It sounds very different from normal English, but it is easier than learning a new language:
- limited vocabulary.
- no verb conjugation; no adverbs, prepositions; no grammar.
- order only matters sometimes.
- roger: I hear you. I completely understand you. (Received) does not mean I agree or disagree.
- wilco: I hear you. I completely understand you. And I will comply with your instructions. (will comply)
- Unable: I am unable to comply with your instructions. (Sully)
- Unfamiliar: I am unfamiliar with the reporting point you are referring to.
- Say again / say again slowly.
- Blocked: the last transmission was blocked; 2 people were trying to talk at the same time.
- Standy by: I am busy right now. Please wait quietly for a moment. I will get back to you when I am able. (usually said by controller)
- Over: I am done talking. Your turn to talk. (not used too much any more)
- Out: This is my last transmission. I'm leaving the frequency. (not used too much any more)
- CLEARED FOR THE OPTION: ATC authorization for an aircraft to make a touch-and-go, low approach, missed approach, stop and go, or full stop landing at the discretion of the pilot. It is normally used in training so that an instructor can evaluate a student's performance under changing situations.
- looking for traffic / traffic in sight
- heavy: > 300,000 pounds MTOW
Respond to yes/no questions (e.g. Do you have the airport in sight?)
- Affirmative: Yes.
- Negative: No.
avoid to (2) and for (4)
- Frequency changed approve just tells the pilot to contact another frequency when (not IF) necessary!
- short final: Short final means your in the final leg and fairly close to the runway, like less than 1/4 mile from landing.
- I’ll call your base”
|Item||What you will hear|
|Code||"Palo Alto Tower Information Mike"|
|Time||"Time 2247 Zulu"|
|Wind||"Wind three two zero at one one"|
|Visibility||"Visibility one zero"|
|Sky Condition||"Sky Conditions few could five thousand, one zero thousand scattered"|
|Temperature||"two zero, dew point seven"|
|Runway||"Visual approach in use, landing and departing runway tree-one"|
|Notice to airman||"Caution for the bird activity on and in the vicinity of the airport"|
|"All departures advise ground control type of departure request."|
|"Advice on initial contact you have information Mike."|
Two-way radio communications
Two way radio communication: identify by callsign; if the ATC does not call your callsign, the two-way radio communication is NOT established.
- call sign of the ATC facility you are calling
- who: your call sign
- where: your location
- what: your request
- your call sign
- their call sign
untowered airport or after hours, callsign: traffic (to all the other aircraft), e.g. Watsonville traffic
Ready to taxi: (to Groud)
Pilot: Palo Alto Ground, Cessna XXXXX, parked West Valley, taxi Tree-One with X, closed traffic. ---------------- ------------- ------------------ ------------------------------------ their callsign your callsign location request
ATC replies with instructions:
ATC: Cessna XXXXX, taxi Tree-One via Uniform, Yankee, Yankee One. Advise Ground when runup complete.
Pilot reads back the info:
Pilot (Readback): XXX, runway Tree-One via Uniform, Yankee, Yankee One.
Types of departure you can request:
- closed traffic / pattern work: stay in pattern.
- straight-out departure
- left / right 45 departure
- left / right crosswind departure
- left / right downwind departure
- left / right 270 overhead departure
Location specific: (Noise abatement, can be found in ForeFlight: Airport->Comments->Remarks)
- left / right Dumbarton departure
- Hillsdale Departure
- Oracle Departure
- Coyote Hills Departure
- Woodside Departure
After runup: (to Ground)
Pilot: Ground, Cessna XXXXX, Runup Complete ------ ------------ callsign callsign
ATC: Cessna XXXXX, hold short Yankee One, contact Tower
(Initial call reply has runway; after runup no runway.)
Pilot (Readback): Cessna XXXXX, hold short Yankee One, contact Tower
Ready for takeoff: (to Tower)
Pilot: Palo Alto Tower, Cessna XXXXX, Ready for takeoff.
ATC: Cessna XXXXX, Palo Alto Tower, hold short Runway Three-One.
Pilot (Readback): Tower, Cessna XXXXX, holding short Three-One.
ATC: XXX, cleared for takeoff Three-One, left Dumbarton Departure, following Cessna on upwind.
Pilot (Readback): XXX, cleared for takeoff Three-One, left Dumbarton Departure, following Cessna.
Request flight following on fight
Pilot: Norcal Approach, Cessna XXXXX, 10 miles east of Livermore at 3,500 climbing to 4,500, request flight following to Palo Alto Norcal: Cessna XXXXX, squawk 1234, ident altimeter 29.98 Pilot: Cessna XXXXX, squawking 1234, ident, altimeter 29.98 Norcal: Cessna XXXXX, radar contact
Return for landing (to Tower)
Listen to ATIS, then talk to tower:
Pilot: Palo Alto Tower, Cessna XXXXX, Niles Canyon, inbound with Bravo. --------------- ------------ ------------ ------------------ their callsign your callsign location request
ATC: Cessna XXXXX, Palo Alto Tower, make left traffic runway Tree One. make straight-in runway Tree One, report 3 miles final.
Pilot (Readback): XXX, left traffic Three One.
Types of arrival:
- left / right traffic (downwind entry)
- left / right base entry
Joining the traffic Pattern (to Tower)
ATC: Cessna XXXXX, cleared to land runway Three-One, number 2, follow Cessna on 1-mile final.
Pilot (Readback): XXX, cleared to land Three-One, number 2, traffic in sight.
In pattern, ATC may advise:
- "I will call your base": stay on downwind until Tower asks you to turn base.
After landing (to Tower or Ground)
Tower may tell you "stay on this frequency" or "contact ground".
Pilot: Palo Alto Ground, Cessna XXXXX, on Zulu, taxi West Valley parking.
ATC: Cessna XXXXX, Palo Alto Ground, taxi to parking via Zulu, Yankee Two, Juliet.
Pilot (Readback): Cessna XXXXX, taxi Zulu, Yankee Two, Juliet.