Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [radio-communications]

Radio is the primary way that pilots communicate with air traffic control and with other aircraft.

9
votes
4answers
1k views

When communicating altitude with a '9' in it, should it be pronounced “nine hundred” or “niner hundred”?

It sounds a little odd, but trying to understand if that's the recommended way to communicate. E.g. 9900 "Nine-thousand-nine-hundred" vs "Niner-thousand-niner-hundred"
2
votes
2answers
132 views

Is any readback required when ATC uses the phrase “RADAR CONTACT”? [duplicate]

As the title says, is a readback required? I've heard some people say that it's not required, while some others say we should readback our call sign only. Some even say just push the transmission knob ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Do airline pilots ever risk not hearing communication directed to them specifically, from traffic controllers?

I gather pilots communicate regularly with air traffic controllers within air traffic controllers' jurisdiction or airspace as they enter the space, during their time in that space and as they leave. ...
4
votes
3answers
251 views

What is the meaning of “Steer 1-2-0” in WWII texts?

I am reading some texts about WWII and English operators tell the pilots to "Steer 1-2-0". Can anyone help with the meaning of 'steer' here? Is it a synonym of 'direction', 'heading' or 'vector'?
-1
votes
1answer
146 views

What does the ATC term “a company traffic” mean? [duplicate]

During my flight training I often heard the term "a company traffic" in radio calls from the ATC like: N123AB a company traffic is joining downwind runway 24 ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Current FMS with COMM tunning function capability?

I am currently more familiar with GARMIN 1000 systems than with the ones that are used nowadays in airliners. I know that you can tune a NAV aid from the FMC in an airliner. Actually, modern FMS ...
13
votes
2answers
329 views

How late can a landing clearance be given?

I regularly fly VFR in an (EASA-) airport where the tower is sometimes rather busy and the frequency full which led a few times to me receiving landing clearances as late as 10-20ft AGL above the ...
6
votes
2answers
163 views

Do left and right mic buttons control both headset microphones?

The aircraft I was flying today has a push to talk integrated button on each control yoke. I was sitting in the right seat, but my headset was plugged into the jacks on the left side of the cockpit. ...
4
votes
2answers
263 views

How do I pick the right ATC channel to listen to my flight?

I'm trying to listen to my flight's ATC communications (flying United out of SFO). What is the difference between ramp, ground, and departure channels? Ground and departure have multiple frequencies, ...
6
votes
3answers
193 views

How do I figure out the right pronunciation for transitions?

For example, the CNERY transition,* how exactly is this pronounced? On the VATSIM community, it seems there's a huge debate on what this is called. Some people say CONNERY, and some people say SCENERY....
1
vote
1answer
226 views

What phraseology does ATC use with jet fighter pilots? [closed]

What do they usually say or ask when the fighter pilot wants to take off, when it's in the air, and what is the reply from the fighter pilot?
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Need more volume with my aviation headset (David Clark OneX). I wear hearing aids

Does anyone know of a way to get more volume out of my David ClarK ANR aviation headset. I wear hearing aids and often fly in older airplanes with older radios that are scratch/weak/etc. I select ...
0
votes
2answers
228 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?
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Which pilot (pilot flying, pilot monitoring) handles CPDLC (operates CPDLC interface)?

This question relates to commercial flights, typical two-pilot crew: In some airspaces, e.g. North Atlantic, pilots and Air Traffic Control use Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC, ...
4
votes
1answer
802 views

What steps are needed to communicate with ATC on an A320?

In the description to this video, Captain Joe says that it took this inexperienced person 20 minutes to establish radio contact with ATC (in an A320 simulator). This seems like an awful lot of time ...
34
votes
6answers
13k views

Why do we say certain things *three times*, e.g., “Mayday. Mayday. Mayday”?

Repetition is a key characteristic of communication in the control tower, cockpit, and control room. Some phrases, like "Mayday" get repeated. The speaker says the same thing three times. We know ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

While flying, how do I contact someone who is on the ground?

As a regular General Aviation pilot, how do I contact or relay a simple message to someone on the ground? For example, to update a friend, family member, or taxi company with an ETA or a meeting point....
0
votes
1answer
106 views

What is this dome used for? [duplicate]

I have seen this dome on the top of some 737-800 airplanes and am curious to know what is it for. Is the a communication antenna for the satellite connection and in-flight internet that some airlines ...
1
vote
2answers
467 views

How unusual were MH370's final ATC exchanges?

There are 2 noteworthy occurrences in the ATC radio transcript within just minutes of a 3rd noteworthy, quite unprecedented occurrence in aviation history: At 01:07:55 MH370 unnecessarily reported ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Restore air traffic controllers' instructions from aircraft tracks

Is it possible to understand what commands had been given to an aircraft if you look at its track containing information about lat, lon, altitude, speed and course? Is there anyone who has already ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Is the whole world's airspace covered by ATC? [closed]

I'm an enthusiast and have only flown flight/atc simulators (on the VATSIM network). Obviously sometimes the airspace you are flying in is not covered by any ATC (so I have to set my frequency to ...
3
votes
1answer
248 views

When flying in uncontrolled airspace, which ATC frequency should I contact if I have an emergency?

Question 1: If I am flying in uncontrolled airspace and I have an emergency, should I report on 121.5MHz if no ATC is within line of sight communication (which means I cannot hear the ATC and the ATC ...
0
votes
1answer
149 views

Please provide some expert commentary to the aborted flight of the German chancellor [closed]

This week the German chancellor's plane (an Airbus A340-300) had to abort the flight due to loss of communications. The newspaper write they only had a satellite phone left1: Die ...
0
votes
0answers
84 views

How does a plane land without any radio connections? [duplicate]

It has been reported today that the German government plane "Konrad Adenauer", operated by the Luftwaffe, had a total loss of radio connection and diverted to Köln. That made me think the following: ...
25
votes
4answers
5k views

Where do extra planes come from?

Last night, I had to change planes at LAX because the United Airlines B737 that I was flying on had radio problems and thus could not fly over the ocean. One of the hi-frequency radios had problems, ...
6
votes
7answers
4k views

Best way of learning the aviation alphabet?

I want to learn the aviation alphabet, and when searching the Internet on how to, I see a plethora of approaches, so I thought of asking here! If it's primarily opinion based, let me know.
0
votes
2answers
133 views

Can you broadcast a very low power nav vor signal in air?

Are there any FCC restrictions on broadcasting a test nav signal on 108.0 in the air? Or perhaps on other nav frequencies that can be received within the navigation band?
1
vote
2answers
203 views

Who defines the callsign for radio communication? [duplicate]

I started flying with VATSIM and but I couldn’t find a proper answer to this question online. Who defines a callsign for a plane in a given flight? Is a callsign set to a airplane? Is it related to ...
3
votes
1answer
359 views

What, if any, are the rules on ATC politeness?

There are plenty of recordings available of ATCs acting impolite, in the linked video, the pilot says he will file a report about the conduct of the ATC. Would this actually result in any ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

What is the procedure following a near miss?

This is a follow-up to this question - in particular, to this video posted in MichaelK's answer. What would be the correct procedure for the pilot to follow in this situation? (That is, after a near ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

How to advise others of imminent danger?

In a case such as United 326 - where an aircraft got cleared for takeoff while other planes at the same time get cleared to cross that runway - how would an outside party that picks up on the mistake ...
8
votes
3answers
574 views

Why would a pilot on final to a towered airport not speak up when ATC clears another aircraft to land on the same runway, without mentioning them?

Every time I watch AOPA's Accident Case Study video Communication Breakdown, I'm left wondering. Here's an aircraft (in this case, '1DA) on final approach for landing on a towered airport, when ...
-1
votes
1answer
316 views

What happens if an ATC tower is completely disabled? [duplicate]

What is the procedure for aircraft, if the ATC they were relying on to land, is, in some way, completely disabled? (for example there is a fire that destroys the whole building and all equipment). If ...
5
votes
3answers
447 views

What is the vocabulary used by fighter pilots used to communicate?

As far as I understand, fighter pilots or more general military aircrews will use a dedicated phraseology to communicate with each other, which is different to communicating to ATC. Is this ...
3
votes
1answer
606 views

How do you calculate the range of a VHF transmitter that is on-board an aircraft?

I'm trying to calculate the range of a VHF transmitter on an aircraft output power 50W, frequency 130MHz, and reciever sensitivity of -100dBm. The calculations I have made give me ridiculously high ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it the tower's purview to recall an aircraft from the runway for loading the wrong cargo?

On August 17, Ryanair flight FR 11 entered the runway after already being delayed for 1.5 hours, only to exit at the first available opportunity. After being jokingly welcomed to Stansted from where ...
23
votes
3answers
7k views

What is your responsibility when a distraught pilot is on frequency?

I found the recent SeaTac incident with a suicidal pilot frightening. I myself remember being in very bad places mentally, and it got me to wonder what I should do if someone is on frequency, making ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Are the ICAO phonetic numbers used anywhere?

I ran across a table of ICAO (NATO) approved phonetic number pronunciations. As early as I can remember (50+yrs) in the United States "nin-er" is the only one I ever remember hearing in aviation and I ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the correct phraseology for "runway 03 R”?

What phraseology is normally used for "runway 03 R" by air-traffic control and pilots? A couple of possible options I came up with: runway zero three R runway three R runway zero three right runway ...
7
votes
1answer
299 views

Does a line up and wait instruction clear me to backtrack the runway?

I had an interesting occurrence at the start of a recent flying lesson, at an aerodrome with ATC service. We were holding at A and completed our power checks. We hadn't requested nor been offered an ...
46
votes
3answers
13k views

Is it OK to greet ATC?

My instructor told me that courtesies are forbidden in radio communication, however, we usually start conversation as "Turany Ground, OK-ABC, good morning, (... request)". I find it natural. Is that ...
23
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does the ICAO alphabet use “Charlie” for C?

Why does the ICAO alphabet use "Charlie" for C? Specifically, why choose "Charlie", which has a "Ch" sound, rather than a word with the hard "C" such as "Carl"? A cursory Googling turns up nothing.
4
votes
2answers
559 views

What is the ATC protocol for hijackings? [closed]

If a commercial aircraft is successfully hijacked, by a competent pilot / pilots, and they make contact with ATC for regular requests (i.e. weather updates, flight path information or clearing air ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

How strongly is airband affected by severe thunderstorms in practice?

In light of this question I was very surprised to learn that despite operating on a higher frequency (108 MHz upwards) than the standard FM broadcasting, airband uses amplitude modulation (AM) instead ...
14
votes
2answers
851 views

Does an airline have to pay if fighters intercept one of its aircraft?

It sometimes happens that because loss of radio communication or because wrong frequency tuned in during ATC handover etc... a country has to send fighters to intercept an aircraft in its airspace. If ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

What is the usual range of Approach and En Route ATC VHF radios? [duplicate]

I was wondering what is the regular range of Approach VHF radios used by ATC (normally 50W)? And what about En Route VHF radios (usually 100 or 250W)?
73
votes
4answers
11k views

How do civilian pilots and ATC verify that other people on the radio are who they claim to be?

I am interested in authentication - how identity is verified - in civilian aviation radio transmissions. I know that when someone is speaking on the radio he tells his call sign. But is there any ...
1
vote
1answer
789 views

Is there any source of live ATC audio with subtitles?

I'd like to know if there is a way to hear ATC and pilots' communications, with subtitles.
8
votes
1answer
262 views

How do I properly report sighting a drone or hobby UAV to ATC?

How would one go about reporting a drone (hobby UAV) sighted in the airspace of an airport on frequency, specifically to Tower? For example: I am doing patterns around the airport when to the ...
6
votes
1answer
225 views

If airports with pilot controlled lighting share a CTAF frequency, could the lights be triggered at multiple airports?

In the US, CTAF frequencies can be shared between several uncontrolled airports. That is, a pilot around airport A can hear the transmit of another pilot utilizing airport B. The question is can a ...