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Go with what you know...

1) If you don’t know, say so. Don’t pretend you DO know.

2 recent events come to mind....

A) As I was flying out of Santa Monica on Vatsim yesterday, a pilot was approaching LAX, which was almost fully staffed, on an IFR flightplan. The LAX-CTR controller acknowledged his radar contact, then advised him of the arrival he was to take into LAX, which the pilot accepted. 10 minutes or so went by, then I heard the CTR call the pilot and correct his course, as he had left the assigned approach. 5 minutes go by. The aircraft is still apparently flying off of his approach procedure. CTR knows something is amiss and confronts the pilot as to if he knows his assignment, or has charts on board. The pilot responds in the negative, apologizing and then admitting he was unfamiliar with, and unprepared to accept the approach. By now, CTR was a little irritated, as the last 15 minutes of chasing down this pilot could have been avoided the guy had advised from the beginning that he did not have the appropriate charts. The controller advised the pilot not to accept a clearance he cannot fly, via a mild scolding. That’s good advice unless you really want to tick off a busy CTR controller....

B) On Christmas day, I was given a novel as a gift by my girlfriend's younger sister. It was a half fact, half fiction novel centering around TWA flight 800. Knowing I wasn’t a big fiction reader, she was concerned I wouldn’t like the book, but she explained to me that she had been to Borders and asked a sales person there for a book "on planes, aviation, and flying...". When she repeated his response to me, my jaw hit the ground. Quote: "We don’t sell stuff like that. We havent since 9/11".

......Whaaaaaat!!?

Imagine that. The very thought of a large chain of book stores pulling titles based on aviation in response to the events of 9/11 made as much sense to me as pulling titles based on baseball for every poor guy that was killed with a Louisville Slugger. It couldn’t be true. And if it was, I was going to make a stink about it. But.....It couldn’t be true.

Sure enough, I made a point to stop by the same Borders Books on my way home yesterday, to investigate. I am happy to report that I spent an hour in this fine store, going through the relatively decent sized selection of aviation books they had on hand, from actual aircraft specific POM's to the "be a better pilot" types, novels, and on down. I even purchased a DVD I saw there about the investigation into the 1998 crash of SwissAir flight 111. I knew it couldn’t have been true, and im thankful it isnt. It still makes me cringe, however, that some poor folks may have missed out on some great aviation titles this Christmas, all becase of a salesman (not a very good one apparently) who didn’t know, didn’t say so, and then pretended to know.


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