A spirited discussion in another thread got me thinking about things I've learned over the years. I realized I had never really thought about it. So, what things have you learned, particularly things which aren't in the regs, since you got your ticket? Here's what I've got, no particular order: - filing direct is actually ok in the majority of the country, although I still can't bring myself to do it (IAF for the win!) - ATC never issues cruise clearances - ATC never issues through clearances, if you ask for one and the controller is under the age of 150, they probably won't know what it is. - asking for VFR on top will either yield crickets or a rapid fire short range clearance depending on where you are - picking up your IFR in the air is ok in most parts of the country, but is a capitol offense in New York Tracon - ATC doesn't know or care about feeder routes - ATC often still doesn't know that HILPT's are required in many cases unless they clear us for the straight in, but they're getting better - if you have a feeling that ATC isn't expecting you to fly the HILPT even though the regs require it, you're probably right - ATC frequently works many enroute positions/freqs at once - ATC can change which transmitter they're using even for a given freq, so just because you hear them broken talking to another plane, don't panic, the call they make for you might be 5x5. Mostly applies in quiet parts of the country - if you can fly fast on your approach, they love you long time at busy airports (kinda knew that coming into it, but confirmed after a bunch of r/w flights) - listen carefully at joint-use bases with military traffic. The jets are normally on UHF, you won't hear them. Don't be steppin' all over 'em. - ATC is awesome, they'll help you out with weather avoidance as much as possible - ATC either isn't aware, or thinks you're not aware of how TAA's work on RNAV approaches. That's ok, just accept the crossing restriction even if it's superflous and move on - if you want an approach that isn't in use, request it efficiently when you check in with the ATIS. Don't list 500 approaches in a row, nobody cares after the second one. - you don't have to completely ignore physical sensations when you are flying. If your body tells you that something just changed (pitch, bank, etc), then it probably did, but you still gotta scan to confirm - turbulence that results in a yawing moment can give you vertigo. Stick to the scan. - brevity is the mark of a professional. Listen to student pilots check in, then listen to a Part 135 crew. - if you want a runway that isn't in use, ask for it. Did this at sunset going into KCRQ, couldn't see a thing for 24. Circled for rwy 6, locals had to wait (briefly). - Vectors to final will end with a 20 or 30 deg intercept (unless the winds are CRANKIN'). Stop being so surprised by the heading, you should know it before they say it. (knew this one before the checkride, but figured it was worth a mention) - You can get away for a long time not flying SIDs until you fly out of an airport which issues them as SOP. Learn to fly SIDs so you're prepared (not new, but again, worth a mention) - ATC is awesome. Everywhere. They put up with a lot, and they're awesome. - don't suck on the radio, be forgettable. Everyone will appreciate it.