Aviation In Canada

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Publications (Carry Them!)

Just as an aside before today's post, I'd like to announce that I've been posting now for 185 days, so I made my first 6 months, nad only missed a few days in there during the run so far. I guess it's true... I really don't shut up...

Recently, I dealt with a pilot headed from KBGR (Bangor, ME) to CYYR (Goose Bay, NF) in a PA28, likely being ferried overseas as many do. He was flying IFR at 9,000. As I gave him the frequencies for Montreal Center, he asked me a question.

"Have you got the localizer frequency for Goose Bay? I don't have the approach plates with me and I need that."

You're kidding me, right? You're flight planned into an airport and you don't have the relevant information handy? I can almost understand if you're heading to an alternate airport, but you should have the information for the airport you're heading to. Let me ask you this: You're IMC, and so is your destination. Before you can ask this question of ATC, you're radio fails. Since you're in northern Quebec, there isn't much for cellphone service. What do you do now? What altitude can you descend to? What do you do without knowing where the terrain high points are, or what the ILS frequency is, or anything else? Personally, I find this to be poor airmanship.

A pilot should always have the pertinent enroute charts, as well as the approach plates for airports that he may need along the way to destination or to the alternate. ATC doesn't mind reading the information out to you, if needed. Such as in an emergency. For example, one pilot is flying the plane and the other is troubleshooting. But in normal circumstances, why wouldn't you have the charts you know you'll need?