Pages : 1)
Contact Proc | 2)
Acft Callsigns | 3)
Comm with Ground
The section from the AIM on radio procedures and phraseology is
an excellent model and not much could be done to improve upon it.
There are some sections which might not apply, but they are included
for general information.
Therefore, here are the appropriate sections from Chapter 4, Section
2 - RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PHRASEOLOGY AND TECHNIQUES
- Radio communications are a critical link in the ATC system.
The link can be a strong bond between pilot and controller or
it can be broken with surprising speed and disastrous results.
Discussion herein provides basic procedures for new pilots and
also highlights safe operating concepts for all pilots.
- The single, most important thought in pilot/controller communications
is understanding. It is essential, therefore, that pilots acknowledge
each radio communication with ATC by using the appropriate aircraft
call sign. Brevity is important, and contacts should be kept as
brief as possible, but controllers must know what you want to
do before they can properly carry out their control duties. And
you, the pilot, must know exactly what the controller wants you
to do. Since concise phraseology may not always be adequate, use
whatever words are necessary to get your message across. Pilots
are to maintain vigilance in monitoring air traffic control radio
communications frequencies for potential traffic conflicts with
their aircraft especially when operating on an active runway and/or
when conducting a final approach to landing.
- All pilots will find the Pilot/Controller Glossary very helpful
in learning what certain words or phrases mean. Good phraseology
enhances safety and is the mark of a professional pilot. Jargon,
chatter, and "CB" slang have no place in ATC communications.
is the same glossary used in
FAA Order 7110.65
, Air Traffic Control. We recommend that it be studied and reviewed
from time to time to sharpen your communication skills.
4-2-2. RADIO TECHNIQUE
- LISTEN before you transmit. Many times you can get the information
you want through ATIS or by monitoring the frequency. Except for
a few situations where some frequency overlap occurs, if you hear
someone else talking, the keying of your transmitter will be futile
and you will probably jam their receivers causing them to repeat
their call. If you have just changed frequencies, pause, listen,
and make sure the frequency is clear.
- THINK before keying your transmitter. Know what you want to
say and if it is lengthy; for example, a flight plan or IFR position
report, jot it down.
- The microphone should be very close to your lips and after pressing
the mike button, a slight pause may be necessary to be sure the
first word is transmitted. Speak in a normal, conversational tone.
- When you release the button, wait a few seconds before calling
again. The controller or FSS specialist may be jotting down your
number, looking for your flight plan, transmitting on a different
frequency, or selecting the transmitter for your frequency.
- Be alert to the sounds OR THE LACK OF SOUNDS in your receiver.
Check your volume, recheck your frequency, and MAKE SURE THAT
YOUR MICROPHONE IS NOT STUCK in the transmit position. Frequency
blockage can, and has, occurred for extended periods of time due
to unintentional transmitter operation. This type of interference
is commonly referred to as a "stuck mike," and controllers may
refer to it in this manner when attempting to assign an alternate
frequency. If the assigned frequency is completely blocked by
this type of interference, use the procedures described for enroute
IFR radio frequency outage to establish or reestablish communications
- Be sure that you are within the performance range of your radio
equipment and the ground station equipment. Remote radio sites
do not always transmit and receive on all of a facility's available
frequencies, particularly with regard to VOR sites where you can
hear but not reach a ground station's receiver. Remember that
higher altitudes increase the range of VHF "line-of-sight" communications.
4-2-3. CONTACT PROCEDURES
- Initial Contact
1. The terms initial contact or initial callup means the first
radio call you make to a given facility or the first call to a
different controller or FSS specialist within a facility. Use
the following format:
(a) Name of the facility being called;
(b) Your FULL aircraft identification as filed in
the flight plan or as discussed under Aircraft Call Signs below;
(c) The type of message to follow or your request
if it is short, and
(d) the word "Over" if required.
"NEW YORK RADIO, MOONEY THREE ONE ONE ECHO."
"COLUMBIA GROUND, CESSNA THREE ONE SIX ZERO FOXTROT, IFR MEMPHIS."
"MIAMI CENTER, BARON FIVE SIX THREE HOTEL, REQUEST VFR TRAFFIC
2. Many FSSs are equipped with RCOs and can transmit on the same
frequency at more than one location. The frequencies available
at specific locations are indicated on charts above FSS communications
boxes. To enable the specialist to utilize the correct transmitter,
advise the location and the frequency on which you expect a reply.
St. Louis FSS can transmit on frequency 122.3 at either Farmington,
MO or Decatur, IL. If you are in the vicinity of Decatur, your
callup should be "SAINT LOUIS RADIO, PIPER SIX NINER SIX YANKEE,
RECEIVING DECATUR ONE TWO TWO POINT THREE."
3. If radio reception is reasonably assured, inclusion of your
request, your position or altitude, and the phrase "(ATIS) Information
Charlie received" in the initial contact helps decrease radio
frequency congestion. Use discretion; do not overload the controller
with information unneeded or superfluous. If you do not get a
response from the ground station, recheck your radios or use another
transmitter, but keep the next contact short.
"ATLANTA CENTER, DUKE FOUR ONE ROMEO, REQUEST VFR TRAFFIC ADVISORIES,
TWENTY NORTHWEST ROME, SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, OVER."
- Initial Contact When your Transmitting and Receiving Frequencies
1. If you are attempting to establish contact with a ground station
and you are receiving on a different frequency than that transmitted,
indicate the VOR name or the frequency on which you expect a reply.
Most FSSs and control facilities can transmit on several VOR stations
in the area. Use the appropriate FSS call sign as indicated on
New York FSS transmits on the Kennedy, the Hampton, and the Calverton
VORTACs. If you are in the Calverton area, your callup should
be "NEW YORK RADIO, CESSNA THREE ONE SIX ZERO FOXTROT, RECEIVING
CALVERTON VOR, OVER."
2. If the chart indicates FSS frequencies above the VORTAC or
in the FSS communications boxes, transmit or receive on those
frequencies nearest your location.
3. When unable to establish contact and you wish to call ANY ground
station, use the phrase "ANY RADIO (tower) (station), GIVE CESSNA
THREE ONE SIX ZERO FOXTROT A CALL ON (frequency) OR (VOR)." If
an emergency exists or you need assistance, so state.
- Subsequent Contacts and Responses to Callup from a Ground
Use the same format as used for the initial contact except you
should state your message or request with the callup in one transmission.
The ground station name and the word "Over" may be omitted if
the message requires an obvious reply and there is no possibility
for misunderstandings. You should acknowledge all callups or clearances
unless the controller or FSS specialist advises otherwise. There
are some occasions when controllers must issue time critical instructions
to other aircraft, and they may be in a position to observe your
response, either visually or on radar. If the situation demands
your response, take appropriate action or immediately advise the
facility of any problem. Acknowledge with your aircraft identification,
either at the beginning or at the end of your transmission, and
one of the words "Wilco," "Roger," "Affirmative," "Negative,"
or other appropriate remarks; e.g., "PIPER TWO ONE FOUR LIMA,
ROGER." If you have been receiving services; e.g., VFR traffic
advisories and you are leaving the area or changing frequencies,
advise the ATC facility and terminate contact.
- Acknowledgement of Frequency Changes -
1. When advised by ATC to change frequencies, acknowledge the
instruction. If you select the new frequency without an acknowledgement,
the controller's workload is increased because there is no way
of knowing whether you received the instruction or have had radio
2. At times, a controller/specialist may be working a sector with
multiple frequency assignments. In order to eliminate unnecessary
verbiage and to free the controller/specialist for higher priority
transmissions, the controller/specialist may request the pilot
"(Identification), change to my frequency 123.4." This phrase
should alert the pilot that the controller/specialist is only
changing frequencies, not controller/specialist, and that initial
callup phraseology may be abbreviated.
"UNITED TWO TWENTY-TWO ON ONE TWO THREE POINT FOUR." OR "ONE TWO
THREE POINT FOUR, UNITED TWO TWENTY-TWO."
- Compliance with Frequency Changes
When instructed by ATC to change frequencies, select the new frequency
as soon as possible unless instructed to make the change at a
specific time, fix, or altitude. A delay in making the change
could result in an untimely receipt of important information.
If you are instructed to make the frequency change at a specific
time, fix, or altitude, monitor the frequency you are on until
reaching the specified time, fix, or altitudes unless instructed
otherwise by ATC.
REFERENCE - ARTCC Communications, paragraph 5-3-1.
on in part 2: Aircraft Callsigns