6yjjk
Posts: 338
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:40 am

Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:56 am

This morning I was thinking about an experience I had some years back, where non-standard radio phraseology could've (if combined with pilot stupidity) produced disastrous consequences. I'm sure there are lots of stories like this - what's yours?

Mine was at Perth (EGPT), where I used to work. As you can see from the link, the runways there are laid out in a triangle, and on this day, like most days, we were using 21 - so we were holding on the grass up by the threshold. The run-up was all done, and we were ready for departure.

Then Air Traffic changed the runway to 27 (which was then 28). This would've involved our taxiing back to the threshold of 16, then down the "grass taxiway" which used to run to about the midpoint of 27, holding to cross 27, taxiing all around the "kidney" taxiway and finally bouncing over the rough grass to holding point D - and that's what Air Traffic told us to do.

My instructor turned us round and started us on this trek. As we passed 16, Air Traffic called us up: "c/s, you can use the grass runway if you like." My instructor replied, "c/s thanks," and lined us up... then just kept chugging along, not adding any power, and - no flaps, for a soft field take-off? Huh? What's he doing? Oh.

Had I been solo, I'd have taken off without clearance, right across the landing traffic for 27.

Of course, it's never as simple as "shouldn't have said that", "shouldn't have done that"... These were the things I thought were pertinent:
  • "...use the grass runway..." - what else do you use a runway for?
  • As I say, I used to work there - so cups of tea in the tower and first-name terms all round. That, and the fact that two qualified pilots didn't need the same mollycoddling as the others on the frequency (early solo students), probably contributed to the informality.
  • Not only was I newly qualified, but this was only my second or third flight out of Perth... and it took many more before my instructor and I agreed I should be turned loose, due to the difference in procedures and sheer volume of traffic.
  • In fact, I'd qualified abroad and had rarely encountered ATC at all. In 55 hours, I was "cleared for take-off" 3 times - those magic words just weren't something that even occurred to me as being necessary yet.  blush 

So quite a few contributory factors, but the non-standard R/T would've set the ball rolling. I'm just glad my instructor was driving.

I was very quiet for the rest of that taxi - and for most of the flight.
 
futurecaptain
Posts: 1918
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RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:31 am

Quoting 6YJJK (Thread starter):
where non-standard radio phraseology could've (if combined with pilot stupidity) produced disastrous consequences.

The Tenerife crash is a good example of what can happen when standard phaseology is not followed.
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Ryanair737
Posts: 1364
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RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:01 am

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 1):
The Tenerife crash is a good example of what can happen when standard phaseology is not followed.

Or when pilots of one aircraft are in a hurry.
LAST FLIGHTS= Ryanair LPL-BGY-LPL - EI-DPS/DWV - MAY 08 // NEXT FLIGHTS= TBC
 
ThirtyEcho
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 1:21 am

RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:48 pm

We need to do away with "copy" and "copy that" from all of those astronauts out there who really should be saying "roger." And I don't mean "roger that."

The term "copy that" is used in spaceflight in response to instructions from Mission Control to perform certain detailed functions aboard ship. That could be instructions for garbage disposal, re-entry platform programming or flushing the toilet; it indicates that the the astronaut has written it down in detail, as commanded and in sequence.

There is never a reason to use "copy that" when the tower tells a C172 to enter a right downwind for runway 35 right.
 
BoeingOnFinal
Posts: 440
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RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:35 am

And you don't say "Roger" either, you repeat the clearance/instruction.
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cancidas
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RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:53 am

"copy" is useful for ammended instrcutions or non-atc type transmissions. we usually use it when communicating with aircraft in holds for extended periods of time who need to have alternates approved and fuel burns and totals relayed to them. it's widely used on the in-house radios when communicating with those on the ramp. "roger" can serve the same purpose as above, though we tend to use the two interchangeably.

as for me, i had instructors drill into my head that standard terminology is the way to speak with anyone really, be it our ground crews when on the intercom or with atc now in the civilian world. goofing around on the radio is best saved for company frequecies.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
Mir
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RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:22 am

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 3):
There is never a reason to use "copy that" when the tower tells a C172 to enter a right downwind for runway 35 right.

There is never a reason to use "roger" in that situation either.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:52 am

Well I'm no expert, but driving in the controlled areas with our van I've never used "copy" or "roger". Always reply/call off/etc with all the appropriate details. Hasn't caused any problems that I know of sofar...


CanadianNorth
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NBGSkyGod
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RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:52 am

I've lost count how many times I have asked a yes or no question and gotten a "roger" or "copy that" in response. It simply comes down to listening and responding to the question asked. If a controller gives an instruction or some pertanent information, read it back, lets everyone know you got the information.
Pilots are idots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
aauzou
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:48 pm

RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:36 am

I was flying a downwind leg for rwy 17 at YMMB and when i gave my downwind call and intentions tower gave me my traffic info, told me there was an C172 on late downwind no sooner than the controller had finished speaking I saw an aircraft comming towards me on a downwind for the oposite rwy 35, i veered to the right and tower had a nut at the other pilot, that was close.

Another time I was overflying the lilydale CTAF at OFly height and and aircraft doing circuits at lilydale at overfly height was'nt giving any radio calls at all again a very close call.

Regards
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Woodreau
Posts: 1186
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:11 am

Some one said "Repeat" instead of "Say Again" and got another full broadside from the battleship that was sitting offshore. That was back in the late 80's

I guess in aviation saying "Repeat" isn't so bad, but "Say Again" came into RT usage which carried over into aviation because "Repeat" today still means to re-shoot the last fire mission in artillery or naval bombardment.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
bsergonomics
Posts: 458
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 5:07 am

RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:43 pm

See:

http://www.caa.co.uk/application.asp...pe=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=2851

It was a fatal accident involving G-BABB - one of the aircraft in which I learned to fly - which resulted in part from non-standard RT procedures. The pilot was on his second solo flight.

RIP
The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
 
CanadianNorth
Posts: 3133
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 11:41 am

RE: Non-standard R/T - Nearly Killed You?

Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:23 am

On a related note, I have a question about ground communications.

I was always taught, usually hear, and always call off as "Whitehorse ground (or Whitehorse radio, depending on what time it is), ---- -- is clear of echo and on the apron". However, last night we were behind the tractor and their full call off was simply "Air North 76 is on the apron". Is that technecally correct, or was he cutting it a little shorter than what one should?


CanadianNorth
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