Learning Experiences

January 2001 Issue

Phone Home

‘This is an emergency, we can do whatever we want’

Up until last week, I was one of the most “anti-cell phone” pilots around. I always thought cell phones were worthless because the reception was never consistent. It seemed as though the more cell phones and pagers a person had, the more difficult it was to reach them. More importantly, cellular phone use in flight has always been a no-no. Last week, I was in a situation that completely changed my mind.

I was flying some people to Philadelphia International Airport in their Piper Chieftain. Everything about the flight was going as planned; it was a sunny VFR day, the previous legs of the trip had gone flawlessly and air traffic was at a minimum. A few miles from the airport, my co-pilot...

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