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Non Standard communication

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Non Standard communication

Old 19th Apr 2018, 04:53
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Non Standard communication

As a contract pilot and TRI on the Airbus flying with many different organization and cultures all over the world. I find it interesting, if not at times disturbing at the amount of non standard communication. Basically announcing anything and everything beyond the standard callouts. Many items are very old callouts which seem to have been passed along even though they have been removed many years ago. My opinion flying with so many different foreign nations is that standard communication be a must.

I mean if this help someone stay focused, then I find it hard to fault them. Where I draw the line is when they expect me to respond "check"and repeat the call?? However it serves no purpose to myself and only adds as a distraction. I wish they could keep it to themselves rather than verbalize the obvious.

I have observed this to be most prevalent on the Airbus rather than Boeing.
This lack of standardization appears to have taken a sharp increase over the years.

What are some of the non standard communication you are experiencing at your outfit?

Share your thoughts.....
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Old 19th Apr 2018, 06:51
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I hear you. It’s kinda annoying. I dislike also the people adding extra non stantard call out or not using the correct terminology. A couple of examples who drive me crazy are the guys who will call “ clear right side” every 10 seconds when I’m taxiing and I can clearly see outside. Or the guys calling “ 600 to go” because they missed the “1000 to go” call out.
Or the guys calling “ Glideslope” or “Speed” when I’m flying raw data and I’m only 1/4 dot deviation and -2kt from the VAPP. Or the ones getting agitated on their seat and looking outside for that traffic on Tcas descending then calling “ traffic in sight” but it’s still 4000 feet above us.. Lol
So many more things I could write a book xD. Unless they are trying to challenge me, or they have willing to learn, asking questions, I keep quiet and try to enjoy the flight and let them do their weird stuffs cause I beleive most of them feel more confortable doing it or just don’t know well the SOP.

Last edited by pineteam; 19th Apr 2018 at 18:31. Reason: Missing words.
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Old 19th Apr 2018, 08:30
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Dear Pineteam,

I am doing some research for a future article, so you all's input will be of great assistance.

Lol....yes even better still calling 1000' to go even though we are well within 1000' People do not get my dry humor....I ask if Alt are off by over 250' and we have not gotten an ECAM...weird huh?

I fly with so many different operation, I just ignore most of them. Unless it is a training event will I question them. Funny thing most will swear up and down that it is a SOP call. When asked politely to please "lets look it up" they have no idea even where to find normal callouts. I guess therein lies the rub.

Basic task sharing and communication has eroded to a point where non standard calls and tasks have festered into perceived standard calls or tasks.
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Old 19th Apr 2018, 11:14
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@pineteam: agree that the ”600 to go” call is not standard, but, what to say if you miss the 1000 call and want to bring back attention to the altitude capture?

Another situation where I have to make up my own call out, is when I see the PF flying visual and he is way to far from the center line. I don’t know what is the call out, so I call “center line” lol.

Any suggestions?
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Old 19th Apr 2018, 14:47
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examples that drive me crazy are the guys who will call “ 600 to go” because they missed the “1000 to go” call out.

Lol....yes even better still calling 1000' to go even though we are well within 1000' People do not get my dry humor....I ask if Alt are off by over 250' and we have not gotten an ECAM...weird huh?


"1000 to go." has 2 functions. Alert + X-check. I've had it where PM did not set 1013 when instructed, even though we called a x-check at the change.
So IMHO the SOP call is the truth so the altimeter check is correct.

In similar fashion I hate when the 80kts call is missed on takeoff and the PM chirps up "we've passed 80." Useless. Just call what speed it is because one reason is an ASI check.

So why not the same with altimeters?

Regarding what to call; I also followed the basic philosophy to call the parameters that is in error. i.e. Hey, buddy you need to look at XX.

However, there was a story on another airbus thread about the auto-callout 'speed' when it meant low energy on approach i.e. power. I recalled a scenario on B737 where the speed was going to decay due to too low power. It hadn't yet, but in my 'hey buddy you need to check the N1%' thinking, I called "power" and PF reduced it more. Oops.
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Old 19th Apr 2018, 18:57
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If I missed the “1000 to go” then too bad, I try not to forget next time. I don’t say anything else or still call “1000 to go” when it’s close enough cause it’s not written I shall do any other call out. I always make sure to check the alt* engagement and the standard call out by PF. Often it’s impossible to do that call anyway as the alt* will engage close to 1000 to go and PF will be reading the FMA and PM will acknowledge. Or We will be busy with ATC. I personally beleive, talking for Airbus, this call out is not critical enough to add a non standard call out.. Saying that, if I miss the “100kt” during take off roll, I will call “110kt” as this one is really an important call. That’s the only exception I can think of. IMHO, the less we talk, the better it is. I like to save my energy in case something serious happens.
Saying that, I always try to be very sharp on the SOP & standard call out. If we strictly comply with the SOP, there is less chance of confusion. We speak the same language. When I fly with very standard FOs, the job is so much easier, the flows are smooth. But some guys will add some new call out, talk so much or do part of my flow... It really drains me sometimes. Lol.

This topic reminds me that when I was Fo, I used to play a game with a captain friend of mine: Every time you would miss a “1000 to go” call then you would owe the PF a beer. I’ve never been so sharp calling “1000 to go” xD.


@NJ314

Good question. Same as you, we don’t have standard call out for the centerline. Most guys will call “centerline” like you mentionned and for the PAPI also we don’t have anything. Guys will call “3 whites” or “4 red” for example. I’m also interested to know what other airlines do.

Last edited by pineteam; 19th Apr 2018 at 19:23. Reason: Typo.
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Old 19th Apr 2018, 19:52
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@pineteam

"Watch your glideslope"

"I know you drive on the right, but we land in the middle"
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Old 19th Apr 2018, 20:10
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Its interesting to hear everyone's observations. I share some of them - sometimes I can be left with the feeling of "what am i supposed to say in response to that?", when I'm confronted with a non-standard call out. Similarly, there are made up SOP's, stuff some would call "custom and practice", and I'm sure we could have a whole separate thread on that...

I don't like that feeling of uncertainty, of "what have I missed", or even of "what does this guy want me to do?"

So, a plea, if I may... If, as a Captain, there is something that you feel strongly about, something that irks you, something you find people doing that you think is superfluous, or something that the SOP's omit but that you think airmanship demands, please brief it. The chances are that they picked it up from someone else who felt it was important, or he or she was trained that way. So set the tone, and let your mate know what is expected of him or her. If they're anything like me, they'll respect you for it.
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Old 19th Apr 2018, 21:15
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My isues are with:

Request FL360 .. if available

Charlie Charlie

Squawk comming down

....and ABC123 request ...(no words before the word ‘and’)

...’The’ ABC123

we have him on TCAS
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Old 20th Apr 2018, 11:26
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How about you add fully ready to that? You're either ready or you're not, too easy.
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Old 20th Apr 2018, 12:25
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“ABC, Confirm fully ready?” “Negative, only 3/4 ready ABC” xD It’s a well spread disease in Asia. Some people will claim “fully ready” means doors closed and tow truck connected but like everytime when someone is saying something questionable I always ask: “ Can you show me where it’s written?”
It’s definetely not in Doc 4444.
Or the people saying: “ with you” also is non standard and completely unnecessary. If you talk to the ATC, you are “with them” I can promiss you that. xD

One question I can’t find the answer:
If ATC calls you and just says: “ABC, tower.”
How do you reply: “ Tower, ABC, Go ahead” or “ GO ahead for ABC” or something else?? Can’t find any reference for that one.
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Old 20th Apr 2018, 14:41
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I'll agree with you on "fully ready" and "with you".

You may be splitting hairs on the tower call though...
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 08:33
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Originally Posted by nj314 View Post
@pineteam: agree that the ”600 to go” call is not standard, but, what to say if you miss the 1000 call and want to bring back attention to the altitude capture?

Another situation where I have to make up my own call out, is when I see the PF flying visual and he is way to far from the center line. I don’t know what is the call out, so I call “center line” lol.

Any suggestions?
Right of the centerline
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 10:25
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Regarding the centre line: Approach control told KLM he was left of the centre line. Captain - (pronounced Dutch accent) "That is correct. And my first officer is right of it."
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 18:30
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I used to inform my students that sometimes it is only a yes/no black/white answer.
e.g. "are you ready?" ....."Almost." There are others.

That's like being almost pregnant. It means nothing and is a waste of energy.
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 18:34
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In my outfit the responses to the checklist are so varied and non-standardised that when the FO is PM they have to wait for the PF to finish the particular response and leave a gap to make sure they've stopped talking. This means the checklist is very clunky/stop and start and removes to ability for the PM to ensure the response is correct because it can be different every time! Defeating the purpose of a checklist!

And when the FO is PF the skipper fires through the checklist expecting their own responses read back to them and visually reacts when they don't hear what they want!

It's quite funny and tragic at the same time.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 00:35
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Test team test
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 00:35
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Thank for bringing this more egregious use of non standard communication. Check list examples are on the top of my list of communication no no's.

The one I see the most at my outfit on the Airbus is on after start C/L-pitch trim...."0.6 up" when the response clearly states a %.

Check list challenge and response are well defined and any change would be viewed by regulators as changing an approved document.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 03:02
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Oh the checklist... another good example indeed.
what grinds my gears is the facts some guys will do part of the checklist by heart or will not check anything while reading it or not proper checking. Like for the parking brakes, seat belt, predictive windshear, they will look at the switch instead of looking at the Ecam memo.
Or one last people who will call the check list in a non standard way: « Before start checklist down to the line » instead of the correct shorter way: « Before start checklist ».
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 05:33
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Another SOP discussion.

This one reminds me of the incident report I read of a certain mishandled CAT2 Go Around where the thrust levers weren't selected to TOGA and the a/c almost hit the runway.
The FO was asked if he realised what was happening. He said he did.
He was asked why he didn't say anything.
His reply was he couldn't remember the correct Standard Callout.
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