“Request or Require?”Oh c’mon. I’m trying to be polite here but if you are going to insist then yeah I “REQUIRE” the right downwind!
And this, ladies and gentleman, is where it all started to go a bit horrible.“Follow the Danforth, I’ll give you instructions for crossing the approach path shortly”
I have no idea which road below me is the Danforth, but I know it runs east west. I pick a likely looking candidate and trundle along. Okay no one is yelling out me, I can’t be too far off course. So far, so good.Okay the downtown core, you know the one I can’t fly over, thus requiring me to request that damn right downwind in the first place, is coming up bloody quick. Should I say something?
Just as I’m contemplating the game of chicken with ATC that I’m currently engaged in, a voice in my ear:“JES start a right orbit please, I’ll get back to you.”
So orbit I do, for a solid 15 minutes.Occasionally ATC speak to me, initially chiding me for sloppy altitude control; the story of this flight quite frankly. I feel a little put out, what’s a hundred feet or so? Then I realise that she has two of us orbiting up here. Me at 2000ft, another somewhere above me at 2500. And then a third who she won’t even let into the zone yet. Yep I’ve hit rush hour again.
After a while, she makes a call “JES, It’s going to be a while are you OK up there?”Many thoughts flash through my mind while I stumble out with an “errm continuing right hand orbit JES.”
Thought number one: I guess this is as close to an apology from ATC as I’m ever going to get.Thought number two: Am I OK up here? Do I have a choice? I can’t exactly say what I want to, can I? I mean what responses are acceptable in this situation? In reality the only answer I can give is “yes” unless I’m seriously low on fuel. In which case I’m in a whole other world of trouble because I should have 30 minutes of reserves available.
I figured unacceptable responses included:“No, I need the washroom”
“I’ll give you $100 bucks to run me to the front of the line”“I’m bored”
“Can I do a left hand orbit to break up the monotony a bit?”I landed eventually, willing myself to get it down on the first attempt because there was NO WAY I wanted to go around again.
1.3 hours, my longest solo yet. Not in the circuit but the majority of it still spent within sight of the airport!