Victor Vogel contributed an extensive list of specific suggestions he had for controllers, including:
1. If you are giving me a full route clearance and I am a single-engine guy that you don't recognize as being based at your airport, please spell the names of intersections not in the departure procedure, and at least give me the 3-letter identifiers of the first one or two VORs in the routing. This will save me a lot of time trying to find the fixes on the chart before putting them in my flight plan in the GPS navigator. Yes, I know I can use the "Nearest" function in the GPS box to find them, but help me if you can. It really speeds things up.
2. Likewise, don't rattle off intersections that are on the arrival charts for the turbine drivers if I am not assigned that arrival route.
3. Avoid slam-dunk clearances to the final approach: 10 miles out at 8,000 feet doesn't cut it for a prop single.
4. When giving me vectors to final, please tell me if you are going to send me to a fix outside the FAF. If you do, I will load the entire procedure in the GPS and be able to rapidly navigate to any fix in the approach.
5. Please stop flying us through the localizer! This happens on one-fourth of my ILS approaches.
6. Use "Descend at pilot's discretion" whenever possible. I use the vertical descent profile in the GNS 430, and it really helps me to know when to start own.
7. If it is 2,000 OVC with tops at 8,000, calling out traffic at 4,000 is a waste of time. Traffic calls are also not much help if the visibility is one to two miles. Also, don't call out traffic behind me! It is useless unless he is about to overtake me.
8. Please expect a request for progressive taxi instructions from a general aviation, single-engine pilot at large, commercial, metropolitan airports, and please be polite and patient about it. Yes, I will use the taxi diagram, but I can't see the field the same way as the jet captain perched 20 feet above the runway.
9. Please expect me to do a run-up at the runway, and tell me if you would like me to do it before I leave the ramp or taxiway and not at the runway entrance. If I can pull off somewhere and get out of the way of the turbine traffic to do my run-up, please tell me.
10. I really appreciate your telling me about weather you see on your radar scope. Confirming what we see on Nexrad with your radar is a big help.
David St. Arnold shared an experience that occurred when he was flying with a new private pilot who was apprehensive about flying at night. They were the first of three airplanes on downwind when a Citation checked in on final. David said he was expecting the controller to tell them to extend on downwind to follow the jet. Instead she instructed all three airplanes on downwind to do left 360-degree turns. This caused them to lose sight of the airport and worry about the positions of the other airplanes on downwind, which they couldn't see in the turn. David said that "after a controller gives you your sequence they should not request a maneuver that would cause you to lose sight of the traffic you are to follow."
Along with the responses I received from pilots, I also heard from several controllers who all emphasized their desire to work effectively with pilots but had very interesting comments from their viewpoint sitting at the radar screen. Next month I will conclude this series of articles on pilots and controllers with their input, which specifically responds to several of the comments by pilots detailed in this article.