Talking with ATC can be intimidating…
…but these 6 tips for communicating with ATC can guide you in your journey to becoming a qualified pilot.
1. Make Sure You Are On The Correct Frequency
You want to be transmitting and listening on the correct frequency at all times. Write down all applicable frequencies and have them readily available for your flight. It’s going to make you much less stressed, and can save you from an embarrassing transmission as well. Be sure to have extra pens or pencils on standby in your flight bag.
2. Plan Out What You Will Say When Transmitting to ATC
Be concise when talking, and think before you talk! Follow this formula when thinking out what you will say so that you are always concise-
- Who you are talking to
- Who you are
- Where you are
- What you want
“Addison ground(who you are talking to), Sportcruiser 493SC(who you are), holding short of Alpha over Romeo(Where you are), ready to taxi to active with information tango. (What you want)”
3. Anticipate What ATC Will Say
After flying a few times, it becomes a little more predictable what ATC will say, so use that to your advantage! Anticipate what your directives will be. This will help you listen and you will be more prepared with what you will respond with.
4. Read Back All Pertinent Information When Communicating With ATC
Let ATC know that you understood what they told you and that you’re going to follow their directions. For example, your takeoff, landing, or taxi clearance.
5. Write Down Any Instructions ATC Gives You
Especially at larger and busier airports, you will want to write down everything you are told. Directions can get long and complicated at times, so the fewer transmissions it takes to get instructions to you, the better for ATC and for you.
6. No Conversations In The Cockpit During Transmissions
There’s nothing worse than missing out on a transmission and not being sure if it was meant for you. Pause all conversations in the cockpit when ATC is transmitting a message so that you are sure to not miss any transmissions intended for you.
For a more condensed version of this information, check out our youtube video below- 6 Tips for Communicating with ATC.
Want some free practice? Check out LiveATC and listen to frequencies at nearby airports.