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Old 22nd Mar 2010, 15:37
  #180 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 417
May I offer a perspective from those low hour aviators who will benefit from using the services of the D&D cell. As a very low hour PPL I found myself flying a ferry flight with weather way beyond my capabilities at the time. The lowering cloudbase meant I ended up at xxx ft over the Midlands in the vicinity of the Rugby masts. Only luck meant I did not end up being a CFIT statistic.

At that time I had not been trained to use a VOR/ADF as it was not part of the UK PPL syllabus at the time. With just 4 hours of Instrument Flying I knew that I could not fly into cloud as that would have even more foolish, if that is possible, than getting myself into this predicament.

Fast forward several years and now I am teaching student PPLs how to avoid getting lost, busting controlled airspace, flying into terrain etc. My brief was ALWAYS plan thoroughly but if you find yourself "uncertain of your position" then best to talk to someone ASAP. By all means use a local ATC unit but if all else fails get onto 121.5 and request assistance. The point of the training fix/practice PAN is to show the PPL student how easy it is to get immediate help. It could save their lives or avoid them busting a zone later on.

Fast forward quite a few more years and I am lucky enough to be sitting in a 2 crew aeroplane, at FL370, with triple IRS and dual GPS and sometimes hear the words: "request training fix" on 121.5. Yes it's true I may have to turn down the volume a smidge on box 2 but it is a small price to pay for someone getting training that could save their lives one day.
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