“Helicopter One-Three-Eight-Sierra-Hotel, please state your intentions….”

“I’d like to enter the pattern, sir, to do touch-and-go’s”

“I already gave you clearance to take off from the taxiway, but you said you were unable to comply!”

“Yes, sir. I am a student pilot and our policies and procedures strictly forbid me from taking off or landing on taxiways.”

“Roger, stand by….”

Such was the tone of my second solo flight today. One fun new trick after another thrown at me from the tower boss at McCollum. Apparently, though, I was more composed than the tower during my flight–according to Greg (who was flying patterns behind me) and Marcus (who was monitoring on a hand-held radio).

“Copter Eight-Sierra-Hotel, have you made your crosswind turn yet?”

“Affirmative, tower, I’m–uh–actually on the downwind, following that Cessna like you told me to.”

“Oh, I see you now, just–uh–continue your downwind following that Cessna.”

“Wilco, following the Cessna. Eight-Sierra-Hotel.”

This guy is the Air Traffic Control Tower manager. At least it wasn’t “Darth” in the tower today (he was controlling ground).

“Darth,” however, is a subject for a whole ‘nother set of stories.

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