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Meaning of Roger?!

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Meaning of Roger?!

Old 25th Oct 2018, 09:06
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Meaning of Roger?!

Preparing for comms exam, I see some oddities in terminology, can I check back with you folks on these?

Roger - the book says this means all received OK but (I deduce) does not imply all understood. Is that correct? I had previously believed that Roger conveyed received and understood. I could imagine circumstances in which a message is received clearly but the pilot does not understand the meaning or is unable to comply. It would seem very odd to acknowledge with Roger under those circumstances?

Mayday procedures. An oddity of the aviation mayday procedure is that you identify the called station as the next element after the mayday x3. That seems wasteful of time when you are calling on whatever freq you happen to be on anyway. Am I reading that right? In the marine world a mayday call implies a call to 'all stations' and you would not specify the called station.


Thanks! No doubt more to come
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 09:32
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From CAP 413:-

ROGER - I have received all your last transmission.

WILCO - I understand your message and will comply with it.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 10:23
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Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
Preparing for comms exam, I see some oddities in terminology, can I check back with you folks on these?

Roger - the book says this means all received OK but (I deduce) does not imply all understood. Is that correct? I had previously believed that Roger conveyed received and understood. I could imagine circumstances in which a message is received clearly but the pilot does not understand the meaning or is unable to comply. It would seem very odd to acknowledge with Roger under those circumstances?

Mayday procedures. An oddity of the aviation mayday procedure is that you identify the called station as the next element after the mayday x3. That seems wasteful of time when you are calling on whatever freq you happen to be on anyway. Am I reading that right? In the marine world a mayday call implies a call to 'all stations' and you would not specify the called station.

Thanks! No doubt more to come
What's the difference between "Understood" and "Roger"?
Understood is used to acknowledge information while no need to act while Roger is used to acknowledge some information or an instruction after which the acknowledger will 'act'.

With Mayday procs I do think it's a waste of time to address a particular station and certainly in the maritime world it is as you say; it's a call to ALL stations.

"MAYDAY MAYDAY MADAY. This is sailing vessel "Whatever" MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY.
Give POS, nature of distress, number of SOB and immediate intentions (abandoning ship, etc)

But if if it's the CAP then you've got to do it correctly for the exam.

As in: CAP 413

Emergency Message

8.13

The emergency message shall contain the following information (time and circumstance permitting) and, whenever possible, should be passed in the order given:
  1. ‘MAYDAY/MAYDAY/MAYDAY’ (or ‘PAN PAN/PAN PAN/PAN PAN’);
  2. Name of the station addressed (when appropriate and time and circumstances permitting);
  3. Callsign;
  4. Type of aircraft;
  5. Nature of the emergency;
  6. Intention of the person-in-command;
  7. Present or last known position, flight level/altitude and heading;
  8. Pilot qualifications (See Note 1), viz:
    1. a) Student pilots (see Notes 2 and 3);
    2. b) No Instrument Qualification;
    3. c) IMC Rating;
    4. d) Full Instrument Rating.
  9. Any other useful information e.g. endurance remaining, number of people on board (POB), aircraft colour/markings, any survival aids.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 10:31
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I have always assumed that the reason you address the station is you are making them responsible for your MayDay call and giving them time to prepare. If you just issue a MayDay call and do not address anyone, then it's like other things in life, you address everyone and hoping someone will pick up the responsibility. Also, by doing that, you are giving them a wake up call to start receiving all your vital information.

When you say MayDay, MayDay, MayDay, everyone sits up and listens. Then you address a station and they know you are talking to them so they prepare to receive your information and they know they are being made responsible for it.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 10:35
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Originally Posted by Steevo25 View Post
I have always assumed that the reason you address the station is you are making them responsible for your MayDay call and giving them time to prepare. If you just issue a MayDay call and do not address anyone, then it's like other things in life, you address everyone and hoping someone will pick up the responsibility. Also, by doing that, you are giving them a wake up call to start receiving all your vital information.

When you say MayDay, MayDay, MayDay, everyone sits up and listens. Then you address a station and they know you are talking to them so they prepare to receive your information and they know they are being made responsible for it.
Absolutely this.

"We've got this sh1t we're dealing with and we're in YOUR Airspace."
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 10:50
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Originally Posted by Auxtank View Post
Absolutely this.

"We've got this sh1t we're dealing with and we're in YOUR Airspace."
Agree. And there's one other thing. Almost everybody monitors 121.5. So if you put out a call on 121.5, everybody will be listening and first try to figure out from your position report whether you're in their airspace or not. By addressing the ATC unit specifically everybody is able to skip that step.

OTOH if these subtleties are lost on you while dealing with the emergency, don't worry. You've got other things on your mind. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. And for most emergencies there's not a lot that ATC can do about them anyway, other than clearing the skies and the runway for you. Squawk 7700 will achieve that just as easily.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 14:50
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To me the pertinent bit is
(time and circumstance permitting) and, whenever possible, should be passed in the order given
When I teach EFATO I tell the student that if he just gets his callsign and "Mayday" out (assuming some sort of ground radio station) then that is enough, the guy on the radio should know that an aircraft with that callsign has just taken off and if there is a Mayday at that point know roughly where you are and you are in trouble.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 20:22
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Not an Instructor, but I intend position as a priority if I ever have to do one. Essential if not on radar.
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Old 26th Oct 2018, 09:01
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The OP is preparing for the Comms exam (and presumably if in the UK) the practical test. Careful study of CAP413, chapter 2 is required to understand the definitions attributed to these words. The word 'Roger' has never implied that any action is going to be taken. Capter 8 is required to appreciate the format of any distress call.

Although the desired format of the distress call is aimed at the unit with which you are already in communication, it may be that at low level that agency might not be able to hear the call. Therefore any other aircraft on the channel ought to be ready at any time to relay the message.

TOO
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Old 26th Oct 2018, 18:40
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In real life:

”The wind is blah blah blah”

”Roger”

”take off at your discretion”

”Roger”

”Report Downwind”

”Wilco”


tbh, I read back usually and rarely say “Wilco”, if you say “Wilco” and you’ve misheard, you’ll then go off and do something you’re not meant to be doing.

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Old 28th Oct 2018, 22:49
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I was reading the part about having to state your qualifications in the mayday call. What good would a full instrument rating be to anyone listening if your engine is on fire and you are in VMC? It should be about passing relevant information to those who are in a position to assist.
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 13:52
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Originally Posted by kghjfg View Post
In real life:

”The wind is blah blah blah”

”Roger”

”take off at your discretion”

”Roger”

”Report Downwind”

”Wilco”
Sorry to be pedantic. But isn't "take off at your discretion" an instruction and should be read back?
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 18:39
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Sorry to be pedantic. But isn't "take off at your discretion" an instruction and should be read back?
A FISO cannot issue an instruction or clearance to take off. The phrase at your discretion is (should) only be used by a FISO - not a controller who would indicate pilot discretion with the phrase 'when ready'.
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 21:13
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I just love this stuff. So there I am with the engine stopped and the windshield covered in oil, and I have to state "I have a CPL-ASEL with Instrument Rating, Helicopter rating with PPL privileges, tailwheel endorsement, Light Sport privileges for Gyrocopter". Are you sure I don't have to give the certificate number as well? And this being EASA-land, also the list of types on which I am type rated?.

What they're actually going to get is "Mayday*3, G-xxxx, engine failure, attempting to reach yyy." Then back to aviating.
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 21:23
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and I have to state "I have a CPL-ASEL with Instrument Rating, Helicopter rating with PPL privileges, tailwheel endorsement, Light Sport privileges for Gyrocopter". Are you sure I don't have to give the certificate number as well? And this being EASA-land, also the list of types on which I am type rated?.
If you understood the Manual and the procedures you would have read that additional information may be passed if relevant, there is no International requirement to include such information. It might also help to include your present position if you want anyone to find you!

Roger dates back to a time when messages were passed using Morse and may have been in code so the operator would have no idea of the content, but could acknowledge receipt!
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 21:54
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Originally Posted by n5296s View Post
I just love this stuff. So there I am with the engine stopped and the windshield covered in oil, and I have to state "I have a CPL-ASEL with Instrument Rating, Helicopter rating with PPL privileges, tailwheel endorsement, Light Sport privileges for Gyrocopter". Are you sure I don't have to give the certificate number as well? And this being EASA-land, also the list of types on which I am type rated?

heheh. Much easier for me. I just have to state 'I haven't a clue' - unless you count my cycling proficiency badge. Although actually, I see I am meant to say TYRO, hard to imagine any TYRO having the presence of mind to produce that word under extreme stress.

But of course the question was about procedure for exam purposes, not real life.
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Old 29th Oct 2018, 22:17
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Originally Posted by n5296s View Post
I just love this stuff. So there I am with the engine stopped and the windshield covered in oil, and I have to state "I have a CPL-ASEL with Instrument Rating, Helicopter rating with PPL privileges, tailwheel endorsement, Light Sport privileges for Gyrocopter". Are you sure I don't have to give the certificate number as well? And this being EASA-land, also the list of types on which I am type rated?.

What they're actually going to get is "Mayday*3, G-xxxx, engine failure, attempting to reach yyy." Then back to aviating.
You're missing the point - big time.

MAYDAY is an extraordinary situation - and has been said by ATCOs here on this thread.

MAYDAY 'YOUR' situation - with pertinent FACTS - fast and efficiently to bring ALL in to the loop and give general situational awareness about what's happening to YOU and your CRAFT, what your intentions are, how may souls aboard, fuel, etc, etc.

The OP was asking about what it takes to pass the exam - the discussion has broadened in to how to go MAYDAY.

If it ever happens to you - and I prey it does not - keep the facts straight, information pertinent and your intentions as accurate as the situation dictates at the time.

(No one will care how you got there - they'll be too busy trying to save your life.)
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 10:29
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Roger dates back to a time when messages were passed using Morse and may have been in code so the operator would have no idea of the content, but could acknowledge receipt!
Indeed...
Responses to a radiotelegraph Q-code query or a Q-code assertion may vary depending upon the code. For Q-code assertions or queries which only need to be acknowledged as received, the usual practice is to respond with the letter "R" for "Roger" which means "Received correctly". Sending an "R" merely means the code has been correctly received and does not necessarily mean that the receiving operator has taken any other action. For Q-code queries that need to be answered in the affirmative, the usual practice is to respond with the letter "C" (Sounds like the Spanish word "Si"). For Q-code queries that need to be answered in the negative, the usual practice it to respond with the letter "N" for "no". For those Q-code assertions that merely need to be acknowledged as understood, the usual practice is to respond with the prosign SN or VE which means "understood". On telegraph cable networks "KK" was often used at the end of a reply to a Q Code to mean "OK" or "Acknowledged". This practice predates amateur radio as telegraph operators in the late 19th Century are known to have used it.
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 18:45
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Originally Posted by jamesgrainge View Post
Sorry to be pedantic. But isn't "take off at your discretion" an instruction and should be read back?
Drift...

as above, no.

what I find really odd is when you are told you can take off at your discretion whilst taxying to the numbers, the frequency then gets busy and you can depart with no further RT. You don’t even have to say “departing”.

I usually try and say “departing” or “rolling” (which is not correct RT, but seems to be used), if I don’t get a chance, then I’ll make sure I give a position, height and which direction I’m off to as soon as I can once I’ve levelled off and am leaving the circuit. Just trying to help others with situational awareness, many times I’ve said to a passenger, “don’t worry, he’s gone East” or some such, if we are joining from the West and I’ve heard someone else say where they are heading off to. Passengers are rubbish at 3D pictures aren’t they? (I used to be for a long time too!)


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Old 31st Oct 2018, 05:57
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While googling for a sanity check on the use of the word TYRO to indicate inexperienced pilot, I cam across this ancient thread:

MAYDAY MAYDAY require advice on the use of the word MAYDAY!

The OP says that their examiner insisted on prefixing their callsign with MAYDAY in subsequent comms after declaring a MAYDAY. I thought it worth pointing-out that is proper in marine procedures - effectively your callsign changes to MAYDAY Saucy Sue while your mayday is in effect, and all comms relating to that mayday are prefixed MAYDAY Saucy Sue. Although it eats time, it is very helpful, especially when someone else who has not heard the original call, comes onto the frequency - they can hear there is a MAYDAY underway so knows the keep quiet. In fact, a marine MAYDAY automatically imposes radio silence on all other stations.

Interesting difference, I can see why; almost all a/c comms is more urgent and more immediately safety related than conversations with the coastguard, so you have to keep some of the normal stuff going while dealing with a MAYDAY. But I like the principle.
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