Priority at tower controlled airport?


Junior Member
Apr 5, 2011
I have zero problems with FAA controllers. I seem to be the bete noir at Serco facilities. It may be because I do not fly fancy twins or Cirrusi, opting instead for old taildraggers. I am always in trouble at Serco facilities - almost from the first callup.

Here is just the latest - brand new Stearman student, and I am looking for the longest, widest runway in town. Serco guy wants me on the shorter, narrower runway. I carefully explain. I am ten miles out, and as near as I can figure, number one for the big runway. Controller wants a two mile base leg. Okay, it is his pattern.

He allows us three landings - we are the only one in the pattern for the first, then we are joined by a Cherokee learning how to fly 737 approaches. Still ok. We have the time, and need the runway.

Controller informs us that it is the little runway or nothing. Cherokee gets to stay on the big runway. By this time there are three aircraft in the class Delta.

Do I have any priority rights over the Cherokee, since I was in the airspace first? Or operationally, since my student is no way ready for skinny, short runways?

I am not the only retired Airbus driver who has problems with Serco controllers. I would have discussed this with the tower chief, but his phone number is a closely guarded secret. I do have Serco's Herndon address.

Comments? Advice? Throw rocks at me?