AND PHRASES (and their meaning)
Clear, understandable communication is vital for effective
pilot and ATC messages. The list below
details the most commonly used standard words and phrases for aviation communications.
- Let me know that you have received and understood this message.
/ Affirmative - Yes.
- Permission for proposed action is granted.
- Indicates a separation between messages.
Break - Same as above but used in busy situations.
- Cancel the previously transmitted clearance.
- Examine a system or procedure (no answer expected).
- Authorised to proceed under the conditions specified.
- Climb and maintain.
- I request verification of...
- Establish radio contact with... (Usually followed by an ID and
- That is correct, true, accurate.
- An error has been made in this or message. The correct version is...
- Descend and maintain.
- Ignore, consider that last transmission as not sent.
short - Stop before reaching the specified position.
do you read - What is the readability of my transmission?
- I say
again - I repeat for clarity or emphasis.
up and wait - Taxi onto the runway, await take-off clearance.
- Continue in accordance with the instructions specified.
- Listen in on (frequency).
- No. or Permission not granted. or That is not correct.
- Transmission ended and I expect a response from you. (The phrase
"Over and Out" is thus meaningless.)
- Transmission ended and I DO NOT expect a response from you.
your message - Proceed with your message.
back - Repeat all, or the specified part, of this message back to me
exactly as received.
- Pass required information.
- I would like to know... or I wish to obtain...
- I received all of your last transmission. (Note: Must NOT be used in
reply to a question requiring a direct answer in the affirmative (Yes)
or negative (No).
again - Repeat all, or the following part of your transmission.
- Wait and I will call you. (Note: It is not necessary to acknowledge a
call telling you to standby.
Also, no onward clearance is to be assumed.)
- I cannot comply with your request.
- Check and confirm.
- I understand your message and will comply with it. (Abbreviation for
As you would expect, aviation has a whole language of its
own and that includes numerous abbreviations in day to day use. Below are some of the most commonly
encountered abbreviations and their meaning, though there are many more. I have taken the liberty of including two
of my own for the sake of humour, CFIT and TIM.
- Area Control Centre
- Automatic Direction Finder
- Above Ground Level
- Above Mean Sea Level
- Air Traffic Control/Controller
- Automatic Terminal Information Service
- Air Traffic Zone
- Controlled Flight Into Terrain
- Decision Height
- Distance Measuring Equipment
– Doppler VHF Omni-directional Ranging
- Estimated Time of Arrival
- Estimated Time of Departure
- Estimated Time Enroute
- Flight Level
- Global Positioning System
- Ground Proximity Warning System
- Indicated Air Speed
- Instrument Flying Rules
- Instrument Landing System
– Inner Marker
- Instrument Meteorological Conditions
- Low Altitude Radar Service
- Landing Distance Available
- Low Intensity Two-colour Approach System
- Military Aerodrome Traffic Zone
- Minimum Descent Altitude/Height
– Microwave Landing System
– Middle Marker
- Non Directional Beacon
- Nautical Mile
– Outer Marker
- Precision Approach Path Indicator
– Precision Approach Radar
- Barometric setting at aerodrome level (Altimeter reads zero at
- Barometric setting at sea level (Altimeter reads aerodrome height)
- Standard Instrument Departure
- Surveillance Radar Approach
- Standard Instrument Arrival Route
- True Air Speed
- Touch Down Zone
- Terrain Impact Mode
- Take Off Distance Available
- Take Off / Go Around
- Visual Approach Slope Indicator
- Visual Flying Rules
- Visual Meteorological Conditions
- VHF Omni-directional Ranging
- Visual Reporting Point
MURPHY'S LAWS, 1
Nothing really to do with aviation specifically, I have
included my favourite version of Murphy's Laws, a minor expansion of the
original one (which is now Number 2).
Think of aviation in general and you'll see why I've included these.
is as easy as it looks.
can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the worst possible moment.
mistakes are allowed to be repeated, will be repeated.
from the mistakes of others, you will not live long enough to make all
of them yourself.
One of the first calls made by pilots, a radio check is
useful to ensure that your radio/microphone set-up is correct. If nothing else it helps to serve as a
courtesy, a ‘Hello’ to all concerned, but it is a useful assurance to both
pilot and controller that communications are working well.
now and then.
(It is often helpful to add a description to numbers 1 -
3, for example: "Readability 2, very quiet". One could always go a step further and say
"Readability Zero" in some cases!)
Some comments here about radio communications… Learn to listen carefully to what is going
on via radio chatter, even the calls not for you can help build up a mental
picture of what is happening near you.
This mental picture, often called ‘Situation Awareness’, is made up of
many things, not all of them obvious, and listening to radio chatter can
provide you with some clues. Quite
often you may know the other person you are talking to but be careful of idle
chit-chat about last night’s soap opera or football score, someone else may
be trying to use that frequency for aviation purposes. Banter is fine when time permits but in a
busy session concentrate on the task at hand.
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