Short Final: Hang A Left


I often fly a piston twin into Boston’s Logan Airport. Normally, whether VFR or IFR this requires talking to Center, three handoffs for Approach, two Tower frequencies, and Ground. Each frequency sounds like an auctioneer selling an estate, and it’s difficult to get a word in.

But when the pandemic hit its nadir, I was handed off to the first layer of Approach at the typical thirty miles out:

Approach: “Care 14, are you familiar with Boston landmarks?”

Me: “Affirmative, Care 14.”

Approach: “Care 14, hang a left at the Pru. Cleared Runway 4 Left visual approach. Contact Tower in the turn.”

The Pru is the Prudential Center, one of Boston’s three tallest buildings.

On my flight out, Tower handed me to Approach at 400 feet. Normally I’d get a vector and then work through the approach onion’s layers; but today:

Approach: “Care 14, cleared direct to whatever fix you usually use for your destination. Climb pilot’s discretion to 6500 feet. Have a good flight.”

Charlie Freeman

Lebanon, NH

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