Questions tagged [phraseology]

Questions about standard words and phrases used by pilots and ATC in radio communications

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27
votes
5answers
32k views

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/...
25
votes
2answers
18k 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?
13
votes
2answers
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: ...
66
votes
3answers
68k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
15k 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?
35
votes
7answers
34k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

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 ...
15
votes
1answer
7k views

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 ...
14
votes
3answers
23k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
71k 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.
7
votes
1answer
2k 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"
60
votes
4answers
26k 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?
26
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
63k views

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

In Airplane there is a famous sequence: ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

“<Callsign>, remain VFR” — may I enter Class C airspace?

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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?
26
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
5k views

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

I understand the climb and maintain, but what does block mean?
15
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
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?
5
votes
2answers
2k 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?
5
votes
2answers
757 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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 (...
1
vote
1answer
198 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?