I’ve written before about the consequences of joking on the aviation radio band. It never occurred to me to address the use of foul language on the radio, until today.

Recently, a comment arrived at this website that needed a reply. Although the comment was trenchant, the email address the commentator used included a foul-language username.

Foul language is not appropriate for this forum, particularly one that examines correct phraseology on the radio. I answered the question and told the commentator the whole transaction will be wiped from this website in 3 days. That should be long enough for my reply to reach him, but not so long as to permanently mar the website.

I found it odd that this individual was highly observant about radio etiquette but blind to the implications of offensive language used in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I’ve heard a lot of irrelevant, snarky transmissions on the radio, but I don’t recall ever hearing foul language. That said, I’ve read about incidents of cursing on the radio lately. I suppose it needs addressing.

Don’t do it.

Do I need to say why? Apparently I do because some pilots are missing the obvious. Communication on aviation frequencies is all about supporting safe flight. Cursing makes no contribution to aviation safety. I could even argue cursing runs counter to safety because it is distracting. It’s distracting to pilots trying to focus on flying and navigating. It’s distracting to air traffic controllers trying to focus on traffic separation and sequencing.

That’s the high-level view of the argument. Here’s the low-level view. If you value your FCC Radio Station Permit, which is a required part of your pilot credentials, don’t curse on the aviation radio band. If you value your pilot’s license, also a vital component, don’t curse on the aviation radio band. Cursing on frequency could result in suspension or loss of both certificates.

Is that enough? Good. Let’s get back to discussing proper radio phraseology.



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