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Author Topic: Air Transat panic in the cockpit  (Read 44677 times)
pgarside
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« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2008, 11:02:57 AM »

While I do speek english as a first language, i can still understand where you are coming from.  Learning any language is a long and challeging process, and even after much practice, there will always be small isues a non-native speeker will face. 

However all of this should be besides the point.  English is the official language of aviation, and it is required that pilots and atc are able to listen and speek in english.  In a perfect world, this would mean that all pilots understand every radio call when given in english, but the reality is that there will be some missed communications.  In the event of such an orrurance, it is the pilot's responsibility to clarify the controlers requests.  The end result being a repeated radio transmission.  In my opinion, this is a much better trade off than having half the pilots on frequency understand what is said and the other half know nothing - which causes a breakdown in SA.

Furthermore, while this is slightly off topic, bashing boston John for saying 'hasta la vista' is really besides the point.  He offered all atc clearances in english and said good bye in a way which has become adopted into the american english language.
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mike741
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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2009, 03:12:02 PM »

I agree with SNAPPER and CESNA157.  I am an American who works for a European Air Traffic Control  service provider.  I can not say which one but look up the ICAO English Language prorfiency DOC 9835.  Also, if an aircraft starts a contact with ATC in their navtive language it is ok for the controller to continue in that language but he must also translate position information of the that aircraft to all other aircraft on frequency in English.  Many of my controller friends simply ask the pilot to speak in English unless it is a VFR flight becasue if they do not leave their FIR boundries, they are exempt from the English language requirements.  All controllers and pilots must by May 2010 show a profiency in English to a level 4.  I agree that situational awarness is lost when you have no clue what the aircraft are saying.
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cessna157
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« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2009, 07:51:48 PM »

.  All controllers and pilots must by May 2010 show a profiency in English to a level 4.

Haha, yeah, that requirement has made a big joke in the US.  The FAA requires pilots to speak English fluently to get a pilots license.  But they recently had to reprint all of the certificates to specifically read "English proficient", even though the license itself is proof of being English proficient.
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phil-s
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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2009, 09:55:22 AM »

Are the English proficiency tests that are given to pilots and controllers only written or is there an oral component? I ask because I find that some of the foreign pilots landing at, say, JFK, seem to have the vocabulary they need but their pronunciation is so bad that what they say is at times frankly unintelligible. Also, many non-English speaking pilots seem to do ok as long as the questions and statements are routine but become largely unintelligible whenever they need to deal with something unusual, which is often the case in an emergency.  -- Phil
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sykocus
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2009, 12:39:14 PM »

Are the English proficiency tests that are given to pilots and controllers only written or is there an oral component? I ask because I find that some of the foreign pilots landing at, say, JFK, seem to have the vocabulary they need but their pronunciation is so bad that what they say is at times frankly unintelligible. Also, many non-English speaking pilots seem to do ok as long as the questions and statements are routine but become largely unintelligible whenever they need to deal with something unusual, which is often the case in an emergency.  -- Phil

I would estimate that close to half the pilots that I deal with are non-native english speakers. Your assessment is correct. Once you get out of the request and clearances that are most common communication can be very difficult. Not to mention you have to be very careful about read backs. I can't even count the number of times i've told a plane to "expect ILS approach" and a pilot has read back "cleared ILS approach." Interestingly enough many airlines have a native english speaker in the cockpit. Sometimes you can hear him in the background other times he'll come over the radio and speak directly when we're having trouble getting the point across.
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Yesterday I couldn't spell air traffic controller. Today I R one.
DaytonaAirport
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« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2009, 03:15:31 AM »

Would that mean that you think that french canadians should not have the right to fly in their own language in their own country???

No, not at all.  It means that ICAO has directed that all airmen and air traffic control services be fluent in and use english as the primary means of communication in all radiotelephony transmissions.  This is to keep an Air China flight crew from speaking Russian while in German airspace.  It also permits the Air China pilots to understand every instruction the controller is giving to other aircraft to anticipate traffic patterns, directions, etc.

For example:
If I'm on approach into an airport, and, as far as I can tell, I'm the only aircraft approaching a particular runway, I can expect a short approach.  Therefore I can slow the aircraft and configure it for the quickest safest and most efficient approach.  But if I hear many aircraft in line ahead of me for the same runway, I can listen to the radio of where to look for traffic, how far out they're turning final, what speeds they're using, etc.
Except in the case when I'm flying into YUL, and there are 2 flights speaking English and 6 others speaking french.  I may hear lots of radio traffic, but I sure don't know what they're out there doing.  Granted, if I hear lots of traffic, it would probably mean its busy and finals are wrong.  But they may all be getting sequenced for the parallel runway.  Or the controller might have instructed an aircraft on final to slow so he may put one in front of him who is on downwind.  In either case, I may not have the aircraft in a position to make an approach from that spot.  There are just too many variables.
Really? I always thought Mandarin as an international language. Maybe thats an alternative instead of using French. And BTW, where is YUL?
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joeyb747
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« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2009, 08:46:28 PM »

Would that mean that you think that french canadians should not have the right to fly in their own language in their own country???

No, not at all.  It means that ICAO has directed that all airmen and air traffic control services be fluent in and use english as the primary means of communication in all radiotelephony transmissions.  This is to keep an Air China flight crew from speaking Russian while in German airspace.  It also permits the Air China pilots to understand every instruction the controller is giving to other aircraft to anticipate traffic patterns, directions, etc.

For example:
If I'm on approach into an airport, and, as far as I can tell, I'm the only aircraft approaching a particular runway, I can expect a short approach.  Therefore I can slow the aircraft and configure it for the quickest safest and most efficient approach.  But if I hear many aircraft in line ahead of me for the same runway, I can listen to the radio of where to look for traffic, how far out they're turning final, what speeds they're using, etc.
Except in the case when I'm flying into YUL, and there are 2 flights speaking English and 6 others speaking french.  I may hear lots of radio traffic, but I sure don't know what they're out there doing.  Granted, if I hear lots of traffic, it would probably mean its busy and finals are wrong.  But they may all be getting sequenced for the parallel runway.  Or the controller might have instructed an aircraft on final to slow so he may put one in front of him who is on downwind.  In either case, I may not have the aircraft in a position to make an approach from that spot.  There are just too many variables.
Really? I always thought Mandarin as an international language. Maybe thats an alternative instead of using French. And BTW, where is YUL?

CYUL is Pierre Elliott Trudeau International (Dorval) in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
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