How not to speak on the radio

Was finally able to go flying today. Winds were gusty, but still ok for doing circuits. I decided to bring along my scanner this time and record ground and tower.

My first call for this lesson didn’t go too well. Listen to the clip and see if you can spot the TWO things I did incorrectly (leave a comment).

Listen to whoops.mp3

(And yes, ground was barely understandable.. but I understood what he was saying)

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8 thoughts on “How not to speak on the radio

  1. Are you C-GOYG or C-GOYR? And it’s a bit bizarre that you would start the conversation with ‘ground’ and then switch to ‘tower’… That said, you got your request across and received the taxi instructions so I’d say you did okay. And if you talk to anyone who’s flown a lot, they’ll tell you that there are a lot of seasoned pilots out there with sloppy radio skills.

  2. Please don’t waste time even thinking about tiny things like this — they’re close to irrelevant for flying, and everyone does them, even the airline pilots. Talking on the radio isn’t a performance. Concentrate on the important stuff, like following your clearances (especially hold-short and altitude limits), controlling airspeed on climbout and approach, maintaining a steady altitude and heading in cruise, knowing your plane’s fuel consumption, and understanding the weather.
    Besides, at a small airport like Buttonville, you’ll often have the same person working tower and ground anyway. I’ll bet the controller didn’t even notice.

  3. I’m not wasting time thinking about stuff like this. I just thought it would be a fun exercise to see if anyone else picked up on my mistakes.
    My instructor pretty much said the same thing. Everyone makes mistakes like this and it’s not a huge deal as long as both parties get their message across.
    Sometimes tower and ground are the same person. However, in this case, they were not.
    Douglas got it right though.. im C-GOYR and i’ve been talking to ground the whole time (not tower)

  4. As a side note, I was once watching airplanes land on 34 at Calgary (CYYC) and heard an American Airlines aircraft calling Vancouver tower. So, like David said, even airline piltos muck up sometimes.

  5. A straightforward mistake – I’ve botched call signs myself in the past, so don’t feel bad – we all do it every now and then.
    At your hours, you sound quite competent on the radio – trust me, if you’ve ever spend some time listening to the comm at busy training airports, you’ll hear students with more hours then you flubbing radio calls left and right. Heck, even licenced pilots do it occasionally. (Ahem..heh)
    For some people it comes naturally, others, not so much. Your mistake is no biggie in the greater perspective of things.
    It’s when I hear calls like “Umm…uhh, yeah..ummm.. Ground, this is, umm. …….. Cessna 153 Golf, umm..yankee yankee..uhh…with, ummm..infomation..umm………. echo.” that one realises that this is definately a radio challenged student in the cockpit.
    But hey, we all start somewhere. :-)

  6. Yeah.. my FI was telling a story of when she called up tower as “Seneca Tower” instead of “Buttonville Tower”.. the controller jokingly said “Seneca Tower? not yet!”
    I usually spend a few seconds going through the dialog in my head before I call up.

  7. Spending a few seconds to sort it all out in your head is exactly what I used to do, and it works well. Knowing what your going to say before you hit the PTT helps with fluidity…but hey, little mistakes still happen on occasion.

  8. The other one thing I noticed is that when the ground read off the altimeter setting you did not repeat it back to confirm. Again, a minor thing and depending what airport you are at (controlled / uncontrolled) may make a small difference.
    The good thing is you are flying out of Buttonville which is a very busy airspace so you will get some great training there.
    I did my training out of CYGK so did not experience the busier airspace until I did my cross country our to Oshawa.
    Cheers and good luck!

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