View Full Version : Standard RT...or not!

28th May 2016, 22:29
Some of the RT one hears is pretty appalling these days but not just from aircraft.

Call a local military airfield today which gives us an excellent service for a basic service and ATC reply "State position, heading and altitude" rather than "Pass your message" which confuses student. Then later we get asked "What's your destination?". Don't get me wrong I realise one size does not always fit all and there is sometimes a need to be flexible but...!

Also much confusion from another a/c when LARS say "Advise XXXX in sight, happy to change". Why not just say "Advise XXXX in sight"?

Then a couple of weeks ago a local civil ATC calls and says "Leaving XXXX airspace, squawk 7000, advise going enroute (which is a military expression) and student says "What does than mean?".

That's before we mention the verbal diarrhoea on the local A/G frequency both from a/c and the A/G operator, latter trying to macro manage the situation and providing (and some a/c seem to be expecting) a pseudo control service.

Rant mode OFF!

29th May 2016, 06:01
Some years ago following an accident where a landing aircraft at Northolt finished up in the middle of the A40, it was recognised that there were 5 different RT standards practiced within UK airspace.
UK Military
NATO Europe
Then later we get asked "What's your destination?"I recall Birmingham ask my American student: "What is you point of departure?"; the student did not understand so the controller rephrased it, "Where do you come from?" whereupon the student replied: "Colorado" !

Big Pistons Forever
29th May 2016, 19:05
I read Pilot magazine every month and every month the accidents section has reports of bent airplanes caused by a profound lack of fundamental flying skills including busted off nose wheels after wheel barrowing, loss of directional control when landing/takeoff in a crosswind, runway over runs after a too fast too high approach, engine failures due to carb icing etc etc

I would suggest that maybe more time should be spent on emphasizing basic flying skills and less on radio pedantry.

The test of a good radio call: " was useful information transmitted in a logical and efficient way "

The four "W's" works for just about every possible radio transmission

Who: are you talking to
Who: are you ( ie your cal sign )
Where: are you
What: do you want or what are your intentions.

29th May 2016, 20:11
I would suggest that maybe more time should be spent on emphasizing basic flying skills and less on radio pedantry.

I agree and I do!!

30th May 2016, 07:30
I know they are trying to be efficient but MATZ penetration ATC initial reply;
"G-XX squawk 1234 QNH/QFE 1034 pass your details"

Why not pass your details then give squawk and QNH/QFE.
Would help keep things standard.
Because next they start asking what your position, height etc all non standard.

3rd Jun 2016, 14:09
If you set the squawk then can then start looking for you while you give your details - and if you give your details properly they will not need to then ask you for your position, height etc because you have told them that!

9th Jun 2016, 21:10
The problem is it's ok for a experienced pilot that can reach across and set a squawk, but for a student that may write the squawk down, then reach across to set, then fiddle with the altimeter, all the time there's radio silence where everyone is waiting to hear a reply.

Or read back the squawk and pressure, then standard reply, then set squawk...what time has been saved, especially when given a shared squawk.

If anyone remembers the Upper Heyford method, seemed to work well.
Call, given squawk.....pause, then just asked destination, everything else was seen on the screen.
I think they could tell we weren't a F111.

13th Jun 2016, 19:09
UK pilots need look no further than CAP413 as the definitive document.

When FIs revalidate / renewal this would be the opportunity to discuss best practice.

FIEs need to be punctilious and preferably be up to the standard required to conduct the R/T test. I would exempt ex ATCOs ��

Perhaps a visit to ATC / ACC and plug in for a while?

There will no doubt be other suggestions as to how the standard can be raised.


14th Jun 2016, 08:15
FIEs need to be punctilious and preferably be up to the standard required to conduct the R/T test.Only RTF Examiners are qualified and authorised to conduct RT Tests! And our now disfunctional CAA has totally lost control of that function!

Dan Dare
14th Jun 2016, 13:11

I took your advice and looked in CAP413 (I highly recommend it!), but "over and out" confused me.

OUT - This exchange of transmissions is ended and no response is expected.
OVER - My transmission is ended and I expect a response from you.

So which one one is it?

14th Jun 2016, 13:58
"Over & out" is a contradiction in terms as you have alluded to. Even a joke on my part perhaps?

It was however still being heard by those flying from Blackpool in the 1970s.
Clearly the teaching of RT procedures (then based on CAP46) had a lot to be desired.

I think I said FIEs in essence need to be competent, and not that a FIE qualification automatically confers RTF examiners authority? Although some I know are dual qualified.