Monday, 31 March 2014

My kind of chaos.

Coming back into City’s zone was chaos. Initially it was tough to get a word in edgeways; obviously the traffic had built up a bit. No worries. I wait patiently and get my initial call in. It takes her a while to get back to me. I’m not concerned. I can hear traffic in the circuit that she’s dealing with so I’m fairly confident that I’ve not been forgotten about. I get the return call but someone jumps in before I can reply.

Once again I’m patient, this is not unfamiliar territory, been here done that. I can hear the barely controlled chaos unfolding around me. There’s Commercial traffic, students in the circuit, helicopter tours and one irritating guy who is stepping on everyone’s calls. Wincing against the feedback, I remind myself that I’ve been that person before and try not to judge them too harshly.

Momentarily I panic, I’m not 100% sure I’ve been given clearance into the zone. I mean we’ve established two way communications but that’s not enough for the Class C around city. I need permission. Just as I’m contemplating the nuances of this and discussing them with Bob she gets back to me and the instructions given could legitimately be considered a “clearance”. I have enough time to fire back a response before Mr. Irritating jumps in on frequency again.

While the ATC pandemonium continues, I quietly fly my plane over the city, hoping that my passenger is enjoying the view, despite the rough ride. The bumps and jolts are bothering me more than the radio racket. The plane is fighting me more and more and I’ve lost the ability to gently guide her, we are engaged in a full blown wrestling match now and I have a suspicion that i'm not exactly winning. I daren’t talk to my passenger in case I miss out on a radio call directed to me. I have a suspicion that ATC are trying to talk to me but Mr. Irritating is blundering his way across everyone’s comms yet again.

I decide that there is nothing I can do; flying the plane against the turbulence is taking up a large portion of my attention and comms ranks as number three on my priority list. I make a conscious decision that I’m just going to follow my previous instructions until ATC tell me otherwise. Secretly I’m hoping to get brownie points for being the quiet unassuming plane that isn’t causing any hassles .Maybe I’ll get landing priority or something.

Ha!!!! No such luck but that’s for another post.

Despite my previous post where I’m majorly concerned about my navigational skills, I’m taking a great deal of comfort from the fact that I wasn’t in the slightest bit bothered by this situation. It may have been barely controlled chaos but it was my kind of chaos. 

This I know how to handle. 

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