Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
September 03, 2014, 03:01:51 AM
Home Help Login Register      
News: NEW Follow LiveATC updates on Twitter and Facebook


+  LiveATC Discussion Forums
|-+  Aviation
| |-+  Pilot/Controller Forum (Moderators: dave, RonR)
| | |-+  Air Traffic controllers..
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Air Traffic controllers..  (Read 13603 times)
normnapa
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


« on: November 11, 2009, 10:13:51 PM »

I have just started my flight lessons.. My big problem is understanding ATC,s. they speak so fast and often time slur their words.. no verbs. I fly out of a small local airport, no commercial traffic, so whats the big hurry. My instructor has to interpet almost everything they say... I know I,m a beginner, but the ATC,s have an important job and it would seem to me  they could slow down a little ,so they would,nt have to repeat, it would save time in the long run. Plus their instructions and replies would be understood clearly.. Is it just me, or has anyone else had this problem.
Logged
Pilot3033
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 56


« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 01:43:14 AM »

many new students have trouble understanding ATC, so don't feel too bad about it.

I'm not sure what airport you fly out of, but you should probably tell us as I'm sure there may be someone on here familiar with your local procedures who may be able to help guide you.

The key to flight training is that it's just that: training. You're learning your way around to deal with any possible situation you may encounter once you have your ticket. You practice stalls and stall recovery to learn the proper technique, you learn how to properly execute turns and navigate using methods like ded reckoning for when you want to go out and take trips by yourself later on, and most importantly you learn the framework in order to not panic and remain calm in stressful situations. The traffic at your local field may not be that of LAX or JFK, but the quick pace that you hear over the radio helps everyone stay in the game. Eventually, you will venture out into the world beyond your local class D were you do have to deal with all sorts of other traffic, and being proficient on the radio will not only help you get a picture of nearby traffic (by listening intently), but will also help everyone get to where they need to go faster and more efficiently.

The Coms are not meant to be a chat box, and controllers have a specific language they use when communicating over it. It is a language that is sharp, quick and to the point, designed to avoid confusion.

So to answer your question: it's not just you, but it's not because the controllers are speaking too fast.
So what do you do?

Well, being on this site is a great first step in familiarizing yourself with the language of aviation radio.
  • Listen to the feed of your favorite airport just for kicks, but start to pay attention to what is being said and apply it to what you are learning. This will help you learn the vocabulary and syntax of this new language.
  • You should also see if the feed for your airport is available, as you could also get familiar with the local controllers and their particular mannerisms.
  • Consult the AIM. Your flight school should have one for sale if you don't already own it (the FAR/AIM). The manual contains lots of useful information and examples for basic VFR communication.
  • Consult your CFI. Mention that you're having trouble with ATC. During the ground portion of training, and when discussing the game plan of the day's flight, ask your CFI to run through a list of the types of communication that must be made for each phase of flight.
  • On that note, a trick I read a while back in AOPA Magazine was to have the student make the radio call to the instructor without keying the mic, and then having the CFI make the actual call. This gradually bleed into tricking the student into making the call without realizing it (as the CFI would hold down the PTT button). It was mentioned in the context of radio phobia, but it applies here as well. The more familiar you are with how and what to say, the less like a garbled, jargoney mess the radio sounds like.
If you need feed listening suggestions, everyone loves the classics: JFK Tower, JFK Approach, LAX Tower [currently down]. I'd also suggest SMO Tower or VNY Tower. Santa Monica (SMO) is a class D just north of LAX and a heavy VFR and IFR hub for LA area general aviation, and they have some very interesting procedures. Van Nuys (VNY) is one of, if not THE busiest general aviation and private jet airport in the US if not the world.

You'll get it eventually, and you're not alone. Good luck and have fun!
-Matt
Logged
captray
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 102


G4 in Czech Republic


« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 06:33:50 AM »

Well said.

What I tell my students is fly the airplane first. Then talk. It will come together for you soon. Anything new has a steep learning curve at first.

All the best!

Ray
Logged

Cancel the IFR~!
NAplaya16-ATC
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 151


« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 01:05:05 PM »

hey norm,

where you fly out of?
Logged
captray
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 102


G4 in Czech Republic


« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 06:12:36 PM »

My guess is Napa, CA.
Logged

Cancel the IFR~!
Pilot3033
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 56


« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 06:31:01 PM »

My guess is Napa, CA.
That makes FAR too much sense.

But just in case, KAPC Napa Tower afro
Logged
SkyShepherd
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2009, 08:06:17 PM »

I've had the opportunity to work both sides of the mike (flying since '89, air traffic controller for over 15 years), and I totally sympathize with the plight of student pilots.

I still remember my first lessons, and being so saturated with the aircraft, I just didn't have enough "head space" left to take in what was happening on the radio. Once I was starting to get the hang of the aircraft, I was able to devote more time to listening to the radio, but deciphering the arcane language that was spewing forth from the radio at a high rate of knots still presented a challenge!

One of the things previously mentioned, was listening to the frequency. It takes time to develop an ear for the radio. I train new controllers as well, and I see the same quizzical looks from them, as I must have had on my face when learning! Best thing you can do is spend time listening, and tuning your ear. Another thing is to go over your phraseology and get it down cold. If you know the words that could be used, it makes it so much easier to anticipate, and eventually interpret, what is being said; for example, if you are just shooting circuits, there is a finite combination of clearances/intructions that could be expected.

A lot of student pilots are intimidated by the radio, and I hear things like "oh, controllers talk so fast, and I feel like I have to be perfect on the radio", etc. One thing to bear in mind, is we get a LOT more practice on the frequency! On a typical shift in the tower, I'll make more transmissions than I did my entire tenure of earning my private pilot's licence. Bear in mind as well, we perform to stringent standards to enable ourselves to be understood, and to mitigate the risks associated with ambiguous communications. It's our job to be razor sharp, and precise. For us, less talking on the frequency=more time to separate aircraft.

I would suggest you never be afraid to tell the controller that you are a student pilot, and ask them to slow down a bit for you. I know I certainly pull back the speed as soon as I know I am dealing with a student; I consider it a minor investment of time on each transmission to avoid having to repeat myself and be understood. Conversely, try and challenge yourself to become more proficient at listening to the full-speed stream; it's pretty cool when you can keep up, and are part of a busy traffic flow and everything is running smoothly.

Best of luck in your flight training, it is such a great priveledge to earn! Some only ever dream of what you are doing right now!

Darrin
Logged
MillerZa
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2009, 10:16:34 PM »

What I did for my first time was I told the Tower, it was a D airspace, that I was a student pilot. I did it with my original transmission to them. Just add it in after your tail number. My call was "Aurora Tower 674MA Student @ 4,000 w/ Gulf." If they know you're learning they will slow down and help you out a little, and be more patient!
Logged
KHAOS
Guest
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2009, 11:43:12 PM »

Best of luck to you in learning how to fly Smiley 

I was in the same situation as you at first when I started lessons.  However, I already knew a good amount of the phraseology and basically what to expect and what to say, but when you talk on the radio for the first few times, it is a bit intimidating.  Inside, I felt a lot of mic fright, and my biggest problem was speaking back to the controllers what they needed to hear.

When I briefed with my CFI on the ground before we flew, as we'd go over the sectionals and routes, I'd ask about the communications aspect as well, "Ok, who am I talking to here?  Ok, so I would say, '<insert pertinent ATC call here>'?"  And he would tell me either yes, or he'd suggest an alternative.  Then I'd repeat back the phrase that we both agreed on, if it needed changing.  Then we'd move on to the next part of the route, and so on and so forth.  It really helped me.

Listening to ATC on liveatc.net and listening to it in the cockpit are two different things for me.  Like others have said, one tends to be so involved with the plane, that they don't have enough brain cells to devote to communicating.  But soon, your muscle memory will be trained to fly the aircraft, you won't be hunting for an airspeed or an altitude, and things will just...flow.  It's at that moment that you'll really realize what an awesome thing it is that you're doing.  ATC fear will be a thing of the past.

My advice in addition to the others:

1.) If you can find a feed that records where you fly, try to listen to yourself and see how you sound.   
2.) Record yourself talking and then play it back.  I sometimes practice my radio calls while on my commute to work, lol.
3.) There's a lot of repetition in what ATC says.  They stick to many key phrases, and only deviate slightly.  Commit the major phrases to your memory, and you'll be able to pick it out even from the fastest talking controller.
4.) Sound CONFIDENT.  If you sound confident, the world is at your command.
5.) If you tend to go "uhhh" and pause a lot, break that habit immediately.  Prepare to say what you need to a few seconds before you click the mike switch.
6.) Stay ahead of the aircraft.  That means, plan, plan, plan.  Know where you're going before you get there.  Things tend to go haywire when you get sidetracked and have to rush to make up for the difference.
7.) You really don't have to say you're a student on initial callup, unless your really struggling or you feel you will need the help in the relatively near future.  At least that's my opinion.  But, be true to yourself.  If you feel more at ease by telling them you are a student, by all means, do so.  There is no shame in erring on the side of caution.
8.) Ditch unnecessary words and phrases.   Convey what you need to while being concise and polite. 
9.) Have the desire to be bulletproof in your coms.  Clearly you want to be good at this, so keep practicing, just like you do your flying, and you'll be a master in no time.  It will get easier!  Good luck. Smiley

Here's a good article on communicating, hope this helps you as it did me:

http://bathursted.ccnb.nb.ca/vatcan/fir/moncton/WeeklyTopics/Archives/20040502/CurrentTopic.html
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 12:04:11 AM by KHAOS » Logged
thierryFR
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2010, 06:22:14 AM »

good morning has you it other airports loadable there? thank you I am francais
Logged
thierryFR
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2010, 11:00:50 AM »

ki peut me dire svp
si il y a d'autres aeroports en telechargement gratuit ?


merci d'avance
Logged
thierryFR
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 10:32:16 AM »

good morning has you it other airports loadable there? thank you I am francais
Logged
cstefano
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2010, 03:12:19 PM »

good morning has you it other airports loadable there? thank you I am francais

I'm not sure I understand your question.  There are feeds from hundreds of airports here, but Biarritz is the only one in France.  You can find one to listen to here:  http://www.liveatc.net/feedindex.php.
 
Logged
imflight
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 11


« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2010, 04:35:07 AM »

Napa, I have found, is especially odd.  Wait till the spring and summer days when seemingly EVERY hot air balloon in California is flying in the valley, and it is touch and go day for the JAL training folks...  It's enough to give the most veteran pilot indigestion/ulcers/the uncontrollable urge to hit the hotel bar that evening.  grin
Logged
HooperTWR
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2010, 01:43:24 AM »

Radio shock as I like to call it.  Drink a strong cup of coffee before your next flight.  A high dose caffeine will help you to be able to listen aggressively to your tweaked out controller. And if you don't understand what ATC said, Say... "Tower, say again for (callsign).
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!