My blog while I work for British Antarctic Survey

That’s a big 10-4 good buddy…

August 22nd, 2008 Posted in Training, UK

…is how not to speak if you want to pass your Civil Aviation Authority Air-Ground Radio Operator’s exams which is what we’ve been doing this week so that, once on base, we’ll be qualified to operate the VHF radios and pass information to the pilots. I had to iron out a few bad habits from my previous life (shame on me for a "Roger that" creeping in and no, "That’s a Charlie" does not appear in Civil Aviation Publication 452 or any of its references…) but Karen and I managed to work our RT skills up to a professional enough standard to pass our practical tests.

Stansted towerOur instructor treated us to a visit up into the control tower at Stansted airport so we could sit in with the controllers and watch how the pros do it – seriously impressive to sit up there and watch the whole airport working with the flights being fed in and out on the radar displays and the effortless mastery of the two controllers moving them around.

Going...Another big thing this week is my cargo being handed over for packing on the ship. This is the stuff that I won’t see until sometime in December, two months after I arrive at Rothera and, after endless discussions over coffee, advice-seeking e-mails, sleepless nights and general panic, it seems that I’m probably on the right track with a theme of ...going..."frivolous luxuries". My cargo is probably 75% guitar-related and includes all those books and DVDs that I’ve never really had time to get into like "Jazz for the Rock Guitarist"… should be enough to keep me sane if not quiet ("turn it up to 11" seems to be a realistic prospect down on base). So, all packed up now and it basically boiled down a bag of skis, a guitar case ...gone!and a rather large shipping crate which had to be carried out on a fork lift. As my gear was driven in to the store and lined up with literally hundreds of other cargo boxes I couldn’t help but think of that scene at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark…

A mad week – an enormous amount of information to absorb, new skills to master, frantic packing and the really big stuff is only just around the corner now. No rest for the wicked though, next week is our maritime radio course on the Isle of Wight…

  1. One Response to “That’s a big 10-4 good buddy…”

  2. By Neil on Sep 4, 2008

    It won’t get there until December! I think you should spend your time in the intervening months trying to design a faster ship. Or perhaps an underocean train…

    [Reply]

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