With the massive increase in pilots due to lockdowns and isolations, (My thoughts and prayers go to those severely affected) it is important to show some care towards ATC and other pilots. Below is a rundown of things you should be doing to show good airmanship.
Before you fly expert, I want you to ask yourself:
- Am I in a rush?
- Will I be able to maintain concentration until cruise?
If you answer no to either of these question, don’t fly expert.
- Spawning in and there’s someone at the gate
If you spawn in and someone else is at the gate, be the one that makes the change. Unless you’ve preflighted, got everything ready and re-spawning is not ideal, then it’s ok to stay and hope the other plane leaves.
- Understanding and following ATIS
Make sure you follow and understand what ATIS means and what is expected from you as a pilot. What the ATIS commands mean to a pilot?
- Taxi slowly at busy airports
Ensure you taxi at around 15kts-25kts to avoid close calls and quicker stopping time.
- Give way to aircraft even when not told to
Do not try and cut aircraft off. If you are joining a main taxiway and there’s an aircraft coming down it at 25kts, don’t cut them off. Instead, wait let them pass or let someone give way to you or until ATC gives other instructions
- Stay on ground frequency
Don’t change to tower until you’re at least 3rd in line for takeoff. This allows ATC to send give way commands, safe distancing and other commands not available on tower frequency
- Join the line
Go join the takeoff line. Don’t try at cut it at a taxiway up ahead. Be courteous to those that have been waiting before you.
- Check the map for takeoff spacing
Do not start to check the map when given clearance
When given takeoff clearance, make sure you know how far the next arriving traffic is. If it’s close, act without delay. But if you don’t think the spacing is adequate, just send a ‘stand by’ and ‘I’m sorry’ to ATC, I’m sure they’ll understand. But don’t be continuously sending this.
- Takeoff Spacing (cont.)
If departing with parallel traffic, maintain visual separation and turn away. Or if above or below 1000ft from traffic, you may turn towards them.
- Maintaining separation
Always be ±1000ft from crossing traffic. So expedite or slow your climb when you are in line of catastrophe.
- Frequency change vs Contact approach
If given Frequency change … DO NOT CONTACT APPROACH. They are too busy to handle departures. Just tune out and continue your flight and following #3 (maintain separation)
- Your cruising altitude
To avoid conflict during cruise follow this procedure: Cruising Altitudes
Descent & Approach
- Begin to descend early
Everyone has their way of calculating when to descent. I follow how much longer I have of my flight. When I’m around 25min away, I start my descent.
- Contact approach at a reasonable speed and altitude
You should be at FL180 or 18,000ft when you contact approach. To those jet pilots, slow the &#$% down!
- State your intentions
Don’t send “with you”. Just say what you want. Trust me, it helps the approach controllers a lot.
- Make up your mind
Choose your runway and approach method and stick to it. If ATC changes it, follow it, don’t request to change!
- Inbound on the XXX
Has approach cleared you for: ILS, GPS or Visual? Tell tower, by calling inbound On The ILS/GPS/Visual. Only use that if approach has cleared you for it though!
- Pay attention to exit runway commands
- Exit runway, cross XX | Don’t contact ground until you’ve crossed the runway
- Exit runway, hold short XX | Stay on tower frequency until cross runway is given
- Exit runway | Don’t stay on tower frequency, contact ground when off the runway!
- No exit runway command given? Just contact ground
- Exit runway ASAP
If an off ramp is full of aircraft (possibly waiting to cross a runway), take the next exit!
- Choosing a right gate
When parking, make sure your tail is not hanging out the “box” and blocking anyone.
Also follow #3 and #4 from Before takeoff
Thanks for having a read, and do hope that this has helped a little. It’s amazing to see so much traffic in the IF skies! Stay home, safe and well! That’s all from me :)