Aviation Communication Enunciation

Aircraft radio calls are about what you say, and how you say it.

That title is mouthful, isn’t it? That’s my point. Aviation communication takes the same conscious effort as flying an aircraft. When speaking on the aircraft radio, you must be heard and understood. There are many ways to be misunderstood on the aircraft radio. Here’s a partial list:

  1. Talking too fast. This is a very common problem among pilots and air traffic controllers.
  2. Starting your radio message before the microphone key is fully depressed.
  3. Mumbling, i.e. not moving your jaw when speaking.
  4. And my favorite, (not,) trying to sound like a WWII fighter pilot speaking into a throat mic, a.k.a. trying to speak without expelling breath.

I’ll have more on each of these problems in upcoming articles. For now, get in the habit of speaking up, speaking clearly, and speaking at a moderate rate. Your pilot’s license, and possibly your life, may depend on your effort to be heard and understood.


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