On The Air: January 2021


I fly a Cessna Conquest and when I announce myself to air traffic control, sometimes they hear Citation, and I usually correct them so they know I can’t cruise at FL 430.

The other day I was doing practice approaches at my home airport, and a student was on the tower frequency with me.

Me: “Conquest 123A on the RNAV 21 L.”

Tower: “Conquest 123A continue, report outer marker.”

Me: “Report outer marker, Conquest 123A.”

Tower: “Cirrus 321B report left base, you are number two to land following a Conquest on a three mile final.”

Cirrus 321B: “Uh, ok, number two following the Concorde.”

Me: “Concorde 123A passing outer marker.”

Tower Laughing: “Ok Concorde 123A, cleared to land 21 left.”

Me: “This is my last flight. This airplane is just too expensive!”

Dudley Taft
Cincinnati, OH

On a flight to Purdue University, in my Piper Seneca, I was cleared for a right base to runway 23. With a number of student pilots training at Purdue, the flowing exchange occurred:

Tower: “300DE execute a left turn for spacing, student traffic on final.”

Me: “300DE left turn for spacing.”

Tower: “300DE, I said left turn.”

Me: “300DE is in a left turn.”

By this time, the traffic on final had landed.

Tower: “300DE cleared to land runway 23. Do whatever it takes.”

This was because by this time I was in-between a base and short final.

Me: “300DE short final, cleared to
land 23.”

I lowered gear and flaps, and dove to the runway, touching down in the first 500 feet.

Tower: “Nice landing. 300DE contact Lafayette Ground 121.9.”

Me: “Ex fighter pilot—no problem.”

Art Schmidt
St. Joseph, MI

Recently we have been flying into Statesboro, Georgia, several times a year on family business. We have noted how often we take off or land in bad weather at that particular airport. If it’s clear for our arrival, it’ll be solid IMC for departure, or the other way around.

The last time we were there, it was in the middle of the hurricane season and there were bands of very heavy rain passing through the area.

We were on radar vectors to the IAF at Statesboro, flying through sheets of rain when the following occurred:

Savannah Approach: “Cessna 123, I can vector you through brief and extreme precip or through continuous moderate precip. Your choice.”

Cessna 123: “Sounds like you’re offering us a choice between a rock and a hard place. We’re not fond of either option. Standby.”

We gave it some thought and chose the brief, extreme precipitation. Sure enough it got very loud inside the cabin with all the rain we had opted to fly through.

As we finally landed and taxied off the runway, sheets of water cascaded off the wings.

Then came the fun of cancelling IFR with a cell phone with minimal coverage, and unloading in the rain.

Sal Cruz
Watsonville, CA

I was flying home to Oakland, talking to Travis Approach when they called traffic at 10 o’clock, three miles, converging, same altitude unverified.

I noted the N number from ADS-B, and did a quick look up on “N-Numbers” on my phone. I use Post River Software, which contains the entire FAA database within the App.

I saw that it was a 172, based at Napa 20 miles to the northwest, so most likely headed home, and not likely to start his descent just yet…

Me: “Travis, Cardinal 7SD, we’ll descend to 4000 to get under that converging 172. It looks like he’s headed to Napa.”

Travis Approach: “Cardinal 7SD, can you tell all that just from ADS-B?”

Me: “Travis, I can see it is a 172 based at Napa, so I surmise he’s headed home just before sunset. But oh yeah, it also tells me his T-shirt size is large.”

There was about five seconds of silence on frequency. When Travis keyed up, he was still laughing.

Travis Approach: “7SD, VFR descent your discretion. And thanks for sharing.”

Paul Millner
Oakland, CA


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