Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Standard of RT in USA

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Standard of RT in USA

Old 11th Jul 2013, 23:56
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: England
Posts: 1,955
Probably because of gash American ATC RT?
Lord Spandex Masher is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2013, 23:58
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Where the Quaboag River flows, USA
Age: 67
Posts: 3,332
Maybe if the ATCO just said "American xx, cleared direct Rolampont" it would have understood.
galaxy flyer is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2013, 23:59
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: England
Posts: 1,955
She tried that first.
Lord Spandex Masher is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 00:21
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In my seat
Posts: 822
As long as the USA is part of ICAO, they should ADHERE to the STANDARD ICAO Phraseology or ask for OFFICIAL ICAO published amendments.
Don't like it Yanks? Then get the hell out of ICAO.

American Carriers ATC is absolutely horrible out of their own country. They do not want or know how to communicate in standard calls, do not understand standard instructions, even when told in very clear aviation English.

In the USA, Unless there is an OFFICIAL ICAO amendment, ATC HAS TO comply with standars ICAO phraseology, and especially so when dealing with International traffic. All the moaning about some carriers not having a clue what is said by atc in JFK, ORD, etc. is mostly NOT because of poor ATC disipline by the crews but by American controllers who do not get it that they are dealing with crews that are not local. speak slower, cut the slang and start being Professional!

And for those who think that Eurocontrol is in the Middle ages... on the contrary...US ATC is twenty years behind the equipment that most European ATC centres have, especially Eurocontrol, which has the most modern equipment in the World, together with Langen and Munchen. So get your facts right.
despegue is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 00:33
  #25 (permalink)  

Aviator Extraordinaire
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
Age: 73
Posts: 2,395
What's hard to pick up about "Romeo Lima Papa"? And then how do you get a five letter waypoint from three letters? Surely if everyone else can understand it...
It is when a French controller says it.

So sorry LSM, we really don't care what you think about our ATC system, it is still the best. Fix your own house before bitching about ours.

Actually don't, as London is close to the US when comes to the best and they are more like the US than any other country.

As one BA captain posted on the same subject a few years ago, paraphrased of course; 'Say what you like about the US ATC system, but when inbound to Los Angles from London and on the first radar contact with the US, we're cleared direct to the gate for the LAX arrival, from all the way across the county, speaks volumes'.
con-pilot is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 00:43
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: San Jose, CA
Age: 44
Posts: 0
I know that as a PPL'er I'm not considered a professional pilot, but still my 2 cents:

I moved to the US a couple of years ago and it took me about 4 months to get used to the local RT (mind you, I live in the Bay Area). Especially in the SFO class Bravo things tend to go very fast and for a non-native English speaker, that can be challenging.

Having that said, I do find the local RT to be much more efficient, and the deviation from ICAO RT isn't spectacular. Perhaps that's just because I'm a low-level VFR only fly on your windscreens, but I kind of like it.
ph-sbe is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 00:45
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In my seat
Posts: 822
In fact, French controllers are mostly using better AVIATION ENGLISH then the American collegeagues. Note the words AVIATION ENGLISH. it has nothing to do with everyday speak. aviation English is an International way of communication based on English words, spoken in a neutral way so to be as clear and concise as possible for all users.
Something the Americans have no clue about in general.
despegue is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 00:49
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: surfing, watching for sharks
Posts: 3,642
I thought for a moment you were serious about having a conversation till the last blatant generalization.
West Coast is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 00:50
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: at the computer
Posts: 153
Why do UK ATC say "descend on the glide" instead of cleared ILS approach? That's not an ICAO phrase is it?

What the US do well is Airports. Being cleared straight to the gate is much easier if you have twice the runways as Heathrow but nowhere near twice the traffic.
1Charlie is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 01:13
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 810
No individual uses perfect ICAO phraseology, and different countries have introduced their own little non-standard variations.

The use of "fully ready" or "fully established" at Heathrow might have a purpose, but everywhere else it's just annoying.

It can be genuinely hard flying in the states without having 'adjusted' to their radio technique, but - like the French or the Chinese - that's just the culture. It does seem to spite the concept of 'standard' phraseology, and would be exceedingly difficult for a non-English speaker to follow.

It also gets a little frustrating listening to American pilots using their style overseas with some poor Japanese or Singaporean (and they're the good ones) controller who has no idea what the aircraft is carrying on about.
*Lancer* is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 01:18
  #31 (permalink)  
Hardly Never Not Unwilling
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 481
I sincerely make every effort to speak standardized, by the book radio transmissions. "Passing one zero thousand for one three thousand", for example.

It's a good system, and the vocabulary of standardized ATC words is really quite small. Never say, "Lookin' for lower" but the correct, "Request descent".

Some time ago, I was furloughed from my US airline job and worked for five years, mostly in Europe, but a lot of Asia and the Middle East. It was so nice to come back home to US ATC's and native English speakers.
BenThere is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 01:34
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Where the Quaboag River flows, USA
Age: 67
Posts: 3,332
One thing lost in willy-waving is that a US pilot could fly a long and happy career flying, airliners, corporate jets or ag planes, and never leave the US and, perhaps, Canada. In Europe, such "provincialism" is impossible, you HAVE to deal with non-native English speakers. That's why Aviation English was invented. The FAA Airman's Information Manual has all the correct Aviation English, it's just isn't required on a daily basis and habits die hard.

I agree US pilots sound terrible in Europe and overseas, in general.
galaxy flyer is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 01:36
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Montreal
Age: 88
Posts: 156
Standard of RT in USA

You'll find that in any system where people communicate, a "slang" or abbreviated style develops.
I flew an airplane for many years and instead of referring every x'mission to "Charly Golf Golf Delta Uniform" I only used it in the initial contact with local
ATC and later on this became "Delta Uniform" in further x'missions with the same terminal operator. Professionals in the Air Force, where I spent some time also developed a shorthand "slang" ,which we all understood.
In International traffic understandable language, of course, becomes more critical and we should use clear and concise English language and terminology. That at least is common curtsey and mostly enables a pilot who has only learned standard phrases in the English language a fighting chance to understand the instruction correctly (particularly on VHF !). To insist on using one language in all air communications everywhere in the world seems to run into political problems of nationalism etc and cannot be expected to be resolved any time soon and leaves the door open to misunderstandings about traffic situations in the air and on the ground
Yankee Whisky is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 01:40
  #34 (permalink)  

Aviator Extraordinaire
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
Age: 73
Posts: 2,395
I sincerely make every effort to speak standardized, by the book radio transmissions. "Passing one zero thousand for one three thousand", for example.
I do, err did, as well. In corporate aviation, the hardest thing that I had trouble with, was teaching my fellow US pilots to use 'November' rather than 'Gulfstream/Boeing/Falcon/etc as is used in the US, when flying international.

In the US the traffic level is so high as compared to anywhere else in the world, including London, the controllers prefer to immediately know what type of aircraft they are dealing with. So that is why the aircraft type is used instead of 'November'.
con-pilot is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 06:57
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 246
Standard of RT in USA

The issue is not if US ATC is better or not. It's ONLY about the fact they've signed up to ICAO but didn't file differences.
The annoying "descent with the glide" was filed, IIRC.

Last edited by JeroenC; 12th Jul 2013 at 06:58.
JeroenC is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 07:27
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Mercer Island, WA
Posts: 97
Some of the problems:

- Insufficient knowledge of the English language by airline pilots who are not native speakers of the English language.

In the past, many new international-flying pilots had to learn the hard way; one example: let the rookie figure out himself the HF clearance to train his aural sensory functions (while you, of course, as more seasoned, also wrote down their instructions as a redundancy).

- Use of lingo by American ATC (due to habit) and/or a very fast speech pattern some foreign crews, especially from Asia, have trouble catching up to.

Also, don't forget that some ATC in large international hubs have moved there from airports handling mostly domestic traffic, and thus far were dealing with native speakers of the English language and it's not easy for them to 'dumb down' their pace.

Sometimes I feel bad about foreign crews having to deal with ORD controllers. JFK and a few other airports should be the same.

But anyone who has ever flown into Tokyo, or Bangkok and a few other places could most probably voice similar concerns about ATC performance, based on his/her own viewpoint, of course.

And finally, let's not forget that US ATC, especially in international hubs, is doing a fantastic job pushing tin - yes, many pilots have bemoaned about some of their tactics (myself included) and US ATC are not immune to criticism, but I think they rank at the top, with London and Frankfurt a very, very close second and third respectivelly.
Claybird is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 07:27
  #37 (permalink)  
Fly Conventional Gear
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Winchester
Posts: 1,599
As much as I love flying in the USA I cannot help thinking that the posters claiming that it has the "best ATC in the world" and that others should sort their own problems out first are being unnessarily defensive.

This is not meant to be a "my ATC is better than yours" competition I think people are just voicing a genuine concern at something that a lot of foreigners flying in the US have picked up on. I am not saying our system does not have its own non standard phrases (cleared to glide and FL one hundred anyone?) but honestly the standard of RT in the US does leave a lot to be desired...

My biggest observation is that new pilots are not taught in a standardised fashion exactly what to say at different phases of flight, they just seem to pick it up as they go along. There is no RT test and as a consequence people just seem to develop their own way of saying things for no particular good reason.

This is mainly aimed at the pilots because in general the standard of controlling and controller use of correct terminology is very good in the US.
Contacttower is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 07:31
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The sky
Posts: 227
Big Pistons Forever.

Your 'facts' are typical guff spouted by someone with no experience of the outside world.

North American Airlines are far from the safest, a random google search pulled up this

Top 10: Safest Airlines - AskMen

And this

World's Safest Airlines- Page 2 - Articles | Travel + Leisure

You have a classic case of arrogance brought on by ignorance. But there will be no telling you because of the above qualities.
Locked door is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 07:48
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hotel Gypsy
Posts: 2,831
I must admit, when entering US airspace I have to consciously take-off my ICAO RT hat and replace with an American one. That said, it isn't too difficult as long as the controllers speak at a reasonable speed. However, the incessant machine-gun type delivery is often completely unnecessary.

I think someone has already said it - sign up to ICAO and play in accordance with SARPs or file a difference. Alternatively, ignore what you have signed-up to and incur the wrath of ppruners.
Cows getting bigger is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2013, 08:12
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: jersey
Age: 70
Posts: 1,237
Standard of RT in USA

No particular complaint about US RT, but shouldn't it be best if EVERYONE used an internationallly agreed & accepted Standard RT format ?

Having said that, I must admit to using non-standard myself, on occasion, BUT, very sparingly in my defence!
kcockayne is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.