2
$\begingroup$

CTAF guidelines make clear that "all traffic in area please advise," is a bad idea and great way to get CTAF blocked for everybody. Makes sense, cool.

I've seen in videos people using "Conflicting traffic please advise" in their initial self-announce, instead. But is that any better, really?

I can see it both ways: On the one hand, you're still asking for responses from an open-ended number of aircraft, all of whom could key up at once and block the CTAF.

On the other hand, if you're about to cause a runway incursion on someone who forgot to announce final... it seems like that'd be a good thing to get clear on right then and there. What's more dangerous, a blocked CTAF, or pulling out in front of a guy on final who's too head-down to key his radio?

$\endgroup$
4
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think it's best to follow the CTAF guidelines (in your question's link to the AC) in order to realize the obvious benefits of standardization. Variations may seem like a good idea, but when pilots decide to use non-standard communication procedures that seem like a good idea to them as an individual the ultimate effect is potential confusion for others who are expecting the standardized communication protocol. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ Some comments to answers to related question aviation.stackexchange.com/q/622/34686 address this issue also. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 15:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What videos do people say "conflicting traffic please advise"? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ @tedder42 I don't have a URL handy atm, but the next time I see one I'll link it. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 15:06

2 Answers 2

13
$\begingroup$

I've always considered the CTAF-announcement by itself to imply a request for "please advise". You don't have to say what is clearly implied; it just uses up airtime and risks being misunderstood.

If someone heard you and recognizes a problem, they need to reply to you, regardless of if you use "please advise" or not.

So, in short, No, extraneous phrases that don't actually communicate information are not useful, and should be avoided.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Took the words right out of my mouth. Brevity is one key component in comms, so you make the announcement: who, where, altitude, heading, intentions, and then you listen. Absolutely no need to say anything else. If someone hears / sees you they tell you they do or don't have you in sight and give you the info about their whereabouts and intentions. Done it this way many times, works like a charm. As an exception, when approaching known busyish airfields, I'd sometimes ask if there is traffic there. Sometimes ppl are so preoccupied with pattern work they forget to tell they are grinding around. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 15:01
4
$\begingroup$

The phrase "Any traffic in the area, please advise" (which is slightly different from the phrase quoted in the question) carries an implication that the pilot is not aware of any traffic in the area, and I'd suggest that in some cases it does have some usefulness.

I've used this phrase when there seemed to be no one around--almost exclusively very early in the morning, or in the middle of the night-- and my intentions were to do a whole "cloverleaf" series of touch-and-goes on an airport with a "cross" runway configuration-- e.g. depart on heading 35, climb briefly and then begin turning toward final for 09, depart 09, climb briefly and then begin turning toward final for 17, etc. I didn't explain my full intentions in advance, just announced each departure and then said "turning final for..., any traffic in the area please advise". In this case it might have been hard for someone to figure out whether or not they were "conflicting" traffic. I'd suggest that in this situation, the phrase "Any traffic in the area, please advise" is better than "Conflicting traffic please advise".

Obviously a pilot wouldn't be maneuvering in such a way if he/she was aware of a significant amount of traffic in the area, and he/she would wish to be aware of any traffic in the area--or at least any traffic planning to take off, land, or shoot an approach-- regardless of whether or not said traffic perceived themselves to be "conflicting".

I usually preceded such maneuvers with a brief explanatory call to the effect of "intending to shoot touch and goes on multiple runways", and then used the "any traffic in the area please advise" phrase with each new "turning final" call, or at least once every two or three such calls. (The time interval between some of those "turning final" calls was rather short!)

In this particular case, one argument for using the "Any traffic in the area, please advise" phrase as opposed to just assuming the mere act of talking over CTAF is an implied request for conflicting traffic to speak up as needed, is that it carries a suggestion that the pilot is willing to modify his planned flight path if the planned flight path would inconvenience another pilot. In the particular case I've described above, it seems to add an element of courtesy as well as enhancing safety.

Obviously this situation is quite different from a case where use of the phrase is likely to "get CTAF blocked for everybody" due to a large amount of traffic in the area. But even the "any traffic in the area please advise" or "all traffic in the area please advise" phrases shouldn't be taken as a literal request for everyone within radio range to speak up. If the request is from a pilot who is clearly operating closed circuit at a given airport, one wouldn't necessarily expect to hear answers from aircraft five or ten miles distant from that airport-- or many thousands of feet above that airport-- unless they are inbound for an approach or landing there.

The phrases "conflicting traffic please advise" or "any conflicting traffic please advise" seem awkward to me. Both seem to put a burden on other pilots to determine whether they are conflicting with your intentions, and the first may seem to imply that you suspect there may be a conflict. I'm having trouble thinking of a case where using one of these phrases would be better than simply announcing your position/ intentions, and listening for anyone else to respond by doing the same.

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .