LITH012: Wayward and confessing pilots, and fam flights

TURN AROUND MY WAYWARD SON Today had a disoriented student pilot on his first solo cross country. He was going from Albuquerque, NM to Gallup, NM and finally asked for help after getting way off course heading east towards the Continental Divide. Farmington Tower had me give him a code and I found him, I told them to switch him over to me but the pilot didn’t want to. I assured the tower I wouldn’t bite him and he reluctantly came over. Continue reading

LITH006: Hitting the ground, forest fires, and misplaced charts

THERE ARE BETTER TERMS Today this EagleFlight took back his choice of words for his arrival at Durango. I’ve heard “arrive”, “on the ground”, and others, he picked “hit the ground”! I told him I prefer “land”, he agreed.

FIRE…BAD We’ve been working around Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR’s) since all these fires have broken out around Colorado. But it got a personal face, or voice, when a returning pilot (see the Twin Bonanza in “Free For All”) was going back to Durango as his house was in danger of burning down. We’ve been having to route all of our Denver jets around the Hayman Fire also, this in combination with weather has had a funneling effect close to that fire. Lots of fire tankers flying around as well, and we only see a fraction of them on radar.

I’VE LOST MY CHARTS AND CAN’T GET UP This was the second time I’d heard this in my career: a pilots charts fell to an area to where he couldn’t reach them. The last time it was a fighter jet that asked to go inverted to jar them loose. This time it was a Beech1900. Must’ve been alone with no autopilot.

Life In The Hole (LITH) is based on real-life Air Traffic Control (ATC) stories from pilot and controller Chris Rodriguez (unless otherwise noted) of Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).  The comments and opinions are only of the authors and do not reflect the opinions or positions of any other company or organization.