General Technique

Experience on the Radio Can Be the Worst Teacher

Experience means jack if you aren’t open to learning something new from your experiences. Fair warning, learning by experience without distinguishing good from bad can lead you to very dark and dangerous places. Nowhere is this more true than in an aircraft cockpit. Let me explain. I’ve been flying fixed wing airplanes since I was …

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Common Traffic Advisory Frequencies and ATC as Customer Service

This edition of the Radar Contact Show consolidates the previous 3 articles about using a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) and about ATC as customer service organization. If you would rather read about CTAF, you can find the full articles using these links. How to Select and Use the Correct Common Traffic Advisory Frequency It’s …

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It’s What You Don’t Hear on the Radio that Can Get You

In the past I’ve talked about the importance of listening to the aircraft radio to build situational awareness. Nowhere is this more important than in an uncontrolled airport traffic pattern. Here’s an example radio call you might hear in an uncontrolled pattern. “Town and Country Traffic, Piper 525 Yankee Golf, four mile straight-in, Runway 17, …

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We’d Be Thrilled If You Simply Used Your Call Sign!

I’ve spent a lot of time at this website talking to you about how to format your call sign when transmitting on the radio. While focusing on tiny details, I failed to recognize the bigger problem. Many pilots do not even use their call sign when talking to ATC. Time to slay that dragon. There …

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Top 5 Time-Wasting Phrases Pilots Use

“And Oakland Center, Beach Ball 373GK, 17,000.” 5.”And” is one of those filler sounds, similar to “Uh” and “Um” that sprinkles some pilots’ vocabularies. It’s a lousy habit. The only cure is to become conscious of it and cut it out.   “Cleveland Center, Serious 749NE, with you, at Flight Level 330.” 4.”With you.” Really?! Where …

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