ATC and BASIC RADIO COMMUNICATION – v1.5
Talking to ATC (or anyone) on a radio is by some people viewed as a complicated and difficult task, with a lot of rules and regulations to follow.
All communication is based on etiquette and common courtesy when communicating with others on a radio, to set a proper standard.
When you first start communicating with ATC (or a person on the used frequency), you start with the callsign of the individual you are trying to contact, then you state your own callsign.
After that your intentions/request is stated and any order from ATC needs to be repeated to ATC by you.
If you did not understand the message from ATC, use: SAY AGAIN followed by your callsign.
We are going to look at all procedures from the start of a mission, up to the end of a mission after we safely landed.
In this training, we are taking off from MOZDOK AFB from parking 28 and our flight is STORM 6, a 2-ship F15 flight, only the LEAD will communicate with ATC.
*** Before calling on any channel, MAKE SURE ANY ONGOING COMMUNICATION IS FINISHED! ***
YOU: Mozdok Ground, STORM 6, 2 ship SU27 on APRON 1, IFR Flight to the North
ATC: STORM 6, Mozdok Ground, cleared IFR to EXIT NORTH, fly runway heading until above 200 then direct initial altitude 1000, Mozdok QNH 762
YOU: STORM 6, cleared to EXIT NORTH, fly runway heading until above 200 then direct initial altitude 1000, Mozdok QHN 762
ATC: STORM 6, readback correct, call for startup
In this example you are ordered to climb to 1000m (3000ft) at which you should be at CRP EXIT NORTH (Compulsory Reporting Point) and report back to ATC that you are there. This depends on the airport you are at, so check the AERODROME CHARTS for all local names and locations. In this case it is called EXIT NORTH on the charts and ATC wants you to confirm your location once there and give you new orders.
The WIND CHECK should not be repeated, unless you heard it incorrectly.
YOU: Mozdok Ground, STORM 6
ATC: STORM 6, Mozdok Ground
— Once a connection has been established between you and ATC, only the flight’s CALLSIGN needs to be stated,
you state your callsign at the end of your message —
YOU: 2-ship F15, REQUEST START-UP, STORM 6
ATC: STORM 6, START-UP approved
YOU: START-UP approved, STORM 6
— Once started up and all ready to taxi, you ask for permission to taxi
YOU: STORM 6, REQUEST TAXI
ATC: STORM 6, taxi runway 08 via ALPHA and hold short, (OPTIONAL: contact TOWER 137.000)
YOU: Taxi runway 08 via ALPHA and hold short, STORM 6
Now taxi to RWY 08 via the designated ALPHA taxiway, which you find on your AERODROME CHART and hold short (stop) before reaching the RWY.
(OPTIONAL: When holding short, switch to the TOWER frequency at 137.000).
During taxi you might get orders or messages, orders could be to stop for passing traffic or obstacles, always obey ATC!
YOU: Mozdok Tower, STORM 6, holding short RWY 08 at ALPHA and ready for departure
ATC: STORM 6, the WIND is 135/15 maximum 21, cleared for take-off RWY 08
YOU: Cleared for take-off RWY 08, STORM 6
Explanation about the WIND CHECK 135/15 max 21 = wind heading 135 degrees, 15 knots speed, max speed 21 knots.
AFTER TAKE-OFF PROCEDURE:
YOU: STORM 6 is at EXIT NORTH
ATC: STORM 6, switch to TAW RADAR on UNIFORM 1 and resume own navigation, good day
YOU: Switching to TAW RADAR, STORM 6, good day
ATC will order when to change to another frequency or you do it according to the current Aerodrome Standard Operating Procedures on leaving ATC airspace.
When entering an airspace, changing frequencies is done according to the AERODROME SOP or by ATC orders.
When leaving the CTR (Controlled Traffic Region; so the area the local airport has control over) you are switching to a large area radar control center and you will thank the ATC operator for his/her services. Always be nice!
Now you are flying either VFR (Visual Flight Rules; you as a pilot are responsible for all navigation and safety) or IFR (Instrument Flight Rules; radar control is responsible for navigation). Of course as a pilot you are at all times responsible for visually looking out for other traffic to prevent mid-air collisions.
ENTERING CTR and ARRIVAL PROCEDURE:
BEFORE entering a CTR, you should switch to the local frequency/TS channel (usually ARRIVAL) and state who you are and what your intentions are.
You also state your current altitude and in this case we already know that RWY 08 is active.
YOU: Mozdok Arrival, STORM 6
ATC: STORM 6, Mozdok Arrival
YOU: Good day, 2-ship F15, currently at 3000ft, 20 miles South of ENTRY WEST, RWY 08, FULL STOP, STORM 6
ATC: STORM 6, good day, cleared inbound RWY 08, (OPTIONAL: descent to 1500ft), report at ENTRY WEST
YOU: Cleared inbound, (descent to 1500ft), report at ENTRY WEST, STORM 6
— When you are at ENTRY WEST, you will contact Mozdok Arrival again and follow orders. You do not need to establish a connection first,
because the ATC is already expecting your message —
YOU: STORM 6 is at ENTRY WEST
ATC: STORM 6, cleared for visual approach, expect OVERHEAD BREAK, contact TOWER 137.000 (frequency if applicable)
YOU: Cleared for visual approach, contact TOWER 137.000, STORM 6
— You will now switch to the TOWER (TS channel or frequency).
YOU: Mozdok Tower, good day, STORM 6
ATC: STORM 6, good day, the WIND is 140/12, maximum 22, cleared for landing RWY 08, report at (OVERHEAD) BREAK
YOU: Cleared to land, report at BREAK, STORM 6
— After you visually (or via ILS) line-up with the runway and your distance from the airport is around 10 miles/15km, you will report you are on FINAL.
YOU: STORM 6 is at BREAK
ATC: STORM 6, cleared for landing RWY 08
— After you landed the TOWER will order you where to vacate the runway from and have you switch to GROUND CONTROL (if applicable).
ATC: STORM 6, vacate DELTA on the right and contact GROUND 121.300
YOU: Vacate DELTA on the right and contact GROUND 121.300, STORM 6
After a successful landing you will vacate the runway via exit DELTA on the right side and contact Ground Control (TS channel or frequency).
YOU: Mozdok Ground, STORM 6, good day, vacated at DELTA on the right, REQUEST PARKING
ATC: STORM 6, Mozdok Ground, good day, taxi to RAMP 2 on ECHO via DELTA and PARK at 18
YOU: Taxi RAMP 2 on ECHO via DELTA, PARK at 18, STORM 6
ATC and COMMUNICATION document by
— Dutch Baron —
Version 1.5 – 2016