Learn to Fly
7 day IFR Rating
General Rules of Radio
from PocketLearning, December 2004
spite of what you hear on the radio, the rules are
quite clear. The AIM spells out the
rules of radio communication, especially IFR radio communication.
be concise and use proper radio phraseology. There are plenty of
idiots on the airwaves spewing their endless, needless, non-standard
phraseology. Its not cute, its not entertaining, its unprofessional,
and the rest of us suffer while forced to listen to it. If
a pilot is truly considerate of others, he gets in, does his business
and gets out because silence is golden. It’s not very
difficult to communicate with ATC in a disciplined, professional
manner. The standards of radio communication are spelled out in
the AIM and were created so that pilots could easily be
understood. That only results in better safety for all of
us. When checking in on a new frequency, don’t add the
words “with you.” The controller already knows you are there by hearing
your voice and call sign. When flying into uncontrolled fields,
you will hear pilots say, “any traffic in the area please advise.” This
is wasting valuable airtime especially when there might be aircraft in
the area that do not have electrical systems or radios. By the
way, the AIM specifically prohibits “any traffic in the area please
Second, be courteous to all. You’re part of an exclusive club
that includes 42-year 747 captains as well as 16 year old solo
students. Mix that with ATC professionals who can decide to bend
over backwards for you or keep you busy with endless vectoring, and you
will realize that a little courtesy goes a long way. Pushy,
arrogant pilots will definitely get last priority with ATC, especially
with those engaged in instrument training.
few general tips for pilots:
- Use proper
before transmitting: don’t
step on others’ transmissions. Consider checking the engine
gauges following frequency changes.
overcome brain paralysis.
- Reduce radio
clutter: be brief and
concise. An uncluttered radio frequency
is the controller’s only tool to keep aircraft separated.
- Repeat only
the relevant numbers
(headings, altitudes, airspeeds, altimeter settings) and clearances.
- Append your
call sign at the end
of your transmission.
- Don't make the controller guess where you
are. Quickly report your location in relation to a nearby navaid
or airport. If on the ground, use a well defined position at the
airport such as a business, taxiway, or runway hold short position.
- Manage the expectations of ATC. If you
request a deviation, amended clearance, or special request, notify ATC
as soon as possible.
- If there's a problem during the flight, be clear
- If your radios dont work properly, expect ATC to elect not
work with you. Your safety depends on clear, good quality radios.