Archive for October, 2009

Can’t get a word in edgewise

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

SIR SplashWe’ve all experienced a CTAF that was so jammed up that it was all but useless. This is from an Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) report by a Cirrus SR22 pilot.

“The frequency was so congested and “step ons” so frequent that I could not acquire situational awareness of the traffic in the area nor could I communicate my intentions. The safety of the flight was substantially compromised.

My understanding from FBO personnel is that this state of affairs is a common occurrence. The ability to communicate with other traffic
in the area is an essential tool for pilots to avoid bumping into each other.”

A few thoughts for your consideration:

1. Listen first before calling for an advisory – often all the info is available without further cluttering the freq.

2. Keep position announcements short.

3. When the freq is busy – no “optional” conversation should take place.

4. Extraneous radio checks – often done by flight schools – really shouldn’t be necessary. If the radios need checking on every flight, fix ‘em or get ‘em replaced!

5. Finally, if the freq. is consistently overloaded, think about applying to the Federal Communications Commission for a new one. It would be smart to check with the FAA Flight Standards District Office before starting the process to see if they have any suggestions or know of other considerations.

For a quick review of proper radio procedures across the board – try ASF’s free Say It Right: Mastering Radio Communication online course.

———————Break ——————————-

Quick and informal analysis from last weeks comments regarding where/what are obstacles to becoming a pilot:
47% – Time and Money

20% – Government Regulations

16% – Medical Requirements

9% – Didn’t like the Flight School or there isn’t one near them

8% – Think aviation needs to appeal to younger people. Make image “cooler”

My take away — economics and complexity are the largest problems. Now we need to figure out how to best address. My thanks to all who responded.