Time to say goodbye

When I was going through my fixed wing flight training not too long ago, I knew that as a helicopter guy, my radio work and etiquette was below par when it comes to flying in and out of busy airspace. Most of the time spent flying a helicopter is essentially underneath it and if you do have to go in it, they seem to give the rotorheads a break as long as you stay out of everyone’s way. You’ll often get ye ole “non-movement area, landing at your own risk, don’t bother me…” type of instructions.

Once I realized that soon I was going to be in the middle of all this flying the shiny jets, I decided to brush up on my long since faded radio skills. Part of that project was to constantly have an approach frequency or something up in the office and listen to it while I was working doing other things. My wife loved hearing all that radio traffic so it got to be a thing for many weeks.

But she would get so mad at some of these controllers when they talked way too fast. Especially in the evening after the big rush hour when there wasn’t all that much going on.
“I get that they have to talk fast when it’s busy, but there are only like two planes on the frequency right now! So … WHY?” she’d yell at the radio. I laughed, but I actually have no real answer to that question. Maybe some people just talk fast.

I did learn that the more information you can give them in a short amount of time, in the right order, the better. They will appreciate you for it. I also learned that they don’t like it if they have to call you more than once, LOL.


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4 comments on “Time to say goodbye
  1. Karl Winters says:

    “I love you.”
    “I love you more…”
    “No, I love you more.”

    “Hang up.”
    “No, you hang up.”

  2. Pepe says:

    Boys, THAT Headline!
    You just gave me a heart attack!!

  3. Sam says:

    Have been listening in radio as passenger on a taxi-flight, to a conversation going downhills something like this (I probably get the technical things all wrong)

    “glider 3 bravo tango unmotorized glider asking for permisson to cross airport due to low altitude – oh, but my transponder is broken.”
    “tower calling glider 3 bravo tango approved, change to frequence one three five five three one”
    “glider 3 bravo tango, changing to frequency one three five one three five”
    “tower calling glider 3 bravo tango, no, change to freqzency one three five five three one”
    “glider 3 bravo tango, changing to frequency … uuuhm, can you say that again?”

    Luckily he got it on 3rd call. And my pilot was *very* professionelly calm instead of banging his head to the steering on this conversation

  4. Another source of good info for those operating in controlled airspace (especially those in the USA) is the Opposing Bases podcast. Two ATC types who are also pilots provide info on why ATC works the way it does and how pilots can help make things smoother. Also referred to by some as the “Click & Clack of ATC” it’s a good, informative & fun show, even for those of us down here in Oz 🙂


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