"Pretty Much on Final"

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We had another session in the 180 Degree Simulator today. It is our third one (one on Wednesday, one Thursday, one today) and was longer than the others by about 10 minutes. Whew! This one felt longer too, whereas the first two were so short that I barely was into it and it was over. Today, I was into it alright! 🙂 There were quite a few more planes, taking off and landing, and we even had ‘traffic.’ Traffic is when two planes are close enough to see each other and/or be in each other’s way and/or be worried about hitting each other! So, we have to advise the aircraft of each other’s existence (if they haven’t already noticed the other plane), and intentions. This way, even though they may in the same part of the sky, they need not worry about hitting each other, for example if one is flying North and the other East. It is a little hard to explain, but suffice it to say that it is my job (one of many) to watch for them, anticipate where traffic may occur, and inform everyone about what everyone else is doing. 🙂 Next week, we get to learn about conflict resolution!! 🙂 Woo hoo! Seroiusly, though, it is going to be a lot harder! Just seeing them and telling them about each other is easy compared to trying to get them to agree to change their path to avoid each other. Now, most pilots do not have a death wish, but they could be stubborn and just want the ‘other guy’ to change his plan. So, all of this and more will be learned this week!

I also have a weather observing test coming up on Tuesday. It is going to be fun, I think… we had a pre-test today, and I think I did pretty good on it. I’ll find out on Monday! About half of the test will be coding weather – how to convert it from observations (hmm… cloud over here, cloud over there….) to codes that express how high and how much cloud is there, as well as what type of cloud it is and whether or not there is a ceiling. A ceiling is when there is too much cloud for a pilot who is flying only by eye (not by relying on his instruments). Anyhow, the codes are now making sense, after much practice and writing little tiny numbers and letters into small boxes on big forms!

Well, that’s all the time I have for now! I am going to go watch one of my classmates do his simulator run – it is good to experience the fun (I meant to say ‘run’) again, from a stress-free point of view when you aren’t actually in charge of making the radio calls and making the decisions! For example, in the heat of the moment, when I had to tell one plane that another was arriving, I said the arriving plane was “*pretty much*on final.” 🙂 That is not exactly approved phraseology! (with an uncertain tone of voice, too….) 🙂

See you later!


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