Thursday, 31 October 2013

Is there anyone out there?

I usually fly on a Saturday; it just tends to work out that way. Bob knows that I organise my entire world around flying at the moment but I also know that Bob appears to have this thing called a “life”; maybe they give you one when you get your PPL, I don’t know.

I suspect that he ends up with one flying day at the weekend and one day for the rest of his life and family. Either way, mostly for weather considerations, we flew on a Sunday this weekend.
Saturdays are usually quite busy airspace-wise. If you hit the period of time when all the commercial traffic seems to be taking off and landing then you can spend a large portion of your precious Hobbs time at the hold short line or orbiting somewhere remote. Neither of which are particularly productive from a training point of view. It gets busy at the practice area as well; you end up having to negotiate carefully for space.

Sunday was weird, there was nobody around. No one at all. No tower chatter in the background as I took off. I fiddled with my radio twice on the climb out as I wasn’t convinced it was working. Not a sole on frequency. Not even ATC.
They cleared me en route fairly quickly, so obviously no one else around. Ditto on the practice area frequency, apart from one other plane from our school, who recognised me enough to call me by name over the airways. We were passing in opposite directions and very quickly agreed that he’d stay north of the shoreline and I’d stay south. I spotted him easily, no problem.

Once I was out at the practice area, there really was nobody. I made far more position calls than I normally do just because I really couldn’t deal with the silence.
It really was twilight zone quiet out there. I don't like it.


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