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Radio Communication. Reference. From the Ground Up Chapter 8.4: Radio Communication Procedures Pages 219 - 229. Introduction. There are guidelines and standard procedures for aviation radio communication.

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Radio communication



From the Ground Up

Chapter 8.4:

Radio Communication Procedures

Pages 219 - 229


  • There are guidelines and standard procedures for aviation radio communication.

  • It’s very important that pilots know these in order to communicate effectively around the world over aviation radio


  • Number, Alphabet, and Time

  • Standard Phrases

  • Communication Priority

  • Radio Technique

  • Emergency Communication


  • Pronunciation:

    • 0 ZEE-RO 5 FIFE1 WUN 6 SIX 2 TOO 7 SEV-en 3 TREE 8 AIT 4 FOW-er 9 NIN-er

    • Thousand: TOU-SANDDecimal: DAY-SEE-MAL

  • Examples:

    • 10 One Zero19 One Niner800 Eight Zero Zero11 000 One One Thousand

Phonetic alphabet
Phonetic Alphabet

  • A Alfa N NovemberB Bravo O OscarC Charlie P PapaD Delta Q QuebecE Echo R RomeoF Foxtrot S SierraG Golf T TangoH Hotel U UniformI India V VictorJ Juliet W WhiskeyK Kilo X X-rayL Lima Y YankeeM Mike Z Zulu


  • 24 hour system used to express time:

    • 12:00 midnight 000012:30 am 00302:15 am 02155:45 am 054512:00 noon 12003:30 pm 153010:50 pm 2250

  • In aviation, co-ordinated universal time (UTC, Z, or zulu) is normally used

Standard phrases
Standard Phrases

  • Acknowledge Let me know you have received and understood this message

  • Affirmative Yes

  • Break I hereby indicate the separation between portions of the message

  • Confirm My version is… is that correct?

  • Correction I have made an error, the correct version is…

  • Do you read? I have called you more than once, if you are receiving me, reply

  • Go ahead Proceed with your message

Standard phrases1
Standard Phrases

  • How do you read me? Can you hear me clearly?

  • I say again I will Repeat

  • Negative No

  • Out My transmission is ended, I do not expect a reply from you

  • Over My transmission is ended, I expect a reply from you

  • Read back Repeat this message back to me after I have given “Over”

  • Roger Okay, I have received your message

Standard phrases2
Standard Phrases

  • Say again Repeat

  • Speak slower Talk more slowly

  • Stand by I must pause for a few seconds

  • That is correct You have the correct information

  • Verify Check with the originator

  • Wilco Your instructions received, understood, and will be complied with

Communication priority
Communication Priority

  • Communication over the radio follows the following priority:

    • Emergency communications (Distress and Urgency)

    • Flight safety communications (ATC clearances, airport advisories, position reports, flight plans etc)

    • Scheduled broadcasts

    • Unscheduled broadcasts

    • Other air-ground communications

Radio technique
Radio Technique

  • Call-upCity tower, this is Cessna one seven two foxtrot juliet echo sierra, (over)

  • Reply Foxtrot juliet echo sierra, (this is) city tower

  • Message City tower, foxtrot juliet echo sierra is transiting through the zone eastbound en route to Oshawa

  • Acknowledgement Foxtrot juliet echo sierra, city tower, cleared through the zone

  • End Foxtrot juliet echo sierra, (out)

Communication checks
Communication Checks

  • Radio operators can request radio checks to determine Readability and/or Strength

  • Number Readability Strength

    • 1 Unreadable Bad

    • 2 Readable now and then Poor

    • 3 Readable with difficulty Fair

    • 4 ReadableGood

    • 5 Perfectly Readable Excellent


  • Distress call is made when an aircraft is in grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance

  • Distress call: Mayday – Mayday – Mayday

  • If in distress, the first call should be made on the air-ground frequency in use

  • If no reply on current frequency, switch to distress frequency: 121.5 MHz


  • Urgency call is made to a specific station when there is a an urgent message about the safety of a ship, aircraft or person on board or within sight

  • Also can be used if an aircraft is having difficulties, but immediate assistance is not required

  • Urgency call: Pan Pan – Pan Pan – Pan Pan


  • Safety call indicates that station is about to transmit an important navigation or weather warning to aircraft in flight

  • Safety call: Security – Security – Security