Radiotelephony Help – For many new pilots, radiotelephony is a daunting new language – but it needn’t be!

Firstly – don’t be scared of making mistakes. Although radio operators have an important role in air safety, most will forgive new students who say the wrong thing (or end up spewing gobbledegook!) – and your instructor will always help correct inaccurate calls. Many radio operators respect the task student pilots have, and they themselves are only human! Below are some great tips and Radiotelephony Help.

So what is said?

The CAA have a comprehensive Radiotelephony Manual named CAP 413. You can download a copy (372 page pdf!) here.

As a first step, below is a simple rule for initial contact:

It’s a simple list of requests by the pilot, and lists of useful information given by the radio operator. And that’s it! Nothing more.

For example, a pilot entering an aerodrome airspace to land will radio the operator and request landing instructions. The operator will reply with those instructions, plus safety and traffic information.

There are strict rules that differ between radio operator types, and exactly what to say. But the basic premise is the same each time a transmission is sent.

Radiotelephony Help – Basic Principles

The initial call – WHO – WHERE – WHAT

This basic principle is an easy way to decipher what you as a pilot need to convey to the ATC.

WHO – initial calls include who you are speaking to, and who you are.

WHERE – is simply where you are when making the call – location and elevation.

WHAT – is firstly what information you already know (Pressure Setting, ATIS code etc) and also WHAT you want (Landing instructions, service type, information etc)

and that’s it! Be concise and give the information you already know so it makes the radio operator’s job easier.

For example, after startup your initial call to Lee-on-Solent Radio would be:

“Lee Radio, G-BUFH, at Parking, Ready for taxi

Let’s break that down into the WHO – WHERE – WHAT stages:

WHO they are: Lee Radio

WHO you are: G-BUFH (your callsign)

WHERE you are: Parking (simple!)

WHAT you want: Ready for Taxi (meaning you want to start taxiing towards the runway.

Hopefully this has helped make sense of what can be a daunting first step in to Radiotelephony. Tell me what you think below! More Radiotelephony Help to come


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