Category Archives: Communication Procedures

CFI Brief: ATC Tower Light Gun Signals

A while back I was on a local area pleasure flight with a couple of friends showing off the sights in the club’s Piper Cherokee. I was so wrapped up in making sure my passengers were having a good time that I failed to immediately notice the illuminated low voltage light. By the time I […]

CFI Brief: Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)

In keeping with the theme from Monday’s post and celebration of the release of the new book Finding Carla, today we will continue the discussion on emergency locator transmitters (ELTs). Since the 1960s, technology has improved greatly and brought about new legislation requiring an ELT in all registered U.S. Civil aircraft with few exceptions. The […]

Communication Procedures: Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)

Today here at ASA, we’re celebrating the launch of Finding Carla, the first book from commercial pilot and writer Ross Nixon. Finding Carla chronicles the Oiens, a family of three, who survive a plane crash in California’s Trinity Mountains in 1967. The family survived for almost two months but the ruggedness of the terrain and […]

CFI Brief: NextGEN Modernization

On Tuesday the FAA published a new video to FAA TV, NextGEN: See, Navigate, Communicate. If you are not familiar with NextGEN, it is simply the modernization of the National Airspace System (NAS). The short 6 minute video discusses the current challenges to the NAS and how NextGEN is overcoming these challenges with a total revamping […]

Communication Procedures: Communication at Airports with Operating Towers

We’ve talked a lot about communications so far on the Learn to Fly Blog. Today we’ll get into communications at towered airports. This post comes from the latest edition (twelfth!) of Bob Gardner’s essential flying textbook The Complete Private Pilot. Airspace around an airport with an operating control tower is Class D airspace (unless it […]

CFI Brief: IFR ATC Clearances

Last week, I promised you we would begin to expand upon the topic of IFR, particularly clearances. A clearance is simply an authorization from ATC to fly to an airport or fix via an assigned route and altitude. Any operation in controlled airspace under IFR requires the pilot to first obtain a clearance to do […]

Communication Procedures: Emergency Radio Procedures

How should you react to the unexpected? How should you ask for help? Today we’re talking about emergency radio procedures. This post comes from our textbook The Pilot’s Manual Volume 1: Flight School (PM-1B). Request assistance whenever you have any serious doubt regarding the safety of a flight. Transmission should be slow and distinct, with each word pronounced clearly […]

CFI Brief: Traffic Alerts

Cessna 1 – 2 – Alpha – Sierra – Alpha traffic 1 o’clock in three miles same altitude southbound. What, traffic? I’m pretty sure traffic doesn’t start till like 5 o’clock—3 mile backup, maybe there’s an accident? Well there’s no accident, but there’s a good chance there will be if you have no idea what […]

Communication Procedures: the Transponder

Today we’re talking communication procedures, specifically your airplane’s transponder. This post comes to us from Bob Gardner‘s The Complete Private Pilot. Although the transponder has no microphone or speaker, it is a means of communication with ground radar facilities. Interrogation signals transmitted from the ground are received by your transponder, and it replies with a […]

Communication Procedures: Radar Assistance to VFR Aircraft

In many instances, a pilot is required to have contact with ATC. But even when not required, a pilot finds it helpful to request their services. Today, we’re taking a look at radar assistance with words and pictures from the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Primary Radar Radar is a device which provides information on range, […]

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