Ahem. Excuse me. Pardon me. Interruptions on the aircraft radio are inevitable. I’ve got some tips and techniques for you to reduce the number of times you accidentally interrupt a conversation between ATC and another pilot.
Here’s a downloadable transcript of this show in .pdf format: Interruptions
- Accidentally stepping on or into a conversation between ATC and another pilot is just a part of communication. It happens.
- Some air traffic controllers get very frustrated when you disrupt their conversation. They’ll get over it!
- There are some techniques you can try to reduce your chances of interrupting someone else.
- First, realize every conversation on the radio has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Learn to recognize each part.
- Make a conscious effort to wait until a conversation between ATC and another pilot is over before speaking up.
- When switching to a new frequency, my technique is to wait 4 seconds after switching before I begin to speak. This gives a good opportunity for anyone who was pausing in the middle of a conversation to get back on the line and finish.
- If you do your best, but still manage to interrupt, don’t sweat it. Voice communication on the radio is old technology. Until something better comes along, interruptions will continue to happen.
Give my techniques a try and then let me know how they work for you. Email or call me with your questions or results. Or, leave a comment in the space below.