Another Narration: A few years ago I ﬂew into and out of WPB (KPBI) (West Palm Beach Airport) with the family on board arriving during day VFR (Visual Flight Rules) in a Cirrus 260 for a straight-in visual approach to RW 28R, approaching from Oceanside. I was told by tower controller when checking in “cleared to land RW 28R, keep your speed up ” to which I replied “I’m going as fast as I can”. Then the Delta heavy 3 miles in the trail when receiving his clearance to land was advised “you’re following a Cessna 3 miles ahead” to which he replied “oh boy.” On the short final, I was advised to plan on exiting the first available turn oﬀ and hold short of 28L. I watched the following heavy land shortly after that. We finally made it to the FBO and parked. After finishing our visit with friends we headed back to the airport at a somewhat late hour for what turned out to be a nighttime departure. After starting up and receiving taxi clearance. we soon found ourselves in between jets on the taxiway emitting the usual choking and watery-eyed exhaust not to mention occasional turbulence from jet exhaust though I held back as much in the distance as was reasonable from the jet immediately in front of me with a heavy coming up behind me with its loud compressor noise. When given clearance for it was with the added “make an immediate left turn after takeoﬀ…” (destination was Atlanta from which we had
departed earlier). After leaving the well-lighted airport we ascended into total darkness (clear with no moon) while slowly climbing to our assigned altitude. Soon we were advised by departure control of a low altitude alert due to rising terrain ahead and were hence vectored clear of the terrain for the climb.
Once outside the PBI TCA (wasn’t called Class B back then) we were advised accordingly with “frequency changed approved.” It was dark out over the cold waters of the Pacific coast as we ﬂew down the coast and made our way back to Orlando (KORL). Some years later Atlanta was another similar experience being sandwiched between jets on the taxiway as we taxied for departure. Great fun though not to mention challenging. Have to stay alert on the radios. Controllers don’t like having to call you a second time and don’t like repeating clearances in such a busy environment.
6. How do you Deal with Stress?
I do my best to cope with the pilot’s stress eﬀectively. I am aware of various factors that can bring stress to the unacceptable level and how dangerous it can be. I care about the sufficient amount of sleep, proper diet, and physical activity: these are important elements that reduce stress in all spheres of life. I prepare myself for every ﬂight to limit the number of unexpected situations in the air. I read the maps, check the routes, monitor the clouds on the route, make a crosscheck all instruments, check the worsening weather alerts and conditions and stay focused and concentrated. If I have some problems in private life (and who doesn’t) I leave
them all behind before I jump in the cockpit and start up the engine…