The Secret To Better Radio Communications Part 1 – MzeroA Flight Training

[Music] Hey everyone, Jason Schappert here of alongside my good friend, Bob, thirty year air traffic controller, and Bob’s going to be working to debunk some myths, and after talking to you, I realized I’ve been teaching some stuff incorrectly, that you as controllers would prefer. Well, somethings that would help pilots when they navigate through the Air traffic system that will make their lives easier, and make our lives as well, so that’s a good thing. One of those things I’ve been teaching is my students on a long cross country, hey when you get flight following let them know you’re a student pilot. 23 mike zulu, student pilot. How do you feel about that? Yeah, doesn’t matter. We get pilots all the time who say student pilot and they’ll give their call sign. The reality is this, student pilot doesn’t mean anything to a controller, we’re going to give you the same level of service that you’re going to get whether you’re a long time aviation veteran, or you’re a brand new pilot. We’re going to give you the same traffic calls, the same everything exactly the same. So student pilot doesn’t afford you any special handling, it doesn’t give you any kind of oh, we have to treat this guy with kid gloves. Okay, so let’s talk about another one then, as an instructor, I’m teaching a student, maybe we miss a radio call, sometimes I’ll key up the mic, hey was that for 23 mike zulu, how do you feel about that? Interestingly enough, a lot of times if you’re getting called and we might have a conversation on the airplane, and that for me, the best thing I can find was just wait. Generally speaking, if I don’t get a response, from you as a controller, then I’m going to come back and go hey, two three mike zulu, and that will be your key to come back at me. Don’t panic and time up the frequency, generally speaking as a controller, you’re going to come back, anyways if you don’t hear the first time. No need to try and fill any more space. I know that the common thing is you all want to help and knock that out quickly. but the reality is, if you think it was for me, just wait, and I will come back to you. Okay, last question, here–I know we are going to have a ton of questions in the comments, Bob is a local fan, he’s going to watch YouTube and FaceBook everything else. I’m going to watch and make comments. Let’s say, I’m a student pilot, I’m just getting super busy, you’re giving me these turns, you’re telling me about weather, you just read this long sigmet thing that I got to listen to on HIWAS–I’m getting overwhelmed. Now you call me for something, as I’m trying to digest this, the sectional chart spread about the cockpit, Can I say unable, can I say just stand by for a second? I got to fly this airplane. It doesn’t happen very often because I think pilots are fearing that, can I tell a controller to stand by? You tell us to stand by, so? Absolutely, I’ll tell you to standby if you ask me something and I’m busy doing something, well, the same is reciprocal for pilots. I don’t think it’s really known that much, and typically, pilots are pretty on the spot about that. Going through my flight training I know that there were times when I was super busy doing my VFR log, and I wanted to tell the controller, standby, I think it’s something you can think about, and generally speaking, if I’m a controller and I hear you say stand by, that’s okay. Because nothing’s going to happen crazy that can’t wait a couple seconds. For you to do what you’re going to do in the airplane, then go ahead. It’s very important tool that I think can be used in a very positive way. Fantastic, thanks. Listen, Bob brings such a great perspective as a pilot working on his instrument as a thirty year controller, he’ll be watching the comments on this video and next week, we’ll be following up with part two as well. So myself, and Bob, can’t wait to read and respond to your comments, enjoy the rest of your day, and Most importantly–remember, that a Good Pilot Is Always Learning! Have a great day, guys, we’ll see you. I hope you loved this video, and I I hope you’ll join myself and some of the smartest people in aviation February 9th & 10th for an event we’re putting on called Aviation Mastery. Really going beyond, much beyond currency and proficiency and pursuing that idea of mastery complete ForeFlight training, Avidyne training, Garmin training, VFR/IFR radio communications, instrument approach plates, in flight emergencies, this two day immersive event, there’s nothing like it on the market February 9th & 10th it’s in Orlando, Florida. Visit to reserve your tickets because we are just about sold out, and I’ll see you, February 9th & 10th in Orlando

45 Replies to “The Secret To Better Radio Communications Part 1 – MzeroA Flight Training”

  1. Hello Jason, Thanks for sharing this info. I'am finaly trying now on vatsim but it's difficult for non English speaking people. Because we must not only listing but also translate it. If I listen to live atc or even to you during your flying video's I only can concluded that it's so difficult. They speak so fast. It help's about your info but now I try it in practice with some patience controllers on Vatsim. During flying (FlightSim) I forgot my personal name and do not know whats left or right anymore but I make little steps. I also believe doing it is the only way to make it easier. There was a event for beginners and I fly a departure and arrival with ATC and what a fun it can bring. The clearance go smoot now: GATWICK GROUND, GOOD-(Morning/Afternoon/Evening), KLM1212
    AT STAND: 177, BOEING 737-800 with Information: Juliet, QNH: 986 Strange that they learn me say the ONH I believe it's not needed. Nevertheless Thank you again. Greetings from The Netherlands.

  2. Question: Flying thru Florida to the Bahamas for the first time in April, if I'm on FF and flying VFR do I just need to say the destination to the controller? not the route/waypoints I chose to dodge different airspaces? Portion I'm concerned about is X60 -> KGIF -> KFPR. Do I just say KFPR as destination when I request service?

  3. hello Jason thanks for your work and all your advises . I am currently a student pilot and and desire to become an airline pilot. did you follow the story about the soccer player from France who s plane crashed in the English channel . apparently the pilot only had a ppl. and flew ifr. with bad weather. what s your taught and do you have any detailed informations on the crash thank you .

  4. Student pilot or not, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask the controller to stand by. Especially when solo in busy airspace. Keep your eyes open and head on a swivel. Fly the airplane first.

  5. Controller, do you prefer. “App control, 231MZ with request” or if not busy.. “app control, 231MZ 5 miles sw of (city/ref) at 3000 with request” ie for either opening an ifr flight plane, requesting flight following etc.

  6. Darn you guys are on it. I was just writing an email to you. I’m ATC at ACY. 5 years Navy air traffic and 6 years FAA. I was just about to say I can help talk about communication with air traffic. Let me know if you want other perspectives. I used your class during my own flight training finished PPL in 3 months and 43 hours using your classes

  7. The comment "student pilot" when requesting flight following is made in hopes that if they get busy & need to terminate services, they will terminate services for someone who hasn't made the comment "student pilot". Is that wrong?

  8. I didn't like the comment he made about student pilots. The controllers often speak too fast for a student pilot to soak up all the information. They need to slow down just a little. In the long run it will speed things up. The student won't have to ask for a repeat of directions. ect.

  9. As a CFI I was hopeful that saying Student Pilot for my students notified the controller to talk a little slower. Which is helpful when you are learning the lingo…..

  10. As a past Controller and current pilot, I concur with what Bob stated. Pilots and Controllers are a team. both do get busy at times and require a moment to clean things up. Don't be afraid to say Stand By…… Controllers are regular folks too. And can be quite humorous at times as well! Most importantly, USE THE SYSTEM! It's there to help! No fear of ATC!!

  11. @bob do you like when us as pilot stuff like “hello”-general greeting when first great?

    Do you like when to just call up with call sign only “approach Cessna 273OS” and then Wait for you to acknowledge us, or do you prefer us to call with our request straight out. Some people believe that column with the request straight out to see if the time, while calling with the cosine only allow the controller to arrange an organize things before he picks up the communication.

    Thank you in advance for your response Bob

  12. Personally, I want a student pilot to say so. While we will provide the same service to everyone, I’m not going to talk to a student pilot at the same cadence as I do to a commercial pilot.

  13. Great video Jason, I think that ATC should give student pilots more leeway especially for cross country flights and flight followings

  14. I agree with the masses. You cannot speak to student pilots at the cadence you speak to a 6000 hour JetBlue pilot going into JFK.

  15. Will you slow down if we say we're good ol' southern boys? 'Cos I have a hard time understanding the Yankee transplant at the drive through.

  16. Great input from you both. Here is my question: how is the most professional and still polite way for the pilot to ask them to slow the heck down? Sometimes the controllers are talking at 250 knots and I am hearing at 100 knots.

  17. Hi Bob, great video! How much more difficult for controllers is a pop up IFR versus an IFR flight plan already in the system?

  18. Recently minted ppl here. I trained at an untowered field and while my cfi helped me get plenty of time talking to atc, I still struggle with being confident and not feeling self-conscious/stupid over my radio communications. I say this to point out that depending on training and a specific flight’s circumstances, there may not be a huge lines between a student pilot and an otherwise low-time or rusty pilot. It makes me less nervous to know that a controller is looking after me no less than any student pilot he has in his pattern.

  19. The whole reason for announcing that you are a STUDENT PILOT is in Hope's that ATC might have a little bit of compassion for someone LEARNING something so chaotic as demanding.

    The fear factor IS… that ATC can and WILL right you up or get you in trouble should you fail to follow their directives or narrative. This to NEW pilots is very stressful and can cause a fledgling to mess up. It is the same concept as when the Police follow you, you almost always make a mistake while being under scrutiny.

    Guy could have had a little sympathy and understanding…

    PS.. love your videos

  20. Interesting student pilot comment. AIM 4-2-4c. "Student Pilots Radio Identification". says…

    1. The FAA desires to help student pilots in acquiring sufficient practical experience in the environment in which they will be required to operate. To receive additional assistance while operating in areas of concentrated air traffic, student pilots need only identify themselves as a student pilot during their initial call to an FAA radio facility.

    Dayton tower, Fleetwing One Two Three Four, student pilot.

    2. This special identification will alert FAA ATC personnel and enable them to provide student pilots with such extra assistance and consideration as they may need. It is recommended that student pilots identify themselves as such, on initial contact with each clearance delivery prior to taxiing, ground control, tower, approach and departure control frequency, or FSS contact.

  21. I think your buddy is doing a disservice to the ATC system and us pilots by telling student pilots not to identify themselves. We recently had a controller from Potomac App talk to us who definitely recommended just that and said they will indeed slow down a bit for a student.

  22. Always great for a controller to pop-in and offer do's and dont's to the GA community! Visiting a Tracon, ARTCF or tower from time to time, I believe, is a must-do as a pilot.

  23. Sorry, I have to laugh at " we're going to do everything the same whether you are a student pilot or a veteran". MAYBE, if you're a 3 yr ATC'er….a "veteran" ATC'er does NOT treat everyone the same!!! Always announce that you are a student pilot, if you are one.

  24. Bob and Jason that was great. Heard some tips/perspective I've yet to come across as student, pilot, and CFI in training. Thanks.

  25. To his comment about asking controllers to "stand-by" if things are getting busy in the cockpit. I've asked controllers to stand by. I didn't realize that some pilots considered this type of response off-limits.

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