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Student and New Pilot Support Group

Student and New Pilot Group

San Carlos Airport Operations

The Student and New Pilot group met at the San Carlos Airport Office this past week. These meetings have been attracting various pilots from the Bay Area that meet to share information and experiences. One of the topics of this month’s meeting was airport operations – specifically at San Carlos.  The group was treated to a guest speaker, Debra Jean Cullen otherwise known as ‘DJ’.  ‘DJ’ is an airport operations specialist for San Mateo County’s two airports, KSQL and KHAF.  She has worked throughout the aviation industry as a flight attendant for America West, City Manager for Western Pacific and Frontier airlines, and in airport operations for the city of San Jose.

‘DJ’ explained to our group a bit about her background as well as her daily roles and responsibilities. She included a number of other interesting facts including the important role the San Carlos Airport plays in our community and that the San Carlos airport staff rotates between the two airports on a regular basis.   DJ’s activities are numerous from performing runway inspections, repairing runway and taxi lights, and even   to cutting the huge tracts of grass at Half Moon Bay airport.  She wears a handheld and monitors the tower frequency so that she able to respond at a moment’s notice if required.  ‘DJ’ shared with us that one of her favorite jobs at the airport is to change the light bulb in the airport rotating beacon - she likes to climb up the tower. Sadly, as ‘DJ’ informed us, the bulb only needs replacing once every two to three years.  DJ emphasized that customer service is a top priority for the airport staff, be it assisting pilots or responding to nearby residents who have noise complaints.  After DJ’s discussion she entertained a number of questions. The group would like to thank ‘DJ’ for coming to speak to our group. Please give her and her colleagues a wave whenever you see them out and about the airport - they are doing us all a great service!

Our next topic of discussion was when you should pay a visit to your AME when you experience any changes to your general health. The group also discussed some advanced planning you might wish to consider to make the visit go more smoothly and so that you do not experience any unexpected ‘turbulence’.   Members of the group shared their individual experiences of what happened when they were diagnosed with ailments such as hypertension.

A key benefit to this group is the opportunity to share information and meet other pilots.  We invite any interested pilot to attend our next meeting.  The group rotates meeting locations so check the announcement for the location of our next meeting on June 3rd at 7:00 PM.

Future topics of discussion will include:

·       Pre-flight challenge – a fun event to test you preflight observations skills with an aircraft with some issues – can you find them?

·       Private Pilot Checkride – what to expect

·       Instrument rating – why, when, who and what – discussion from current instrument students and recent instrument rated pilots

·       Angel Flights – what they are and how to get involved

·       Pilot gadgets

·       Trip report; KAVX, O86

Everyone, whatever and wherever they fly is welcome. In addition to some tasty pizza and soda, you will have a great chance to meet your fellow pilots in an informal setting.

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