Now, I realize that this column is usually about amusing encounters, but I want to share something that was simply heartwarming to possibly expand your horizons.
About a year ago I was training a student pilot. The college student was very intense and strived to be perfect at all her training. She listened to LiveATC a lot, practiced with her airline captain father in the evenings. When it came time to get ready for her three takeoffs and landings at a controlled field, she and I went to Rocky Mountain Metro four times for practice.
On the day she chose to go, she dropped me off at the terminal. I gave her last-minute encouragement and reminded her to not forget to pick me up when she was done.
The pattern became quite busy, the tower controller switched her back and forth between the parallels twice, right and left patterns—challenging at best.
She came and got me and as we were departing the pattern back to home base and the tower controller said: “Awesome job 118FS. I apologize for having to switch you back and forth so much, but you handled it so well. Thanks for helping me out and doing such a great job.”
I tear up every time I recount this exchange just as I did after hearing the controller give my student that wonderful accolade. I wanted to reach out and hug him!
Thank you to that controller and all the rest of you that do such a wonderful job across the country, helping us fly safe and willing to let us know that you enjoy working with us.Jay Turnbull Loveland, CO