View Full Version : Professionalism and "inshaa allah" or what ever...

31st Mar 2004, 17:19
Yesterday I heard a Kenya flight inbound NBO give his estimates and end with "inshaa Allah".
I believe in courtesies - e. g. say hello or bye in the local language. But Allah or whatever God has nothing to do with FMCs or the way we work dem. Unfortunately I hear d above more and more often recently.
To me it is sheer hypocrisy on behalf of the highly religious crew and a waste of airtime. And a disgrace to all us profi pilots...
I guess ICAO should take an example from the "head scarf ban" in France.
Any comments?

31st Mar 2004, 17:30
Oh Blimey!
It's just a pleasantry my dear chap.
Perhaps we should ban the use of the word 'goodbye' while we're at it. ('God be with you' in case you aren't sure of where it came from.)

:ok: :O

31st Mar 2004, 17:52

'Insha-Allah' means god willing and is a very common phrase used all over the muslim world. Muslims use it all the time and always will.

Viscount Sussex
31st Mar 2004, 17:53
Well said Rads!

Or even "Adios" in Spanish.

Chill out mate.:cool: :cool: :cool:

31st Mar 2004, 18:05
The R/T airways are already congested enough, so we should stick to the standard phraseology. This discipline also removes any unwanted transmission being misinterpreted or mistaken by others as an ATC instruction.

Perhaps with a future data link system the boffins could provide a ‘smiley’ selection to accompany our messages, this might replace some of the lost intonation of a spoken message and convey the appropriate greeting.

:D cleared direct ... :ok: OK

Piltdown Man
31st Mar 2004, 18:06
Swish266:- I'm afraid that so far you are in a minority of one. Rads, abb911 and our royal member probably speak for most of us. Intollerance of any sort has no place in our profession (or in other words, our profession doesn't really have a place for racist and religous bigots). Maybe a different vocation like envelope stuffing for the BNP might be a more suitable occupation?

Anyway, I think it's quite amusing...

Vive la differance!

Tot Ziens.


31st Mar 2004, 18:14
swish266 Go around :uhoh: with right turn ;) maintain 3000ft :confused: and hold :sad: greeting :mad:

31st Mar 2004, 19:00
hi swish,

i do agree with the concept totally that radio procedure should be limited to the known standard phraseology but u being frm zanzi'bar would know more about it thn any of us..its all in good spirits.

let the man who has not been guilty of transmiting in non- standard phraseology come fwd... ur guess is as good as mine who came fwd...inshallah one day u will understand he he


31st Mar 2004, 19:11
As a foreigner living on Switzerland's doorstep sir, one might be reluctant to accept that this postings is any more than your average Swiss superiority complex reaction, or Xenophobia as is being perfected in your (I presume) homeland...



31st Mar 2004, 20:17
isn't it enough we have to cope with crying babies, lost bags, rapacious air taxes, wx, atc holds etc. without having to get God to give "permission to approach"?

all the same I bet some shamrock capts added "with the help o' god" to their PAs from time to time :D

31st Mar 2004, 20:42
If you want to see "professionalism" from some these guys, wait until you have one up front that wraps the "worry beads" around the gear lever.

On requesting the reason, was told it will make sure the gear will extend, on damand.

Thats dinkum.

31st Mar 2004, 22:21
Forget the worry beads, In fine Australian Spirit I like to hang a nice large set of Fluffy Dice, not on the Gear lever, but on the standby compass, so they hang right in the middle of the front windscreens. Beaudiful Mate!

:} :}

Captain Sand Dune
31st Mar 2004, 23:28
Or how about the travel prayer that's played in the cabin during taxi :eek:
Can't go past the Yanks for unnecessary gibber on the radio though:E

Flight Detent
1st Apr 2004, 02:20
If you've ever travelled with Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines), you get all, all those things in the one flight!

They do things rather differently than one normally expects!

And, I don't plan to travel with them ever again.

Seems their 'Inshala' and 'worry beads' didn't work real well in KL last year when they taxiied one of their B747-300s off the taxiway into a ditch! - no brakes - even though the -300 has three sources of brake pressure, not to mention reverse thrust!

(And Yes, I have read the full accident report!)

I even watched them stripping the airframe each time I taxied past, in the months after the accident.


Buster Hyman
1st Apr 2004, 02:33
You should probably just be greatfull that they are speaking a "foreign" language called English in the first place.

Now, if they were quoting a passage from the Koran/Bible/whatever, then I'd agree with you, but surely, we can show a little humanity on the airwaves.

It's only a small part of the world where there is a common tongue in regular use. God knows we need to understand our neighbours now, more than ever! :(

1st Apr 2004, 02:49
Yep, chill out dude...
might as well get rid of Merry Xmas, Happy New year, g'day, thank you etc etc...damned non standard phrasiologies...they will be the death of us all!

1st Apr 2004, 04:41
It's hotwired in ,you will never get them to stop saying it.

1st Apr 2004, 05:51
For true tedium, there's nothing to beat the "Errr, Dumbtown Center, err, this is Urrrmurrrikannnn 123 checkin' in at, err, three five oh. Anyone got a ride report......" followed by 5 minutes of "Well, yeah, we, errr, had some light chop some ways back but it's lookin' OK right now", "Err, thank you, Sir and have a good one....."

Or the babble on 123.45 "Hey, anyone know how the Dodgers game went........" Heard that [email protected] going on on enight until a True Brit came up with "Never mind your colonial rounders results, how went the Pooh Sticks contest yesterday?"

"*****at 09, FL 330, estimate ***** at 55, insh' Allah" is pretty harmless in comparison.

Still, I'm out of all that now!

1st Apr 2004, 07:51
It would appear to be an innocuous sort of a request for other peoples opinion of an activity that is not in the book.

To be called racist and a bigot for this query would to my mind put Piltdown Man's level of intelligence and social development just about on a par with his nom de plume.


1st Apr 2004, 08:06
Flight Detent

You said in your post:-"Seems their 'Inshala' and 'worry beads' didn't work real well in KL last year when they taxiied one of their B747-300s off the taxiway into a ditch! - no brakes - even though the -300 has three sources of brake pressure, not to mention reverse thrust!"

The accident was not the fault of Flight Crew, there were none on board. It was an accident caused by maintenance staff not following procedures. Don't single out Saudia because of this, I have seen a very interesing set of pictures of a Continental MD8? embedded into an airport terminal after an apparently similar c*ck up.

I think that posts like yours knocking Saudia and other "non-Western" airlines betray a streak of racist ignorance. I have been a training captain in a Middle Eastern airline for 20+ years, and I can assure you that their professionalism is as good as any, and better than most. Oh, and I'm a Brit......

1st Apr 2004, 08:09
As abb911 says, it actually means (loosely translated) “God willing” or “If it be Allah’s will”, a Muslim version of the old Aviation acronym GWWP* that used to appear at the end of many a signal (who remembers signals?) in days gone by. (*“God willing, weather permitting”)

It may be of interest to those at both extremes of this debate that Malaysian Airlines, (another good Muslim airline) once issued a Notice to Pilots forbidding captains from using the phrase in their PAs, in particular when giving the expected arrival time. Management felt that giving the ETA followed by “in’sh allah” might give passengers the wrong idea of just how certain the pilots were about actually completing the flight as planned.

You hear it quite a bit on the airwaves around the Middle East, and it bothers me no more and no less than the “Good Mornings”, “Bon Jours” and “G’days” pilots of other cultures often start or end their calls with.

Where the phrase does scare the socks off me is when it’s used by a taxi driver to explain his utterly stupid driving. “In’sh allah” in that environment means “I can drive any way I want and I’ll either survive or I won’t survive – it’s all in God’s hands, and the way I drive won’t change things one bit.”

Anyone who’s driven or been driven in Cairo will understand how scary that attitude can be for a non-believer.

1st Apr 2004, 08:11
It's pretty normal. In any case my mother and grandmother used to say "God willing" a lot. No big deal.
The bit that used to confuse me was when the guy said insh'Allah after reporting the waypoint he'd just passed. :confused: Perhaps an Islamic pilot could explain.

1st Apr 2004, 08:52
First of all I m very happy I got all dis feed-bk in less dan 24 h!
Tnx guys n girls.
As a matter of interest I timed what percentage of a normal estimates' report of 3 points is "insha Allah" - 7%!!!!!!!!!
As I said in my initial input saying bye n hi in d local language is not a prob. But relating my arrival at a certain place at a certain time to "God's speed or keenness" is an offence to my intelligence.
I wonder what would pax say if they hear the above from d Captain?
I used to fly in NATS and I know about the typical cra*p banter of american crews on in-flight broadcast and Guard freqs, but dis is a different theme.

Keep it rolling!

1st Apr 2004, 08:53
As far as I know, Islamic teaching forbids one to speak of the future (as in estimate etc.) without adding the phrase as teaching is that it will only happen if he wills it. It is much shorter than the aaah you hear all day from one of the World's leading nations, so how about a bit of mutual respect and tolerance?

Mr Chips
1st Apr 2004, 10:23
However Swish does his/her R/T, I hope its not in the teenage text style language s/he has used here!!!

1st Apr 2004, 11:42
I have observed the increased piety of these guys in the last 2 yrs... I been flyin my present routes for more dan five...

1st Apr 2004, 13:55
Swish , Chill. Like you’ve never said anything unnecessary on the wireless before.
It’s nothing out of the ordinary for Islamic carriers to utter this and their pax would be thankful. Tolerance, Swish tolerance.

The crew of the aircraft that saw the TWA 47’ go down at Long Island uttered the words. ‘ God bless em’ Any Muslims want a rant about that?? ,…. No I didn’t think so.

Live and let live swish.:cool:

1st Apr 2004, 15:44


1st Apr 2004, 17:15
Unlike most of the guys who excell at English spelling on these forums, I am not a native English speaker. But from the flak they are shooting at me, I guess they get the point pretty well...

I belive one reason I got my CPL 20 years ago only after I did an ICAO approved course in Aviation English, is safety... It did not include though any divine refferences.

No further comment...

"Ins' Allah"

1st Apr 2004, 19:24
First time I got a "Good Luck" from an Irishman I thought he had a downlink of my radar :E :E :E

Beaver Driver
1st Apr 2004, 21:14
I think Swish brought up a point for discussion; whether good or bad it has done that. His post is not all that different from the Brits on this forum who have been whining incessantly over the last couple of years over the Yanks misuse of 123.45, or their supposed improper radio phraseology. I wonder if Swish's post was designed to get some of you out of the woodwork and make you all realize how arrogant and p!ssy your posts have sounded to the rest of us.

Swish isn't even American and yet some of you have seen fit to beat that old tired drum "whaaaaa.... the Umericans are talking about the Dodgers on 123.45 again." GET A LIFE. Are you guys really as hypocritical as you sound on this forum.

2nd Apr 2004, 04:51
OK, you want to know what REALLY gets on my goat? The dreaded “the”. “The” Speedbird, (and increasingly) “the” Emirates...

To my (non British) ear, it grates enormously, sounding like the very worst of pretentious Pommie posturing.

Forget the religion bashing. Let’s have a real barney and discuss the use of “the”.

2nd Apr 2004, 05:32
Amen to that. Drives me *** batty.

2nd Apr 2004, 06:56
"The" has been around for a while.

P****s me off too.

Was hoping it was stamped out but seems to be raising it's ugly head again.

2nd Apr 2004, 11:21
Yes, I must say I've noriced an increasing number of 'THEE' Emirates on the Middle Eastern airwaves lately. I can't say why, but it really rubs me up the wrong way too.

2nd Apr 2004, 11:55
Maybe because you wish you were flying for them. :E

2nd Apr 2004, 12:07

Not me, thankyou very much.

Why would I wish to be flying for THE Emirates? Is it the be all to end all? Dont think so. If you do, and are employed by them, may I suggest you make the most of it, while it lasts.:}

2nd Apr 2004, 12:24
Although salutations may not be standard phraseology, they may be argued to enhance safety of the air - with minimal cluttering of airwaves - by focussing the controllers' and fellow airspace users' minds that a new aircraft has come on frequency, or one is about to leave. That in addition to plain curteousy is one of the reasons I believe it should stay in use.

Your reaction to hear Allah on the airwaves is a bit jumpy it would appear.

2nd Apr 2004, 12:24
Who needs JB when you can get childish squabbling and banter on the premium forum on Pprune?

As a humble pax I'm amazed about how het up you can get about a matter that is surely of trivial consequence.

Live and let live anyone?

2nd Apr 2004, 13:16
Pls stay on focus.
My main concern is safety!

Dont drift off to take punches at each other...

I raised d whole issue coz I feel that even if only 7% of the air time, d "divine ref" is a waste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ICAO sets standards and we r obliged to comply. No matter if we believe in Christ, Allah, Budha etc. We must refrain from taking even a second of air time, unless it is directly related to d job.

I got upset coz I hear this more and more lately!!!
As somebody above said non-standard talk takes extra mental resources from the crew/ATC, coz dey do not hear what dey expect to. And a part (even if minuscle) of your brain is taken off the process of monitoring to solve the issue of analysing what you just heard.

Imagine if all the time we have to strain to listen to and comprehend the non-standard and non-essential talk?!

Go on! I like this discussion!


African Queen
2nd Apr 2004, 13:34
OK, you want to know what REALLY gets on my goat? The dreaded “the”. “The” Speedbird, (and increasingly) “the” Emirates... To my (non British) ear, it grates enormously, sounding like the very worst of pretentious Pommie posturing. Forget the religion bashing. Let’s have a real barney and discuss the use of “the”.

As a controller I wholehartedly agree. I always do my best to take the p1ss out of any pilot who uses it.

As for "insh allah" I always find it amusing when I get a position report that ends ..."....estimate $%^& at 0000Z inshallah!" and it must work 'cos I haven't lost one yet :O

2nd Apr 2004, 13:42
I'm glad to see that THE Birdseed 105 is not just making my hair stand up!


3rd Apr 2004, 03:43
Chicken enchallida to that.....

The Trappist
3rd Apr 2004, 07:33
Is there professionalism in Middle Eastern airlines?
Listening to the guys at the Orval that’s got to be the biggest contradiction in terminology possible!
At least most other pleasantries don’t beggar belief by referring to a totally fictional character.
How about this tale told by a European captain working for a Persian Gulf state.
Having flown all night on a generally eastward track, top of descent and sunrise were approaching at roughly the same time. When the Captain roused the Middle Eastern FO in time for the descent and approach briefing he was interrupted by the FO getting out of his seat, locking the flight deck door and spending the next ten minutes on his knees in the corner praying to Mecca.
Consequently, the descent was started without both pilots in their seats, strapped in as required by SOPs. To cap it all, it would appear that the Koran allows believers to use a short version of prayer that does not require the use of a prayer mat, so long as they make up for it later.
The feeling is that RT should be kept strictly by the book, especially in Africa where ATC is basic if not criminally lacking.

3rd Apr 2004, 07:38
I have a Marine VHF licence and was taught that you must follow proper procedures all the time with no extra bits and bobs slotted in.

Once I finally got to use the VHF for real world communication it became apparent that extending courtesies after messages was not a hanging offence.

3rd Apr 2004, 08:00

Sorry, dude, but every time you post you sound more and more moronic. If you really want the airwaves to be 100% professional, you should campaign first to get rid of everything mentioned already - Hello, Goodbye, Morning, Evening, which I'm sure everyone hears much more often than religious insignia. Clearly no-one else in this forum thinks in a similar way to you, and also pilots with Emirates etc. don't get through their training relying on religious intervention. I expect they get through in exactly the same way as everyone else. Their professionalism is not in question, and if it is, then so is anyone's who's ever used a pleasantry on the air.

You sound banal and and just a little anal. Maybe it's time to put this post to bed.

Green Guard
3rd Apr 2004, 08:34
you may be right that it took 7% of the sentence
BUT if you are back home it may well take 13.5 %
every time saying "Gruezi Mittenang" and
Aufwiederlorgen etc. Right?

Flight Detent
3rd Apr 2004, 10:58
Hey TATprobe,
I've also spent quite some time in the M/east, in Kuwait Air and Saudia, so I do have some idea of what goes on,

As I said, I read the report, I am aware the flight crew were not taxiing the aircraft, I didn't say they were, but their saudia maint people were, and they are doing the same sort of things, trust me!

Whatever you choose to say, it was a total f***up!!!


3rd Apr 2004, 11:24
Jeez SWISH, ignorance like that is only slightly less frightening than the displayed bigotry...the phrase you refer to is a very common one,used by most muslims and simply means "God Willing".If you've ever been in Egyptian airspace you'll have heard loads of it.I see nothing wrong with allowing people to say such things,as it is in fact a habit for many of them to tack on an "Insh'Allah" after most phrases and takes all of about one second to say,so unless your attention-span is shorter than that,you shouldn't be having any problems now,should you?

As for being unprofessional,dont you ever use pleasantries on the air like "have a good day" or such like? None of these are strictly standard either,but we all use them,and i've never heard anybody whine...Perhaps if you dont,you should get a big,shiny gold star on your forehead and 20 brownie points from the headmistress for sticking to the book....:mad:

3rd Apr 2004, 13:03
Green Guard and Rudas have a good point that maybe swish should look into. I also expect more negative repercutions if you dont be polite on the radio with a goodday or hello especially in africa and hey ive never heard of an incident/accident of someone saying gday and all hell broke loose because its not standard, or inshallah for that matter.
If you are out there campaigning for a safety then get out to west africa where Air France and other major airlines disregard english all together and it also happens in France. A Bonjour at the beginning is not the problem but a whole transmission in French is what im talking about. Makes a whole lot of good for situational awareness For foriegn crews dont you think?


3rd Apr 2004, 18:47
English,French,Spanish and Russian are the official ICAO languages...

3rd Apr 2004, 18:53
English,French,Spanish and Russian

Only these :confused:

3rd Apr 2004, 20:04

U just keep missing the point. I never mentioned anything about official. Im talking from a safety aspect which is the bulk of your argument.........

Pls stay on focus.
My main concern is safety!

Im sure 99% of pilots want to understand what is going on around them especially in a radar free environment (and even places with radar wont mention any names ahhhmmlagos) with shocking visibility. I think its a lot more unproffessional for a crew to speak in french when they hear english speaking crews on the radio approaching the same airport within minutes of eachother and also for ATC to follow suite. The other 1% thinks its more detrimental to SAFETY to say a 1 sec inshallah at the end of estimates (wont mention any names ahhhmmmswish)


3rd Apr 2004, 20:57
If the airwaves would've been 100% professional and clean of all and any quickmindedness, the thread "ATC Humour" over at ATC Issues never would've seen any daylight.

Now THAT would've been a shame!:(

3rd Apr 2004, 22:15
Quite right AN2. More than ever pilots need a sense of humour!

3rd Apr 2004, 22:30
Just been reading ATC humour, highly recommended :ok:
Hows that. A pilot got a sense of humour. Whats this world coming to

Latte tester
4th Apr 2004, 00:55
There is a controller I believe in Cleveland Center that greets all incoming with "welcome to my airspace" I've not heard him in a long time as I'm not in his airspace, but I never heard anyone bichin' about that phraseology.
Swish266, you better lighten up or you'll die before you're ready. If that's all that bugs you in life then you have a problem - get help.

As for the inshaalah, I don't see a problem with it unless YOU are being forced to use the same terminology, are you?

Ana maa afham (I don't understand), are your radio procedures perfect? If not, and I would assume that they are not, then before you critique others, check your self.
Nuff said.
Maa as-salaama, (Goodbye)

Oh, bye the way, I'm Canadian:ok:

4th Apr 2004, 03:15
I fail to understand how this thread is still going! Give it a rest. Mr Moderator, there are a lot more valid topics for R & N that have been moved to JB!!

4th Apr 2004, 06:05
You’re right BusyB, but the “The” controversy is sort of amusing. The unofficial prefix has been around for more than a while. “The” Clipper and “The” Empress were sort of classy callsigns I thought, and nobody seemed to get too shirty about it thirty plus years ago, before I ever heard a BOAC type (or successor) use it.

I think some folks on this thread have far too much time on their hands.
Sloppy detail on the compulsory elements causes communication problems, and if the ATS unit concerned is fluent in the language used (usually English - mixed languages are an accident waiting to happen, my regards to ICAO), the greetings may help keep them interested and avoid the errors that tend to come with too much mechanical repetition.
When things are hectic, most folks stick to the salient details.

The entertainment value of THE topic is starting to fade, like the rest, into name-calling and tantrum mode, with a bit of a religious smear.
Ciao. Auf Wiederhören. Bonsoir. Chimo. See ya. Good day. Thank you, and all those other phrases that express simple courtesy.
They don't hurt when the frequency isn’t busy.

4th Apr 2004, 07:35
I guess I've made a good point.
Thank you everybody for your time.
Hope we all make it a bit easier on R/T for ourselves and ATC.
Good luck and safe landings!

Swish 266 :ok:

Green Guard
4th Apr 2004, 15:50
Whoever declares the actions of the future with 100% of certainty is either arrogant or rude.
What about weather changes etc. etc?

Whoever conditions the future actions by "God willing.." etc.
or just gives an "ESTIMATE AT..",
(which by itself means same as God willing),
is honest and 100% right.

Whoever conditions his or her "ESTIMATES" by "God willing..", etc.
actually DECLARES his or her UNCERTAINTY" how to handle the FMS and/or ATC/ Company Flight Plan.

Voila. Hallas.

5th Apr 2004, 10:04
("thuh") grates enormously, sounding like the very worst of pretentious Pommie posturing. Concur wholeheartedly. Maybe this thread will stop some offenders from doing it... in'sh allah.

African Queen
5th Apr 2004, 17:41
Green Guard...

Whoever conditions the future actions by "God willing.." etc. or just gives an "ESTIMATE AT..", (which by itself means same as God willing), is honest and 100% right.
...and if you are a non-believer ???

5th Apr 2004, 19:56
u guys r off the rails again howz this for proffessional controlling during the holy month of ramadhan in a holy place called zanzi'bar,these guys put up one hell of a show,firstly no one responds for about 10mins cause they r too starved to answer,but the worst is the time for prayers the guysz r just not there,all in good faith "insha -allah" some day some swish guy will certainly conquer till thn...

take it easy guys

6th Apr 2004, 13:34

1. How do you know they were too starved to answer? Were you there?
2. Muslims in a non-religious country does not invalidate a religion.
3. Unless you are writing in from a cell phone please try to use some vowels.

6th Apr 2004, 19:40
I believe Good-bye originally meant "God be with you"