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A plea for brevity - CTAF Broadcasts

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A plea for brevity - CTAF Broadcasts

Old 5th Feb 2021, 01:06
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A plea for brevity - CTAF Broadcasts

Colleagues. When we’re enlightening others to our presence and intentions while in the vicinity of an aerodrome in G:

We don’t need to say “nautical” miles. Everyone will assume that any miles we state in broadcasts are nautical.

We don’t need to say “of the field” when stating the direction from the location we’ve announced, if the location is the aerodrome. When we say “Traffic Springfield, Alpha Bravo Charlie is one two miles south”, everyone will assume that we’re twelve nautical miles south of the Springfield aerodrome.

We don’t need to say “estimating” or “time” when broadcasting our estimated arrival time overhead or joining the circuit at an aerodrome. When we say “overhead” or “circuit area” “fife niner”, everyone will assume that “fife niner” is our estimated time in minutes past the hour for arrival at the stated position. By definition, a time you give of an event in the future is an estimate.

We don’t need to say “feet” when stating our altitude. When we say “three thousand five hundred”, everyone will assume that “three thousand five hundred” is an altitude expressed in feet.

Compare the following:

Traffic Springfield
VFR Jizzler Alpha Bravo Charlie is one two miles south
Inbound tree thousand fife hundred
Circuit area fife niner
Springfield

Traffic Springfield
This is VFR Jizzler Alpha Bravo Charlie
I’m twelve nautical miles south of the field
I’m inbound to the field at three thousand five hundred feet
I’m estimating the circuit area of the field at time five nine
Springfield

Each conveys the same information. However, the latter takes about 50% more time than the former to broadcast.

Whilst there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, provided the information is effectively conveyed, 126.7 can get very busy.

Instructors please note, too. Somebody must be training or tolerating what I consider to be unnecessary verbosity. However, I’m happy to stand corrected.

Recently I listened to pilots of just 2 aircraft effectively jam 126.7 with various updates and checks of their respective locations and intentions, while the pilot of another aircraft couldn’t get an important message across edgewise. While one of the talkative pilots was on long final for a runway, the third pilot took off in the opposite direction i.e. ‘head to head’. Fortunately the pilot of the third aircraft could see and hear what was going on, and tracked clear of the opposite direction short final flight path after take off. I watched and listed to it all while orbiting over the aerodrome.

Remember: There can be traffic out there that you haven’t heard from, either because they don’t have a radio or do have a radio but haven’t tuned the correct frequency, or have a radio tuned to the correct frequency but can’t get a word in edgewise.

One other tip, for what it is worth: Get into the habit of asking yourself whether you’re still on the Area frequency before you PTT on a CTAF broadcast. (If I had a dime...)

Yours in safe flying.
Clinton McKenzie is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2021, 01:31
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And most importantly keep a good lookout when conditions allow. As stated above never rely on radio alone.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 01:31
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I'd highly disagree with leaving out "of the field", that's a dangerous assumption IMHO, what if you've simply not registered the fact that they're giving a different key location or the radio dropped for a second whilst saying it? Also don't drop the feet part, once again this is for clarity, if you're hearing someone with a choppy radio how do I know you're talking about feet of altitude and weren't mentioning a distance in meters like visibility or something? There are good reasons we use feet for altitude and meters for visibility and saying Feet or Meters means that even with a garbled transmission I still know what that 3,500 was referring to.

Also I just timed myself saying both of these at the same cadence, 10 seconds for top and 12 seconds for bottom, I'll gladly listen to a couple of extra seconds for the sake of clarity over brevity.

The problem you're really describing though isn't brevity of transmissions but superfluous transmissions which I agree Pilots need to be mindful of but ultimately I think it can be dangerous as well to tell Pilots they talk too much as they may over compensate the opposite direction too. The biggest issue in what you're describing here isn't even the 2 talkative Pilots or lack of brevity, it was the third that decided to take off knowing that there was inbound traffic on long final that was head to head with them that didn't know what they were intending to do, that's rushing and impatience that could have lead to an accident.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 01:45
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And while we're on the subject, it seems to have become standard procedure to broadcast EVERY leg of the circuit. Is this really necessary..? Seems to be one of those things where people believe the more radio calls they make the safer it will be, but if you get multiple aircraft in the circuit it makes it hard for anyone inbound to get a call in..!

Also, while I'm having a whinge, to all the 'mumblers' out there, here's a suggestion - speak CLEARLY & CONCISELY and to all those who think it's impressive to rattle off a call at high speed, slow it down a bit so we can actually UNDERSTAND what you are saying.

Rant Off.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 01:52
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Extrapolating the same issue to airways clearance requests from an aerial work (survey flying) point of view.....

a) will get you an airways clearance.....b) will not

Less is more

Alpha
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 02:37
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I couldn't really care less as long as the person gets thier message across. I would rather someone deliver too many words than too few.

Most of the excessive wafflers are once in a blue moon recreational pilots so I'm just happy they are getting thier point across. I assume they have more important things on thier mind than getting worked up over a few extra words as do I (such as what Im having for dinner that night).

In all honestly the AIP is pretty vague on this stuff anyway (last time I actually looked), and there are more important things to worry about.
Disc: I havnt operated on 126.7 if forever.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 03:04
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This is a good guide, rather than making stuff up as every airport and traffic flow vary so much.

https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/defaul...d-airspace.pdf

Note page 5 “calls when there is other traffic”

This explains how extra broadcasts are recommended when other aircraft are in the vicinity.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 05:11
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Originally Posted by IFEZ View Post
And while we're on the subject, it seems to have become standard procedure to broadcast EVERY leg of the circuit. Is this really necessary..? Seems to be one of those things where people believe the more radio calls they make the safer it will be, but if you get multiple aircraft in the circuit it makes it hard for anyone inbound to get a call in..!

Also, while I'm having a whinge, to all the 'mumblers' out there, here's a suggestion - speak CLEARLY & CONCISELY and to all those who think it's impressive to rattle off a call at high speed, slow it down a bit so we can actually UNDERSTAND what you are saying.

Rant Off.
Those broadcasts of EVERY leg of the circuit really tick me off! I feel like yelling "just shut up & do it already!"

Also, what's with calling "inbound" to an aerodrome when you're actually not landing but overflying for somewhere else? Never been able to figure that one out!

DF.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 05:31
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Don't forget to broadcast that you are taxing to the fuel bowser or to the runup bay, it helps with traffic seperation for the IFR pilots.
Also it helps on a busy CTAF, to ask Jack if he is going to Bob's BBQ next week and how the crops are going, or is shearing going ok and have they had much rain lately!
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 05:43
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This could get very entertaining!
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 05:57
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I love flying in Australia, however CTAF is one of the few pet hates...
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 06:10
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And not that it’s been an issue for a year or so, but listening to some of the muppet-like word for word read backs on busy ATC frequencies (e.g. Sydney ground) kills me. I can cut internationals some slack, but locals should should know read back requirements better. You don’t have to verbatim read back EVERY SINGLE WORD THE CONTROLLER SAYS.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 06:49
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Originally Posted by DF
Those broadcasts of EVERY leg of the circuit really tick me off! I feel like yelling "just shut up & do it already!"
You might like to ask the author of post #2 why people do that!

Originally Posted by Occy
but locals should should know read back requirements better. You don’t have to verbatim read back EVERY SINGLE WORD THE CONTROLLER SAYS.
"Copied no traffic".

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Old 5th Feb 2021, 07:41
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There is a G Aerodrome on the downwind leg of a major port I fly into, steps are also very close together, when the weather is shit, which is often,
it’s quite helpful knowing where these people are.

Try flying into a G Port, full circuit, in a 70T machine with nobody talking. Might grind the gears of other GA pilots broadcasting each leg, sure makes my life easier though.

Last edited by PoppaJo; 5th Feb 2021 at 07:59.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 08:35
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Whilst it would be comforting to fly in a world where it's all lovely & sweet in reality we don't and it's not worth getting yr tits in a knot over a few superfluous words. I'd rather a bit of waffling than incorrect info or no info at all!
If the ludicrous lowering of class G down to weed level ever gets up then it could get very interesting!
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 08:43
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If the ludicrous lowering of class G down to weed level ever gets up then it could get very interesting!
Now I am confused. Do you want to buy a vowel?
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 09:11
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Do you want to buy a vowel?
That was pretty good

But none of the dipshits that feel the need to transmit every radio call they've heard in the past and think is pretty damn cool, cool like wearing your asic and wanka bars into DFO, will understand the humour.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 11:29
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Thats a rather verbose way of telling us to keep radio time to a minimum.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 12:11
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This is gold, the RT drivel at CTAFs has progressively increased over the last 20 years. Instructors are guilty of teaching more is better, which is crap. Stick to the recommended broadcasts, pretty simple.
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Old 5th Feb 2021, 12:43
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When I learnt to fly there were only I think 5 items that required a readback. In about 1997 it changed to align with ICAO however it turned into a bit of a mess as the CASA chap driving the change was not very practical. It seems to be that those that don't know what to readback, just read EVERYTHING back, which of course is not required. At busy airports, this is a real pain!

In regard to reporting every leg of the circuit, I believe some schools actually teach that!
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