Learn to Fly

Learning how to fly is a lot of fun.

But, it is also very taxing. The reason for this is that not only do you have to actually learn how to fly the aircraft, however, you have to also learn how to navigate charts and deal with air-traffic control.

Many points of learning how to fly is simply a memorization process.

For example in order to minimize communication problems with the tower and air-traffic control, aviation uses a standard system for the alphabet.

It goes like this:

A=  alpha                                                         M =Mike

B=  bravo                                                          N= November

C= Charlie                                                        O =Oscar

D= Delta                                                            P= Papa

E =echo                                                              Q= Quebec

F= foxtrot                                                          R =Romeo

G= golf                                                                S= Sierra

H= Hotel                                                            T= tango
I =India                                                              U= uniform

J= Juliet                                                              V= Victor

K =kilo                                                                 W= whiskey

L =Lima                                                                Y= Yankee

M MIKE                                                                Z= Zulu

This alphabet avoids all kinds of confusion on the radio.  Often exchanges between the tower and pilots are simply seconds.

The goal of effective communication is to maintain the radio lines open should somebody have an emergency or need help.

Seasoned pilots often get upset when someone new is on the radio hogging up frequency.

This can be tough on a new pilot because the inexperienced pilot isn’t familiar with all of the terms that are used. Even if he or she is not used to the speed at which the information is communicated. When air-traffic control communicates with the pilot it often sounds like A foreign language.

There are various seminars and tools that pilots can use or download to enable them to have more practice before getting on the live radio with the airport controllers.

I believe that this is essential. With anything related to listening, you have two areas to work on.

Audibly, you must understand it and then you must be able to reproduce it.

When corresponding with the air traffic controller you as the pilot must be able to repeat back to them to acknowledge what they told you.

This listen and repeat methodology is highly effective. It prevents all kinds of accidents that would occur based on misunderstandings.

In all, the pilot is required to manage many moving parts in the flight. There are certainly times in a long flight where the pilot can relax a bit, however, most of the time he or she is fully engaged in making sure that the passengers and he or she are safe.

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