View Full Version : QF 737 Radio Calls OCTA / MBZ's

Stick Pusher
6th Nov 2002, 07:47
I am enquiring to those QF drivers who are, and have been flying around our country for sometime now (years) and still do not know the basic radio calls and procedures OCTA and in MBZ's.
Why is it that everyday (and i and talking in particular WA, but I'm sure it occurs elsewhere) I hear the worst call from people who are suppose to be in the safest airline in the world, who are suppose to be so professional and get paid the biggest bucks in the land to know there stuff? It's not hard. I know if I haven't operated into an area before, or a 'foreign' airspace region, I take the time to look at the charts, maps, procedures etc. It's just basic airmanship. Today, to prove a point, I even looked at where I was going today en-route at what calls and procedures I had to to going from CTA to OCTA, and MBZ calls and procedures. It wasn't hard and it didn't take much time. If it's in your field of operation then you should know all about it.

I hope that whoever is in charge of 737 ops with QF address this problem. I've written many reports, and I'm not going to list them all and get into the details, but believe me there have been some absolute shocking and shoddy work I'm afraid to say. Some of them make the China Southern trainees look good! ;)

Come on guys, those of you know it is appauling the standard, and I wouldn't just say all of this just for the odd occurance, but this happens daily, all the time.

Hope those of you who don't know what they are doing out there realise that they need to do something about it.


SP :)

Crash & Burn
6th Nov 2002, 10:39
Ah yes, obviously a few people who haven't flown outside the 'J Curve' for quite a few years.

The 'All stations Karratha MTAF' call I heard the other day was a pearler! :rolleyes:

6th Nov 2002, 20:32
In defense of these crews, they spend very little of their working life OCTA, but of course that is no reason not to be up with the appropriate procedures. This type of training seems to filter very s l o w l y into the airline environment and because it is only a very small part of their scene it takes even longer. Back in the '60's when Flight Service replaced Aeradio, many airline pilots were still calling Aeradio for well over ten years after the change. So the MTAF example is not new. Up until the new services in WA the QF 737 only went to the Rock and I understand some rosters might see pilots never go there and others only perhaps once or twice a year. Nevertheless that’s no excuse. I quote from a recent post of mine on the GA forum re MBZs and CTAFs.

It has got to the stage now were even some schools and CFIs are in fact teaching use of radio based on their own lack of training. Tell me where this is in any syllabus and where it is examined... it is not there, and it is not examined. So I therefore suggest with respect that what is taught is not necessarily correct. Even many airline pilots get it wrong, and perhaps don't even know it. Of course Johnnie PPL hears all this from the airlines/regionals/RAAF etc and thinks it must be right… and there we go again.


I believe the training in radio usage is very poor and has been so for some years. With each generation of instructors something gets changed or someone's bright idea is inserted and we develop our own set of standards. Nobody, but nobody seems to want to address this mess and as the years go by, it only gets worse. Readbacks is a good example!!

Many use the Airlines and the Military as examples of people that do it "right" but I would suggest that this is not necessarily the case. And who do you ask if your CFI or Training Captain has it wrong? But then if he/she thinks it is right then that is ok, but is it really??

Mork from Ork
6th Nov 2002, 21:19
Only a little thing, where does joins, maintains and lines up come from.

The terminology is joining, maintaning and lining up.

Oh and my other personal favourite, "shortly joins a five mile final for runway 1-1".

Are you or are'nt you on a five mile final?

Cause if I'm on downwind I'm going number 1!

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

6th Nov 2002, 21:38
Maybe a solution is to have one LOFT simulator exercise OCTA each 12 months. Being a simulator exercise a culture can quickly be created as all the 737 pilots will complete the training.

The Ansett programme invoved 4 simulator sessions a year. At least two LOFTs were OCTA. Flying into Kalgoolie or Launceston at night, in emergency electrical configuration or after a depressurisation, and being graded on your radio procedures aswell as your management of the not so familar OCTA dealings- turning on rwy lights, traffic ect.

Trouble with the above though, the F/Os managed the radios so Captains didn't really get much direct exposure. So bad and embarassing some Capts OCTA standards, it was a good idea for F/Os to do all the sectors as the non-handling pilot.

Of course, we had TJ from QF blow in, slash the sims to once every six months and create a cumbersome an ineffctive training programme. TJ reduced the training but increased the petty operational changes. Hope he is in a dark office somewhere, out of harms way!

6th Nov 2002, 22:38
Back in the early Seventies a DCA DC3 engaged on calibrating Sydney 07 ILS put in an incident report on an inbound Qantas flight that was on tower frequency and who was blocking the airwaves with unnecessary waffle-on.

There were very few required read-backs in those days but the Qantas aircraft read back every single transmission - and more- in a plummy accent. Several aircraft on the same frequency made caustic comments as well.

Full marks to Qantas management though. They were embarrassed after hearing the ATC tapes and took appropriate action. They advised DCA that in future the tapes would be used as a training aid to their crews as an example of poor radio discipline.

Around 1953 I was in the circuit area at Darwin flying a Lincoln bomber. In those days, Qantas inbound Constellations would order their catering requirements for the next leg when on tower frequency. Naturally it blocked the frequency sometimes but I guess it was accepted as being part of the brotherhood of pilots.

The Qantas pilot finished his request of beer, soft drinks, toilet rolls etc with a request for 80 ham sandwiches. As he he said the final word "sandwiches", a wit in an unknown GA aircraft pressed his transmit button and added "with mustard".

The tower bloke then read back the order to the Qantas aircraft including the 80 ham samboes with mustard.

"Negative mustard" replied Qantas - "we just need 80 ham sandwiches. Quick as a flash the GA pilot hit the tit again and again transmitted "with mustard". The Qantas guy spat the dummy and told the tower "I said we don't need damned mustard!'

ATC got all snakey with Qantas as confusion reigned supreme.
We nearly wet ourselves with laughter in the Lincoln.

7th Nov 2002, 00:48
Mork from ork

I agree with your comments on terminology. It doesn't take a great deal of effort to do it properly.

Just one thing.

Cause if I'm on downwind I'm going number 1!

I think you need to do some study. :D :D :D :D

Since QF have been flying into MBZs in WA I have heard numerous pilots refer to MBZs as MTAFs.

Turbofan Tool
7th Nov 2002, 01:24
:rolleyes: Whilst it is nice to dot the i's and cross the t's, no need to get anal about it. We all make not quite AIP perfect radio calls at times. A radio call is to communicate, i'm sure you're not in doubt of what the other a/c is doing if they "maintains 5000" or "joins final". I've certainly never had to ask any RPT aircraft exactly what they meant by their transmission. As for the comment on safety... 1..Aviate, 2..Naviagate,3..COMMUNICATE :eek:

Hugh Jarse
7th Nov 2002, 01:40
Except there are more of them :D

"Maintains", "Changes", "Joins". Easy...That is the new terminology, spoken in the plural when in a multi-crew aircraft.

I first heard it (regularly) in the 90's and it seemed to be an Airbus cultural thing. Sort of like the readback "Take-off/Landing Clearance" instead of "Clear To Land", which was also an Airbus thingy....

Go figure ;)

7th Nov 2002, 10:17
Turbo fan Tool.
My old instructor told me to always try for excellence. Slack and gimmicky radio procedures usually means the pilot is slack in other areas of vital importance. The AIP is quite clear on R/T phraseology. There is nothing anal about that.

7th Nov 2002, 11:00
Well actually I don't believe that the AIP IS quite clear these days.

Correct me if I am wrong, but many of the phrases that we use daily have been removed.

Is it ABC descending to F120 or ABC on descent to F120 for example.

There are many others that we commonly use such as "on climb F400" and "climbing to F400" - which is correct?

The use of standard calls/phrases implies that there is a standard - which in many cases I don't believe that there is.

Maybe they should stick all the old phrases back into AIP

I have Jepp by the way not the AsA AIP.

7th Nov 2002, 12:25
Hate to say it, BUT, it in the company I work for, it is the training and check pilots that suggest some of these non standard procedures are the correct ones.

You won't find it in AIP, "its a local procedure". yeah right

The general standard is atrocious. There is another thread re training pilots and instructors. To become a training pilot/captain you have to have no more skill/expereince or ability than sucking up to or being liked by the appropriate person, completing a couple of days at the most of principles of instruction course, same for pilots and F/A's. Basically any moron can sleep through one, and then pass on your personal likes and dislikes to your trainee. Until this changes and there is some form of formal training and recognition of training pilot/captain you will get them with all sorts of ideas and phobias.

I Fly
7th Nov 2002, 19:13
Triadic, with regards to your comment "It has got to the stage now were even some schools and CFIs are in fact teaching use of radio based on their own lack of training. Tell me where this is in any syllabus and where it is examined... it is not there, and it is not examined."
Try the DAY VFR SYLLABUS Unit 2 for PPL and Unit 15 for CPL. Read The Australian National Competency Standards as well for Elements, Performance criteria, Key competencies, Range of Variables, Evidence Guide and Assessment Guide.
It's all there, people are just too lazy to do it or they don't care.

8th Nov 2002, 00:53
I suspect that half the problem is that some pilots don't really know what they want to say and why. Then they get understandably confused when it comes to how they say it. Instructors in the US have a nice way of advising pilots in working out what and how to transmit on the radio. They generally recommend that pilots use the correct terminology if possible, but if the exact words escape the pilot, it is far more important that the message get understood. Stick to a set format as appropriate, state:
- Where are you now?
- Where are you going?
- How do you want to get there?

Works for me.

Stick Pusher
8th Nov 2002, 01:15
Haven't heard much from the QF camp on this one...

But on another point of late that which is as enoying as hell, and I know it ticks off others, is the occurance more and more of people using their callsign at the begining of their transmission and at the end of it as well! (ie "XXX maintaining FL160 XXX")

Forgotten who you are or if you said your callsign? Forgotten the correct phrasing? Or want ATC and others to know exactly who you are in case they forgot your callsign that you said 2 seconds previously?

This seems to be occuring more and more these days. I seem to be hearing it alot from GA drivers in the west of late. Why don't their C&T guys pull them up on their poor radio calls...?

8th Nov 2002, 02:14
Not only restricted to QF traffic guys!

Radio calls in GA are exactly the same. :eek:

Problem is people don’t know what to repeat.:confused:

Maybe a clearer understanding could be put forward by CASA so EVERYONE knows what to say (please guys, don’t tell me to read the regs).

Or you could do what RMIT do at YMPC; make up your own radio calls! :D :D :D

Ref + 10
8th Nov 2002, 09:24
Howdy all,

This is a real can of worms cause it's an on-going thing. From my point of view, a couple of the posts need replying to.

Stick Pusher: I've heard everyone doing the double callsign, not just QF or Joe in his ultralight. People from the many varying types do this. Doesn't make it right but don't pick on the QF guy alone.

Dehavillanddriver: It is "climbing to" abd "on descent". Clearly stated in both Jepp's and AIP's. I agree that the books can be confusing but it depends on how much time you want to spend getting it right. Read and study enough and the answers present themselves. The problem is, most others out there don't do it the way the book says and you sound the odd one out.

Hugh Jarse: Are you kidding? Being in a multi-crew enviroment doesn't mean that the calls go plural! "Maintaining", "changing to" and "joining" are the terms. Not your "modern" crap. If it was the modern way, thenit would be in the books!

After sprouting on for a bit I also want to say that I agree with Turbofan Tool. If you don't know the correct way of saying what you want to say, use normal english to make it clear to those who need to know. Aviation is all about safety and it's certainly safer knowing what everyone is doing even if it takes three seconds longer on the MBZ.


Stick Pusher
8th Nov 2002, 09:47
ref +10,

I wasn't refering to the QF guys doing tht double call sign. Seems to be coming from the fly in / out aircraft, and some JT aircraft.


8th Nov 2002, 11:11
I always tried to wrap my head around the correct radio call for the appropriate situation when training. Saying the correct phrase and saying it without stumbling not only makes you sound more professional but provides the correct information more efficiently and accurately.
The AIP is hazy at best, and GEN 3.4 really provides no actual help at all. Try teaching students their Radio Operators Licence when the AIP doesn't provide much help and books like Trevor Thoms' Flight Radio for Pilots not only mixes and matches phraseology but actually contradicts the AIP, to make it even worse the students hear the "local" procedures and get even more confused.
Why doesn't some organisation create a proper book outlining the absolute correct calls for VFR and IFR then submit it to Airservices for their scrutiny, or even better why doesn't Airservices create something like this that is of a more operational nature than GEN 3.4. It would make a very large difference, and "eventually" everyone would make the same non-ambiguous radio calls.
My 2 cents worth.
Cheers All :D

8th Nov 2002, 13:44
I fly

Try the DAY VFR SYLLABUS Unit 2 for PPL and Unit 15 for CPL. Read The Australian National Competency Standards as well for Elements, Performance criteria, Key competencies, Range of Variables, Evidence Guide and Assessment Guide.
It's all there, people are just too lazy to do it or they don't care.

Well I had a look but I still have to say that the detail is not there at all. Certainly all the detail about what has to be taught is there, but the nuts and bolts are not and by default that would seem leave that up to the instructor. Now please advise who teaches him/her? And who taught that instructor? etc.. etc...etc...! Even if they are not lazy and do care - who teaches the instructors and provides any standardization?

The trouble is that at the training stage there is no standardization whatsoever. It is just up to the instructors/school to do what they believe is the right thing. And from this discussion it would seem there is absolutely no standardization. Once upon a time there was standardization, but if I recall it was taken from the syllabus at the request (demand) of the flying training industry. It fell off the truck the next day and now we see the results.

Unless there are specifics in the syllabus and it is examined, you can bet it will not be taught, no matter what is in the above quoted syllabus.

I agree with the comments that we should all try and say/do the right thing. Obviously it is professional so to do, but another significant reason is the airlines/military etc are copied by others (mainly GA) as examples of those that "must be doing it right". Of course if they don't the chances that those that copy won't know the difference one way or the other. And guess where those GA pilots will be in 5 or 10 years time - it just gets worse.

ref+10 I agree with what you say and plain English should be the back up if all else fails. Even tho the AIP says what you quote, there is another little gem in the bowls (I think) of the ICAO docs that says that "link" words may be omitted. That to me means you can drop the "to" "for" etc., in "climbing F240" and "clear land 27" "clear takeoff 27" etc. May not seem much, but in a days talk saves a lot of words and air time and does not I believe change the meaning of what is said.

A book would be good, but who would write it?

9th Nov 2002, 09:34
If all else fails:


sure its not 'right' but it is quick, to the point and easy to understand. The only thing worse than getting it a bit wrong is tieing up a fquency stuttering while trying to get it right

or is that stupid? it just what i used to do when tounge tied, seemed to work out fine

Ref + 10
9th Nov 2002, 10:28
Aussiebert - many different forms of this one and they are all good. I used to use PTATE: position, time, altitude, track, estimate. Covers all the required info and if anyone wants to know more they can ask.

Triadic - I certainly wouldn't write the book for fear of being torn to shreds on these threads. I must admit to never seeing the drop the link word. Those couple of examples you gave are fair enough but I haven't yet been rushed when making a first call after changing frequency and my pedanticism makes me think that "climbing to" sounds better than "climbing". If it is in the book though, I ain't saying either way is better than the other.

Hugh Jarse
9th Nov 2002, 17:14
Hugh Jarse: Are you kidding? Being in a multi-crew enviroment doesn't mean that the calls go plural! "Maintaining", "changing to" and "joining" are the terms. Not your "modern" crap. If it was the modern way, thenit would be in the books!

Mate, read the smilies.....It was tongue-in-cheek. :D

Now, go and have a Bex and a good lie down....http://www.stopstart.freeserve.co.uk/smilie/spank.gif

9th Nov 2002, 19:59
OK Ref +10,

I have had a look at the Jepp version of AIP and find that it is climbing to for departure reports (Jepp ATC AU-928), but find NO reference to "on descent".

Having said that the MET section has a section on position reports (Jepp Met Au-39) that says "climbing/descending to"

So I reckon that "on descent" is an incorrect phrase.

Pendantic I know - but that is the point of the thread!

I think we all agree that it would be better if AIP were to have all the calls in one spot rather than scattered throughout the text, and made it quite clear what the "standard" was....

It will make life considerably easier for training and check pilots - at least we can then point to a bit of text that lays it all out..

Ref + 10
10th Nov 2002, 03:47
HJ, had a few beers and a nap. Feeling much better now thanks :D

10th Nov 2002, 04:06
My favorite is:
"xxx tower, ABC ready in turn."
As if you'd be ready out of turn. Jeeeez.

Ivan Urge
10th Nov 2002, 04:26
Or; "XYZ Tower, ABC on your freqency" . Now just how could someone possibly call up not on your frequency??:confused:

10th Nov 2002, 07:03
The whole point of the original post though is that people who are being paid a minimum of $80k to $250k are not making the correct radio calls. The environment is not operationally unusual and there is no particular stress of weather or flight emergency. The stuff they are getting wrong is very easily read from Jepps. It is frustrating for we 'lesser' pilots, and one wonders what sort of discipline they bring to their other aspects of professional flying

10th Nov 2002, 20:52

"ready in turn" is used when there are other aircraft at the holding point and you don't know if they've called "ready" yet or not. I hear it and use all the time, many times per day.

Mike Huntaches
11th Nov 2002, 00:53
"all stations ________ MTAF, multi-crew IFR Boeing 737-400 IFR jet Tango Juliet Golf taxying at _________ for ________ on runway 14 and shortly when the runways clear we'll be entering and backtracking for a departure to the south east and climbing initially to FL200 pending a clearance for FL280" -TJG" - "backtracking now" - "over and out" :eek: :rolleyes: he he

Capt Claret
11th Nov 2002, 01:29
What does it matter if another aircraft is in front of you and not yet called ready? ATC are hardly likely to clear you to taxi over them to get on the RWY.


I'd be interested in your input here.

If a pilot calls "ready on line up" do you assume that the aircraft is ready now but still requires line up, or do you assume that the aircraft expects to be ready by the time it lines up?

For my money, if requiring a backtrack (and ACD/GND/TWR notified of such) then the call should just be "ready", so that the TWR knows you are ready and there's no confusion, or hope that readiness will be achieved by the lined up position.

11th Nov 2002, 01:31
The point of SP original post, done in a somewhat caustic way was to highlight to the QF guys and all who care to read here, that its time to do some quick reading/study on the appropriate radio calls in an MBZ. I must imagine that they do just fine in Class G airspace.

(PS Everybody seen the SUP for MULTICOM PROCEDURES, everywhere CTAF's)

Though SP's post did'nt start it, most of the rest have concluded that the standard of radio REPORTS and BROADCASTS in Australia SUCK. And you are all very correct.

I don't think I can agree with CENTURAUS about the AIP/Jeeps bieng clear when describing the radio procedures to be used. Personally I think it is very dificult to read, frequently confusing, and not writen for PILOTS to read but for ATC. Several people have shown good examples of the inconsistancies with this section, my personal fav is the use of the word RECIEVED when taxing (CTA or GAAP) and the word INFORMATION when inbound, I don't see the reason for it bieng different. maybe once again some ATC reason but very poorly presented in the operational documents.

Yep there is a lot of me'isims or not from the book calles used out there, in most cases I say "well I got the message and it was short and to the point" and I am happy!!.

I don't belive that bieng word for word is the only way of bieng a pro on the radio, but it sure does help. the standard phrases are there for a reason, even though they are hard to read, and place in situations from the AIP, but even the BOOK makes the example of using COMMON language to get the message across.

Some of my personal favs, heard on the radio.

Reply to an acknowledgment, ie
"abc, landed XYZ, cancel sartime", ABC XYZ SARTIME, canceled" "ABC" ???? (why)

Reading back everything heard, ie you don't readback anything prefixed "report". (yea I have only picked one example from readbacks, but there are plenty)

For Darwin ATC, you don't have to read back a Visual Approach, as its not a clearance, its a procedure (have a read).

And some of my isims :
I always repeat the MBZ or CTAF name at the end of a BROADCAST as well as in the text.

I always report my level bieng maintained after Freq change, even though its the same controller.

Ray Dar
11th Nov 2002, 07:17
This topic will always cause grief. Every Aviator has the opinion that they do it correctly and everyone else is wrong !

I was always taught that if you or your aircraft sounds bad on the radio then it paints a picture of you and your company.

Having recently returned to the Military fold in a training role, I have insisted that it is simple. If it is word perfect out of the book then it is the only way to do it. Unnecessary waffle is not only a joke to listen to but it clogs up the airwaves and can be very painful ! The recent change wrt calling for area QNH is an example.

However after using Jepps for some time, and DAP/AIP before that, I am now using Military FLIP Pubs again. Athough they are all supposed to be the same, they are very different in their structure and they do nothing to make it simple in the transfer of information.

Many Military flights OCTA are on training flights and have very junior people onboard "learning the ropes" As someone said earlier if the "teachers" are up to speed and insist on 100% accuracy, maybe some of it will rub off !!

Stick Pusher
11th Nov 2002, 07:42
Again we are getting sidetracked with regard to my post (except for ITCZ and AMRAAM, cheers).

IT's pretty standard, simple calls that QF need to learn for OCTA ops.
- The "all stations" call proir to leaving CTA on the area freq.

- Changing to MBZ call

- The inbound MBZ call

- The joining circuit call

- Cancelling Sartwatch call


- Taxi call MBZ

- Taxi call on area

- Departure call on area (and MBZ if required re traffic)

Clearance into CTA

Then it's back to the comfort zone they are use to...

That's all...

Is it too much to ask...?

Dan Kelly
11th Nov 2002, 07:46
Has there ever been a PPRuNe thread that hasn't charted a wobbly line to its destination? :cool:

11th Nov 2002, 11:08
I must agree.
Your two isims mentioned are exactly by the book, I think, although sometimes to do that is an individual point of pride.
Re: ready when a backtrack is required : even though implied, or even stated, in the taxi call, does that info always get passed from SMC to tower?
Re: visual approach readback requirement; are you now "cleared" to make a procedural approach, hence the removal of an altitude restriction implying a mandatory readback? I have been round this loop a few times!
Is that glass half full or half empty?
The subtleties/nuances of the AIP and our language.
I forget who used to have the signature block:

"and copied the requirement not to read back everything you said"


11th Nov 2002, 12:09
Geeez we have done this to death already...in other posts..

"Make Visual approach" is the cancellation of a restriction (the previous assigned level and tracking).

Cancellation of restrictions are NOT a read back item.


Agree with your post. Your isims seem fine, but then I guess we all have some little thing we like to make a thing of. Place name twice in MBZ/CTAF calls is the way to go, but why do some pilots say "all stations xyz " at the end of the call as well as the begining? And on the freq change, if the sectors are split different one day, it may well be another controller, so what you do is correct.

Rule 2: You don't acknowledge and acknowledgement. (and that means when you cancel SAR, ATS have the final say full stop).

stick pusher

Yes, if everyone could just get those calls right we would have made a step forward.

11th Nov 2002, 12:12
me thinks its not so much the radio calls but more a QF bashing!

I'm up for that!!! :D :D :D

11th Nov 2002, 23:04
One of the facinating things that I observed when arriving on the Australiation aviation scene, after Europe and NZ, was the absolute pedantic detail and energy that was spent in getting the radio work word perfect as per the AIP. My previous 10 years in ANSETT NZ, which absorbed a lot of the AN (Aust) SOP's had allready had me wondering (tongue in Cheek) if the australian aviation culture was really based on a Communicate, Aviate then Navigate basis. I think that some of you guys put too much emphasis on the "Quacking" to very little gain. Tune into any European airport and you will hear a myriad of accents and callsigns with their own individualities and yet the busy ones, for example, LHR or CDG seem to work ok and the incorrect sequence of a word or two seems to have little effect on the way things happen. The use of "To" (easily mistaken as Two) or "For" (easily mistaken as Four) and the term "left" which is usually accepted as an indication of direction change rather than a level change are commonly misused words around australia whilst people tie themselves in knots trying to parrot the AIP. Perhaps a little bit of training on how to communicate rather than what to communicate will add some balance here. A point to ponder on is that when speaking amongst those within your own culture and language it is very easy to communicate so therefore coloquial english can creep in (hence the 2 & 4 brigade) and go unnoticed and this is a good arguement for sticking to standard phraseology but as I am sure a lot of us have found when communication breaks down when speaking to a foriegn controller (who is used to hearing and useing different standard phrases) that the ability to accuratly communicate advise, request and, if unsure, query in good clear language is what will get you what you want. I also go along with the pet hates of "Ready in Turn" or "Ready on Reaching"! Really how ready is ready and when you are ready...Guess what you should say?

Mike Huntaches
12th Nov 2002, 01:43
good points indeed. The bottom line of all this is that any self respecting pilot flying in and out of MBZ's should now the basic requirements and/or calls to be made. It is outrageous that one can't fly into an MBZ at times and not feel comfortable when you know a Q 737 is lurking and the drivers can't 'talk the talk'. This may seem all a bit silly but it just isn't. These guys are meant to be professional and when it becomes all too hard to make a basic radio call you have to wonder. They are like ducks out of water at times, which given they're nearly always CTA is fine, but how hard is it to sit in the cruise one day and actually read the AIP/Jepps?

The next topic will cover why these same drivers can't easily change their approach course/levels/speed/just about anything while they are on descent inbound and when within 30 miles. They still seem to think they're doing some sort of unrestricted s/in approach in CTA and that anyone within 100 miles will hold/alter their track or plans until the redtail is on the deck.:mad:

Hugh Jarse
12th Nov 2002, 05:19

12th Nov 2002, 09:21

Speaking as a 737 driver, I can tell you that the last 30 miles is fairly busy, and is the area where most trainees have difficulties.

The QF guys will in all probability spend very little time operating to MBZ's, and should be cut a little slack - you don't hear us all bagging the guys that don't operate into capital city control zones every day..

Suffice it to say that from 30 nm's the options that you have to change what you had planned are rapidly running out, and it is often easier (and possibly safer) to stick with what you had planned in the first place. 60-80 tonnes of metal takes a little slowing down and particularly the NG is quite slippery - you can't descend and decelerate - the machine doesn't like it - and the speedbrake is next to useless....

So -the moral of the story is - give a little slack, and when you come to do your line training on the 737 we will cut you a little slack!

No Further Requirements
12th Nov 2002, 22:30

Regarding AIP R/T pages, they have always been written like that as long as I have been around. ATC used to have their own R/T section in MATS (Manual of Air Traffic Services). With the updated format about a year or two ago, we are now told to use the AIP pages. I agree, they are far from perfect, but they were not written for air traffic controllers. The VSA thing for redbacks is a bone of contention. Peronally I don't think it is a readback. I would like to see what your reference is as it is not cut and dry what it really is. I will ask the guys and gals to stop being anal about it, but I think you woud agree that it is not as bad as it used to be.


If you are going to quote R/T to win an argument, make sure it is correct. It is "cleared visual approach". "Make visual approach" went out years ago!:D :D :D


If I get someone say ready on lineup, I assume if they line up straight away they will be good to go. I would not expect a rolling departure from them though.

harrowing: It's me with the appropriate signature!!!



13th Nov 2002, 01:32
Actually enjoying this thread enormously with much mirth:

ICAO "maintaining" is the correct phrase, don't know where it is in the JEPPS fine print I guess.

One that's always bugged me is having to tell those "m......ns" in the Oz towers that your ready. Generally no other country in the world requires it. You wouldn't be on the bloody tower freq. taxiing out if you weren't ready.


That BS goes back to the days of sitting in the warm up bay in your DC3 cleaning up the plugs!

As for the QF guys in the sticks there no different in CTL or OS there RT is below par - Nuff said :D :D :D

Arm out the window
13th Nov 2002, 06:39
Off the track for a moment;

1. Centaurus, thanks, good story about the ham and mustard sandwiches; and having roughly calculated your age from the year mentioned, good to have a chance to hear a few anecdotes from years gone by (not that I'm any spring chicken these days...)

2. Ray Dar, how're you going mate? Drop us a quick email if you like.

Blue Hauler
13th Nov 2002, 10:46
Turbofan Tool and #1AHRS,

As for the comment on safety... 1..Aviate, 2..Naviagate,3..COMMUNICATE


SOP's had allready had me wondering (tongue in Cheek) if the australian aviation culture was really based on a Communicate, Aviate then Navigate basis.

The old adage; aviate, navigate, communicate is an important part of the priority process for pilots in the GFPT and PPL stages. It also serves as a work order for early IFR pilots dealing with the workload during instrument approach procedures. However a jet, or even a high performance turbo-prop, arriving at an MBZ at 250 knots will close from 15 miles to the circuit in just over two minutes. Given also that a multi-crew environment requires a certain amount of crew co-ordination to deal with checks and briefs, not much time is left to navigate and communicate. But this is the one time that such a crew should have the traffic sorted out lest a collision ensue. Not everybody will come up on TCAS.

I would therefore rate ‘communicate’ right up there along side ‘aviate’. The problem I have in entering the MBZ is the unnecessary radio calls with copious information that limits my broadcast opportunities during that two minutes plus. The AIP/JEPPS stipulates the mandatory calls within an MBZ, additional calls should only be necessary to solve possible traffic conflict.

13th Nov 2002, 11:24
If you are going to quote R/T to win an argument, make sure it is correct. It is "cleared visual approach". "Make visual approach" went out years ago!

NFR Glad you picked that up, well done!

Blue H

However a jet, or even a high performance turbo-prop, arriving at an MBZ at 250 knots will close from 15 miles to the circuit in just over two minutes.

Most of the regional airlines that I know have SOPs which make their first MBZ call at around 30nm out, which for a Dash or Saab is around transition also. If you are doing over 230 kts all the way in then maybe you are asking for it. Some overseas countries have a max IAS of 210kts inside 5nm and I have to agree that is not a bad idea. I remember a Falcon 900 giving its first call at 15miles once and he was in the circuit before he had sorted the traffic out! Not really a recommended procedure.

Good airmanship should dictate a first call distance appropriate to speed.

Blue Hauler
13th Nov 2002, 19:58

...make their first MBZ call at around 30nm out, which for a Dash or Saab is around transition...
Personally I make an initial MBZ call just prior to transition level, followed by an all-stations on the area frequency. Our descent profile is 2.5 miles per thousand so transition happens at about 25 miles. But a general broadcast (mandatory) is still required “as close as practicable to 15NM from the aerodrome”.

Some overseas countries have a max IAS of 210kts inside 5nm
The difference between 250 knots and 210 knots over 5 miles is just a few seconds so lets not get pedantic about a few knots – still not very long when the frequency is cluttered with superfluous radio calls. Of course this is compounded when two or three adjoining airports also have traffic on 126.7!

The point I was making was not one of speed and timing but of the importance of communicate demanding an equal status as aviate in the normal course of procedures for high end operators.

16th Nov 2002, 01:38
60-80 tonnes of metal takes a little slowing down and particularly the NG is quite slippery - you can't descend and decelerate - the machine doesn't like it - and the speedbrake is next to useless....
What does that tell us? Are you in control of that thing and don't have the spare capacity to communicate or are you saying that its OK to make poor radio calls when you fly a NG because the crew can't keep up with it?

chinese chicken
16th Nov 2002, 08:35
off the point a bit but, a little one that erks me is when people say there estimates prefixed with time, " ABC 10 miles to the south inbound maintaning 2000 circuit at time 45" what else is it going to be? kilo's, psi, tonnes?

16th Nov 2002, 10:47
#1 AHRS.

I'm perfectly in control of my machine.

What I was trying to say was that the primary focus is aviating, with communicating a lower priority....

I am pleased that you have it all together!

When you grow up and fly aeroplanes with real iru's rather than a poor mans imitation you may feel a little out of place when you don't fly into a mbz for the first time in 6 months.....

Cut people a little slack and don't assume that they are incompetants..

16th Nov 2002, 11:11
deHD... I think you don't get it...? The PPLs and CPLs in the GA world "expect" the professionals to get it right, and in that belief use those more "senior" pilots as role models. Even tho' I am sure we understand that you may not go to a MBZ more than once or twice a year (for some) it is absolutely no excuse to say "give us some slack". You are either professional or you are not... there is no half way. If you can't get it right then you can't really expect others down the food chain do get it right either.
Good airmanship and professionalism is what is expected of all airline pilots - like it or not they are role models and should always be setting an example.

Blue/H You say.....

Personally I make an initial MBZ call just prior to transition level, followed by an all-stations on the area frequency.

Please tell us if that is in addition to a "all stations" call at top of descent?

My earlier comments re speed were suggesting that it was not appropriate to run the barber pole to the circuit area even for an overfly.. the a/c should be back to flap speed by 5nm in my opinion. The ability to see and avoid other traffic at such speeds is not as good as it might be at slower speeds. Airmanship again.

16th Nov 2002, 11:33
Before the demise of Ansett on a few occasions I was flying thru the Ballina/Lismore/Casino MBZ area when BNE centre passed info that CZG a 737 would be inbound at time XX. CZG then did the full inbound call on descent and prefixed with IFR 737 Jet CZG with all his details etc....I heard this on a few occasions and most of the times the AN guys threw in the word 'jet' somewhere to basically let give the real weekenders that wouldn't know what a 737 was if it bit them on the ass that it's going to be going pretty darn quick.

Especially into Ballina the AN guys calls were always spot on, they tended to perhaps 'over call' a little, other RPTs I spoke to in this area such as Hazo's were always very professional and set a good example....the other thing I like that most of them do is say on the departure call climbing to the Flight levels.....none of the GA lighties flying around at less than 10k really care if it's FLT180 or FLT250......

16th Nov 2002, 13:29
Yeah would have to admit that generally the 737 radio calls in MBZ's & OCTA's are pretty poor. I have put in incident reports in the past after a 737 basically went no coms intro a MBZ and came fairly close to cleaning me up. ( luckily he saw me on TCAS which gave him a him a bit of a fright!)

I kinda get the impression that the 737 guys don't enjoy the OCTA/non radar scene all that much but that's the way it is so let's make it work by making a few broadcasts!

Blue Hauler
16th Nov 2002, 13:46

Please tell us if that is in addition to a "all stations" call at top of descent?

Why would I make an all stations call at top of descent - I'm still in controlled airspace at that point?

Sheep Guts
16th Nov 2002, 15:14
Ok I concurr with what Blue Hauler has to say.
That an MBZ call needs to be made at the boundary or prior to. Dependant on Ground Speed.

1.If your IFR going into the MBZ hopefully you have been given the appropriate IFR traffic by ATS or FS or Centre.

2. Now all you have to do is find the VFR guys. This is only really achieved by the requirement for broadcast, short concise and informative, not overly informative though remmeber. Some MBZs can be quite busy.

3. Here is an example of something short concise and informative

" All Stations Gove MBZ ABC C210 inbound from the west 2000 circuit 47"

then LISTEN........:D

Then once you have heard the other VFR traffic and their intentions, maybe a reply of your intentions and then finish with a circuit joining call .

Pay close adherence to "general directions "other than VOR radials etc. as Jo Bloggs Grazier in his 182 probabaly uses the MBZ more than you.


Remember your ears are your eyes and not everyone will have a working transponder let alone one at all.

I must admit the summing of all the Northern Australian Area frequencies has aleviated nothing other than AirServices BUDGET, it gets busy out there sometimes. :D

16th Nov 2002, 22:33
Blue/H I will rephrase the question. When you make your area call, is that prior to leaving controlled airspace (ClassC) or prior to descent in ClassE/G ?

If it is class C then a bcast should be made prior to leaving the C and if there is a frequency change then ATC should release you at least 1000ft above the base to the next frequency. If the CTA base is a VFR level, then obviously to avoid a possible conflict a bcast must be made in sufficient time to resolve that situation.

If it is class E and the frequency in use in the E and the G is common then a bcast should be made PRIOR to commencing descent on the E/G area frequency. This is because in either E or G there maybe a VFR 500ft below you on the same track and your bcast is the only way he is going to know about you before you go thru his level (without radar).

sheepguts A small correction to your otherwise sound post....

The example bcast you give I believe should read.... assuming it is the mandatory call at 15 nm.

" All Stations Gove MBZ ABC C210 15 miles west Gove 2000 circuit 47"

Place name twice.
And remember you don't have to talk to everyone in the MBZ, only those that might be in direct conflict.
Monitoring the MBZ frequency (if you have 2 comms) from top of descent is not a bad practice to give the traffic picture before your first call.

Sheep Guts
16th Nov 2002, 23:12
Yes Triadic I stand corrected.
Its awfull reading my post again, incorrect spelling of "remember".
Yes saying things twice name place is required aswell, may I remmind you though that is an Aussie phrase requirement. When in Rome do what the romans do..:D

Blue Hauler
17th Nov 2002, 01:02

When descending into GAFA MBZ’s, ATC will normally pass you over to an area frequency (Class G for eg.) in the vicinity of FL300 or even higher if there is no possible traffic conflict. My call is then “…Centre and all stations…(callsign, type, position, level and estimate reference destination) on descent. This will normally bring a response from centre with IFR traffic and known VFR traffic. Also IFR will normally respond with a position and level and if conflict exists I reset the assigned altitude indicator above the traffic. The average VFR below ten isn’t going to respond because the caller just said he was seventy miles out at some FL or other!!??

Between thirty and fifteen thousand our workload is relatively easy. I already have the MBZ tuned and I am interested in traffic activity so we may formulate a traffic plan based on the apparent runway in use or the forecast if no traffic is broadcasting.

Approaching transition I always give another broadcast on area frequency. This is a ‘wake-up’ call for all those folk who discounted me six or seven minutes earlier. From then on the work-load for me is busy. Transition checks, speed reduction, approach checks, reassess circuit and configure for landing.

It is about this time that some CHTR [email protected] opts to do a straight-in approach on the opposite end with ten plus tail wind just so he can beat the guys in their flash jet!
:confused: :mad:

17th Nov 2002, 03:21
B/H... good one! sounds about what I do (not the SIA with the t/w bit!)... you would be surprised how many don't make that first call!

17th Nov 2002, 06:10
Heard regularly:

"All-stations Woop-Woop, ABC OVER THE TOP, (location) THIS TIME, 5500 FEET, ESTIMATING (location) AT TIME blah blah."

"That you, Gazza???"

"Yeeeerrrrrr, Ma-aaaaate. How's the missus?"

Isn't "over the top" where soldiers went in the trenches??? Do these pilots mean, "Overhead"?? Even "overhead' isn't necessary, neither is "this time", "feet" or "estimating'. People use these phrases and other pilots pick them up, same old story.

As for "joins/maintains/taxis/etc", who was the QF gripper I heard recently begin a PA with the words,
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the captain speaks...."
What a twit....

17th Nov 2002, 09:06
What I want to know is how can you be visual on top?

Dog One
17th Nov 2002, 09:41
Sheep Guts comment re transmit and then LISTEN is very appropriate. How many times to do hear some one call taxying on the MBZ freq, and then without a pause transmit on the area frequency.

I also agree that the most appropriate call inbound is leaving F120, usually you are within 30 miles, about to descend into VFR levels. By monitoring the MBZ freq, you usually have a idea of the traffic prior to leaving F120.

18th Nov 2002, 06:07

not sure if the rules have changed over the past 5 or so years, but you could be "visual" ie VMC above cloud in the old days, or has my memory been clouded by the mists of time?

Capt Claret
18th Nov 2002, 13:20
F120 might be a bit late for somewhere like the Gove MBZ, which lies wholly within the Nhulunbuy CTAF, both on 127.8.

At F120 at typical descents for the World's Slowest Jet that allows about 1 minute to transmit, pause, listen to response and organise separation.
Surely the ideal point, depends on the aircraft type.

19th Nov 2002, 07:54

It is not a problem to make an MBZ call then an area call if you have two radios and can monitor them both.

19th Nov 2002, 20:48
I challenge anyone to listen to 2 transmissions at once and make sense of either of them -assuming 2 radios of course!

It is the same with the ILS-PRM procedures - set both radios to the same volume -yeah so you cannot understand EITHER of them!

21st Nov 2002, 10:09
Blue Hauler. Good point on the Jepps quote where additional calls in an MBZ are only to solve traffic conflicts. The worst situation that I have experienced is the daily babel at Point Cook which for some unknown reason was redesignated from a CTAF to a MBZ a few years back. I believe it was because that a senior CASA manager saw the local Mustang do a go around among some lighties and was panicked into declaring the place an MBZ because of this.

What is labelled pilot's discretionary calls has become mandatory calls by every GA pilot within the Point Cook MBZ. Most of these are flying instructors who should know better but who are rather fond of their own voices. T make matters worse a suggestion has been made by members of a local GA committee that the radio calls be increased.

The suggestion is that all aircraft report their position in the circuit starting with joining dead side, first crosswind leg, downwind leg, base leg, final and short final, going around and rejoining after go around. As it is we have the chatter of taxying aircraft reporting clear of the runways when blind freddie could see there is no need.

Currently every man and his dog at Point Cook report several times in the circuit and with up to seven aircraft flogging the circuit it becomes a radio jungle. Add to that babel some twits that report entering the MBZ over flying for the local training area giving the planned whereabouts and altitudes of their particular Cessna 172, Warrior etc for the next 10 minutes then the game gets out of hand.

It is the graduates of these flying schools that eventually get jobs up north and bring their poxy Point Cook radio procedures with them.

22nd Nov 2002, 10:11
I fly is right. it is all there, ready to be taught - and learned.

When I learned radio many years ago elsewhere, we had to do a separate R/T test in funny sort of confessional box. The examiner was in the other side with a headset connected through to the person under test, who was given a fictious route to fly with every type of airspace imaginable. The examiner would throw all sorts of things that you had to respond to correctly. You had to do it right or you just did not get the licence.

Here it seems quite acceptable to vary what is in the book, as and when you feel like it and if you don't know quite the right phraseology, it doesn't really matter. Then if you want to pass a message about what you want the misses to cook for dinner tonight, that's fine too. Some of the chit chat in our GAAP's is quite amazing at times. I cannot imagine quite why some pilots and controllers imagine we are interested in their private 'arrangements' to that extent!

Sonny Hammond
23rd Nov 2002, 01:51

Read up on ILS-PRM. You only monitor the 2nd freq when on the tower freq, and guess what? You'll only hear the same thing on both comm's!
It's in case of an over transmission when ATC want to issue a breakout instruction

Blue Hauler
23rd Nov 2002, 05:39

It seems these days 'newbie' instructors are teaching too much reliance on the radio and not enough emphasis on lookout. And I don’t mean the cursory glance from side to side, but the full 360 degree check low, level and high.

Congestion of a radio frequency defeats its purpose. Radio reliance may also lead to a false sense of security as other operators may not be radio equipped or just can’t get a word in. PTT switches and boom mikes have a lot to answer for!

Dog One
23rd Nov 2002, 22:10

I doubt if you can monitor both frequencies if you are transmitting on one. Usually when the Tx button is pressed it mutes the Rx on all radios.

The point being made is while transmitting on the area frequency without pause, any directed calls on MBZ are muted and not heard, resulting in additional calls.

24th Nov 2002, 04:55
Dog one

Not so. In our two-crew aircraft we are able to monitor and transmit on two independent frequencies at the same time. Aircraft fitted with dual coms panels! Use it all the time around MBZ's.

24th Nov 2002, 08:48
dogone yes dragchute is correct. What you refer to is common on most GA aircraft and was certainly the case on most Cessna twins. But once you go a bit upmarket the audio system allows you to monitor the other VHF/s when transmitting on the other or on HF. In such a case the other transmissions on MBZ when you are transmitting on area are NOT muted.

A good point, as it really is surprising how many GA pilots do not know the limitations of the audio systems they operate and certainly many do not know that the other VHF is muted when you transmit on one. But then maybe his/her instructor did not know either! Otherwise surely it would have been taught!

17th Dec 2002, 10:48
Again, let us focus on the original point raised in the post...

We are not complaining about the poor boggie bush pilot's nonstandard calls. We are complaining about the several thousand hour IFR jet pilot that has been selected for their experience and aptitude, been trained in a CAO 82.5 /CAR 215 environment with the best aviation training support in the country, flown all around the world as an S/O as an 'apprenticeship' in jet aviation and BEING PAID THE BIGGEST WAD OF CASH for the least time at the stick in comparison to anyone driving any other machine in that MBZ.

DeHavillandDriver, leave the peacemaker tone at the door --lets not get too warm and fuzzy in here!

The driver-under-instruction is not the prime culprit. The voices we hear are not those of twentysomething, newly promoted F/O's. The gravelly, weary tones broadcast are those that belong to older men who should know better.

And in the rare instance that the poor radio work is the output of a trainee having trouble setting up the aircraft in the last 30 miles, well we can probably all remember initial line training where we had difficulty with that at first.

But presumably you will bring it to that trainee's attention that 'if you have to use 20% of your thinking resources to make an IFR radio call (that you used to make before you joined QF), how can you expect to have enough brain space to monitor and manage the flightpath of your new aeroplane?

The trainee, thus rebuked, should be advised to spend some time in the hotel room practicing his/her calls and SOPs.

17th Dec 2002, 21:45
ref +10 just to add to your reply some time ago!! The use of "to" as in Climbing TO xxx is no longer ICAO the word TO is ommitted from the transmission due to confusion with TWO because TO and TWO sound the same.

And if flying through Europe you will see how important standard exact ICAO phraseology is !!


point 2. the word is DESCENDING NOT DESCENT.

phraseology in the present . I.e climbing,descending,maintaining,joining,heading,leaving, NOT LEFT because again this can be confused with a direction not a level leaving!!

Australia is a distant land and like our animals our radio telephony procedures have evolved into a very diverse and interesting mixture of procedures which can only be corrected by EVERY training dept including flying schools ensuring its students and employees are 100% hot on radio procedures otherwise myths passed down from daddy to son will always continue.

Well off my soap box now!!:cool: :cool: :rolleyes: :cool:

17th Dec 2002, 23:38
Have to agree 100%.
I was discussing radio calls with a work mate the other day, in particular, "ready in turn" calling It may be assistance to the tower??? If so they can submit a request to have it published as a standard call. After requesting an intersection with a taxi call, (correct procedure) his thoughts are that on arriving at the holding point you should call "ready intersection ??" and so on.
My oppinion is, if ATC wanted these additions they would be published as the correct radio calls.
It is people changing calls to what they think are useful and to what sounds cool that creates confusion.

Glad to hear you say that. Look forward to listening out for precise calls from you.
Only a little thing, where does joins, maintains and lines up come from.

18th Dec 2002, 10:24
Sonny Hammond - I am quite aware of the ILS PRM procedures - and I reckon that if you get the over transmission noise on the comm 1, the PRM controller can transmit on the PRM frequency to his hearts content and you won't understand the transmission as the squeal from comm 1 will blast over the top of everything - I assume that you are only using one brain to decipher the transmissions going through your ears!

Sonny Hammond
19th Dec 2002, 01:31


If they are at the same volume I am pretty sure, as a professional pilot, (or at least I think you are, flying a dash) that you could get past the blocked transmission to hear the relevant one.
But I suppose as a Dash 8 FO you have all the answers.

Hugh Jarse
19th Dec 2002, 08:01
Only a little thing, where does joins, maintains and lines up come from.
Easy. Ansett A320. Mid to late 1990's. They also created the phrase "Takeoff/Landing clearance, HY...." Merely an observation as just another pilot operating out of Sydney during those halcyon days ;)

I have a question for the experts: If you call "Ready in turn", is it okay to call "Ready out of turn"? And what is the significant difference between the two? :D:D:D:D:D

Sonny Hammond
19th Dec 2002, 18:29

So if you report 'ready in turn', and I report 'ready first', surely then atc is obligated to depart me first!!!

19th Dec 2002, 20:10
"Ready in turn"

Like many phrases used both in aviation and in other industries the history behind their use fades away with the loss of corporate history and the turnover of users. I don't profess to know where it came from, but its use was common twenty plus years ago at most major airports.

It was my belief that using that phrase was appropriate when you arrived at the holding point behind other aircraft having just switched to TWR and without knowing if the previous aircraft had called 'ready' or not. Also, you don't have to have reached the holding point in order to call ready, so using such a term when you still have a way to taxi was also deemed appropriate.

I believe, using such a phrase it was thought would help the tower in knowing that you were aware that you were not the first cab off the rank. This also applied when there were more than one holding point(s) for the same runway (SYD16R, MEL16/34 etc) With the use of FNCs many a/c also look the same to the tower, so such a phrase may help in solving the ID issue.

Of course as someone said above, if it was significant then why is it not in the book. My answer to that is that there is already too many phrases etc in the book and it is best at times just to leave the "extras" for inclusion under the heading of 'common sense' or just good 'airmanship'. But that presumes that common sense is 'common' and airmanship is taught these days, which I doubt!

Personally, the practice in some os countries is perhaps best, when you automatically change to the TWR approaching the holding point and say nothing. The TWR work on the basis that you are ready and call you when they want you to line-up etc. That would cut down on the chat, but perhaps some might not be able to handle it not hearing their own voice!!
:D :D

22nd Dec 2002, 12:21
Bleating on about the exact R/T phraseology has always struck me as a bit anal.....have come across a couple of checkies that carried on about this and basically told 'em to go get a life. Whatever could be wrong with using plain and concise English? Rogers and overs and out deleted of course.....
Classic **** in MBZ: 'All stations Kalgoorlie MBZ, this is CZQ an RPT IFR Boeing 737 jet, quack quack quack' Did anyone under the age of 75 ever come across a Boeing that wasn't a jet, didn't operate under the IFR and didn't transport people or cargo, and does it really matter anyway? If it is heavier than air it is a potential health hazard whatever its size and pretensions. All I care about about is callsign, approx distance out and compass quadrant ( forget radials, you may be dealing with farmer Brown who knows north from south-west but won't necessarily have his head around the 223 radial) and altitude and ETA at potential point of impact (which I can work out for myself if I have an ETA at somewhere on the map I recognise). The crapology in the AIP or whatever it is now called, would appear to have been written for ideal situations but it does not, and I don't believe intends to, cover all cases.

22nd Dec 2002, 20:50

You hit the nail on the head, RT should be max comprehension with min words .

26th Dec 2002, 03:12
I was just wondering about departure calls. I hear/have heard a lot of the east coast guys and gals giving a departure call with the line "....tracking *** reference the NDB/VOR". I've looked for this in the books and can't find it. Any help.

26th Dec 2002, 03:47
Vintage Red

See AIP GEN 5.12.8 4 (page 40) (http://www.airservices.gov.au/pilotcentre/aip/aip/gen/341299.pdf)

26th Dec 2002, 05:18
A close read of page 40 (in the above ref) will show that the inclusion of the "reference aid used to establish track" in the departure call is not required when outside controlled airspace (which what this thread is all about) - that info only stated in a non radar tower departure call.

Blue Hauler
26th Dec 2002, 08:17
By departure report I assume you mean a call to Centre!

I hear many departure reports given on the MBZ frequency which is fine when separating with traffic tracking in or out of the quadrant, within the MBZ; but if no traffic conflict exists it is not required and congests the airwaves. If such a call is mandatory on the MBZ frequency when leaving the zone please give me a hint where I might find it so I can adjust my thinking!

26th Dec 2002, 11:22
Certainly there is no 'mandatory' call for departing a MBZ/CTAF. However I believe you will find that those of us that operate regularly into and out of such aerodromes may choose to exercise good airmanship and judgment to make up for the times when making just the mandatory calls is clearly not enough. On the departing example, making a taxi call and one entering the runway is often inadequate. The obvious additional calls might be "rolling" or "airborne" or "departing" at least one of which, I suggest, should be made depending on the location, traffic & circumstances. It must be remembered that the calls made on the ground may be shielded and will not have the range of one made when airborne. I have had many examples of an inbound aircraft not hearing my calls on the ground but responding to my airborne call. How would you know if such traffic existed if you did not make an airborne call of some description? Departing the MBZ/CTAF in stealth mode may not be good for your health!


but if no traffic conflict exists it is not required and congests the airwaves.

How do you know? And you could hardly congest the airwaves if you were of the belief that there was no traffic..! (not including the one you did not hear)

26th Dec 2002, 23:02
I can see both sides to this story, however my allegances on this one tend towards Blue Hauler's side.

I personally find it annoying and common for the ones who make most radio calls to be the ones who listen the least and lookout is the worst. They answer every aircraft that calls on the MBZ frequency, regardless of potential confict. They make all the possible calls that Triadic speaks of every time + some.

If the correct procedures are used by all, a big if you might think, then ATC possible advise of other IFR aircraft, beep back should indicate wehther there is anybody else on frequency that you may have missed. TCAS, IF people remember to turn there SSR on is a dead give away. The required calls by the possible conflicting aircraft that may have missed your calls and most of all LOOKOUT.

There is also no guarantee that, the other party is, one listening, two understands, or three is going to respond, amd I am sure that we have all come across these types as well.
I do agree at times there is the need for some and maybe all of the suggested calls above but not as a standard.
In an MBZ with several landing areas, the more chatter on the grouind the more chance of radio calls being over transmitted by other aircraft that can't here each other. The result can be chaotic.

26th Dec 2002, 23:39
So, and this is a genuine question, will the introduction of the NEW NAS system affect this issue or will there be no effect at all.?

27th Dec 2002, 00:07
Hugh Jarse

Reference A320 calls: this came about as the last item on our bastardised Ansett version of the Airbus checklist was "landing clearance".

Hence, on final approach : "Check complete to landing clearance"

"HYB Clear To Land".

"Clear to land, HYB" or incorrectly"Landing clearance HYB"

"Landing clearance,checklist complete"

In the disarray of the Ansett cockpit the incorrect way was a natural force of habit!

Ansett A320 procedures were mind boggling.

Back to original topic, I still feel LOFT exercises on simulators into MBZs the easiest way to create a high standard in airline ops. It will not get any worse than multiple failures on an airline whilst sorting MBZ traffic at night.

Blue Hauler
27th Dec 2002, 08:31
To expand on the comments by RENURPP I fully concur on the LOOKOUT aspect. Twenty-five years ago headsets and PTT’s were almost unheard of in GA. To pick up a hand mike and transmit required somewhat of a double shuffle. Unfortunately the use of ‘electric hats’ has resulted in less lookout and more use of the radio. I am sure some of us simply make the call and assume “ if I have a near miss now it won’t be my fault ‘cause I gave a call!!??”

The over use of radio has two other bad spin-offs. The frequency of ‘over transmits’ and the ultimate resignation of hearing so much chatter that one can’t remember if the last call was a new addition or one of the previous callers who was fanning the breeze!

An over-abundance of radio calls such as used by triadic leads to the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ situation. The airlines and other professional operators with ‘check captains’ have an inbuilt governor that ensures crews don’t pick up such bad habits. The balance of the industry however copies the calls and before we know it the incorrect procedures are universal. Perhaps Stick Pusher may have been under such a misconception when he started this post.


How do you know? And you could hardly congest the airwaves if you were of the belief that there was no traffic..! (not including the one you did not hear)

By start of taxi we have spent a few minutes on MBZ and CTR frequencies, compiled a traffic list and established who is likely to cause conflict. We call only the possible conflicts specifically and give just the mandatory broadcasts. But a radio call leads to an assumption that all have heard it when in fact it may have been blocked! Lookout is our main defence mechanism. Climbing at three or four thousand feet per minute doesn’t leave much time for idle chatter on the radio and still deal with MBZ traffic. Besides, coming out the top of the zone I’m starting to get interested in over-flyers who are on CTR. Two crew ops doesn’t leave a lot of time for idle chatter either particularly with gear and flap retraction, pressurisation check and a handful of other chores. Rarely do we bother with the after take-off checks until transition level, then heads can come back into the cockpit! Your philosophy over-loads my system!

27th Dec 2002, 09:18
I must disagree on one point. Check and or training captains do not necessarily improve the quality of RT. If that was true this thread would probably not have started.
If they simply enforced the mandatory calls, enforced company SOP's thats fine. This thread is evidence on differing oppinions re Airmanship, there fore it is difficult to make a fair judgement on a check flight.
Must remember a C&T Captain is nothing more these days than some one who was assigned the position!
My experience with C&T pilots is that they simply push their own barrow whether that be make more calls or lookout the window, not much to do with SOP's and AIP!

Blue Hauler
27th Dec 2002, 12:34

Interesting comment. I would have thought that the presence of a standards person would encourage crews to perhaps strive for some degree of excellence or sense of professionalism within their organisation. Agreed that the checker does not have to push the R/T barrow. That should flow on from the setting of overall standards.

R/T appears to be construed as a window into the operation of an unseen rival. Just read this post and see the beating QF take on page one, and all without specifying any specific transgression. In fact one will read several pages of comment relating to the most insignificant phraseologies presumably levelled at that operator. As one delves deeper it would appear that many of us have misconceptions of the AIP/JEPPS and therefore are probably unqualified to pass judgement on what is correct R/T. Are we judging the said 737 operators on the basis of our incorrect understandings?

Just to set the record straight I fly corporate.

27th Dec 2002, 18:23
Re the QF bagging, I think that is completely unfair.
It would be fairer to point the initial comments at all MBZ users.

Do you think if a pilot does not know correct procedures by the time he has lands himself an airline job, a check ride every six - twelve months will change the standard that much? I don't.
The worst the checky will do is a little critisism.
If he/she, the pilot, is some one who values a high standard he/she would normally have sorted out some basic radio procedures prior to his first job let alone his first airline job.

For the record I am not employed by QF either.

Sonny Hammond
27th Dec 2002, 20:08
The trangression as I see it is the 737 guys are showing too much airmanship. The GA guys think ' I wish they'd shut up' but the 73 pilots are thinking 'I don't want to clean anyone up here'

Who's right? I guess we will know one day.....

29th Dec 2002, 05:50
Take it easy on these jet jockeys. It is a very scary thing to have to deal with us Bug smashers in non radar environments. We have no TCAS2 and sometimes no transponders, 1950s radio stacks. I think though, that if your gonna say it, then get it right. I had a coversation with a QF F/O who had to take a 400 into Avalon when it was an MBZ. Of course it was scary for the Cpt and F/O to make MBZ calls so the S/O made the calls. All in all this is a little bit of tall poppy syndrome with the QF 737s. We all should get our act together. And jesus.....no callsign at the end please, thats restricted to yanks with airline transport PRIVATE licences only.:p

2nd Jan 2003, 06:10
Double callsigns...

I cant remember where i read it, but it's in print somewhere! i.e. all stations X, XYZ ... XYZ. Maybe the previous ed. of VFR guide or TT books? No-wonder pilots use it or have at least tried it!

Correct radio is a vexing topic for the student. Clear literature is hard to come by. :confused::rolleyes:

3rd Jan 2003, 12:37
never have read that any where. I doubt it was ever published as a standard call, BUT I could be wrong I have been before.
If you find it I would be interested to know where.

5th Jan 2003, 00:06
Double callsign - No

Place Name twice in b'cast's - Yes

5th Jan 2003, 00:19
Please feel free to reopen.