|Inside the Cessna 172|
Controlling air traffic at a particular facility (whether aerodrome, approach, or area control), is not a piece of cake. Before giving clearances, the ATC must be knowledgable about the local traffic procedures to ensure the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic, the different aircraft performances, and a whole lot more. Pilots, on the other hand, rely on the voice of an air traffic controller before executing such actions.
But I've always wondered what it feels like to be inside the cockpit of an aircraft.
I was fortunate enough to have the chance to ride a Skyhawk aka Cessna 172. I am a frequent flyer of an A320 (I have also tried riding an A330, B747, and Dash 8 Q400 on some occasions) but I have never tried riding a Cessna 172 until yesterday. Upon airborne, I got the chance to see the VFR reporting points (Baliwag, Malolos, Apalit, West of Viaduct, and etc.) a thousand feet above sea level. And not only that, I had experienced a 360 approach and it felt like I was riding a roller coaster! When the pilot commenced the 360 approach, the engine was put into idle mode and we just literally glided all the way to the final approach of runway 35!
Every time I deliver clearances to the pilots, I should always see to it that they are able to execute such actions with respect to the outside factors such as the weather, cloud ceiling, visibility, wind speed and direction, and the latest QNH (altimeter setting) reading. Putting oneself in the pilot's shoes is the best thing that an air traffic controller can do when controlling air traffic.
Truly, it was a humbling (and also a breathtaking) experience!
The videos and the photos were all taken from an iPhone 4.
|Somewhere in Baliwag|
|The Flight Instructor (left) and the Student Pilot (right). SP was the one who controlled the C172.|
|SM Baliwag, your landmark over the VFR Reporting Point, Baliwag.|
|The great Luzon plain.|
|Short final runway 35.|
|Flying over Malolos, Bulacan at 1,000 ft.|