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Pilots Who Don't Speak Clearly  
User currently offlineLazyshaun From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 548 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 6105 times:

Hi,
For those of you who listen to the airport tower on their radio's, have you ever heard a really blurry transmission, one that the tower had to ask if they could repeat? I haven't listened on the radio for a long while, but I remember about a year ago, an Aeroflot pilot taken off from Heathrow said something when it was a about 1,000ft, which I couldn't make out, and the tower said:" Aeroflot(whatever number it was), please repeat transmission"
He repeated it, to me not sounding any different than before, and apparently not to the tower, as he asked for the transmission to be repeated again.
Before the transmission was repeated the Aeroflot was passed over to London Centre.
How often does this happen, and have you ever heard the tower ask for the transmission to be repeated numerous times?


I came. I saw. I conquered
53 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEchster From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 399 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 6034 times:

I've had to do this more than you would think. It's always better to ask a pilot to repeat or "say again" than to guess what they're saying. There are many causes for radio problems, but eventually they get worked out.

User currently offlineJtamu97 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 658 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 6017 times:

When I used to listen to Dallas ground, it seemed the Korean Air pilots were the worst. Also, when listening to Houston Approach, Air France, TACA, and Mexicana seem to be at the top of the list.

Later,
J



Propeller, we don't need no stinkin propeller
User currently offline747Loadmaster From Germany, joined Oct 2004, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5975 times:

Also heard it many, many times the other way, pilots asking ATC to repeat, (Africa and Middle East).

User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5956 times:

Quoting Jtamu97 (Reply 2):
it seemed the Korean Air pilots were the worst

Just heard one on the JFK site, and could not understand a bleedin word of it


User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2410 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5906 times:

Why do they still use radios for these kinds of transmissions?

Is it not possible to get it transmitted by satellite or something so there will be no scrambling?


User currently offlineSanthosh From India, joined Sep 2001, 545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5850 times:

Couple of days ago while monitoring the HF traffic under Mumbai FIR on 10018 kHz, I came overhear a pilot flying a 757. Since it was a nonscheduled flight, that flight was code named something. To be honest I don’t remember the Call sign exactly. I think they where using the aircraft Registration as the Call sign. So as they contacted Mumbai they reported the position, Flight level, Type of aircraft, Destination and the Time estimation of the next way point. I could barely understand his ax cent. And some how the ATC understood what he was telling after repeating it several times. Finally since it was a nonscheduled flight or some private flight. ATC requested for the total number of people on board. The Pilot told a number first which neither me nor the ATC could make out. Then he told 030. Then the pilot repeated the number several times. Each and every time he said it in a different way 303,003,030 etc.. (If any of you have directly heard this conversation you would definitely have lost your patients) And ATC couldn’t make out even after several trials. Finally the Controller lost his patients and asked to spell it if it’s a small number. Then the pilots repeated T H R E E. Just 3 people onboard. Well I was wondering why this idiot couldn’t have told just 3 people at the first time. Just because he told 030 the first time all these confusions started up. ATC was confused if it was just 3 or 30 people onboard.


George



Happy Landing
User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3532 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5793 times:

Korean Air and Asiana are sometimes pretty difficult. None of them are able to say Korean Air correctly. It always comes out as Queenair or Kreenair.


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5719 times:

Air China is definitely the worst violator at JFK.
-Mr. X



What now?
User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 941 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5694 times:

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 5):
Why do they still use radios for these kinds of transmissions?

Is it not possible to get it transmitted by satellite or something so there will be no scrambling?

I recall an article in Air Transport World some time ago talking about this problem (old technology used for air-ground communications) being a significant barrier to increased ATC capacity. It seems that various things are in development but nothing on the near horizon.

Kind of odd that so many things have advanced, technology-wise, and other things really haven't advanced much at all.



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineRG828 From Brazil, joined Jan 2004, 582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5664 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Quoting Jtamu97 (Reply 2):
Korean Air pilots were the worst

I recall listening to a Korean Air depart GRU (when they operated there) once, and the pilot doing R/T spoke flawless Portuguese!

Brazilian ATC struggle with their English sometimes. In BPS once a Tower controller had great difficulty commuincating with a Star Airlines A330 crew.
It was pissing off the Star pilot tremendously, me too.

I felt like running to the control tower and take the mic off his hands!



I dont know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone
User currently offlineLazyshaun From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

It must really get anoying for the ATC and other traffic, especially in busy airports. At LHR, with the range of airlines and pilot nationalities, I for one can hardly make any of 'em out!!!
Shamrock would seem easy, but they always seem to talk fast, Alitalia are also fast speaking, and not very clear. Suprisingly LH are quite clear (probably because their the same pilots doing the route day in, day out!!). American and British are always clear enough, with BA pilots always the most well spoken. I would guess Asian pilots are the worst, not always because of their accent, but not being clear. Other Eastern European and Middle East don't seem to be to much of a problem.



I came. I saw. I conquered
User currently offlineDCrawley From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 371 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5585 times:

When I used to fly at MWH, you'd always hear the JL pilots trying to communicate with the tower and even after listening to it for a year, I still could barely understand them! They would call the tower and tower would just spit directions at them because some of the guys up there had been listening to them for 15 years! Incredible.. but sometimes dangerous when there's a 744 flying 1000 feet to your right while you're coming in to land and you don't know where they are until tower spits it out.. lol..

My thoughts once again,

-D.K. Crawley



"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."
User currently offlineSLCSkyCaptain From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 30 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5450 times:

This is completely normal. One thing that is happening to you guys is the loss of quality between actual radio transmissions and the stuff you are hearing on the internet or a handheld transmitter. The Comms in aircraft are very clear. I am certain the ATC guys have even better quality stuff.

As far as guys who speak Chinese or Russian, well, I haven't heard any yet. My guess is these ATC guys have been doing this for years. ATC guys are as good at hearing transmissions as we pilot guys are at flying the birds. They are very professional at what they do.

The english language is said to be one of the most complex. Well, ATC is language is very simple. There are simple things like altitude, direction, clearences and other things. The everyday chit-chat has no place on the radios.

Take it easy guys!


User currently offlineHawaijahaz From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5426 times:

I was flying from NRT to SFO ( or SIN to NRT..I forget) in January on UA. I was in a quasi sleeping state with the headphones around my head and tuned to Ch 9. Suddenly, I wake up to a pilot asking the Japanese ATC permission to perform an emergency landing at an airforce base. The permission was granted. However, the pilot then asked if he could dump fuel to lighten up the plane. The Japanese ATC had the hardest time understanding this. It took the pilot about 3 minutes and atleast 15 tries to get the message across. He started of by saying something like 'We'd like permission to dump fuel to reduce our weight before we land.' In the end all he said was 'FUEL DUMP NOW!!'. The ATC guy finally got it. Unfortunately we got handed off to another ATC right then and I couldn't follow the events.

I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I wanted to shout and tell the ATC guy myself.

Made me wonder what would have happened if it had been a more critical situation.


User currently offlineCelticmanx From Netherlands, joined Mar 2001, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5393 times:

Imagine if worldwide ATC's transmissions were spoken in Korean or Mandarin. Probably our Seoul-born fellows would say that the worst in the list is leaded by American Airlines, follow by BA and Delta not too far away from the top. And the best and most clear R/T would go for Asiana, Korean Air, JAL, Air China, etc...
Please guys, don't be too narrow minded and think about it. Perhaps it is not easy for them to talk on the radios. So be patient and cooperative to them.

Manx


User currently offlineCarpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2956 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5288 times:

Hawaijahaz,
That's because Japanese ATC has very little competence in English outside normal ATC conversations.
I was on a UA flight into NRT a few years ago, and it took a few tries before the ATC controller got the meaning of "medical emergency." I don't know how many times the controller asked if it was a fuel emergency.

Yes, Japanese and Korean pilots are terrible. Listening to UA Ch.9 in Russian airspace is weird too. It is sometimes hard to hear what they are saying too.


User currently offlineFlyMIA From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7176 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5204 times:

Quoting Celticmanx (Reply 15):
Please guys, don't be too narrow minded and think about it. Perhaps it is not easy for them to talk on the radios. So be patient and cooperative to them.

Yes true it must be hard for them to learn English and speak it but that is just something they have to do to become a pilot. They should work on it. If they have problems on the radio a lot than they should practice more. Its not that we are being narrow minded but all pilots need to speak English well enough that it is understandable over the radio. Its a matter of safety.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5197 times:

Sometimes they talk way to fast for anyone to comprehend, for some reason, they seem either hurried or to busy to even talk....


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5189 times:

Quoting Santhosh (Reply 6):
Couple of days ago while monitoring the HF traffic under Mumbai FIR on 10018 kHz, I came overhear a pilot flying a 757.

probably Ethiopean B752PF Freighter.
What was the time.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineLorM From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 409 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5167 times:

A LOT of Japanese do flight training here in Honolulu flying out of HNL and HJR and sometimes it can get interesting. We have so many races here in Hawaii with so many dialects, that I think the controllers here do quite well because of it.

Some of the Japanese do quite well speaking in English, but sometimes ATC will flat out ask for "someone who can speak" to work the radio. Helicopter 5ND's radio for the past few months has been consistantly been operated by a Japanese gentleman with a heavy accent. A lot of them can get by well, the ATC here is pretty patient since they deal with a lot.

Oh yeah, listen to live Honolulu ATC at www.liveatc.net Just scroll down.  Smile



Brick Windows
User currently offlineSEAPlane10 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5157 times:

Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 17):
Yes true it must be hard for them to learn English and speak it but that is just something they have to do to become a pilot. They should work on it. If they have problems on the radio a lot than they should practice more. Its not that we are being narrow minded but all pilots need to speak English well enough that it is understandable over the radio. Its a matter of safety.

I agree.

It's just developed that English is the preferred language for aviation.

No one is expecting literary fluency, rather just an ability to enunciate and articulate air traffic control jargon!

Also, on a side note, it would seem that English would be one of the easiest languages in the world to learn...look at the grammar vis-a-vis German, let alone Russian or Japanese!!

Regards


User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5096 times:

Quoting SEAPlane10 (Reply 21):
Also, on a side note, it would seem that English would be one of the easiest languages in the world to learn...look at the grammar vis-a-vis German, let alone Russian or Japanese!!

It's a little naive to presume that your spoken language is the easiest to learn. Try stating your statement to the French, or the Japanese and see how easy it is for them. By the way most foreign people that I have talked to agree that English seems like the most confusing language to learn.


User currently offlineKAUSpilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1959 posts, RR: 32
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5061 times:

English is supposedly one of the easisest languages to speak, but one of the most difficult to read, write, and spell correctly.

I must say I have been pleasantly surprised by the controllers I have encountered in Mexico. Although they are sometimes hard to understand, I can usually make out what they're saying with no more than one "say again".


User currently offlineSoaringadi From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 472 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 5032 times:

We should always give international pilots the benefit of doubt. Its not that they don't know english or something.... As a matter of fact, I have heard that many Asian airlines only pick the creme-de-la-creme students as their pilots, so its not about the command of english language.

The thing is that their accent is the one that messes everything up. But the Japanese, or German (just picking random countries.... dont mean to offend anyone) pilots or atc can say the same thing that they cant understand a word that an American or a British pilot says..... so it no ones fault really, and no one is to blame here.

however I know a couple of people who just speak too softly, and need to learn that they need to annunciate.



If it ain't Boeing, I'm not going !
25 Toulouse : I can assure you English is in NO way an easy language to speak. And I do totally agree with you that it is very difficult to read, write and spell..
26 Cornish : As an ex-English teacher (and somebody who has learned German and Hungarian) I would dispute that. I would say that English is one of the easiest lan
27 BuyantUkhaa : I know that English is the most commonly spoken language worldwide (by the highest number of countries), so that is obviously the main reason why it b
28 Santhosh : You must be correct MEL. George
29 AirRyan : I used to man the UNICOM at a Central Texas Airport and I heard far too often Spanish spoken between "some" pilots, seemingly ignornant of the English
30 KL911 : Same for computers,look at your floppydrive. A computer doesn't go faster then it's slowest component.... KL911
31 Post contains images Carmenlu15 : Totally agree with that. I consider my English to be almost at a native level, but it has taken me 18 years (and counting)! No definite structure, to
32 AirRyan : German is part of the Teutonic language structure, that of which English stems from as well. On the other side, the Latin based languages (Spanish, F
33 Fly707 : Also there are American & British pilots that you can't understand their accent & you can hear them saying ( say again ) no problem in that .
34 FlyMIA : That is true. But I really dont know if its completely wrong. Maybe in an English Speaking country. But I was listening to Bogota TWR on the internet
35 Post contains images SEAPlane10 : I don't think naivete would apply in this case; my presumption is based on quite a bit of interaction with those whose first language is not English.
36 Sprout5199 : As a Electronic(radio)Technician I can explain why we still use the AM radio system. If two people talk at the same time on AM then you get the combi
37 Pendrilsaint : AirRyan, I wouldn't say that the Teutonic (Germanic) languages are directly opposite from the Latin based languages. During the Roman invasions of Gau
38 JAGflyer : The only langauge I have heard ATC in is English, French and Spanish. Pilots flying into YUL speak French to ATC if they can (ex. AF,AC,QK,Air Creebec
39 Post contains images RobK : From decades of listening to North Atlantic HF, I'd say that the Irish radio operators at Ballygireen in Ireland must be the most confusing ground 'st
40 IrishMD11 : Hmmm, interesting... Could you possibly supply me with the website address? Cheers mate! Gerry
41 Mandala499 : "Bahasa would be good, although I must say I'm not an expert here." Well sure, there ain't any grammer... and pronounce the words as they are spelt (l
42 Ktachiya : Well I go spotting at YVR about 2-3 times a week and I find no problem with KE pilots. In fact, I always hear one of the pilots being Korean, and the
43 Flykal : Ktachiya, as much as I hate to disagree with people, this is in fact far from the truth. Many years back our flights were scheduled into Canada with
44 SWISSER : I know a tale from the "mid cold war times" coming my father, when he was flying around at Grimbergen airfield near Brussels with cessna's that one ti
45 AirPacific747 : Okay thankyou for the interesting comment, but if you are able transmit a signal to a satellite and back to earth, dont you think there will also be
46 Jush : No that's because the german accent in english is very strong but very easy to understand usually. Cheers Matt
47 Douglas7Seas : I flew from SEA to LAX on United recently and listened to atc talking with the pilot of a heavy aircraft identifed as "Cargo King". Over a period of 3
48 Post contains images SEAPlane10 : I would agree....rarely have I ever had any problems understanding a German, regardless of the thickness of the accent. Mir sind die meisten Deutsche
49 Flykal : If I remember correctly, Cargo King is "China Cargo Airlines" which belongs to the China Eastern Airlines group. Cheers
50 Legacy135 : I think there are "black sheeps" on both sides. There are pilots speaking in a way that someone starts to wonder what language this is and on the othe
51 SEAPlane10 : In what manner?
52 EIN145 : Well, I can't speak for Ballygireen but in Shannon oceanic no pilots seemed to have any trouble understanding the ATC staff. Granted I was only on wo
53 Post contains images Legacy135 : ...... in the manner I've explained above in speaking clearly, giving doubtless information and keeping the flow in a quite but ongoing manner. For s
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