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Re: Why do so many pilots violate the rules and...
The AIM is not regulatory so there is not really any absolute rules to go by. The AIM does give procedures which should be followed but some pilots do not. In many cases they make it harder for the rest of us who do follow the AIM procedures. I was watching a YouTube video yesterday where a group of "supposedly" accomplished pilots flew a C172 from DAB to CDK. These hotshots proceeded to fly a 10 mile straight in to Cedar Key, not even apparently looking for NORDO traffic, thus ruining the trip as far as I was concerned.
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It's quite permissible to do so, however a general aviation pilot in a low performance plane should be ready for fast instructions and quite a bit of maneuvering to stay out of the way. The best time to do it would be at night. Here's a youtube video of one doing it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKvWn317tpU
If you're going for a Private Pilot Single Engine Land (PPSEL) certificate you don't need to know anything about IFR approaches. You will learn to fly traffic patterns and all the maneuvers and procedures required for that and for safe flight, learn how to navigate, and learn about airplane systems. You can get a huge head start by looking at websites and you tube links from places like Boldmethod.com, MzeroA.com, and UND aviation.
The pilot of the aircraft with the compressor stalls was calling "mayday mayday mayday" then explaining his problem. The response was the tower acknowledging the mayday call and telling the pilot that he's cleared for any runway that he needs.
It is very common for small airports not to have a control tower, radar, or communications equipment. There are very well developed procedures for "uncontrolled airports". There is a standard traffic pattern that aircraft fly at almost all airports (consisting of a downwind, base, final, and upwind leg) and there are specific radio calls that are supposed to be made at certain points in the pattern. Most airports have a fixed base operator to supply fuel and services. They often monitor the common traffic frequency and supply some info to pilots about wind direction and runway in use. There's also a specific way to enter the pattern - usually at a 45 degree of the downwind leg, Yes it's possible for aircraft to collide and it happens several times a year - usually when a low wing airplane is above a high wing airplane in the pattern. Neither can see the other so occasionally that can happen.
From a pilot perspective, the pilot is ultimately responsible for all operation of the aircraft. This includes following all the instructions of an air traffic controller who often gives their radio commands so fast a stenographer couldn't keep up with it. Often an unbelievable amount of stress, but we can always ask them to repeat slower - though they frequently get a little sarcastic when you ask. Controllers, on the other hand, are responsible for sometimes dozens of aircraft in their sectors and many of them are not talking to the controller. I can imagine an equally huge stress trying to keep the planes that are talking to a controller away from the ones who aren't talking to the controller. So I'd call it fairly even.
it is the relative direction around the aircraft using a clock face. 12 oclock is in front of the pilot, 6 oclock behind. 3 oclock to the right etc. it is also used with high, level or low. for example, a contact off to the right and above the flight level of the pilots aircraft would be 2 oclock high.
Using the old (pre GPS) method you would use the sectional and plotter (aviation ruler) and measure the distance. Using a GPS you can usually turn on distance rings on the screen or if you have the airport selected as destination you can read it right off the screen. If it's your home base you should learn the landmarks and their distances from the airport. In the Miami area, there are so many airports and landmarks, if you're flying there, during your preflight preps you should measure out distances to some landmarks that you plan to pass over and mark them on the chart or flight log.
Go to your local airport and talk with an instructor. That doesn't cost anything and they'll be happy to answer any of your questions. You can go for a sport pilot license first because it's the quickest cheapest way to get in the air. Then if you "catch the flying bug" you can progress to a private pilot certificate.
Flying becomes a passion if it's what you're meant to do. Once you take that first lesson you will never see an airplane again without yearning to be in that front seat. You should go up for an introductory flight at your local airport and see how it goes. You can get a sport pilot certificate to start if you want. It's cheaper and would meet the needs of most any recreational pilot.