and ..... SLOW DOWN !!
There seems to be a culture amongst new, hot-shot, CPL holders that fast talking equals professionalism - wrong.
I've actually said in my circuit " if you fly as fast as you talk, I'm outta here - say again S.L.O.W.L.Y.
Once heard a Deep South accented Delta Captain say to a fast talking departure controller giving a clearanec ..." do you'all hear how slow ah speak ? waal .. that's how slow ah think. Say again "
Bravo, Pia! Both for the column as a whole, and for making it your mission to know the language of aviation so well. As a controller, I understand and appreciate your perspective. We try to stay professional, are required to use the precise language, but when non-standard language is used it can lead a controller to do the same. Just as I teach student controllers to practice the language of the business on their rides to and from work, engraving key phrases such as "go around", "cleared to land", etc., into the synapses via massive repetition, I suggest student pilots do the same with their most common phrases. You are absolutely correct, it is much easier with the programs available today, and with the availability of real-time ATC communications on the web as a model.
As usual from the staff, a timely article prior to the start of training in the Spring, and a reminder that even the "Sunday morning breakfast" crowd could stand to take to heart. Loss of proficiency from lack of use goes beyond less than slick landings and sloppy pre-flights; it permeates quality and efficiency of communications, also. Please help us to help you by using correct language as much as possible!
28 Years FAA ATCS
Listening to real time live ATC / pilot talk on your home computer at www.liveatc.net offers new pilots an excellent way to become more familiar and better understand the ATC / pilot communications. You can chose from a variety of US, Canadian or world wide airports to suit your particular interest. And its free. Practice makes perfect.
In Canada, every new pilot is now required to pass a "language proficiency test".
The test itself is kind of a sad joke; because it doesn't have much substance to it and just about anybody who can say yes or no will pass. Our regulators should then listen to these pilots communicating with ATC when flying out there in the real world. Talk about hazards in GA aviation...
Great article Pia!
Growing up in Maine and learning to fly there gave me little opportunity to speak with controllers on a regular basis. After a move to the West Coast and spending the better part of the last decade in Southern California (based at various times at Santa Monica, Gillespie Field, Ramona, and Montgomery Field) my skills had improved dramatically. It was a case of total immersion, similar to what Pia describes.
Today, I fly out of a small field in Central Florida and, though I usually have an exchange with an approach controller or tower controller on most flights, I'm aware of the edge coming off my radio communications skills. Lately I've been adding some thought to proper phraseology to my pre-flight activities and it seems to be working well.
I think it is good to remain mindful that good communications skills are extremely perishable. To maintain them they must be used either in live situations or using one of the simulators.
Tack så mycket!