Thursday, August 31, 2006

Intro to radio communications

This subject has always been a bit of a stumbling block for students and pilots. There are many resources that can help you understand (and practice) this important tool we have as pilots.

1) The Aeronautical Information Manual Chapter 4-2-1
2) and
3) Comm 1 course you can buy at your local pilot shop and or Sporty's
4) buy a cheapo aviation radio and hang out at the airport and listen to you local frequency
o5)free internet course on AOPA

You will realize that there are very few phrases in aviation and they are often repeated - so you will learn to "get an ear" for it quicker than you think.

The format for all calls is Who , Who , Where and What, also remember to think and wait before you transmit.

Getting back to radio communications ....The AIM says to follow this format when self-announcing in a non-towered airport.

"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk (use your plane model name)  , (position), (altitude), (descending) or entering downwind/base/final (as appropriate) runway three two full stop or touch and go,(airport name)"
Radio Check
"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk  radio check"
(wait for a response to see if radios are indeed tuned in)

"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk  departing runway three one downwind departure, (airport name)"

"(airport name) traffic , Skyhawk  holding short runway three one, (airport name)" this is used when not passing the hold short taxi way markins
"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk  line up and wait runway three one, (airport name)" this is used when you are on the runway stopped and waiting to take off
"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk crosswind runway three one, (airport name)"
45 degree entry
"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk  45 degree entry right downwind runway three one , (airport name)"
"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk  downwind runway three one, (airport name)"
"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk  right base runway three one full stop, (airport name)

"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk final runway three one full stop, (airport name)"

Clear of Runway
"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk  clear of runway three one, (airport name)"

"(airport name) traffic, Skyhawk  taxi from (X) taxiway to (X)position on airport, (airport name)" **

** the taxi call and for that matter any of the calls can be needless chatter on a busy day,  using discretion is something that comes with experience.
click here for the script that can be printed out

another note - the traffic pattern at some aiports can be a right, non standard direction, pattern so I personally like to insert "right" before each leg, i.e. right downwind, right base, right final, right crosswind