I'm being a good pilot and reviewing my regulations by reading the online AIM. I'm in the Rules of the Air section, for some reason this is abbreviated RAC. Back when the AIM (Airman's Information Manual) was called the AIP (Airman's Information Publication) I'd refer to something being in "Eh-Eye-Pee-Rack six point one." I don't recall anyone snickering at me for it, so I guess I was saying it right. Today in AIM-RAC 6.1 I notice a passage:
When the clearance is received on the ground, before departing a controlled aerodrome, and an SID is included in the clearance, the pilot only needs to acknowledge receipt of the clearance by repeating the aircraft call sign and the transponder Code that was assigned.
It's a measure designed to reduce congestion on clearance delivery at busy airports. The airport has a Standard Instrument Departure procedure published and available to study while you're waiting for taxi, so when you are assigned your clearance and transponder code, instead of parroting it all back, you just repeat the transponder code (different for everyone) and your callsign so they know the right airplane received it. It's not something I have reason to do often. I might indeed forget and read back the SID, were I IFR out of an airport big enough to have one. But that's not what caught my attention.
No, I'm distracted by an SID. That implies that the person who drafted that pronounces it "Ess Eye Dee." Who does that? I've heard people call PIC time "pick time" (I say Pea Eye See). I used to talk about monitoring the Eh Tea Eye Ess (why yes, I did learn to fly out of a book) but was quickly mocked for that. Doesn't everyone talk about SIDs and STARs as if they were people named Sidney and astronomical bodies? Did a non-pilot edit that paragraph? Did they just put that in there so that the double take would forever cement the rule in my brain?
Sarah, thanks for keeping me honest. Feel good, not bad about holding me to my resolution. Last night I clicked on the icon to fire up the simulator game, then realized I had to leave right away to be on time for a seminar on peak performance, including avoiding procrastination. I think attending a seminar on not procrastinating is probably the best procrastination technique I have ever used.
I left the computer on overnight, so MSFS was ready to play this morning. (The rest of this blog entry is a description of the sim, so if you're not interested in an account of someone else's video games you can safely skip the rest without missing any real life). I took off from runway 15 at Fredericton, made a left turn direct the NDB, then tracked 221 from the beacon to intercept the outbound for the full procedure VOR RWY 09. The first time out my outbound ADF intercept was execreble, so I looped back to the beacon and did it again properly. I intercepted the VOR track just west of RESOL and tracked for 1:30 outbound before the procedure turn right. Inbound I kept the HSI centred on the inbound VOR track, but I came out not aligned with the runway, a common problem in this game, because the date on whatever plates I have found to use rarely matches the date on the game database. I tweaked the inbound track and flew the missed back to the beacon. On the second approach my altitude was wacky through the turn, because the pitch axis kept sticking on my controller. I'd drop a couple of inches of manifold pressure then not monitor the result closely enough to realize that I had lost ten knots instead of starting a descent. I coaxed the controller into giving me more downgoingness and this time the runway was right in front, but my speed was a little high. Third times the charm and it's fun how I feel my situational awareness expand through repetition. On speed, anticipating each step down, enjoying watching the ADF bearing swing to match the DME (the step down points for this approach are given as bearings from the Fredericton beacon so as not to require a DME, but they give the DME readings as back up). Maybe a little bit fast levelling off at the MDA, probably because the gear coming down doesn't slow me as much in the game plane as the real one. I land and then click flight analysis so I can admire my nice straight tracking and textbook procedure turns. Tomorrow I'll shake up that ego with some howling winds.