the Air May 2012 Issue

On The Air: May 2012

We were inbound for a practice ILS at Portland, Maine, on a seriously windy day. The controller was a trainee we’d heard before, and she must have been having a bit of trouble with the wind—as were we, bouncing along in our minimally equipped 1976 Skyhawk:
Portland Approach: “Cessna Seven Three Eight Two Seven, fly heading 350.”
Us: “350, Eight Two Seven.”
Approach (a couple minutes later): “Cessna Eight Two Seven, fly heading 330.”
Us: “330, Eight Two Seven.”
Approach (a minute or two later): “Cessna Eight Two Seven, what are the winds aloft at your altitude?”
I probably could have figured that out between my panel full of steam gauges and the portable GPS, but my instructor saved me the trouble:
Instructor: “Ma’am, we don’t have that kind of technology. How about, ‘Really strong from the northwest?’ ”
Approach (laughing): “Roger that. Thanks.”

Luke Bassett
Windham, Maine

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