So I’d just returned from an FAA WINGS safety briefing about Class B airspace around Boston – given by the Boston controllers with interesting slides of their radar presentations and some “war stories”. A key point repeatedly made – safety if the product of the controllers and pilots working together. They need to help each other.
So on my next lesson I was brimming with the desire to be part of the team. At 9 miles out I was cleared for the option with – “Right base to Runway 23 and RIGHT closed traffic after the touch and go”
9 miles later and a flight down 5000ft of the 7166ft length at 1ft off the ground in ground effect with wheels skimming occasionally – I climbed out and accidently flew LEFT closed traffic. So much for being part of the team……. I was half way across the crosswind when the controller caught it. It wasn’t dreadful – he could vector me into the pattern again with the other school plane that was flying left closed traffic – but it seemed to throw him for a loop. We mixed it with the regionals and the other school plane. The controlling got a little raggy. The other school plane flew a DREADFUL landing and was actually ordered to go around by the controller at one point (like he couldn’t figure it himself!). Then a third General Aviation aircraft arrived from the north and kept replying that he was cleared to land – when the controller was clearly telling him he was not! Oh it all got exciting.
As I made another approach with the option I announced we would make this a full stop. My instructor raised an eyebrow. I explained I’d made a “Pilot in Command” decision and that I thought it was time to get out while the going was good and to give the controller a chance to sort things out. I was just trying to team play. The instructor agreed! We came in 5 mins early!