July 2011 Issue

Deviation Avoidance

Complicated airspace, procedures and communications all contribute to pilot deviations. Understanding what ATC expects and when is key to preventing them.

If you’re like many of us, the back-and-forth radio chatter between pilots and controllers leaves you, at times, bewildered and wondering what, exactly, that voice on the radio intended. Especially for new pilots and those simply not accustomed to the phrases and terms used, listening to ATC can be confusing, and occasionally even confounding and frustrating. At its worst, the constant stream of aviation shorthand through our headsets carries with it the potential to cause major problems, both for the pilots for whom the missed instructions are intended as well as the rest of us sharing the airspace. When the clag prevails and we turn to our training, charts, plates and procedures to make our way through a safe departure and arrival, we can ill afford to deal with additional issues.

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