For some reason, even though every pilot has been taught radio phraseology as part of their training, a number of bad habits and ambiguous words have entered the skies, to such an extent that one actually starts to wonder if these are acceptable.
Setting your transponder code allows ATC to follow your progress in their airspace using this technology, but do you know the difference of when you are just being ‘followed’, and when ATC is actually ensuring your separation and making sure you don’t collide with terrain, or other aircraft?
Ever made contact with an ATC when wanting to enter a controlled airspace and they have told you to ‘standby’? Understanding what it means is simple enough, but what action are you supposed to take?
Even if you are a private pilot who just likes to take friends and family for flips on the weekend, it is important for their safety, and yours, that you brief them properly. However, this can be awkward, and is especially dependent on the type of person that is your passenger.
It may seem suspicious to you if all you hear is quiet, but perhaps your transmissions are being heard, and you just can’t receive the transmissions of others?
The purpose here is not to highlight the importance of filing a flight plan (you should), but rather to answer the important question of what to do if circumstances in flight cause you to deviate from the flight plan?