Question about radio communications

naunga

New Member
A quick question:

Okay, I know when I call ground I use the full tail number, but once I've gotten my taxi instructions, done my run-up, and switched over to tower do I use my full tail number to call tower? Or do I still use the last 3 of the N-num?

Also, any tips on making good radio calls would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Naunga
 

I_Money

Moderator
When going onto frequency always use your full N-number and never be the first to shorten it - let the controller shorten it first.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
Yeah use full sign on every first call. Now if you're in the same airplane/at the same airport a lot you could probably shorten it up but technically its full sign on first and shorten after ATC shortens.

i.e.

You - N1234 is ready for takeoff
Tower - N34 cleared for takeoff
You - Cleared for takeoff, N34

I try to make my caslls as short as possible. Drop the adjectives, and adverbs and just stick with the key ifno. For example when I call inbound to a class D I'll usually say something like "Oz Tower, Apache 1234, 12 Miles East, Inbound, Fullstop, Delta."
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Yeah, once they shorten it then you can.


Oh, and since this post is about radio comms, I'm going to rant real quick about a few things I hear day in and day out. When making radio calls in the pattern, people need to be more concise and more specific.

"On the 45 for 19" means nothing except the aircraft is inbound. "2 miles out on the 45 for 19" means much more, and now I have a place to look.

"Over the city hall inbound" means nothing. What if I'm not a local? How the hell do I know where city hall is? Use distances and directions. "4 miles northwest" is much more effective.

"Turning downwind" when entering also means little. There's two different places where you can be "turning downwind" (x-wind, and midfield). "Midfield, turning downwind" now gives me a place to look for you.

Why do people insist on giving their full callsign in the pattern? Too much info. Just give type of a/c and last three digits of tail number. Again, prevents congestion.

Same with the airport name at the end of transmissions. I know people will disagree with me on this one, but I really don't think its necessary to repeat the airport name unless theres a real danger of confusion of airports (which there usually is not).

Don't spend 2 minutes yacking on the CTAF for an airport advisory when theres 5 airplanes in the pattern. All you have to do is listen, and form a mental picture of whats going on. Again, prevents congestion.

OK, thats all I have time to think up for now...no more ranting.
 

VampyreGTX

New Member
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Same with the airport name at the end of transmissions. I know people will disagree with me on this one, but I really don't think its necessary to repeat the airport name unless theres a real danger of confusion of airports (which there usually is not).


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I disagree (like you said someone would!) It depends where you fly. I got most of my hours in Florida and you'd be surprised how many other airports I could pick up when on the CTAF for where I was. The most annoying thing was when people didn't call the airport name and you had to call and verify that they weren't about to land while you were taking the active. "N12345, taxiing into position, runway 9, XYZ airport" Shortly after you hear, "N23456 on short final" Now, you freak out and start trying to look around for a plane about to land on you when in reality, their 50 miles away! Granted usually radios don't transmit and recieve that well, but it's happened to me a few times.
 

I_Money

Moderator
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I disagree (like you said someone would!) It depends where you fly. I got most of my hours in Florida and you'd be surprised how many other airports I could pick up when on the CTAF for where I was.

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I have to agree with the above - here in Socal you frequently get numerous other airports on the same frequency and it is essential you put the airport on the end of your transmission.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
I'm with the rest who say to wait until ATC shortens your N# before you do.

Now, if I'm at an uncontrolled field, I use the entire number the whole time.

My $0.02.

R2F
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
If you want to shorten the aircraft name, take it off the beginning, but please leave it on the end of the transmission!

Also a Florida flier I agree with Vampyre. LEE would be absolute hell if people didn't put that on the end. This is fine:

"Three-Six-Hotel midfield downwind runway 13 Leesburg"

Short and Sweet.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
AMEN, John!!

I cannot tell you how many airports share the same frequency as TPF in Tampa (Okay, I can - it's three).

Countless times on downwind, base or final, I've heard "Cessna1234 is turning final for RWY 3......" then NOTHING.

Then you find you're like a freakin' owl with your head spinnin' around looking for traffic and there is nothing there.

For the love of Pete - SAY WHERE YOU ARE!!
 

sbe

Well-Known Member
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For the love of Pete - SAY WHERE YOU ARE!!

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Heck yeah. Almost everything in the area is 122.7 or 122.8 and that is a LOT of airports. I can't believe sometimes how far away some of the transmissions are coming from that I can pick up and hear, even at pattern altitude.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
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I disagree (like you said someone would!) It depends where you fly.

[/ QUOTE ]

Fair enough....and good points everyone. The airport I fly out of has a rather unique freq. and only two airports in the area have it. Therefore, it gets a little monotonous. Especially when, because of callsigns, a typical radio call sounds like this (names changed for anonymity):

"Lake traffic, Lake-14 turning base for 23, Lake."

Drives me freakin nuts. I just dont think that when its not busy you have to tag the name on the end too...maybe its just me.
 

NJA_Capt

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
"Lake traffic, Lake-14 turning base for 23, Lake."

Drives me freakin nuts. I just dont think that when its not busy you have to tag the name on the end too...maybe its just me.

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Using the correct phraseology drives you nuts? It would appear easier to change your peeves than the way 100,000 other people fly.

Good habits are designed to be consistent. It is not standardization when you alter your communications at every different airport. It also makes it confusing to your students. Sure, your airport might not share a frequency with another airport, but, what about when you go somewhere else. Or, when your students go on a cross country. Make every call the same at every airport. Your way is what makes things irritating. You might just be the one that comes to our local airport and says, "Cessna 123 downwind 5." 5? Which 5? 50 airports nearby have a runway 5. How do I know you're even on the right frequency? Just because your airport on the freq is slow, it doesn't mean there are not 12 people in the pattern at the other field on the freq.

See how much confusion arises when you think something little is annoying? Too many important things in life, don't sweat the small stuff man.


The one that gets me is, "Cessna downwind."
Downwind where?
Which runway?
Cessna what? 152, 210, 310, 750?
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
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Also, any tips on making good radio calls would be appreciated.

[/ QUOTE ]

The one that gets to me is
"Socal Approach, Cessna 1234 WITH YOU at 5500'"

The 'with you' is implied!
 

I_Money

Moderator
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Also, any tips on making good radio calls would be appreciated.

[/ QUOTE ]

The one that gets to me is
"Socal Approach, Cessna 1234 WITH YOU at 5500'"

The 'with you' is implied!

[/ QUOTE ]

Flying with me must bug you - I am the master of repeating implied parts.
 

SierraPilot

New Member
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"On the 45 for 19" means nothing except the aircraft is inbound. "2 miles out on the 45 for 19" means much more, and now I have a place to look.

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While I'll give you that saying your on the 45 doesnt help tell me how far out your on the 45 but then again you shouldnt be calling out the 45 unless your relatively close to the airport anyways.. as it is if you dont know where the 45 is for 19 maybe you should look at your AFD before-hand so you know where the 45 is so you can look in that direction.

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"Over the city hall inbound" means nothing. What if I'm not a local? How the hell do I know where city hall is? Use distances and directions. "4 miles northwest" is much more effective.

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Thats why they make terminal charts.. most often they are charted visual checkpoints noted by a FLAG and the name of the checkpoint ie: city hall, etc. Maybe you should take a closer look at your map, especially if your unfamilar with the area!.

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"Turning downwind" when entering also means little. There's two different places where you can be "turning downwind" (x-wind, and midfield). "Midfield, turning downwind" now gives me a place to look for you.

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First off if they are turning downwind from x-wind you should read your AFD so you roughly know where he is and if they entered midfield for the downwind then they obviously didnt enter on the 45 correctly, either way again if you dont know which side the pattern he is on then maybe you should read your AFD (should state if left or right traffic is standard for airport) and you should have a idea where the 45 is in relation to the pattern being used. However if you are going to do something out of the ordinary like entering midfield, I agree you should state so.

Personally I think its more important that pilots add which traffic they are flying ie: "Turning downwind, left traffic 19R" to the radio call so I know which direction everyone is flying before I get there after all not all people follow proper airport patterns at uncontrolled airports, go figure...

[ QUOTE ]
Why do people insist on giving their full callsign in the pattern? Too much info. Just give type of a/c and last three digits of tail number. Again, prevents congestion.

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree you can shorten the callsign there is no need to repeat the whole thing over and over.

[ QUOTE ]
Same with the airport name at the end of transmissions. I know people will disagree with me on this one, but I really don't think its necessary to repeat the airport name unless theres a real danger of confusion of airports (which there usually is not).

[/ QUOTE ]

Sorry Im going to have to agree with everyone else on this one.. its proper procedure to repeat the airport again in case someone only caught half the transmission dont want to scare someone on final
Plus its recommened in the AIM which you should take seriously.

Ryan
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Well •!, somebody come take all my ratings away. I'm not worthy. Guess I'll keep my advice to myself next time.
 

stultus

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
I disagree (like you said someone would!) It depends where you fly.

[/ QUOTE ]
Drives me freakin nuts. I just dont think that when its not busy you have to tag the name on the end too...maybe its just me.

[/ QUOTE ]

I dunno, maybe it's just me, but my home field shares frequencies with at least one other field, which we can hear all of the time. I really appreciate all of the GOOD information I can get--and really appreciate it when people say "Mayberry traffic, Cessna 704sl, turning left downwind 22, Mayberry"... instead of the aforementioned "Cessna downwind" or "Mayberry traffic, Cessna 704sl, upwind over the south ridge near the redbarn turning towards the white house with the American flag, descending through 1500 ft for 850 ft, Pleasantville...ah, er...I think I mean Mayberry" Actually sometimes those are kinda entertaining (when I'm not staying in the pattern.)

I think I'd annoy some of you b/c I always use prepositions...with you, with, at, for...knocking them off is only going to save you a fraction of a second. The imporant thing in my book is being concise and clear, and to know what you're going to say so you don't have to think about it as you're saying it---there's where you'll save time on the frequency. Just my $.02
 

mastermags

Well-Known Member *giggity*
I think what we all realize is that you cant make the radio calls for the other pilots, they are going to say what they are going to say, and you must be using both eyes to scan for traffic in the pattern. You gotta do what you gotta do.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
[ QUOTE ]
The imporant thing in my book is being concise and clear, and to know what you're going to say so you don't have to think about it as you're saying it---there's where you'll save time on the frequency. Just my $.02


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But those fractions of a second may be all you need (or have) to get your transmission in when there are 13 aircraft in the pattern, a couple transistioning the airpsace and who knows what else - or you're talking to something like SoCal appraoch. On an uncluttered freq I'll expand my communications a bit. But, on a busy freq, it's key words, not phrases.

Just my way of doing it ... not right, not wrong.
 
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