Talking with ATC can be intimidating…
1. Make Sure You Are On The Correct Frequency
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.
Are you a new pilot? Check out some of our other helpful articles covering everything from holding patterns and airline pilot schedules to how to choose a flight school and Envoy Airline Pilot Salaries.
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Liz Brassaw is a first officer for a regional airline and the former Chief Pilot and Chief Flight Operations Officer for Thrust Flight. She holds an ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, AMEL, ASES with over 2,500 hours of flight instruction given. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the Utah Valley University School of Aviation Sciences. She’s passionate about flying and enjoys instilling that love in the instructors on her team and the new students she trains.