Why Can’t I Fly and Talk to ATC?

Do some of that pilot stuff, Mav!
Do some of that pilot stuff, Mav!

In this show, we are going deep, very deep, into why it is so hard to talk on the radio and fly at the same time. The answer has something to do with unicycles and violins, and the F-14 (shown above). I know that doesn’t make sense right now, but it will in a moment. Just give me a little of your time, patience, and practice, and it will all work out in the end. You’ll see–and hear–in this week’s show.

Show Notes:

  1. The number question I get asked at ATCcommunication.com is: Why can’t I fly and talk to ATC at the same time? The answer is: You aren’t ready to do that, just yet.
  2. It takes time, patience, and practice to learn how to talk and fly at the same time. There are no shortcuts.

  4. You may accelerate practice on the aircraft radio by practicing at home. I have 4 options for practicing: Chair fly; practice with a training partner; use the Aircraft Radio Simulator; use 122.75.

  6. Errata. In my new book, Radio Mastery for VFR Pilots, I incorrectly list 123.45 as the frequency to use when practicing radio technique. This is incorrect. Use 122.75 to talk airplane to airplane and to practice your radio work.

Question of the Week:

You are about to taxi out to the runway at a tower-controlled airport. Tower is using Runway 36 for departures. After you tell the ground controller you are ready to taxi, the ground controller says to you, “Cessna 9130 Delta, Runway 36 at intersection Mike. Taxi via Alpha and Mike.” Here’s the question, and it’s a two-part question.

First, what does the ground controller mean when he says, “Runway 36 at intersection Mike.”

Second, let’s say there are three taxiways that connect to Runway 36. Taxiways Lima, Mike and November. If Taxiway November intersects the beginning of the runway, also known as the approach end, and Taxiways Mike and Lima connect to runway at points further down the runway. Without looking at any printed material how could you tell exactly how much runway would be available for takeoff if you started your takeoff roll beginning abeam Taxiway Mike or Taxiway Lima?

When you think you know the answer to that question, go to this link for a complete answer as well as an explanation.


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