KHND Humor

Kenny Taylor

Pre-takeoff checklist
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Aug 25, 2021
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138
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Bakersfield, CA
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Kenny Taylor
Three weeks out of the PPL checkride, I took my mom to lunch at KSMX and stumbled through a couple of the radio calls. Determined to get it right, I looked for a somewhat busy class D and pulled up KHND on LiveATC.net and listened for a while.

In maybe 4 hours of monitoring, I watched a twin bust the 6,000-ft KLAS bravo shelf, a single piston get told 'uh, don't do that' when headed directly into the SFC-100 bravo shelf, and some pretty terrible ATC direction following. I get that's a more complex environment, but I feel better about stumbling through a couple radio calls. :D
 
I've always felt that the #1 reason people are hesitant to talk on the radio is that they think everybody else gets it perfect all the time and therefore they have to also, which as you discovered is completely not true. They perceive it like a script in a high school play, where you have to memorize your lines and your grade depends on it.

Rather, it should be thought of more as a conversation with your spouse:
"Hey Honey, I'm at the grocery store. Do we need any milk?"
"Yes, please, get two gallons."
"Okay, I'll get two gallons.

Nobody puts much thought into a conversation like that, because it really doesn't matter if you say "Okay I'll get two gallons" or "Two gallons, got it" or "Right on babe, two gallons it is!" as long as you confirm the important part of the message, which is "two gallons".

ATC is the same way. If they tell you to "Fly heading 030, maintain 6000", it really doesn't matter if you read back "Fly heading 030, maintain 6000" or "6000, heading 030" or "030 and 6000". The numbers and intent are important, not the actual words.
 
Three weeks out of the PPL checkride, I took my mom to lunch at KSMX and stumbled through a couple of the radio calls. Determined to get it right, I looked for a somewhat busy class D and pulled up KHND on LiveATC.net and listened for a while.

In maybe 4 hours of monitoring, I watched a twin bust the 6,000-ft KLAS bravo shelf, a single piston get told 'uh, don't do that' when headed directly into the SFC-100 bravo shelf, and some pretty terrible ATC direction following. I get that's a more complex environment, but I feel better about stumbling through a couple radio calls. :D
Ya don’t gotta listen for hours waiting for something to happen.
Follow the links. How was lunch? Did Mom like the flight?
 
Great flight. Our orginal destination was Oceano, L52, right along the coastline. I'd dropped in there a couple weeks prior with my daughter. The marine layer was about a mile inland, and when we overflew Oceano to take a look, the clouds stopped about halfway down the runway. Wish I had a photo of that.
 
Great flight. Our orginal destination was Oceano, L52, right along the coastline. I'd dropped in there a couple weeks prior with my daughter. The marine layer was about a mile inland, and when we overflew Oceano to take a look, the clouds stopped about halfway down the runway. Wish I had a photo of that.
Only half way. Pfft. Didn't no one teach you how to do a short field landing:rofl::goofy:
 
Only half way. Pfft. Didn't no one teach you how to do a short field landing:rofl::goofy:

Haha yes! The getting out after lunch was the problem. It was looking like a choice of taking off upwind into the layer or taking off downwind with an 8-10 kt tailwind on a 2,300-ft strip. Neither of which I'd want to explain to the FAA later :D
 
I've always felt that the #1 reason people are hesitant to talk on the radio is that they think everybody else gets it perfect all the time and therefore they have to also, which as you discovered is completely not true. They perceive it like a script in a high school play, where you have to memorize your lines and your grade depends on it.

Rather, it should be thought of more as a conversation with your spouse:
"Hey Honey, I'm at the grocery store. Do we need any milk?"
"Yes, please, get two gallons."
"Okay, I'll get two gallons.

Nobody puts much thought into a conversation like that, because it really doesn't matter if you say "Okay I'll get two gallons" or "Two gallons, got it" or "Right on babe, two gallons it is!" as long as you confirm the important part of the message, which is "two gallons".

ATC is the same way. If they tell you to "Fly heading 030, maintain 6000", it really doesn't matter if you read back "Fly heading 030, maintain 6000" or "6000, heading 030" or "030 and 6000". The numbers and intent are important, not the actual words.

I Agree 100%
I was always very uncomfortable talking to ATC (after training on an uncontrolledly field) until I started listening to other people make mistake after mistake.
The airline guys usually get it right but no matter where you go you're going to hear a bunch of "uh, can you repeat that" or "NXXXX State intentions (you idiot)"
Once you realize you're certainly not the dumbest one out there its a lot less pressure.
 
Humor and HND don’t belong in the same sentence. The older sounding gentleman that works there always sounds so grumpy. I’ve only been to HND once but I felt like I was a bother to him just flying in when it was dead.
 
I've always felt that the #1 reason people are hesitant to talk on the radio is that they think everybody else gets it perfect all the time and therefore they have to also, which as you discovered is completely not true. They perceive it like a script in a high school play, where you have to memorize your lines and your grade depends on it.

100%.
Ironically, radio comms was the thing I was most afraid of as a PPL student at a delta airport. I always felt like I needed time to prepare a response so I wouldn’t look like an idiot.

Also ironically is that how I got over it was screwing up several times. Once I messed up a few times in a single flight… I was embarrassed but at the same time like: “OK, wow, the wings are still attached, I still have airspeed and altitude, and ATC didn’t fire up S.A.M sites to take me out.” From then on I kind of knew that if I made blunders here and there it wasn’t the end of the world.
 
^^ Agreed. Humor and Henderson just don't go together.

I made a mistake back in June out there (I had only made one trip there prior in May and did my research, read the local flight school guidance, read about hot spots, do your runup on the ramp etc… and didn’t have issues then) in the hottest part of the afternoon (for a Flights for Life pickup) without hardly a soul to be found. I was a bit flustered after my engine died due to vapor lock as I pulled up to hold short of 35L and pulled power to idle. After restarting and deciding to keep the aux pump on low and proceed, and subsequently apologizing for losing comms momentarily, I requested a SE departure and the old man cleared me for a RIGHT downwind departure. I only read back “cleared for takeoff 35L” and proceeded to make left traffic (expectation bias) while keeping the sweat out of my eyes and trying to avoid busting the bravo. There was only one other plane inbound way off to the south, but he was quite upset and ripped into me what felt like unnecessarily hard. I crossed midfield and apologized profusely. Definitely a lesson to be learned in my end, but for no busier than it was, you’d think he could’ve made sure to clarify RIGHT downwind when I failed to confirm. Or just be a little bit nicer. We’re humans after all…
 
I'm pretty sure I owe the KSMX controllers a beer. The first time I departed there, three weeks after completing the PPL, I asked for a northbound departure, veered northwest, got snapped at, and then repeated another pilot's instructions to contact departure.

Last weekend, I pulled up to the line, got my departure clearance, and took off. I saw another plane at +1,200 ft on ADS-B to the northeast, where I intended to turn, so I extended the upwind and proceeded to make the right turnout when clear. As I started the turn, I heard something from tower, asked them to repeat, and got "51R, we've been trying to reach you for the last minute or two". Turns out the headset speaker jack on the rental had a flakey connection and had shifted just enough during takeoff to not make contact. I had eyes on the traffic I think they were contacting me about but felt terrible.
 
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