Questions tagged [phraseology]

For questions about standard words, phrases, and abbreviations used by pilots and ATC in aviation radio communications. (More general questions about aviation-specific words, phrases, or definitions used outside of radio communications should usually be tagged [terminology] instead.)

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When should the term "pan-pan" be used instead of "Mayday"?

FAAO JO 7110.65, §10-1-1 states that "pan-pan" can be used to indicate a state of urgency: a. An emergency can be either a Distress or an Urgency condition as defined in the "Pilot/...
Danny Beckett's user avatar
75 votes
4 answers
98k views

Why do English-speaking pilots and ATC say "Niner" instead of "Nine"?

Besides the fact that it's now a standard, why do American-English-speaking pilots and ATC say "Niner" instead of "Nine"? None of the other numerals are pronounced in an atypical fashion. For what ...
End Anti-Semitic Hate's user avatar
30 votes
2 answers
23k views

What does ATC mean when they refer to "company"?

Listening to LiveATC there are references by various ATC entities (towers, approach, etc) to "company". To what does this refer?
CGCampbell's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
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How do you open and get a IFR clearance while in the air?

I once had a traffic controller give me a hard time about how I requested IFR clearance once in the air. I had previously filed an IFR flight plan, and took off from my untowered home airport. On ...
Josh Anderson's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the "non-apologizing rule"?

I was reading some forum about funny ATC communications and one commentary was GXXXX: Request status of danger areas X1, 2 and 4 <Pause> London info: I don't recognise area number x124 GXXXX: ...
woliveirajr's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
4k views

How should I request flight following when I'm not taking a direct route to my destination?

I want to plan a flight from KMSN - KDAY. My plan avoids the ORD airspace as much as possible, so something like: KMSN - JVL - KARR - JOT - EON - KRZL - OKK - MIE - KDAY What would be the ...
Jim Jarrett's user avatar
36 votes
7 answers
53k views

Why is the total count of people on a plane given as the number of 'souls' on board?

Why don't they just say 'people' on board, why souls? What is the origin of this term? I'm thinking it comes from sailing as I think I've heard that term in reference to crews out at sea, but I'm not ...
MDMoore313's user avatar
31 votes
3 answers
74k views

"What's our vector, Victor?": What does this mean?

In Airplane there is a famous sequence: ...
Jason's user avatar
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28 votes
1 answer
3k views

At a non-towered airport in the US, what should I do if I hear a medevac flight waiting to take off while I'm turning base?

I'm in the left downwind at my favorite non-towered airport. Just while I'm making the turn to base, I hear a radio call on CTAF: "Such-and-such Traffic, Medevac 123, holding short runway 31." They ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers
117k views

What do the callouts "approaching minimums" and "minimums " mean?

When landing, what exactly do the phrases "approaching minimums" and "minimums" mean in a commercial jet aircraft, when heard from the onboard cockpit voice.
garyv440's user avatar
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22 votes
4 answers
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When using the phonetic alphabet, for airways, should we say Uniform or Upper?

Listening some RTs, I heard ATCos reporting airways, for example: UL65, UPPER LIMA 65. But the phonetic alphabet says UNIFORM. Why do they say like this, please? Is there any manual in which we can ...
eduardoguilherme's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
22k views

What does "radar contact" mean in ATC calls?

When ATC mention 'radar contact', what does that mean? In what conditions ATC might contact you and mention 'radar contact' in the call? and what would be the appropriate responses?
pmoubed's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
32k views

What are the differences between "ground stop", "ground delay", and "gate hold"?

I've heard several terms referring to air traffic control procedures that restrict movement for a certain period of time: ground stop, ground delay, and gate hold (plus others I'm sure I'm forgetting ...
jrdioko's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
7k views

How do pilots/controllers deal with overlapping transmissions on the radio?

A disadvantage of the analogue radio1 used for communication is that it does not receive when it transmits. Everybody is trained to wait until the frequency is quiet before starting to talk, but it's ...
Jan Hudec's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why are aircraft callsigns pronounced over the radio in a non-phonetic alphabet way?

Why is it numbers are not always pronounced in a phonetic way? For example a flight number of 2390 is pronounced "twenty-three ninety" instead of "two three niner zero"
Devron's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there anything better than LiveATC to get accustomed with RT phraseology?

I would like to "train my ear" for RT communications and I tried to listen to approach of Dublin's Airport. I simply can't understand more than 50% words because of loud background whistle and poor (...
super jet 100's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's the correct ATC phraseology to enter a nonpublished hold?

Before entering on a hold (stack), the ATC should instruct the turns and headings to be accomplished by the crew. If it is not printed on the charts, as on STARs, what is the correct phraseology to ...
eduardoguilherme's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
14k views

What is the meaning of “American 755, turn right, heading 320"?

I am studying a text entitled Unmanned Aircraft Systems. How can we simplify the instruction in quotes so that it is more understandable and can be understood by a nontechnical. Please note I am not ...
Mehdi Haghgoo's user avatar
58 votes
4 answers
27k views

Why do airplanes use MAYDAY when in danger but ships send SOS?

I thought SOS means "save our souls", but apparently it doesn't. But ships send SOS when in danger and they used Morse code. Why do airplanes use MAYDAY?
Squareoot's user avatar
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27 votes
5 answers
14k views

When should a pilot use the word "takeoff?"

I've been taught before that the word "takeoff" should only be used when reading back a clearance, and that when requesting a clearance pilots should advise "ready" or "ready for departure." Here's ...
ryan1618's user avatar
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26 votes
1 answer
9k views

What does Top 1% mentioned by ATC refer to?

I have watched Live ATC tons of time. But I still don't know which airline is called "Top 1%". Ex: Delta 81 right Bravo right Kilo give way to company A380 and follow the Top 1%". Just wanna know ...
Sherwin's user avatar
  • 261
25 votes
1 answer
6k views

What does it mean when ATC says climb maintain 7000, block 8000?

I understand the climb and maintain, but what does block mean?
Zach W.'s user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
5k views

May I enter Class C airspace if I'm told "remain VFR"?

During a flight yesterday, the approach frequency for a local Class C was unusually busy. I was heading back to an underlying Class D and the frequency finally quieted down enough for me to poke in a ...
Greg Bacon's user avatar
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16 votes
6 answers
22k views

Are "Tally-ho" and "no joy" acceptable ATC terms for civil operations?

I keep meaning to ask this question. I heard "Tally-ho" used for the first time by a pilot on Liveatc.net. I know these are pretty standard phrases in military aviation but I wondered if civil pilots ...
TomMcW's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
7k views

How should I request an IFR approach at the end of a VFR flight?

Here's the scenario: The flight starts night VFR, with broken ceiling at destination (class C airspace) and expected to improve according to the pre-flight abbreviated briefing. I'm IFR certified but ...
user2105469's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can an issued landing clearance be replaced with "continue approach"?

Since the US handles the landing clearance differently, this is limited to Europe (EASA-land). From Eurocontrol: Continue Approach If the runway is obstructed when the aircraft reports ‘final’, but ...
user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
5k views

What does "closed traffic" mean?

I'm a Japanese ATC working in Japan. I want to ask about "closed traffic". I checked 7110.65 for this. Question 1: What is successive operation? One day I was on duty and the air force pilot ...
T.s's user avatar
  • 159
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why do pilots say "clear of the active" at non-towered airports?

At the non-towered airport I fly at, pilots when clear of the runway always say "X Traffic, Skyhawk N123 clear of the active." Why not say the runway number? At a one-runway airport, I understand that ...
flyinghigh's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the correct phraseology for changing the runway of a landing clearance?

In the liveATC clip on this YouTube video, an American Airlines 767 arriving at SFO (San Francisco International) had been cleared to land on 28R, but, apparently while already on final, was told to ...
reirab's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why does a pilot want to hold a Squawk Code when leaving Class B airspace?

I was listening to liveATC today... Controller clears this guy into the class B for a transition and throws him a code. Some time passes and the pilot has now transitioned the bravo and is leaving the ...
PilotGuy's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why do some pilots call a go-around an 'overshoot'?

A couple of months ago I was watching some Ice Pilots NWT re-runs, and I noticed they kept saying 'overshoot' when talking about a go-around. Is this standard Canadian phraseology? Or is it perhaps ...
falstro's user avatar
  • 11.8k
7 votes
3 answers
684 views

Should I inform ATC about minor deviations to maintain VFR while on practice instrument approaches?

When talking to approach control for the purpose of performing practice instrument approaches in VMC with a safety pilot, the pilot (and safety pilot) is required to "maintain VFR." However, the pilot ...
Devil07's user avatar
  • 8,554
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do we say "climb" and not "ascend"?

The term for moving to a lower altitude is "descending." Why, then, is the term for moving to a higher altitude "climbing" and not "ascending"? The latter goes better with the term "descending." Does ...
wecsam's user avatar
  • 205
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does ATC react to pilot position reports?

Following previous questions on position reporting: When do pilots have to submit position reports? What are pilot position reports? Does Air Traffic Control somehow react to pilots submitting ...
Stefan's user avatar
  • 4,692
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the correct use of the verb "to leave," for exiting the runway?

What's the correct way to say, according to the phraseology; I will leave the runway; I will vacate the runway; or I will exit the runway?
eduardoguilherme's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the meaning of these slang terms used in ATC?

I have heard some slang terms used mainly by ATCs: follow the black holes taxi not too deep how is your ride What do they actually mean and are there others?
Eduardo Guilherme's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does "traffic in position..." phrase mean?

Recently heard the phrase "traffic in position..." issued by controller to one of the pilots, just wondering, what could it mean?
barmatat's user avatar
  • 497
3 votes
2 answers
8k views

When is 'heavy' used in callsign?

I have heared at ATC communication that some aircraft uses a heavy word in the call sign. What does heavy means? When it is used? Is it used when aircraft is heavier than 200-300 tons?
Dániel Kis's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
277 views

Is there any technical word to be used on Radio Telephony, to say that there is a "body air-shipped"?

A great number of dead bodies are transported by airplanes everyday. How will pilots report to ATC they are transporting it/them?
eduardoguilherme's user avatar