All posts tagged Communications

How to Copy an IFR Clearance Like a Pro

The task that befuddles most  instrument pilots in training doesn’t involve flying at all! Prior to taxi, and sometimes prior to engine start, we need to copy and read back an IFR clearance. This is generally the most complicated set of instructions issued by Air Traffic Control throughout the whole flight, and it usually comes fast enough to make any pilot’s head spin! But if you know what to listen for, you can copy even the most confusing clearances like a pro. Read more…

Stop That Airplane!

It’s so easy to feel rushed when taxiing around a busy towered airport. After receiving that initial taxi clearance, you are on a mission: get to the runway via taxiways Mike, Tango, give way to the Cessna on Juliet, then Juliet to 36-Center. Right, off we go. But sometimes things happen that will throw a wrench in the ground controller’s plan, and that’s OK! Read more…

Confounded Clearance Cancellations

Cruising along at altitude, air traffic control clears you to “descend at pilot’s discretion to 10,000 feet, contact Atlanta Center on 125.8.” Being a fuel conscious pilot, you decide to remain at cruise altitude a bit longer when the new controller tells you to descend at maintain 13,000. Here’s the dilemma: are you still cleared down to ten thousand feet, or do you have to stay put at thirteen?  Read more…

Cleared to Land, Maintain Best Forward Airspeed

When operating into controlled airports, tower will occasionally ask you to maintain “best forward airpseed” with your landing clearance. This is especially common for pilots of slower piston-engine airplanes. As common as this request is, it is not required (and rarely covered) by the flight training curriculum. Read more…

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