SCARED OF AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL… WHY? (ATC for drone Pilots) | Mr MPW
Everyone, its Matt Williams, mr. mpw, and welcome to today’s. Drone expert secrets, video in today’s. Video. We’re, going to look at why pilots and in particular, what we’ve seen so far. Drone pilots are scared of talking to and communicating with air traffic control.
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n pw. Calm down to the bottom starts the newsletter so without further ado, one of the big things and when I was an instructor teaching, particularly on the Griffin, so the kind of two engine full bladed version of the Huey at the defense helicopter flying school.
One of the things that we used to do with people was take them down to London and we used to take them through the hello lanes, and this is the first time these pilots. These military kind of trainees had been through the london heli lanes, and the hello lanes in particular are very busy part a very busy piece of airspace from an operational perspective inside the aircraft there’s a lot to do.
There are lots of kind of rules and regulations that we have to be aware of, in addition to those that we normally operate under in kind of the open. Fi are in uncontrolled airspace, but also it’s very busy on the ground.
So sometimes you would ask for a routing around the heli lanes and you wouldn’t, always be offered the routine that you’d plan. For so you’d, have to think very dynamically. You’d, have to operate and work on the fly and work.
All you know work out really how to navigate your way around, but a big section of that was operating with air traffic control, and this is one of those sections you know. I always used to say to people because we used to find and it affected me myself when I first started to learn to fly when I was kind of 16.
I would be very reticent, very wary of pressing that button on the microphone and talking put the button on the radio and talking through the microphone to air traffic control, and I think that’s, a natural thing.
You know we were kind of generally. If we talk to air traffic control on a radio or if we’re doing it on the telephone as unmanned operators, which is generally how we’ll, do it it’s, one of those things you’Re not quite sure, potentially what to say you’re, not quite sure what you’re gonna get asked you’re, not quite sure how to word things and what I used to say to my students.
You know cuz, obviously quite quickly. You have to get over the fact that you’re scared effectively. You’re talking to someone on the radio. What I used to say to my students was, you are just talking to another person.
They are there to help us. They’re there to guide us their debt. They’re there to keep everybody safe. So actually, if you don’t know what to say: if you run out of kind of the words if the thought process disappears, just as it was in the aircraft press, the button on the radio speak on the microphone and talk in English.
As is the case on the radio to the person on the other end of the radio and ask in plain English for what you want, albeit that’s, not the most appropriate way to do things. It’s, not the most professional way to do things, but sometimes just talking is the easiest way.
It’s a bit like, I guess doing these videos if you overthink the videos, if you know, if we kind of if you’re, not doing the social media thing, because you don’t want to be in front Of the camera, I was in the same position you just get on and get it done, and eventually it becomes second nature and it’s.
The same. We’re talking to air traffic control, so it’s. The same in the manned space as the unmanned space – and I guess going back to that story just to finish it off about the london heli lanes. The students used to be really scared, and i say to them just press the button and speak to the person on the other end of the radio.
Now i’ll. Take one little exception from that. When we did the hella lane strips, I would always tend to make the very first radio call, because if you mess up that first radio call, the operators generally in London are too busy to deal with the student pilots or someone who doesn ‘
T know exactly what they do and they can’t rely on to do exactly what they’re being asked to do so. I would make that first radio call as a demo to the two students that we used to take on the crew and they would then get to see that they were get to listen to it and then they would get to practice it the following day, because We generally overnight somewhere in London and then they get to speak to air traffic and work their way out of the hello lanes, and then they do all of the radio calls from there.
It was really important and interesting learning experience but, as I say, ultimately, it comes down to the fact that we shouldn’t be scared. Air traffic control are there to help us. They’re there to guide as the Deaf to facilitate put my teeth back in there to facilitate the safe kind of passage of air traffic air assets within their domain within whichever piece of airspace they’re, controlling and operating, and for That reason in the manned world I always used to prefer to fly ideally under instrument flight rules.
We can find a visual flight rules or instrument flight rules. I used to prefer to find our IFR in controlled airspace because I knew I ‘ Ve got someone else, helping to keep us and the aircraft safe, and that’s because I had mastered.
I guess they are of using the radio and it was easy to talk to air traffic control. A lot of people shy away from that. All right, the might have an instrument rating, so they can’t fly IFR, but they form controlled airspace because they don’t want to speak to air traffic control and, as we move further down the aviation training path with the channel, I will do lots more content on that form and operators, but thinking about the unmanned space in particular, all you’ve got to do, is pick up the telephone and have a conversation.
Okay, the air traffic is on the end of the phone. Always you say to people you’re saving, an air traffic or, if you call them on the phone because they have to put the donuts down, they have to put the high caffeine coffee down.
They have to wheel across the air traffic control tower or the room whatever they’re in to pick up the phone it’s, not quite how it works. They’re, normally do it in the headset, but that’s. What that’s, the picture you wan na paints.
They go across the room, they pick up the phone and they talk to you and we can have an element. We can make it easier. We can come across more professional, which is the best way to get what it is that you’re, after which, in most cases, will be a permission to fly in their flight restrictions only fr Zed.
But we just need to be aware. I think of the things that we get together in that preparation before we make the phone call it’s, not onerous. It’s, not massive, but having to think about what you want to say before you call them on the phone.
Is really important so what I’ll, do I will drop down in the description below a little spreadsheet on Google Google sheets a little spreadsheet that you can take as a template, and you can use that to fill in with the details, and it Will be things like what’s, your name? What drone are you looking to fly? How heavy is it and know within the industry where zero to 20 kilos now, but a lot of air traffic controllers still seem to be of the opinion that there is a zero to seven and seven to twenty kilo cutoff between the two kind of classifications that We used to have in the drone industry that are now gone, so that is something that’s worth noting.
What aircraft you’ve got on what weight it is again. Shouldn’t, make a difference and be aware of the fact that it shouldn’t make a difference where air traffic control, then we need to work out where we are so grid.
Reference is the best way, a last student longitude. If you’ve got those available, we do have a video on that. So again, I’ll drop that video down in the description below go and check it out.
If you’re, not sure how to do it, and that should really allow you to fill out the form call air traffic control and it’s. As simple as saying, if I wanted to fly inside Benson’s, air traffic zone, Benson’s, ATS ed with a Mavic to this afternoon, I would pick up the phone and they would say good afternoon events of good morning, Benson air Traffic I say hi, my name is Matt Williams.
I want to fly a drone inside the 80s ed, please so inside the flight restriction zone. Can I give you the details and they’ll, say generally yep sure no bomb at all. All they’ll hand you over to someone who can take the details, so be ready to note down another telephone number to call if you need to, and then it’s as simple as saying: hey name’s, Mike Williams, I want to find the F I was at this afternoon.
I need permission. Please so. Could you send me an email or could you drop me a text over that gives me that permission and I’m looking to fire a small drone. So a couple of kilos or in the case of a maverick you know just under a kilo, so it’s in the lower weight bracket, a small quadcopter up to 300 feet up to 400 feet at this grid reference and they’Ll say: okay, cool ready to copy a grid reference, they’ll, take the grid reference down, and that is it.
It is that simple. There is no reason to be worried or concerned about call an air traffic control. You know just a little bit of prior preparation, the first couple of times you make the call would probably be useful and it certainly will make you sound more confident and more professional, because you can then have that conversation, and you know if they ask the question Of where you’re gonna, be you can answer it simply and quickly and of course, if they ask for anything that you haven’t got planned.
That’s. No problem, you can just say I’ll work. I’ll, find it out and I’ll. Give you a call back in a couple of minutes. It’s as easy as that they ‘ Ll, normally take your telephone number as well, so that you can give them a call when you’ve landed, or they can call you more importantly.
If the red arrows decide to come and transit through, if they’ve, given you permission to be there and someone does a dive version at low level as we used to do all the time in the military, we would call them on the radio They could then contact you on your telephone and say we ‘
Ve got a my case of Puma coming through at 50 feet in about five minutes time. If you could just get on the ground, please that would be really helpful. So yeah it’s all about working together. It’s all about share in the air and share in the air safely.
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Williams, fly safe and blue skies.