Aviation English: Part 1

spartan instructor in cubicle working setting up flight plan
August 2, 2023
Aviation English: Part 1
Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology is a prominent voice in the aviation space. These blogs are for informational purposes only and are meant to spark discussions within the aviation industry on a variety of topics.

The world of aviation can be exciting and daunting at the same time. It's a highly technical field that requires precise communication between pilots, air traffic controllers, and ground personnel to ensure the safety and efficiency of air travel. Aviation English is the standardized language used by these professionals to communicate critical information related to aircraft movements, positions, and clearance.

In this article, we will delve into ten common aviation English terms that pilots and air traffic controllers use to convey important information. We'll define each term and provide a real-world example of how it might be used in typical flight communication. So, fasten your seat belts and prepare to take off into the fascinating world of aviation communication!

  1. ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service): This is a continuously broadcasted message containing the current weather conditions and other critical information at a specific airport. Pilots must listen to the ATIS before communicating with air traffic control.

Example: Pilot: "Tower, this is Skelly 123, we have ATIS information Bravo and request clearance for departure."

  1. Cleared for takeoff: This is the clearance given to a pilot to initiate takeoff. It indicates that the runway is clear, and the pilot is authorized to takeoff.

Example: ATC: "Skelly 123, cleared for takeoff on runway 36R, wind 180 at 10 knots."

  1. Departure control: This is the air traffic control facility responsible for managing aircraft departing from an airport's airspace.

Example: Pilot:"This is Skelly 123, requesting departure clearance from departure control."

  1. Final approach: This is the last segment of an instrument approach procedure (ILS, GPS, etc.), where the aircraft is aligned with the runway and descending to the runway threshold.

Example: ATC: "Skelly 123, cleared for the ILS approach to runway 22L, maintain 2000 feet until established on final approach."

  1. Ground control: This is the air traffic control facility responsible for managing aircraft movements on the airport surface, including taxiing, parking, and pushback from the gate.

Example: Pilot: "This is Skelly 123, requesting taxi clearance from ground control to runway 36L."

  1. Holding short: This is the point where an aircraft is stopped at the runway holding position, waiting for clearance to proceed to takeoff or cross the runway.

Example: Pilot: "Tower, this is Skelly 123, holding short of runway 27R, ready for takeoff."

  1. Missed approach: A pilot performs this procedure when they cannot land safely and must abort the landing attempt. It involves executing a go-around and following the missed approach procedure specified in the approach plate.

Example: Pilot: "Tower, this is Skelly 123, we're executing a missed approach due to low visibility." ATC: "Roger, Skelly 123, you are cleared for a missed approach. Climb and maintain 4000 feet, then contact departure on 124.4."

  1. Overhead break: This is a type of maneuver used by military aircraft to enter the traffic pattern at an airport. The aircraft flies over the airport at a high altitude, then makes a steep descending turn to join the downwind leg of the traffic pattern.

Example: ATC: "Skelly 123, cleared for overhead break."

  1. Taxiway: This is a designated path on an airport surface that aircraft use to maneuver to and from the runway, terminal, or other areas of the airport.

Example: ATC: "Skelly 123, turn right on taxiway Bravo and hold short of runway 18."

  1. Wind shear: This is a sudden change in wind speed and/or direction that can create dangerous conditions for aircraft during takeoff and landing. It can also occur during flight and cause sudden changes in airspeed, altitude, and attitude.

Example: ATC: "Skelly 123, caution wind shear on final approach to runway 22R, winds 220 at 25 knots."

Understanding aviation English is just one aspect of the complex and ever-changing world of aviation. If you're passionate about aviation, consider exploring Spartan's Aviation Flight Program. It's an excellent opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to train to become a professional pilot!

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