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TheSonntag
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VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Mon Nov 21, 2022 10:26 am

I am a low hour VFR C172 hobby pilot and got my EASA VFR only PPL in August. Just out of interest, I read a little bit regarding US airspace in the book "Fliegen in den USA", a german book regarding flying in the US.

In Germany we do not have Class Bravo and Class Alpha Airspace, we do have Charlie, Delta, Echo and Golf. Usually we have Golf from the ground to 2500ft (sometimes lower), and above that Echo until FL100 (transition to flight level at 5000 feet). Our CTRs are Class Delta, apart from that we usually have Charlie and Delta airspaces around larger airports in different altitudes. Then we also have some RMZ and TMZ, but you can enter them without permission, too.

The rules in Germany are rather simple: In Echo and Golf you can fly VFR as much as you want, and enter those airspaces as you desire. For Delta and Charlie and CTR you may only enter if you have prior permission to do so.

If I understood the book correctly, it is a bit different in the US. For Bravo its the same - enter only with prior permission.

But for Charlie and Delta, you must contact ATC, but you can still enter the airspace unless they explicitly tell you to stay outside. Have I understood that correct?
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Mon Nov 21, 2022 4:39 pm

Yes you understood correctly however, there are now ADS-B and transponder requirements as well as maintaining two way radio communications with the Tower and or Approach Control when you are within C and D airspace.
 
N1120A
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Mon Nov 21, 2022 4:53 pm

Class B and C requires ADS-B out for the vast majority of aircraft. Class D only requires two way radio communication. No permission is required for Class C or D, but express permission is for B. VFR flight following is recommended, encouraged and more and more the norm for transponder equipped aircraft. You will get almost the same service as IFR aircraft now when you participate and take tons of pressure off the controllers and other pilots.
 
bluecrew
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Mon Nov 21, 2022 5:24 pm

TheSonntag wrote:
But for Charlie and Delta, you must contact ATC, but you can still enter the airspace unless they explicitly tell you to stay outside. Have I understood that correct?

N1120A is correct, there is one nuance of US ATC and it comes down to grammar though too. The regulation to enter C and D is 2 way radio communication, which means "N150PF, Naples tower, stand by," is totally legal all day to enter the Naples delta, but "aircraft calling Naples tower, standby," is used frequently at D's to prevent aircraft from entering the airspace.

It's really easy to miss the distinction, not sure how it is done in Europe as I've never flown there, but it struck me as a really easy way to get violated if you're not used to hearing it.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Mon Nov 21, 2022 5:37 pm

IAHFLYR wrote:
Yes you understood correctly however, there are now ADS-B and transponder requirements as well as maintaining two way radio communications with the Tower and or Approach Control when you are within C and D airspace.


I didn't write my reply very well as I neglected separate the Mode-C transponder and ADS-B Out requirement for C airspace from D airspace. :banghead: Also, should the controller be very busy when you establish communication they may tell you to remain outside of the airspace and must include your callsign with that denial.
 
LH707330
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:14 pm

bluecrew wrote:
TheSonntag wrote:
But for Charlie and Delta, you must contact ATC, but you can still enter the airspace unless they explicitly tell you to stay outside. Have I understood that correct?

N1120A is correct, there is one nuance of US ATC and it comes down to grammar though too. The regulation to enter C and D is 2 way radio communication, which means "N150PF, Naples tower, stand by," is totally legal all day to enter the Naples delta, but "aircraft calling Naples tower, standby," is used frequently at D's to prevent aircraft from entering the airspace.

It's really easy to miss the distinction, not sure how it is done in Europe as I've never flown there, but it struck me as a really easy way to get violated if you're not used to hearing it.

One thing I'd add to this: while hearing your callsign makes it legal, many pilots will call up and request a transition. Usually it goes like this:
"Podunk tower, Cessna 123 10 south ATIS golf like to transition northbound."
"Cessna 123, Podunk tower, transition approved, altimeter 2997."
"Approved, 123."

It's also a good idea to call them up if you plan to fly over the top. A local airport here has a D going up to 2500 with a B shelf starting at 3000. Someone flew through the E at 2700 over the D and tower was not impressed. Technically legal, but poor form.
 
TheSonntag
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:06 pm

"It's really easy to miss the distinction, not sure how it is done in Europe as I've never flown there, but it struck me as a really easy way to get violated if you're not used to hearing it."

In Germany you need explicit clearance from ATC to enter D and C and D CTR. Establishing contact is not a clearance.

From what I read it is the other way around compared to the US: Once Radio contact is established (needed in US and Germany) in the US you have clearance unless stated otherwise, and im Germany it is not cleared to enter until explicitly stated otherwise.

Generally VFR in Delta non CTR and Charlie is possible but not really the norm.
 
ArcticFlyer
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Mon Nov 21, 2022 11:41 pm

LH707330 wrote:
It's also a good idea to call them up if you plan to fly over the top. A local airport here has a D going up to 2500 with a B shelf starting at 3000. Someone flew through the E at 2700 over the D and tower was not impressed. Technically legal, but poor form.

The tower can be unimpressed all they want; what the pilot did in your scenario was perfectly legal. I think the broader issue is that the airspace surrounding the airport you describe is poorly designed so as to encourage pilots to cram themselves in to a small area of the sky. Perhaps the Class D should go all the way up to 3,000 feet to eliminate the option, but until it does the tower cannot exercise control over aircraft not within its airspace.

I've actually observed the opposite, where an aircraft overflying the ceiling of Class D by a few hundred feet called the tower (presumably as a courtesy) and the controller said something to the extend of, "What are you calling me for?" I guess it all depends on where you are!
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 12:25 am

ArcticFlyer wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
It's also a good idea to call them up if you plan to fly over the top. A local airport here has a D going up to 2500 with a B shelf starting at 3000. Someone flew through the E at 2700 over the D and tower was not impressed. Technically legal, but poor form.

The tower can be unimpressed all they want; what the pilot did in your scenario was perfectly legal. I think the broader issue is that the airspace surrounding the airport you describe is poorly designed so as to encourage pilots to cram themselves in to a small area of the sky. Perhaps the Class D should go all the way up to 3,000 feet to eliminate the option, but until it does the tower cannot exercise control over aircraft not within its airspace.

I've actually observed the opposite, where an aircraft overflying the ceiling of Class D by a few hundred feet called the tower (presumably as a courtesy) and the controller said something to the extend of, "What are you calling me for?" I guess it all depends on where you are!


This is classic inconsistent ATC in the US in my experience. You just can't win. I've been yelled at in one state for doing exactly what ATC in the state where I learned to fly would expect of me. :D

Flying an airliner internationally, one of the places where we have to be especially alert is the US. Controllers tend to pepper their instructions with non-standard verbiage for no good reason.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:23 am

The US might as well be an island as to compliance with ICAO SARPs and Doc 4444 is concerned. Horrid radio comms, lots of slang, various ATC fiefdoms that rule their airspace by custom and local procedure. My best tale is KTEB tower, on a visual approach, asking another, non-local plane to report the Holland Tunnel. “It’s underwater, sir” was the reply.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:30 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
My best tale is KTEB tower, on a visual approach, asking another, non-local plane to report the Holland Tunnel. “It’s underwater, sir” was the reply.

I mean, technically, he isn't wrong. :duck:
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:48 am

It’s not easy for non-local Pilot to find the Holland Tunnel. If you’re local, the entrances may be familiar.

I had a similar deal, night arrival into Las Vegas from Brasilia, IIRC. ATC asks us to report the Stratosphere hotel in sight. Well, there’s a quadrillion lights all on hotel buildings and I’m supposed to recognize a particular hotel at night, from 10,000’.
 
r6russian
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:35 am

I love watching youtube videos of ATC recordings and the difference being local makes vs being from elsewhere. Main thing is 4 digit flight numbers spoken in street language vs official language. AAL 2550 pronounced American twentyfive fifty vs American two five five zero

You almost have to be a native American speaker to understand who theyre talking to, and if youre not, you still need to be a native american speaker to understand who theyre speaking to. Jfk ATC videos prove how often miscommunication happens
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:39 am

r6russian wrote:
I love watching youtube videos of ATC recordings and the difference being local makes vs being from elsewhere. Main thing is 4 digit flight numbers spoken in street language vs official language. AAL 2550 pronounced American twentyfive fifty vs American two five five zero

You almost have to be a native American speaker to understand who theyre talking to, and if youre not, you still need to be a native american speaker to understand who theyre speaking to. Jfk ATC videos prove how often miscommunication happens


The same thing goes for runway numbers. "Three four left" and "zero seven left" in the rest of the world vs "thirtyfour left" and "seven left" in North America. As usual, the ICAO standard is clearer.

US controllers at major airports often seem to be in a rush. I don't get it. There is just as busy airspace in the rest of the world where controllers speak slowly and clearly, while getting as much done. Maybe if US controllers didn't have to repeat themselves so often due to misunderstandings, they could afford the luxury of not rushing. ;)
 
LH707330
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 5:51 am

ArcticFlyer wrote:
The tower can be unimpressed all they want; what the pilot did in your scenario was perfectly legal. I think the broader issue is that the airspace surrounding the airport you describe is poorly designed so as to encourage pilots to cram themselves in to a small area of the sky. Perhaps the Class D should go all the way up to 3,000 feet to eliminate the option, but until it does the tower cannot exercise control over aircraft not within its airspace.

I've actually observed the opposite, where an aircraft overflying the ceiling of Class D by a few hundred feet called the tower (presumably as a courtesy) and the controller said something to the extend of, "What are you calling me for?" I guess it all depends on where you are!


So true. I usually get a "thanks for the heads up," or even "transition approved" when overflying, I've never gotten the "why are you talking to me."

That class D probably should go up to 3, that would eliminate the little gap.

Starlionblue wrote:
This is classic inconsistent ATC in the US in my experience. You just can't win. I've been yelled at in one state for doing exactly what ATC in the state where I learned to fly would expect of me. :D

Flying an airliner internationally, one of the places where we have to be especially alert is the US. Controllers tend to pepper their instructions with non-standard verbiage for no good reason.

Even in the same area you get inconsistencies from one day to the next. Our local tracon has told us off for filing round robin IFR training flights, then for filing two plans out and back, then "circle if you want" and next "hey you need to go missed or circle full stop." It might be worth setting up a meeting with someone on their team to iron it out and define a single standard.

r6russian wrote:
I love watching youtube videos of ATC recordings and the difference being local makes vs being from elsewhere. Main thing is 4 digit flight numbers spoken in street language vs official language. AAL 2550 pronounced American twentyfive fifty vs American two five five zero

Similar thing with altitudes, I hear a lot of "American twenty five fifty, one four for ten."

I don't hear as much slang from controllers, mostly from pilots. Then again, I've only flown in the US, so maybe what I consider normal is way out of ICAO spec.
 
bluecrew
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 6:06 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
It’s not easy for non-local Pilot to find the Holland Tunnel. If you’re local, the entrances may be familiar.

I had a similar deal, night arrival into Las Vegas from Brasilia, IIRC. ATC asks us to report the Stratosphere hotel in sight. Well, there’s a quadrillion lights all on hotel buildings and I’m supposed to recognize a particular hotel at night, from 10,000’.

That's more of a "Sure, let's call that the Strat" type of response expected. :rotfl:
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 7:07 am

LH707330 wrote:

I don't hear as much slang from controllers, mostly from pilots. Then again, I've only flown in the US, so maybe what I consider normal is way out of ICAO spec.


"Out of ICAO spec" indeed. So much this. Pretty much anywhere else in the world, standard phraseology is used almost exclusively. It really helps in places where the controllers (and pilots) have a thick accent.

What US controllers might want to keep in mind is that standard phraseology also helps pilots who don't have (American) English as a first language. There are myriad YouTube videos of US controllers berating some poor foreign pilot for "not getting it". That foreign pilot, who is probably already pretty punchy after a 12-15 hour flight, now has to deal with rapid-fire non-standard local phraseology in a language he may not be completely fluent in. In contrast, said pilot can fly to Australia or the UK and communicate with perfect clarity because even though he may have a hard time with the accent, the phrases are what he expects to hear.

This may be a pet peeve of mine.

I try to keep my comms standard, as short as possible, and clearly enunciated, even if the guy on the other end is in a rush. Example, instead of "xxx delivery, BigJet123. Could you let me know of any delays tonight to xxx?", say "xxx delivery, BigJet123. Any delays expected for our departure?" The latter is much clearer for a non-English speaker, and more concise.

I have many comms pet peeves, one of them being pilots who read back everything and clutter the airwaves. Example: "Cleared xxx arrival, expect runway xyz". You don't need to read back the runway bit since it's not an instruction. Or "turn right heading xxx, intercept the localiser runway xyz, report established." You don't need to repeat "report established". At most you might say "wilco" to that part. Or responding "standing by" to "standby". The instruction is "standby" so you don't need to say anything. The controller is trying to get something else done.

Keep it short, clear, and precise, using standard phrases, and let's stay safe out there.


But I digress... :old: :lol:

#getoffmylawn
 
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seat55a
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 8:25 am

The second (revised) taxi instruction given by LAX ground here is pure gold. "Ya know what, I'monna keep ya goin here..." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTcvukCYZJs&t=1098s
VFR arrival to LAX in Cessna Conquest - good example of procedures and good comms (at least from the pilot...)
 
N1120A
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:31 am

Once again, it is nearly always the best practice in the US to be participating in the ATC system. It costs you nothing and can save you and everyone around you a ton of headaches. Unless you're flying something without an electrical system, there is just no excuse to not have a code in your transponder and your radio tuned to the local center or approach.

Starlionblue wrote:
r6russian wrote:
I love watching youtube videos of ATC recordings and the difference being local makes vs being from elsewhere. Main thing is 4 digit flight numbers spoken in street language vs official language. AAL 2550 pronounced American twentyfive fifty vs American two five five zero

You almost have to be a native American speaker to understand who theyre talking to, and if youre not, you still need to be a native american speaker to understand who theyre speaking to. Jfk ATC videos prove how often miscommunication happens


The same thing goes for runway numbers. "Three four left" and "zero seven left" in the rest of the world vs "thirtyfour left" and "seven left" in North America. As usual, the ICAO standard is clearer.

US controllers at major airports often seem to be in a rush. I don't get it. There is just as busy airspace in the rest of the world where controllers speak slowly and clearly, while getting as much done. Maybe if US controllers didn't have to repeat themselves so often due to misunderstandings, they could afford the luxury of not rushing. ;)


Flight number combining is in the FAA standards handbook and considered best practice in the US. That is actually the controllers and pilots going by the book.
Combining numbers for runways is uncommon in the US, but Super common in Canada (where they make a habit of combining for wind speed as well).

Also, the busiest airspace in the world is in the US, so that the controllers are busier shouldn't be surprising. The US also has excellent radar coverage and that gives controllers the ability to issue vectors to basically everyone instead of relying on clogging some published hold at like 15 levels. Various places have their quirks, like the various London controllers you have to whisper only your flight number to or having to tell ATC what kind of airplane you are as an IFR flight. The US offers pilots and controllers significantly more flexibility to operate safely in complex airspace, instead of the idiocy that is the London TMA.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 3:21 pm

N1120A wrote:
Once again, it is nearly always the best practice in the US to be participating in the ATC system. It costs you nothing and can save you and everyone around you a ton of headaches. Unless you're flying something without an electrical system, there is just no excuse to not have a code in your transponder and your radio tuned to the local center or approach.

Starlionblue wrote:
r6russian wrote:
I love watching youtube videos of ATC recordings and the difference being local makes vs being from elsewhere. Main thing is 4 digit flight numbers spoken in street language vs official language. AAL 2550 pronounced American twentyfive fifty vs American two five five zero

You almost have to be a native American speaker to understand who theyre talking to, and if youre not, you still need to be a native american speaker to understand who theyre speaking to. Jfk ATC videos prove how often miscommunication happens


The same thing goes for runway numbers. "Three four left" and "zero seven left" in the rest of the world vs "thirtyfour left" and "seven left" in North America. As usual, the ICAO standard is clearer.

US controllers at major airports often seem to be in a rush. I don't get it. There is just as busy airspace in the rest of the world where controllers speak slowly and clearly, while getting as much done. Maybe if US controllers didn't have to repeat themselves so often due to misunderstandings, they could afford the luxury of not rushing. ;)


Flight number combining is in the FAA standards handbook and considered best practice in the US. That is actually the controllers and pilots going by the book.
Combining numbers for runways is uncommon in the US, but Super common in Canada (where they make a habit of combining for wind speed as well).

Also, the busiest airspace in the world is in the US, so that the controllers are busier shouldn't be surprising. The US also has excellent radar coverage and that gives controllers the ability to issue vectors to basically everyone instead of relying on clogging some published hold at like 15 levels. Various places have their quirks, like the various London controllers you have to whisper only your flight number to or having to tell ATC what kind of airplane you are as an IFR flight. The US offers pilots and controllers significantly more flexibility to operate safely in complex airspace, instead of the idiocy that is the London TMA.


Absolutely. I would so much prefer to have the knowledge of the altitude of an aircraft rather than solely relying on their Mode-C when issuing traffic......"traffic 10 o'clock, three miles northwest bound, altitude indicates 2,600". If that aircraft is on my frequency I've verified their altitude and may not have to issue traffic to another aircraft.

Also, if you're flying around and something happens where you need assistance, whether it be something wrong with the aircraft or you accidently fly into a cloud (hmmm yes it happens) I can be of immediate assistance rather than have the pilot fumbling to find the correct TRACON sector and frequency, the change the transponder to the code we give.....always use ATC though as I've mentioned previously on other threads this is what I prefer while quite a few of my former co-workers really didn't want to provide flight following. :banghead:
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Tue Nov 22, 2022 11:54 pm

N1120A wrote:
Once again, it is nearly always the best practice in the US to be participating in the ATC system. It costs you nothing and can save you and everyone around you a ton of headaches. Unless you're flying something without an electrical system, there is just no excuse to not have a code in your transponder and your radio tuned to the local center or approach.

Starlionblue wrote:
r6russian wrote:
I love watching youtube videos of ATC recordings and the difference being local makes vs being from elsewhere. Main thing is 4 digit flight numbers spoken in street language vs official language. AAL 2550 pronounced American twentyfive fifty vs American two five five zero

You almost have to be a native American speaker to understand who theyre talking to, and if youre not, you still need to be a native american speaker to understand who theyre speaking to. Jfk ATC videos prove how often miscommunication happens


The same thing goes for runway numbers. "Three four left" and "zero seven left" in the rest of the world vs "thirtyfour left" and "seven left" in North America. As usual, the ICAO standard is clearer.

US controllers at major airports often seem to be in a rush. I don't get it. There is just as busy airspace in the rest of the world where controllers speak slowly and clearly, while getting as much done. Maybe if US controllers didn't have to repeat themselves so often due to misunderstandings, they could afford the luxury of not rushing. ;)


Flight number combining is in the FAA standards handbook and considered best practice in the US. That is actually the controllers and pilots going by the book.
Combining numbers for runways is uncommon in the US, but Super common in Canada (where they make a habit of combining for wind speed as well).

Also, the busiest airspace in the world is in the US, so that the controllers are busier shouldn't be surprising. The US also has excellent radar coverage and that gives controllers the ability to issue vectors to basically everyone instead of relying on clogging some published hold at like 15 levels. Various places have their quirks, like the various London controllers you have to whisper only your flight number to or having to tell ATC what kind of airplane you are as an IFR flight. The US offers pilots and controllers significantly more flexibility to operate safely in complex airspace, instead of the idiocy that is the London TMA.


Busy is one thing. In a rush is another. IMHO, US controllers create more work for themselves by speaking non-standard phrases fast to foreign carriers, who will often be confused and just answer "say again" or read back incorrectly, leading to more congestion.

Indian ATC is similar. Talk fast fast fast, with lots of "say again". But at least they use standard phraseology.

I find London super organised. They're efficient and very clear. And I've never had to tell ATC in London what kind of plane I am sitting in. ;)
 
LH707330
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Wed Nov 23, 2022 3:15 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
LH707330 wrote:

I don't hear as much slang from controllers, mostly from pilots. Then again, I've only flown in the US, so maybe what I consider normal is way out of ICAO spec.


"Out of ICAO spec" indeed. So much this. Pretty much anywhere else in the world, standard phraseology is used almost exclusively. It really helps in places where the controllers (and pilots) have a thick accent.

What US controllers might want to keep in mind is that standard phraseology also helps pilots who don't have (American) English as a first language. There are myriad YouTube videos of US controllers berating some poor foreign pilot for "not getting it". That foreign pilot, who is probably already pretty punchy after a 12-15 hour flight, now has to deal with rapid-fire non-standard local phraseology in a language he may not be completely fluent in. In contrast, said pilot can fly to Australia or the UK and communicate with perfect clarity because even though he may have a hard time with the accent, the phrases are what he expects to hear.

This may be a pet peeve of mine.

I try to keep my comms standard, as short as possible, and clearly enunciated, even if the guy on the other end is in a rush. Example, instead of "xxx delivery, BigJet123. Could you let me know of any delays tonight to xxx?", say "xxx delivery, BigJet123. Any delays expected for our departure?" The latter is much clearer for a non-English speaker, and more concise.

I have many comms pet peeves, one of them being pilots who read back everything and clutter the airwaves. Example: "Cleared xxx arrival, expect runway xyz". You don't need to read back the runway bit since it's not an instruction. Or "turn right heading xxx, intercept the localiser runway xyz, report established." You don't need to repeat "report established". At most you might say "wilco" to that part. Or responding "standing by" to "standby". The instruction is "standby" so you don't need to say anything. The controller is trying to get something else done.

Keep it short, clear, and precise, using standard phrases, and let's stay safe out there.


But I digress... :old: :lol:

#getoffmylawn

Yeah, some of the JFK audios are painful to listen to. There you've got accent and non-standard. Hell, I even have a rough time with some of those accents.

I wonder how much of it comes down to military-trained vs civil-trained controllers. I hear a lot of "report established in the hold," although the AIM tells you to report reaching the hold. Same thing with "I got two VFR targets for you, 11 o clock 5000 and 10 o clock 6000, report in sight."

Regarding the runway readback, isn't that so that both know what the plan is if you go lost comms?

In my area, the intercept readback usually includes the heading, something like "Right heading xxx to intercept." Decent blend of concision and information. I hear people getting asked to read back that heading if they skip it.

I'm with you on the "stand by" one. That one drives me up the wall. Same with "Approach, 123 with you at 3000." If they can hear you, they know you're with them....

My biggest pet peeve is misspelling "localizer" with an "s." Just because there's a little island off the coast of Europe that does it, doesn't mean we all should :P
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Thu Nov 24, 2022 2:35 am

LH707330 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
LH707330 wrote:

I don't hear as much slang from controllers, mostly from pilots. Then again, I've only flown in the US, so maybe what I consider normal is way out of ICAO spec.


"Out of ICAO spec" indeed. So much this. Pretty much anywhere else in the world, standard phraseology is used almost exclusively. It really helps in places where the controllers (and pilots) have a thick accent.

What US controllers might want to keep in mind is that standard phraseology also helps pilots who don't have (American) English as a first language. There are myriad YouTube videos of US controllers berating some poor foreign pilot for "not getting it". That foreign pilot, who is probably already pretty punchy after a 12-15 hour flight, now has to deal with rapid-fire non-standard local phraseology in a language he may not be completely fluent in. In contrast, said pilot can fly to Australia or the UK and communicate with perfect clarity because even though he may have a hard time with the accent, the phrases are what he expects to hear.

This may be a pet peeve of mine.

I try to keep my comms standard, as short as possible, and clearly enunciated, even if the guy on the other end is in a rush. Example, instead of "xxx delivery, BigJet123. Could you let me know of any delays tonight to xxx?", say "xxx delivery, BigJet123. Any delays expected for our departure?" The latter is much clearer for a non-English speaker, and more concise.

I have many comms pet peeves, one of them being pilots who read back everything and clutter the airwaves. Example: "Cleared xxx arrival, expect runway xyz". You don't need to read back the runway bit since it's not an instruction. Or "turn right heading xxx, intercept the localiser runway xyz, report established." You don't need to repeat "report established". At most you might say "wilco" to that part. Or responding "standing by" to "standby". The instruction is "standby" so you don't need to say anything. The controller is trying to get something else done.

Keep it short, clear, and precise, using standard phrases, and let's stay safe out there.


But I digress... :old: :lol:

#getoffmylawn

Yeah, some of the JFK audios are painful to listen to. There you've got accent and non-standard. Hell, I even have a rough time with some of those accents.

I wonder how much of it comes down to military-trained vs civil-trained controllers. I hear a lot of "report established in the hold," although the AIM tells you to report reaching the hold. Same thing with "I got two VFR targets for you, 11 o clock 5000 and 10 o clock 6000, report in sight."

Regarding the runway readback, isn't that so that both know what the plan is if you go lost comms?

In my area, the intercept readback usually includes the heading, something like "Right heading xxx to intercept." Decent blend of concision and information. I hear people getting asked to read back that heading if they skip it.

I'm with you on the "stand by" one. That one drives me up the wall. Same with "Approach, 123 with you at 3000." If they can hear you, they know you're with them....

My biggest pet peeve is misspelling "localizer" with an "s." Just because there's a little island off the coast of Europe that does it, doesn't mean we all should :P



- "Report established in the hold." I interpret that as having passed the fix the first time, which is pretty much what the AIM says.

- Expected runway readback. Lost comms is a good point. But the problem is if you read an expected runway, it reinforces the mental imprint of it being an actual clearance. I suppose you could argue it both ways.

- "With you..." "On frequency..." "Back with you..." "Talking to you on..." Please. God. No.... :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

- Regional English spellings and verbiage cause a lot of elevated blood pressure. I tease my British English-speaking friend endlessly by saying I'll put on some PANTS and come out. He's not even a native, but in my experience, the non-natives can be the most punctilious.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: VFR question regarding US Airspace: Class D and Charlie

Thu Nov 24, 2022 3:47 pm

Folks, how about returning to the OP's question rather than critiquing phraseology as I am sure we all (pilots/controllers) have not used perfect phraseology 100% of the time.

Thanks and happy holidays.

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