Friday, 27 May 2011

What would you do?

Earlier this week I found myself flying the C182 between appointments. I was to the south-east of Benson's MATZ and heading vaguely west.

I had Benson's frequency dialed in, but wasn't talking to them. The police helicopter who was working Benson was given some traffic information. A little while later the police helicopter told the controller that he'd try to get a registration, and a while after that the pilot called to advise of a black and yellow Stearman wearing the number 26 on the fuselage.

From the conversation it seems that the Stearman was in Benson's northern stub, and while it would be good airmanship to be in two-way communication with Benson it is by no means a legal requirement for a civilian aircraft.

So what would you do? My own view is that the police helicopter pilot (or whoever it was on board) was somewhat overzealous in his reporting. If I'm right - and given the controller's lack of real interest in the police helicopter's report I think I am - the Stearman pilot wasn't breaking any rules and hearing one pilot keen to report another leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Love is in the air

Sorry for the long gap…

I just wanted to pass on what was (for me) an amusing experience.

I recently found myself sitting in a car park close to Turin airport. My colleague pointed out two pilots and two cabin crew from Alitalia walking to their cars. The pilots (both male) had stylish hair, sharp uniforms and mirrored aviator sunglasses. They rolled their flight backs with style. The cabin crew (both female) were pencil thin and polished. They passed close enough for us to see that they had perfect make up and perfect hair. All four of them walked as if they were on a cat walk. If they'd have had captain's rather than FO stripes, I'd have guessed that they were coming from a photo shoot. These people were seriously in love, although I'm pretty sure it was with themselves.

By way of a contrast, I found myself in an airport bus waiting to be taken to the aeroplane. Half-a-dozen Ryanair crew were walking out…apart from being aircrew, the two crews didn't appear to have much in common.