A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from an Insider with ATCcommunication.com. Daniel wrote to me asking about a non-standard instruction given to him by a tower controller. The controller told him to fly “towards the numbers.” He couldn’t find that phrase anywhere in the Aeronautical Information Manual. It turns out, tower controllers say a lot of things that aren’t in the manual. It’s perfectly legal for them to do so.
In this show, you and I will cover what, how, and why airport tower controllers give instructions that are non-standard. We’ll also talk about what you can do when a tower controller says something that surprises you.
- The Air Traffic Controller’s Manual allows controllers to use non-standard phraseology to ensure the safe and expeditious flow of traffic.
- If you feel safety has been compromised by non-standard phraseology, file a NASA report at this link:http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/report/electronic.html
- If you need to talk to someone at the FAA about non-standard phraseology, you can try contacting an agent at your local Flight Standards District Office. Use this link to look up the phone number and address:http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/
- Questions of the Week:
1. What is the difference between the departure leg and the upwind leg of a traffic pattern?
2. In the example I gave, was the tower controller phrasing correct when he said, “Continue on the upwind leg?”Answer to Radar Contact 10’s Questions of the Week
- If you are planning to take the ICAO English Language Proficiency Test or a Radio Transmission Test, feel free to contact me with your questions at jeff@ATCcommunication.com.