August 5, 2005

Preparing for Midway Flight Experience

midway.jpgWhen I moved to Chicago I asked my readers for suggestions on airports and fixed based operators in the area. I was surprised how many people posted or e-mailed me about how much they enjoy flying out of Midway. I always assumed a large airport like Midway wouldn’t be friendly to general aviation pilots. I am excited to hear that is not the case and tomorrow I have the opportunity to experience flying from Midway airport firsthand.

Thanks to suggestions from a few readers I have chosen to take a flight with Midway Aviators. I was excited to see that in their fleet of planes they have a Diamond Eclipse which is a plane I had the joy of flying once before. I am excited and nervous about this first flight in Class C airspace.

In this month's AOPA Flight Training Magazine I read an article that was perfect for preparing me for tomorrow's flight. In B is for Busy, career pilot Karen Kahn, writes about three steps for making flights to Class B and Class C airspace easier. One of her tips includes planning ahead by making sure you have an organized system for accessing airport layouts, frequencies, charts, etc. She has her own system which makes use of a letter-size clipboard. I prefer to use a knee-board. Prior to each flight that involves a new airport I update a cover sheet that I created in Excel that I put on my knee-board. The document I developed includes an airport diagram (supplement to my full size one), information for nearby navigational devices, frequencies, traffic pattern information and room for notes about weather and clearances.

Another tip that Karen offers is to actively listen to the Air Traffic Control and to anticipate what they will say to you and plan your response. By listening to how ATC is directing aircraft ahead of you it can allow you to prepare to receive your instructions. It can also get you prepared to make a clear and concise response to ATC.

Lastly, Karen offers a list of Do's and Don'ts. Here first "do" is "Take a test drive(flight) with an experienced pilot". That is exactly what I plan to do tomorrow!

Posted by at August 5, 2005 10:05 PM

Excellent preperation Todd as usual -- can't wait to hear how the flight goes!

Have a great time,

Posted by: Similate at August 6, 2005 12:40 PM