Saturday, May 27, 2006

Say What?

Ann and I took to the skies again for more aviation practice. Ann practiced some gentle turns and slow flying with flaps down over the practice area south of Chandler. At Phoenix Regional Airport we swapped seats. I need a lot more radio practice so I told Ed, our instructor I wanted to transition across Sky Harbor.

Since the air around sky Harbor is controlled, we would need permission. After calling into Sky Harbor approach control and circling Firebird Lake several times, we were given the go ahead to across south to North at 4500 feet across the west end of the runways. This is the only way a private aircraft can fly across the center of Phoenix.

Over Piestewa Peak I made radio contact with Deer Valley Airport for a touch and go. We circled the Peak several times before receiving response. I did the touch and go at Dear Valley and over the Peak made the request to transition Sky Harbor. Circling Piestewa Peak for more than five minutes, approach control responded saying to make our request in another three minutes. Apparently, it was a busy day for traffic control. Ed decided we would go around the controlled air space since permission could take the rest of the day (the plane didn't have fuel and I didn't have the money for that). We had to go west several miles to avoid radio contact with Sky Harbor. Thanks to GPS (not invented when I learned to fly) we could follow the boundary precisely.

Ed had to complete a lot of the radio transmissions. It's complex with its own lingo and around major airports controllers can get snippety if your not on top of it. And they really don't want hear "say what?" from a pilot.


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