Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

Pilots To ATC Communications - Questions?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:57 am

Hi guys.

I have a few questions about transmitions between pilots & ATC that I've recently heard.

The other day I was listening to an American Airlines MD-80 (flt 1053) as the pilots were setting up for the approach to Toronto Intl's rwy 24R.

I heard one of the pilots say to the arrival controller .......

"Five thousand feet is good, we're below it. At seven thousand we were in the Q"

Regarding pilot lingo, what does in the "Q" mean? Was this pilot talking about clouds, turbulence or even both?


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Leach



On August 26, I watched and listened to a Jetsgo flight climbing out eastbound at 6:52 pm. During comminications with the Toronto departure controller, the pilot refered to himself as "Jetsgo one ninety nine alpha".

I've never heard the letter "Alpha" use after a Jetsgo flight number before (or any airliner's flight number), some I'm very curious as to what that means.

I did a search, and the only possibility that I could find was that this Jetsgo flight was on a multi-leg flight and that the letter "alpha" was attached to the flight number to indicate to ATC that it was on it's first of 2 or more legs during this departure. Is this correct?

I understand that a letter D (delta) after a flight number means that flight's delayed.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Carlos A. Morillo Doria



Thanks,

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
sushka
Posts: 4657
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 1999 12:33 am

RE: Pilots To ATC Communications - Questions?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:05 am

Im thinking the alpha can also mean the crew has ATIS info A.
Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Pilots To ATC Communications - Questions?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:59 am

Hello Sushka.

Thanks for your reply.

I understand what you mean. It's normal procedure for an airline pilot to check in with a new controller, give the controller his altitude & speed, etc, and finish his transmision by simply saying the letter of the current ATIS info.

EX: "Toronto arrival, Air Canada four zero three is with you at ten, one zero thousand, slowing to two fifty. Yankee." In this case, it's understood by ATC that the pilot has the ATIS info called Yankee.

Regarding the Jetsgo flight. The letter alpha was used in a different context. it was used like this ........

"Toronto departure, Jetsgo one ninety nine alpha is with you at two point three for five thousand, off zero six right".

[departure controller gives instructions].

"OK, Jetsgo one ninety nine alpha is cleared to two three thousand, and we'll steer heading zero eight zero."

This Jetsgo pilot also used one ninety nine alpha when he contacted the next Toronto Center controller.

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
goboeing
Posts: 2428
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

RE: Pilots To ATC Communications - Questions?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:07 am

"Q" is "Cu" as in "Cumulus" clouds. They were under the bases.

Nick
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Pilots To ATC Communications - Questions?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:42 am

Hello Goboeing.

Thanks for letting me know that the AA pilot was actually saying "CU" as in Cumulus clouds, & not "Q".

I couldn't hear the controller's transmisions (to far away), but I guess it's safe to say he asked the AA pilot what the cloud bases were at.

Take Care,

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Pilots To ATC Communications - Questions?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:07 am

I did a search, and the only possibility that I could find was that this Jetsgo flight was on a multi-leg flight and that the letter "alpha" was attached to the flight number to indicate to ATC that it was on it's first of 2 or more legs during this departure. Is this correct?

Nope. ATC only knows the one flight number that correlates to the one flight plan. Normally airline flight numbers are the same as that used on the ATC flight plan; however, when a flight is delayed the airline might "stub" the next flight segment with a different aircraft. That could cause the ATC computers to see two different aircraft operating with the same flight plan and same callsign. To prevent that the "stub" flight number is usually appended with a letter. i.e. flight-795 and flight-795A. The proper callsign for the second flight would be "Flight-795 Alpha."

I understand that a letter D (delta) after a flight number means that flight's delayed.

No ATC requirement, but that might be one airline's "policy." At AA, stub flights are appended with a letter the computer generates --there's some sort of priority given to "similar sounding callsigns" and a few internal concerns that drive the computer's choice of letter appendix. I get to fly stub flights about 2-3 times per year. Normally when transiting DFW (lots of flights, lots of delay potential, lots of spare planes).
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
SQ325
Posts: 1274
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2001 7:54 pm

RE: Pilots To ATC Communications - Questions?

Wed Sep 24, 2003 6:10 pm

Many Airlines started to ad a letter behind their "normal" callsign!
It makes it easier for Pilots and ATC to avoid mistakes in communication
SN Brussels airlines, BA Regional partners are only some airlines added a letter behind the numbers!!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests