VFR

Contacting Flight Service; Searching for IFR Traffic in an Uncontrolled Pattern

If you can get all the aviation weather data you need online, do you really need to know how to contact Flight Service on the radio? It depends on who you ask. I say yes. A Flight Service agent can save time and point you in the right direction. An agent can quickly sift through …

Contacting Flight Service; Searching for IFR Traffic in an Uncontrolled Pattern Read More »

Learning Radio Phrasing By Experience is Highly Risky

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 …

Learning Radio Phrasing By Experience is Highly Risky Read More »

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 …

Experience on the Radio Can Be the Worst Teacher Read More »

Making Mistakes on the Aircraft Radio

In this episode, we’ll talk about why you make mistakes on the radio and what it says about your performance as a pilot. I think my analysis will surprise you (in a good way). Also, some pilots have asked interesting questions about the details of reporting your position in an uncontrolled airport pattern. Just when …

Making Mistakes on the Aircraft Radio Read More »

Aircraft Color in Place of Call Sign is a Bad Idea

“Town and Country Traffic, red and white Skyhawk, 4-mile final, Runway One Seven, Town and Country.” “Town and Country Traffic, blue and white Warrior, turning base, Runway One Seven, Town and Country.” “Town and Country Traffic, red and white Skyhawk, final, Runway One Seven, Town and Country.” Do you think saying your aircraft’s color scheme …

Aircraft Color in Place of Call Sign is a Bad Idea Read More »

Next Radar Contact Show: Call Sign by Color, and Picking Up VFR Flight Following

If you’re using your aircraft model and color scheme to identify yourself in an uncontrolled airport pattern, I have a good reason to quit immediately. Let’s talk about that reason in the next edition of the Radar Contact Show. It’s been awhile since we talked about how to make initial contact with ATC when requesting …

Next Radar Contact Show: Call Sign by Color, and Picking Up VFR Flight Following Read More »

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 …

Common Traffic Advisory Frequencies and ATC as Customer Service Read More »

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, …

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

How to Select and Use the Correct Common Traffic Advisory Frequency

A pilot named Michael recently wrote to me with this question about the use of a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). “I have a question regarding Unicom’s vs CTAF’s.  I’m an Alaska pilot and I also have some time in Eastern Washington, Oregon and Western Idaho. When I was getting my lessons in that region …

How to Select and Use the Correct Common Traffic Advisory Frequency Read More »

Scroll to Top