August 29, 2011

Radio Procedures: Practice Area

In the next instalment of Radio Procedures, we're heading to the practice area. As always, these tips will be most useful to people flying in control zones.

After you've taken off, the tower will most likely tell you when to turn towards the practice area. In the case of CYKF, you will have to fly north until you're out of the control zone. As part of your take off clearance, the tower will most likely tell you to report clearing the zone. Therefore, once you're at the edge of the zone, you have to call in: "Random Tower, Alpha Bravo Charlie is clear to the north at 3000 feet"

The tower will probably tell you that radar service terminates, but keep your transponder code for the return. You can acknowledge this with your callsign.

Once you get to the practice area, you switch to that frequency, and make a call for anyone else in the area. The call should tell who you are, what you're doing, and where you're doing it: "Random Practice Area Traffic, Katana Golf Alpha Bravo Charlie is presently 6000 feet over the town of Elora, heading to Belwood Lake to practice stalls and spins."

If other aircraft call in after you, and they are far enough away that they are not a problem, you call them and advise no conflict: "X-Ray Yankee Zulu, Alpha Bravo Charlie no conflict"

If a traffic conflict arises, take necessary action to avoid it, and then communicate with the other aircraft. (Remember, follow Aviate, Navigate, Communicate)

After you are finished practicing, you must advise the traffic that you have finished and that you are leaving the practice area: "Random Practice Area Traffic, Alpha Bravo Charlie has completed stalls and spins, and is at 3000 feet heading back to Elora"

In order to return to the control zone, you must follow steps that are very similar to taxi and takeoff radio calls. You should obtain the ATIS, if your airport has it, and make your initial call to the Tower: "Random Tower, Katana Golf Alpha Bravo Charlie with information Delta"

After the tower acknowledges you, you tell them where you are and what you are requesting: "Random Tower, Alpha Bravo Charlie is presently over the town of Elora at 3000 feet, inbound for landing"

The tower will then tell you to proceed to the airport, and to advise them of entering the zone: "Random Tower, Alpha Bravo Charlie is five miles to the north, inbound for landing"

At this point, the tower will clear you to different points in the circuit, and will advise you of your number in the landing sequence. If you are first and they clear you to land, reply with your callsign. If they advise other traffic, you either reply 'With the traffic' or 'Looking for the traffic'.

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