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Should Pilots use the word 'clear' on the RT?

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Should Pilots use the word 'clear' on the RT?

Old 19th Apr 2013, 21:59
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hum
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Use of the word 'cleared' on the RT when reading back landing or take-off clearances

For many years I have avoided using the word 'cleared' on the Radio..for take-off or landing clearances. When cleared to Take off I say 'Take-off.. G XXXX' when cleared to land I reply 'Land G xxxx' etc. Somewhere in my past I was trained to do this for 2 reasons, firstly to minimise unecessary R/T and secondly to avoid the possibility that another pilot could misinterpret my read-back as an ATC clearance.

Having had a mild bollocking from ATC recently for not mentioning the 'C' word as part of my readbacks at a training school, I checked CAP 413 and discover I am wrong.. hate it when that happens.. :-(

Does anyone else remember bring taught this in the RAF? It seems sensible to me.. I seem to remember it came in around the same time that the 'runway vacated' phraseology came in.. Or is it a figment of my imagination?

Last edited by hum; 19th Apr 2013 at 22:46. Reason: exact phraseology
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 22:07
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Yes, there was also "Loud and Clear" that became "Readibility 5". Also, "Go Ahead" was replaced by "Pass your message" for a similar reason. "Affirmative" became "Affirm" so that it couldn't be misheard as "Negative", and so on, and so on...

I've found that R/T has changed significantly in my quarter century of aviation!

LJ
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 22:31
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If you've been deleting 'clear' from your R/T for years, I'm surprised its only taken until recently for you receive a 'mild bollocking'!

-RP
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 23:35
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The ‘Tenerife’ accident has brought forward, quite intensively in those days, the avoidance of the words: “cleared” and “take off” . . .

UNLESS they were the ACTUAL CLEARANCE for TAKE OFF . . .


The phrases: “Ready for take off!” or “Request take off clearance!” were changed into “Ready for DEPARTURE!”

The phrase: “Request taxi clearance!” was changed into “Request taxi!” WITHOUT the word CLEARANCE.

The effort was, that the word CLEARED could only be associated distinctly with an ACTUAL CLEARANCE for ‘GETTING INTO THE AIR’ or landing . . .

Besides that, the only other use of the word CLEARED would be with an ‘ATC en route clearance’ . . .


In those days (in Europe) we were really indoctrinated with alternate wordings.


Nowadays, however, I find on more than one occasion, that I hear the: “request taxi/take off clearance!”; “Cleared to taxi!” or “Are we cleared for take off?”. . . etc. all over again. Where I have made it a habit to use: “Request taxi!”; “For taxi!”; “Request taxi approval!”; Ready for departure!”; “Taxi approved!”; “Confirm our departure is approved?” etc.

You could dream up numerous situations and phraseology of course . . .

Since then, I have always attempted to adhere to the effort of avoidance of ‘misleading phraseology’.


“Affirm!” could never be misheard by “Negative” is another example . . .

and indeed

"Runway vacated" instead of "Clear of the runway" or "Runway cleared" . . .

Kind regards, learner . . .

Last edited by learner001; 19th Apr 2013 at 23:39.
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 23:44
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The only people I know who do not know the meaning of "Clear" are my ex- wifes!!!!!

And you accept a bollocking from ATC!!!!!

What is the world coming to?
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 06:06
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Interesting to hear. The vast majority here do not use the 'clear' word either. Is this a civi only thing? I'll have to check the Mil section of the CAP.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 06:20
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I would echo absolutely everything the op said, less the bollocking from ATC bit!

I still prefer (but now do not practise) the old way: 'Take-off, call sign 123'

Makes perfect sense to me, and was justified on the back of the Tenerife disaster when I was taught.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 06:46
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Is this a civi only thing? I'll have to check the Mil section of the CAP
That's part of the problem, mil only reading Chap 10. That chapter is about military specific extra stuff (PAR, gear calls etc) - the rest of the CAP still applies. However, the clear word also appears in Chap 10.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 06:56
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The 'C' Word(s)

There is another occasion where a pilot could use the 'c' word apart from landing and taking-off...

Forward Air Controllers (Airborne) and pilots can use the phrase 'Cleared hot'... Well this is a military forum, after all!

The other 'c' word that the FAC(A)'s seem to have started using recently is 'contact' when receiving a talk-on... now that could take up a whole new thread!!!

(dons body armour and helmet)

PP.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 07:15
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“Affirm!” could never be misheard by “Negative” is another example . . .
I always thought the same could be said for "yes" and "no" but hey Ho.....
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 07:23
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All clear above and behind?

Clear prop?

OAP
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 07:38
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Yes, avoiding "clear" unless you are giving the clearance was always a part of good R/T. Seems to me that much of the brevity and clarity was lost in some military R/T over the last decade. Was it due to the alignment with CAP?

OAP
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 07:48
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I distinctly remember being told by my first QFI not to use "clear" in the same conversation where he explained why you could say "3 greens" in the pre-landing checks in the cockpit but had to say "gear down" over RT.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 07:55
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Seems to me that much of the brevity and clarity was lost in some military R/T over the last decade. Was it due to the alignment with CAP?
No. Much of the gash, ambiguous, non-standard nonsense was binned. Some of which was the result of individual instructor mannerisms - one of whom I had to remind that landing clearance had to be acknowledged as such, not just by 2 clicks on the microphone or saying "Roger"! Students just adopted their QFIs' style and there was little, if any, formal RT instruction. Even ATSOCAS was still a complete mystery to many military pilots, despite the fact that it had been in existence for many years. Back in Hunter days, I was once told "Don't talk to air traffickers unless you have to - they'll just cost you fuel!"....

As minority airspace users, the military has finally been brought into line with the rest of the UK, except, quite reasonably, where specific military requirements exist. CAP 413 isn't exactly a riveting read, but it does at least give the correct, standard phraseology!

"Gear down" became standard as a final call, due to the variety of indications in military aircraft. For example, bona jets had 4 greens, F-4s had 3 wheel icons. But even after 'gear down' had been in for years, some Hercules co-piglets were still calling "Finals, gear checked".... One exasperated Local Controller at Brize eventually became so fed up with non-standard JATE-cowboy R/T that he advised that landing clearance would not be given until the C-130 crew confirmed that their landing gear was indeed DOWN!

Last edited by BEagle; 20th Apr 2013 at 08:02.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 08:53
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That was because the gear was not down!

How about "roll" or "the option"?

OAP
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 08:58
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Got asked to confirm "Gear Down" whilst in a Chipmunk ... response "Down and Welded"
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 09:04
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As someone who enters active runways most days (in a vehicle) it's very interesting to note the differences between military and civillian controllers, indeed the difference between individual controllers. Among the older ones if he was trained in the USA he will say check gear down and locked but if he was trained in UK he will say check 3 greens. I often hear confirm you are clear of the runway or clear off the runway, never vacate the runway. Clear for engine start is commonly heard and as I type I just heard cleared to FL 150. After that little lot my guess is that wherever you go in the world you'll hear something different / non standard!
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 09:34
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"Gear down" became standard as a final call, due to the variety of indications in military aircraft. For example, bona jets had 4 greens, F-4s had 3 wheel icons. But even after 'gear down' had been in for years, some Hercules co-piglets were still calling "Finals, gear checked".... One exasperated Local Controller at Brize eventually became so fed up with non-standard JATE-cowboy R/T that he advised that landing clearance would not be given until the C-130 crew confirmed that their landing gear was indeed DOWN!
"Roger, clear Land, Dunlops danglin'", is probably a serious no-go then?

CG
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 09:47
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My brain had obviously suffered a 30 year slip when I called "Finals to land and stream" at Lands End in a Cessna 172, causing some confusion and subsequent amusement in the tower.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 09:50
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As far back as the early 1990's the phraseology published in JSP318A was:

ATC: "C/S Clear Land" AC: "Clear Land C/S", differing slightly from the equivalent in CAP 413 "Cleared to...".

It certainly was (and to a lesser extent still is) an incorrect but common practice amongst UK military pilots to drop the "Clear". I don't know whether this was ever the published phraseology but, as BEagle says, the error was propagated by CFS.
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