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?
If you fly out of a smaller, general aviation airfield, you are probably convinced that you will never be faced with the prospect of following the instructions of the seemingly mute, Visi-vest clad, baton wielding persons called marshalls.
For those of you who quiver at the very initiation of contact with the ATC, fear not, here are some tricks that will help…
Ah yes… The NOTAM. The ‘Notice to Air Men (Women)’ which most general aviation…actually all pilots, are meant to examine prior to taking off, but in all honesty, seldom do. We are going to show you how to read these notices…
If you’re anything like me, and the very sight of someone vomiting makes you turn green, then you are probably thinking this is a ‘MAYDAY’ situation and we need to land immediately – right?
if you take a little time to understand high frequency (HF) communications, you may be able to solve your own problems by simply selecting the right frequency for your flying conditions.
An airliner is communicating with a station using HF radio. Gradually, communication quality declines until it has all but faded out. Why does this happen, and what actions are taken to restore communications?
Following on from part one, of what to do if your radio appears to have failed in flight, here we tackle what to do in the case of a radio failure during an IFR flight. Unlucky for me, this one actually happened to me this past week - as they say there is always a...
Ever been in radio contact with another pilot who asks: ‘How do you read?’. You know that this relates to the radio transmission, but do you know how to answer this question?
You may be quite surprised to know that South Africa has indeed got five classes of airspace and not four! It may not have been brought to your attention, but indeed, Grand Central Airport in Midrand is the proud owner of South Africa's only Class D airspace. Not a...