The AIM section almost everyone ignores.

The Aeronautical Information Manual says be brief on the radio, yet some pilots use the radio like a personal chat line. The Aeronautical Information Manual also says, use your full call sign, including your prefix. Many pilots make up their own call sign rules.

Here’s a link to a free .pdf copy of the AIM.

In this week’s episode, we’ll talk about why the guidance in the AIM about radio use might save your butt some day. It begins with a weird arrival to Runway 22 at Puerta Vallarta. Then there’s this part about bad Atlanta drivers who wouldn’t know the difference between a turn signal lever and a hole in the ground. It ends with a rebel pilot who hides his true identity to keep a controller guessing. Makes sense? Tune in, and it will. I promise.

Show Notes:

  1. The Aeronautical Information Manual says brevity on the radio is very important. I have a story about an arrival into Puerta Vallarta that illustrates why it can really mess up a good day if the radio is tied up with yackity-yack.
  2. There is the right way to use your call sign and there is the wrong way. Despite clear guidance about what is the “right way,” most pilots do it their way–which is wrong. Be a trend-setter and do it right. I explain how.
  3. Thank you to everyone who bought Clearance Magic over the last couple of weeks. The program for pilots learning IFR clearances is still on sale at

Question of the Week:

Your call sign is Piper 5378 Yankee. You are flying VFR over the western United States in the late evening. The controller says to you, “Piper 78 Yankee, change to my frequency, 128.7.” You acknowledge this radio call and then tune your radio to the new frequency.

What is the radio call you would make to check in on the new frequency?

When you think you know the answer click Answer to Questions Asked in Radar Contact. That will take you to a page where you will find the answer, along with a complete explanation.

Questions for me?


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