164

The difference here isn't between ships and aircraft: it's between Morse code and voice. The SOS signal is only for Morse code. It's short, easy to send, and easy to recognise. But it's not as convenient to say. It doesn't actually mean "save our souls". The letters were chosen just to form the simple Morse pattern, and "save our souls" is a backformation: ...


98

According to Wikipedia: The pronunciation of the digits 3, 4, 5, and 9 differs from standard English – being pronounced tree, fower, fife, and niner. The digit 3 is specified as tree so that it is not pronounced sri; the long pronunciation of 4 (still found in some English dialects) keeps it somewhat distinct from for; 5 is pronounced with a second "f" ...


63

I'm a controller, not a pilot, so I can only speak from my own perspective. What we are taught in ATC school is that many pilots are reluctant to use the word mayday because they feel it might escalate a situation unnecessarily and potentially create a lot of paperwork. I guess, mentally, it seems like calling mayday is a significant, irreversible step which ...


45

The primary reason is probably that it ensures there is no confusion between passengers, crew, or infants. Technically, "passengers" is the number of seats occupied, "crew" is both the pilots and flight attendants on duty. So any small children brought on as "lap children" will not be included in the "passengers" count, but should be included in the total ...


44

You report unable, and ATC will come up with a different plan. To provide some context: If I ask you to expedite a vertical manoeuvre, it is probably because you are on crossing tracks with another aircraft, and I want you to pass them either above or below. This could be to meet certain level restrictions, or simply because I want to provide you with ...


42

The word "Takeoff" should only be used when clearing somebody for takeoff, acknowledging your takeoff clearance, or cancelling/acknowledging a cancelled takeoff clearance. "Departure" should be used in all other circumstances, and as far as I'm aware whoever told you you could use the word Takeoff for VFR was wrong. Anybody saying the word "takeoff" ...


39

Generally when used in ATC movement instructions the word "company" means "The other aircraft operated by your company". In this context it's a convenient shorthand for controllers and pilots: If two aircraft from the same operator are going to the same place on the airport (one may be told "Follow company"), or to assist with visual separation and ...


36

I'm guessing you're referring to a clip such as this one. JFK ground is just being a bit informal and fun (as you can tell from the rest of the clip) with their instructions. Although it isn't mentioned, the controller is probably referring to a business jet flight, such as ExecJet. The "top 1%" refers to a ranking based on income, specifically those not in ...


36

It means you've been allocated a block altitude - you can fly whatever altitude you want between 7000 ft and 8000 ft. Typically this would be something you'd request, e.g. to practice unusual attitude recovery or to avoid having to hold a hard altitude in mountain wave. It's unusual for ATC to volunteer a block altitude without the pilot asking for it, but ...


35

The most obvious thing to me would be to just talk to them: Medevac 123, this is the Diamond on base for 31, do you need to expedite your departure? If they say no, then just continue and land as normal. If they say yes, then I'd get out of their way: Medevac 123, roger, we'll extend our base and fly a wide upwind to let you out I wouldn't worry ...


35

Short answer This wording comes from the common meaning of letter C to be Correct/Yes, early standardized and used at sea since 1857. Under the Commercial Code of Signals (1857-1902), the C flag, in addition of representing the letter itself, had the meaning of Yes/Affirmative. This code has been improved and extended into the International Code of Signals (...


32

"Zero seven five seven" is the correct way to state the time, pronouncing each digit separately per the table below. Aircraft call signs are sometimes grouped instead of annunciating each digit, for example United 6330 would be "sixty three thirty" instead of "six three three zero". Otherwise, headings, time, coordinates, and all other numbers used in ...


31

In civil aviation the ICAO standard phraseology should be used. This phraseology is described in ICAO document 9432. According to the definition in Doc 9432, Chapter 2, section 6, the word request means: "I should like to know ..." or "I wish to obtain ...". It is used for example by pilots to ask for a clearance to climb to an altitude (...


30

The "Approaching Minimums" callout is made by the Pilot Monitoring (or, in some cases equipment, the GPWS -- Ground Proximity Warning System) as the aircraft is descending on an instrument approach and has reached an altitude 100 feet above the minimums for that approach -- the Decision Altitude (DA -- typically used for a Cat I ILS, and set as XXX' MSL) or ...


30

There isn't really an official protocol, beyond the conventions everybody uses out of habit. Just pick the most prominent landmark, building or chart-labeled zone you can find or think of. The controller knows all of them so as long as it's not something like "next to a light pole", he/she will figure it out, and if not, they'll ask for clarification. If ...


29

Honestly? It's probably because they heard someone else do it, and thought it sounded cool (or otherwise just got it stuck in their head). You're 100% right - saying the runway name is, if slightly longer, certainly a bit more informative. It's the kind of thing that can help arriving pilots know which runway is in use, keeping later radio clutter ("Um, uhh,...


26

Saying mayday or pan-pan is only recommended, and repeating it three times is merely preferable. That statement applies to USA, and ICAO in general, by referencing both the AIM and AIP; and ICAO's Annex 10 Volume 2, respectively. Let's begin with the basic (from the linked AIP): A pilot who encounters a distress or urgency condition can obtain ...


26

"Acknowledged" means I heard you & understood what you said & I take responsibility for the information you just gave me. "Affirm" and its opposite, "negative," are answers to a yes/no question. They aren't really interchangeable, although Hollywood script writers are notorious for getting details like that wrong. An ...


25

ICAO ICAO Annex 11 and Doc 4444 confirm the usage of Upper. Airways are four groups per ICAO, the older group is A, B, G, and R. Those stand for Amber, Blue, Green, and Red. There are three other groups. So an airway named UG1 will be called Upper Green (not Golf) One on the radio. Example they give in Doc 4444: N0450F310 L9 UL9 STU285036/M082F310 UL9 ...


25

To add to @HiddenWindshield's answer, it's explained in UK's CAA Radiotelephony Manual CAP 413: Traffic Information and Avoiding Action Phraseology 5.21 Relative movement should be described by using one of the following terms as applicable: (...) 5. 'manoeuvring' where the conflicting traffic’s flight path and/or level information is unpredictable and/or ...


24

A vector is defined by a direction and magnitude. In aviation these represent your heading (the direction) and your speed (the magnitude). However, in normal aviation usage "vector" only refers to the heading and other nomenclature is used to assign/report speeds. Example: "Jetlink 1234, Cleveland Center, turn left heading 250 for traffic" In which case ...


24

When transmitting time, only the minutes of the hour are normally required. However, the hour should be included if there is any possibility of confusion. Time checks shall be given to the nearest minute and preceded by the word ‘TIME’. Co- ordinated Universal Time (UTC) is to be used at all times, unless specified. 2400 hours designates midnight, the end of ...


23

Since you are already on flight following you are already in the system (ATC has a flight strip for you and a datablock on the radar). Just call ATC and ask them for IFR to your destination. Don't bother asking for a frequency change to FSS to file a flight plan, only to come right back on and ask to pick it up. Austin Approach, Cessna 12345, request IFR ...


23

When instructed to report something. ATC: Cimber 626 turn left heading 120, cleared ILS approach runway 09, report established Pilot: Heading left 120, cleared ILS approach runway 09, WILCO, Cimber 626 ATC: OYABC airborne time 33, report passing Dalhem Pilot; (Roger), WILCO, OYABC ATC: Lufthansa 135, traffic is a Boeing 737 on 5 miles final for runway 09, ...


23

Runway 03 R would be pronounced as Runway Zero Three Right As ever, although British, I thoroughly recommend CAP 413 the UK's Radio Telephony manual: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=1&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=6973 It's mostly ICAO compliant and barring small differences, should contain plenty of ...


23

Just tell them what you said in your question. "Approach, N23456 I will be off frequency for a couple of minutes to pick up the ATIS for ABC Airport." That should work just fine. If the controller has an issue with that he/she will let you know and respond accordingly depending on existing circumstances. Remember to report back on frequency.


22

Yes, it is correct to use MAYDAY or PAN PAN PAN on the ground. In recurrent training we are often reminded that in the case of a rejected takeoff in a foreign country it is important to use MAYDAY or PAN PAN PAN on the ground to avoid any confusion due to language difficulties. It's probably a good idea at any airport as a disabled aircraft on a busy ...


22

I have never heard "tally ho" used in civilian aviation and it not a recognised phrase so should not be used. A civilian ATCO would not think positively about anyone using that phrase. It used to be used in military comms in combat. Its usage arose during WW1 when the Royal Flying Corps (and later the Royal Air Force) drew its crews mostly from the "...


21

There is one example in the AIM used for transitioning from VFR to IFR, and it how I've always done it: AIM 5-2-5. Abbreviated IFR Departure Clearance (Cleared … as Filed) Procedures EXAMPLE- "Los Angeles center, Apache Six One Papa, VFR estimating Paso Robles VOR at three two, one thousand five hundred, request IFR to Bakersfield." ...


21

Yes, you were allowed to enter the class C in that case, but you weren't cleared to do it because no clearance is needed to operate in class C, just communication with ATC. The AIM 3-2-4 has the best explanation of this (see also the basic regulation in 14 CFR 91.130): If the controller responds to a radio call with, “(air craft callsign) standby,” ...


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