Our breakfast flights often take us to non-towered airports.
That was the case this week, when we flew to Plymouth for breakfast at Plane Jane’s. It happened to be some the finest flying weather of the year, so the traffic pattern was full of airplanes and the radio chatter was intense.
Now, we can safely land a lot of airplanes in short order, such as for the pancake breakfasts at Cranland, which might attract 30 ships as soon as the grille warms up. But two airplanes occupying the same airspace at the same time is always a concern, especially since our fields of view are limited by cowlings, wings and cabin floors.
Communication is helpful. Courtesy is helpful. Rude (and often erroneous) comments on the radio are counter-productive. So maybe the most important thing we need to control when flying at an “uncontrolled airport” is the transmit button under our thumb.
Being and old guy who never flew for a living, one of the things I really enjoy about flying is watching young pilots come into their own.
So I flew to the Vineyard on Saturday for dinner with two Taunton pilots who flew to Oshkosh with me in my Skylane in 2009 (Gerry also made the trip in 2007 and 2008). At the time they had newly minted instrument ratings, and they got to use them on those trips! Both went on to fly Cessna 402s for Cape Air and now they’re both Pilatus PC-12 captains for a fractional ownership operation. Which means multiple legs on most days, in all sorts of weather and a lot of experience with advanced avionics and systems.
So well done, Gerry and Richard!