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					Wildcat Aviation                                                          Jesse Hallenbeck


LESSON # 34 Radio Communications and ATC Light Signals

Lesson Objective:       To develop the students ability to appropriately select and use the
                        correct radio frequencies, use proper phraseology, receive and
                        comply with ATC clearances and accurately interpret ATC light
                        gun signals.

Elements Involved:      1.) Selection and use of appropriate radio frequencies.
                        2.) Recommended procedure and phraseology for radio
                        communications.
                        3.) Receipt, acknowledgement of, and compliance with ATC
                        clearances, instructions, and light gun signals.

Schedule:                  Ground Lesson                      00:30
                           Actual Demonstration               00:10
                           De-Brief                           00:10

Equipment:                 Actual Aircraft/Radio
                           AIM Chap 4-2-1 to 4-2-13
                           AF/D / Sectional Chart
                           Worksheet/IACO Alphabet
                           Whiteboard and drawing utensil

Instructor’s Actions:   Preground Discussion
                        1.) Discuss the lesson Objectives and Completion Standards.
                        Ground Discussion
                        1.) Discuss how to obtain appropriate radio frequencies.
                        2.) Discuss proper radio communications and phraseology.
                        3.) Discuss ATC clearances
                        4.) Discuss ATC light gun signals.
                        5.) Ask and answer questions related to radio communication.
                        Flight Demonstration
                        1.) Demonstrate appropriate radio phraseology, communication,
                            and compliance with ATC instructions.
                        2.) Critique and evaluate student performance.

Student Actions:        Preground
                        1.) Come to ground prepared having read assigned materials. (AIM
                        Chap 4-2-1 to 4-2-13)
                        Ground Discussion
                        1.) Ask questions and participate in preflight discussion.
                        Flight Demonstration
                        1.) Practice communication as directed by the flight instructor.
                        2.) Participate in the evaluation process.




Radio Communications                                                                1
Wildcat Aviation                                                              Jesse Hallenbeck


Common Errors:              1.) Use of improper frequencies.
                            2.) Improper procedure and phraseology when using radio
                            communications.
                            3.) Failure to acknowledge, or properly comply with, ATC
                            clearances and instructions.
                            4.) Failure to understand, or to properly comply with, ATC light
                            signals.


Completion Standards:       1.) The student consistently selects appropriate radio frequencies,
                            uses proper radio phraseology, and is able to comply with ATC
                            clearances and light gun signals.

                                      Notes
              Elements of a Radio Communications and ATC Light Signals

Color Key
                Blue: Name/Green: Explanation/Red: Misc. Info/Attention Grab

Format
     - Radio Communication/ATC Light Signals will be dived up into four main categories:
            - 1. Overview
            - 2. Elements
            - 3. Radio Procedures
            - 4. Lost Communication Procedures
            - 5. Emergency Procedures
     - References to be used:
            - AIM Chap 4-2-1 to 4-2-13

Radio Communications and ATC Light Signals

1. Overview

VHF Communication:

   -   Frequencies between 118.0 MHz and 135.975 MHz
          o Range of VHF transmissions is limited to line of sight

4. Elements

Numbers Phraseology
  - Numbers below 9,900 are spoken as follows:
         o 600 ... Six Hundred
         o 5,500 ... Five Thousand Five Hundred



Radio Communications                                                                    2
Wildcat Aviation                                                            Jesse Hallenbeck


   -   Numbers above 9,900 are spoken by separating the digits preceding thousand.
         o 15,000 ... One Five thousand
         o 17,200 ... One Seven thousand two hundred

The Aviation Phonetic Alphabet
   - Because many letters sounds similar, the "Aviation Alphabet" is used to reduce
      confusion when talking over the radio.




                                                     The Phonetic Alphabet is shown at left.
                                                     Each letter has a name and a
                                                     corresponding mores code identifier. This
                                                     alphabet is used in nearly all aspects of
                                                     aviation, and should be well known by
                                                     any pilot.

                                                     A good way to practice the alphabet is to,
                                                     as you are driving down the road, use
                                                     people’s license plates to name the
                                                     different letter names.




Radio Communications                                                                  3
Wildcat Aviation                                                             Jesse Hallenbeck


Towered Vs. Non-Towered Airport Radio Procedures.
  - Non – Towered Airport Radio Procedures
         o CTAF –
                Air to air communication by pilots self announcing their position
                Make initial call when 10 miles from airport
                Report on the 45, entering downwind, base, final, clear of runway, and
                  taxiing

   -   Towered Airport Radio Procedures
          o Look up needed frequencies in AFD
          o Utilize the three W’s
          o Follow Controller’s requests
          o Read back any clearances that include numbers: Headings, runways, altitudes
          o Actively listen for your N#, and respond in timely manner

3. Radio Procedures

   -   When making a radio call you should always be prepared to tell the three W's:

                Who you are calling, Who you are, Where you are, What you want

   -   Think ahead! Look up all frequencies you might need, and write them down where you
       can find them easily.
           o Utilize AFD, sectional charts.
   -   Test the radio prior to transmitting.
           o This is normally done through squelch.
   -   Listen to the radio frequency prior to transmitting
           o You don’t want to cut off somebody, or interrupt a communication between two
               people.
   -   Think about what you are going to say before you key the mike.
           o You don’t want to keep the controller waiting while you think of what to tell
               them, or sound like a goof stuttering.
                    On the same token, don’t be nervous, especially if you’re new at this.
                    Always remember, your tax dollars pay for ATC salaries; don’t let them
                       be jerks to you!
   -   If you they don’t initially respond to you
           o Make sure that the mike is close to your lips and speak in a normal tone.
           o Wait for a few moments before calling the controller again.
                    At times they are extremely busy and are not always able to get back to
                       you at once
   -   Be familiar with your N# and actively listen for it
   -   Tell controllers only the information they need to know, make it short.
   -   Be alert to sounds or the lack of sounds from your receiver.
   -   Must read back all Hold Short instructions




Radio Communications                                                                   4
Wildcat Aviation                                                                Jesse Hallenbeck


              Don’t be afraid to ask for the instructions to be repeated “Say again”
         Clarify any clearance you don’t understand, or it might put you in bad situation

4. Lost Communication Procedures

   -   Two-way communication is required to enter class B,C, and D airspace
          o After troubleshooting and finding no solution, squawk 7600 to alert ATC
   -   Over fly traffic pattern by 1000’ to determine flow of traffic
          o Maintain visual contact with the tower to receive light gun signals
          o Acknowledge transmissions/light gun signals by
                    rocking wings during the day
                    flashing landing light or navigation lights at night
   -   After landing, call the tower, and advise them of the situation




                                                                                    ATC light gun signals
                                                                                    and their associated
                                                                                    meanings under
                                                                                    different flight
                                                                                    conditions are shown
                                                                                    at left.




Troubleshooting a lost communication situation
   - Check volume and squelch on radio, and all other switches
   - Make sure headset is hooked in all the way
   - Check to see if you have the right frequency set, try one where you know that you will
      get somebody, such as:
          o FSS, EFAS, another ATC
                  What are these freq’s.?
   - Hook headset in copilot jack
   - Try your alternate transceiver
   - Call the last facility you were in contact with
   - Try the mike instead of your headset
          o It also helps to have a backup headset


5. Emergency Procedures

   -   Frequency for transmitting emergency messages anywhere in the country is 121.5
   -   Using phrase “Mayday” commands radio silence on that frequency
   -   “Pan pan” lets you know that that situation has priority, and shouldn’t be interrupted


Radio Communications                                                                     5
Wildcat Aviation                                                  Jesse Hallenbeck


   -   Squawk 7700
   -   Five C’s (especially as they pertain to lost procedures)
          o Climb
          o Call
          o Confess
          o Comply
          o Conserve




Radio Communications                                                      6

				
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