Air Traffic Control Common Phraseology

"Cleared to taxi" When told by ground control or tower that you are cleared to taxi, the controller has given you instruction to taxi along taxiway centerlines according to taxiway markings. It is important to repeat all controller instructions and runway crossing instructions, as you may be told to "hold short" of a specific runway and wait for further instructions. "Position and hold" The tower expects you to taxi onto runway centerline and maintain a stopped position while the aircraft in front of you gains separation or clears the runway. It is important that, prior to crossing the hold-short lines, you verify your instructions, verify runway of use, and scan extended final for traffic. "Cleared for takeoff" The tower controller is the only authority to clear you for takeoff at a controlled airfield. Repeat back your takeoff clearance and call sign, as well as scan final for traffic. The tower may request other specific instructions, so listen closely to your takeoff clearance. "Enter closed traffic" The tower has acknowledged the pilot's intention to perform successive operations involving takeoffs and landings or low approaches where the aircraft does not exit the traffic pattern. "Cleared for the option" When you are cleared for the option you have been given permission to either do a touch-and-go, make a low approach, missed approach, stop and go, or full-stop landing. If requesting this clearance, the pilot should do so upon establishing downwind on a VFR traffic pattern. "Cleared touch-and-go" When authorized by the tower, the touch-and-go procedure allows the pilot to land on the runway, reconfigure the airplane and perform a takeoff to re-enter the traffic pattern. If requesting this approach the pilot should do so upon establishing downwind on a VFR traffic pattern. "Cleared low approach" A low approach clearance allows the pilot to perform a simulated emergency landing or normal landing down to the runway environment (100' AGL) and then perform a go-around to re-enter or depart the pattern. If requesting this approach you should do so upon establishing downwind on a VFR traffic pattern. "Cleared stop-and-go" A stop-and-go clearance allows the pilot to land on the runway, come to a full stop, and then takeoff on the remaining length of runway. The pilot must be aware of runway lengths and takeoff distance requirements. This procedure can be beneficial in keeping costs lower when performing night currency. If requesting this clearance the pilot should do so upon establishing downwind on a VFR traffic pattern. "Cleared to land" When given clearance to land the tower has authorized you to land on the runway in use. The phrase "cleared to land" gives you immediate use of that runway, unless the tower advises that you are in sequence for landing ("number two to land, number three, etc..."). After advising approach or tower that you are inbound for landing at your destination you do not have to make any further request for clearance to land. "Land-and-hold-short" The land-and-hold-short procedure requires the pilot to perform an accurate landing on the runway so that the pilot can stop the aircraft before reaching an intersecting runway, intersecting taxiway, or construction area. If you are unable to comply with landand-hold-short operations, you may request clearance for a different runway. "Make Short Approach" Used by ATC to have a pilot to alter their traffic pattern so as to make a short final approach. If unable to execute a short approach, simply tell the ATC so. "Parking with me" Under normal conditions you would exit the runway at the first available taxiway, stop the aircraft after clearing the runway, and call ground control for instructions if you have not already received them. If the controller says "parking with me", he or she has given you clearance to taxi to your destination.

Altitude indicator.Automatic flight control system that provides inputs to the fight controls to assist the pilot in maneuvering and handling the aircraft. you should immediately scan for it with "Looking for traffic" and report back to the controller whether you have the aircraft in sight or not. descending. and direction."Caution: wake turbulence" This call from ATC advises the pilot of the potential for encountering wake turbulence from departing or arriving aircraft. "Frequency change approved" You've reached the edge of the controller's airspace and may change your radio to your next frequency. ADI ..A primary FAA publication whose purpose is to instruct airmen about operating in the US airspace system.Airman's Information Manual . distance. as a measurement of altitude above a specific land mass. ADF .Referring to the rear of the aircraft. Shows the roll and pitch of the aircraft. For example: "8081G is five miles southwest of the airport at one thousand two hundred feet" "Expedite" ATC would like you to hurry up whatever it is that you're doing. ATC issues individual squawk codes to all aircraft within radar service in order to differentiate traffic.. Keep course and scan for other traffic.Automatic Direction Finding via automated radio." Usually followed by the direction and distance of the traffic. Usually used by ATC once you've been vectored clear of other traffic in the area. or taxiing to your destination. AI . "Squawk" Followed by a squawk code or function button on the transponder. Air Terms and Aviation Glossary AGL . In all likelyhood you're going to have a long final. "Watch for Traffic. This helps the controller to confirm an aircraft identity and position. Displays the aircraft's altitude above sea level. "Report position" The controller wants to pinpoint your position relative to the airport. AFCS . VFR aircraft executing a go around should overfly the runway while climbing to pattern altitude. then enter the traffic pattern by way of the crosswind leg. "Go around" Pilots receiving this transmission should abandon their approach to landing. the controller wants you to continue straight on your downwind until he or she tells you to turn base (often followed by "I'll call your base"). Additional instructions from ATC may then follow. Unless otherwise instructed. taking off. "Extend Downwind" While this may seem obvious. . AFT .The movable areas of a wingform that control or affect the roll of an aircraft by working opposite one another-up-aileron on the right wing and down-aileron on the left wing. climbing. landing. "Proceed direct" You may turn to the direct heading of your destination (often followed by this heading). You should report altitude. and differentiated from MSL.Above Ground Level. "Ident" ATC request for a pilot to use his aircraft transponder identification feature (usually an IDENT button).Attitude direction indicator. AIM . Aileron .

As opposed to ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) used in filing a flight plan.The shape of the wing when looking at its profile. and active runway assignment for that particular airport. and expeditious flow of air traffic. cowlings.A method of an automatic flight control system which controls primary flight controls to meet specific mission requirements. nacelles.Automated Terminal Information Service usually containing vital information on wind direction. AGR . ATC . booms. Airfoil .A basic guidance mode.The recommended speed contained in aircraft manuals used by pilots when making an approach to landing.Aircraft Operator.The angle between the chord line of the wing of an aircraft and the relative wind.Air Traffic Control .Air Data Computer .Air-Ground Ranging . See: calibrated airspeed. Altimeter .Approach (Control). ATA . usually with respect to the terrain below. ATD . ALT .Aircraft Identification. providing lateral guidance to a radio station. ALS . A lighting system installed on the approach end of an airport runway and consists of a series of lightbars.The barometric pressure reading used to adjust a pressure altimeter for variations in existing atmospheric pressure. indicated airspeed. Altitude .A service operated by the appropriate authority to promote the safe.Aeronautical Information Service. and yaw. Different from ground speed.An onboard instrument which registers velocity through the air. ATIS .A primary sensor-based navigation data source. Approach Speed . AO . strobe lights. orderly.Short term for Altitude. and airfoil surfaces of an aircraft.Aircraft Owner and Pilot's Association. Airspeed . AOPA . true airspeed.Actual Time of Departure. pressure readings. .The speed of an aircraft relative to its surrounding air mass. Attitude . fairings. Angle of Attack . Equipment that determines bearing to a radio station.The fuselage. pitch.Height of an aircraft. Autopilot . Annual .A vacuum powered instrument which displays pitch and roll movement about the lateral and longitudinal axes. ADF . Airframe .The primary aircraft angles in the state vector. Altimeter Setting . usually in knots. As opposed to ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) used in filing a flight plan.Mandatory inspection of airframe and power plant that occurs every 12 months.Automatic Direction Finding . Attitude Indicator .Approach light system.Straight-line distance from the aircraft to a point on the ground. or a combination of the two that extends outward from the runway end. AIS . Airspeed Indicator .Actual Time of Arrival. velocity. APP . ARCID .An onboard instrument which senses air pressure in order to gauge altitude. roll.ADC . Usually a teardrop shape.

Ceiling . D.The error of a Magnetic Compass due to inherent magnetic influences in the structure and equipment of an aircraft.The weight of an engine exclusive of any fuel. Deviation (Magnetic) . Controlled Airspace . Multicom. maintenance.Estimated time of departure. Controlled airspace is a generic term that covers Class A.The measurable distance between the leading and trailing edges of a wingform. CAS . Bernoulli Effect . a radio navigation device that determines an aircraft's distance from a given ground station. the fixed part being the Stabilzer. CG . ETA . FAR . Directional Gyro . CTAF . Elevator .Autorotation . and advancing that position based upon known speed.Federal Air Regulations." or "obscured". ideal flying weather.Center of Gravity . Deadstick . A commercial operator supplying fuel.Distance Measuring Equipment.Airflow over the upper surface of an airfoil causes suction (lift) because the airstream has been speeded up in relation to positive pressure of the airflow on the lower surface.Fixed-Base Operator. Dry Weight . C. as in a landing approach. and E airspace. . AVGAS . Camber . and course." "overcast.Aviation Gasoline (piston aircraft fuel).A stall in the takeoff configuration with power. flight training. CAVU . Departure Stall . as well as its groundspeed and time to/from the station.Descending flight with engine and propeller stopped.Clear Air Turbulance. FSS. The CTAF may be a UNICOM. or tower frequency and is identified in appropriate aeronautical publications.A rudder-controlled yawing motion to compensate for a crosswind in maintaining a desired flight path.The movable part of a horizontal airfoil which controls the pitch of an aircraft.A panel instrument providing a gyroscopic reading of an aircraft's compass heading. ETD .The convex or concave curvature of an airfoil.A rotorcraft flight condition in which the lifting rotor is driven entirely by action of the air when the rotorcraft is in motion.The process of estimating one's current position based upon a previously determined position. Dead Reckoning . DME . Drag . CAT . Chord . oil.The heights above the earth's surface of the lowest layer of clouds or obscuring phenomena that is reported as "broken. the static balance point.Estimated time of arrival.Calibrated Airspeed .The indicated airspeed of an aircraft. and other services at an airport. FBO .A frequency designed for the purpose of carrying out airport advisory practices while operating to or from an airport without an operating control tower.The resisting force exerted on an aircraft in its line of flight opposite in direction to its motion.The longitudinal and lateral point in an aircraft where it is stable. corrected for position and instrument error. Crabbing . B. elapsed time. CAS is equal to true airspeed in standard atmosphere at sea level. and coolant.Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited.Common Traffic Advisory Frequency .An airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic control service is provided to IFR flights and to VFR flights in accordance with the airspace classification. or fix.

(2) A tightly-focused radio beam transmitted from the approach end of a runway indicating the minimum approach angle that will clear all obstacles.but are "pulled up" (lifted) by low air pressures trying to equalize.(1) The angle between horizontal and the glide path of an aircraft. Glider . airfoils do not "float" on air. including fuel.9mph.The force exerted on the top of a moving airfoil as a low-pressure area [vacuum] that causes a wingform to rise. and acceleration that a particular aircraft cannot safely exceed.An unpowered aircraft capable of maintaining altitude only briefly after release from tow. FSS . specifically the curves of speed plotted against other variables to indicate the limits of speed. passengers. and ceiling less than minimal specified for visual meteorological conditions (VMC).One nautical mile. Flight Envelope . cargo. Knot . Gross Weight .A direct instrument reading obtained from an air speed indicator uncorrected for altitude.Flap . engine are attached. IMC . Flight Plan .Increased lift generated by the interaction between a lift system and the ground when an aircraft is within a wingspan distance above the ground. temperature. Ground Effect . and cargo and to which the wings. or instrument error.An aircraft's performance limits. and assist lost aircraft. enroute communications and VFR search and rescue services. in most single-engined airplanes. Ground Control .Instrument Flight Rules.15 statute miles (6.The actual speed that an aircraft travels over the ground�its "shadow speed". Lift . aka Takeoff Weight.Tower control.Meteorological conditions expressed in terms of visibility. governing flight under instrument meteorological conditions. Fuselage . It affects a low-winged aircraft more than a mid. about 1.The total weight of an aircraft when fully loaded. Glass Cockpit .A movable. designed to increase lift or drag by changing the camber of the wing or used to slow an aircraft during landing by increasing lift. as is often assumed . one component of an instrument landing system (ILS). distance from clouds. Flare . GPS . Ground Speed . usually hinged airfoil set in the trailing edge of an aircraft wing. A radar-based system allowing ILS-equipped aircraft to find a runway and land when clouds may be as low as 200' (or lower for special circumstances). of aircraft ground movements at an airport. filed orally or in writing with an FSS or an ATC facility. Compare calibrated airspeed and true airspeed.or high-winged aircraft because its wings are closer to the ground.General Aviation . tail and.080').Instrument Landing System.Specified information relating to the intended flight of an aircraft. and passengers.like a boat hull floats on water . then gliding to earth.Indicated Air Speed . rapidly replacing dead reckoning methods. GA .That portion of civil aviation which encompasses all facets of aviation except air carriers holding a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Civil Aeronautics Board and large aircraft commercial operators. digital and computer-based.Air traffic facilities which provide pilot briefing.An aircraft's main body structure housing the flight crew. ILS . it combines the aircraft's airspeed and the wind's speed relative to the aircraft's direction of flight. IAS .Instrument Meterological Conditions . altitude.Said of an aircraft's control cabin which has all-electronic.A control wheel maneuver performed moments before landing in which the nose of an aircraft is pitched up to minimize the touchdown rate of speed. by radioed instructions from air traffic control. eg: 125kts = 143. Glide Scope . satellite-based navigation. . instrumentation. IFR .Global Positioning System.Flight Service Station . atmospheric density.

Magneto . Magnetic North . but often also includes free balloons. calibratable compass floating in a liquid as a panel instrument.Acronym in FAA pilot briefings and weather reports simply means an "aviation routine weather report". Pattern . At tower-controlled fields the pattern is supervised by radio (or. used as a reference for elevations. PAR .An LF. and differentiated from AGL.An accessory that produces and distributes a high-voltage electric current for ignition of a fuel charge in an internal combustion engine.Of the three axes in flight. Pitot-Static Tube. aka L/D ratio.Precision Approach Radar. METAR .The lift coefficient of a wing divided by the drag coefficient. perforated. Pitot Tube .The magnetic North pole.a unit of force equal to the force of gravity times one.Lighter-than-air craft. Magnetic Course . this specifies the action around a central point.More accurately but less popularly used. coaxial tube that measures the static pressure. or UHF radio beacon transmitting non-directional signals whereby the pilot of an aircraft equipped with direction finding equipment can determine his bearing to or from the radio beacon and "home" on or track to or from the station.Utilizes timing differences between multiple low-frequency transmissions to provide accurate latitude/longitude position information to within 50'.A low. LORAN . MSL .A movement of an aircraft in which a relative flow of air moves along the lateral axis. in non-radio or emergency conditions by red and green light signals) by air traffic controllers.Long Range Navigation System . The average height off the surface of the sea for all stages of tide. MF.The height above sea level at which an aircraft with normal rated load is unable to climb faster than 100' per minute under Standard Air conditions.Pilot in Command . this specifies the vertical action. Liquid Compass . Pitch . a small tube most often mounted on the outward leading edge of an airplane wing (out of the propeller stream) that measures the impact pressure of the air it meets in flight.The pilot responsible for the operation and safety of an aircraft during flight time. LTA .Non Directional Beacon .A non-electronic. Magnetic Compass . the up-and-down movement. Load Factor . located near 71° North latitude and 96° West longitude.The most common liquid-type compass. as the primary measure of the efficiency of an aircraft. that attracts a magnetic compass which is not influenced by local magnetic attraction.deviation.The path of aircraft traffic around an airfield. Flying an entire pattern is called a 'Circuit'. Sideslip .Lift-Drag Ratio . .The movable part of a vertical airfoil which controls the YAW of an aircraft. resulting in a sideways movement from a projected flight path. Rotorcraft . PIC . Service Ceiling . Includes helicopters and gyroplanes. Roll . MAG . generally referring to powered blimps and dirigibles. foglike cloud layer.The proportion between lift and weight commonly seen as g (sometimes capitalized) .Of the three axes in flight.Compass course + or . at an established height and direction. aka wet compass. capable of calibration to compensate for magnetic influences within the aircraft. NDB . working in conjuction with a closed. especially a downward slip toward the inside of a banked turn. the fixed part being the fin.A heavier-than-air aircraft that depends principally for its support in flight on the lift generated by one or more rotors. Scud . a ground-radar-based instrument approach providing both horizontal and vertical guidance.Mean Sea Level. Rudder .

Opposite of drag. C.Sink. auxiliary control surface in the trailing edge of a wingform. Slip . density. adjustable mechanically or by hand. gyroscopic force acting in opposition to an axis of rotation. B. airspace not designated as Class A.The fixed part of a horizontal airfoil that controls the pitch of an aircraft. true air speed is usually calculated by adjusting an Indicated Air speed according to temperature. Uncontrolled Airspace . passengers. especially in a glide in still air under given conditions of equilibrium. Sinking Speed .Class G Airspace. Trim Tab .Too shallow a bank in a turn. Skid .Velocity . such as with a turning propeller.Landing practice in which an aircraft does not make a full stop after a landing.The weight of crew. TAS .The speed at which an aircraft loses altitude. Useful Load .A twisting. UNICOM . the movable part being the elevator. Transponder . (2) A maneuver initiated by the steep raising of an aircraft's nose.Used in defining air speeds. but proceeds immediately to another take-off.An airborne transmitter that responds to ground-based interrogation signals to provide air traffic controllers with more accurate and reliable position information than would be possible with "passive" radar. causing an aircraft to slide outward from its ideal turning path. Stall .(1) Sudden loss of lift when the angle of attack increases to a point where the flow of air breaks away from a wing or airfoil.True Air Speed . V . causing an aircraft to slide inward from its ideal turning path. fuel. Torque . Squawk Code . Touch-and-Go . Slipstream .A four-digit number dialed into his transponder by a pilot to identify his aircraft to air traffic controllers. Thrust . to counteract ("trim") aerodynamic forces on the main control surfaces. resulting in a loss of velocity and an abrupt drop. listed below: VA = Maneuvering Speed (max structural speed for full control deflection) VD = Max Dive Speed (for certification only) VFE = Max Flaps Extended Speed VLE = Max Landing Gear Extended Speed VLO = Max Landing Gear Operation Speed VNE = Never Exceed Speed VNO = Max Structural Cruising Speed VS0 = Stalling Speed Landing Configuration VS1 = Stalling Speed in a specified Configuration VX = Best Angle of Climb Speed VXSE = Best Angle of Climb Speed. and ballast. causing it to drop.Too steep a bank in a turn. baggage.Primary air-driven gyro instrument. the needle as the gyro's pointer and a ball encased in a liquid-filled.Universal Communication . and pressure. generally excluding emergency or portable equipment and ordnance. Also referred to as "needle & ball" indicator.A common radio frequency (usually 121. D or E. one engine out . curved tube. may also provide air traffic control with an aircraft's altitude.True Air Speed.A small.The driving force of a propeller in the line of its shaft or the forward force produced in reaction to the gases expelled rearward from a jet or rocket engine. a combined turn indicator and lateral inclinometer to show forces on an aircraft in banking turns. Turn & Bank Indicator .0 mHz) used at uncontrolled (nontower) airports for local pilot communication. one engine out VY = Best Rate of Climb Speed VYSE = Best Rate of Climb Speed.The flow of air driven backward by a propeller or downward by a rotor. Because an air speed indicator indicates true air speed only under standard sea-level conditions. aka Torsion. Stabilizer .

VMC .Visual Flight Rules that govern the procedures for conducting flight under visual conditions. Also called the Rate Of Climb Indicator.The control wheel of an aircraft. akin to a automobile steering wheel . VSI . this specifies the side-to-side movement of an aircraft on its vertical axis. Now outdated by more sophisticated means. usually set laterally on a fuselage in the slipstream to create suction for gyroscopic panel instruments.A small. VFR . distance from clouds. on radials oriented from magnetic nort. Voice features can be used by ATC or FSS for transmitting information to pilots.Expressed in terms of visibility.A ground-based navigation aid transmitting very high-frequency (VHF) navigation signals 360° in azimuth.Visual Meteorological Conditions . Yoke . A panel instrument that gauges rate of climb or descent in feet-per-minute (fpm).A system of lights on the side of an airport runway that provides visual descent guidance information during the approach to a runway. VOR . Venturi Tube .Vertical Speed Indicator. The VOR periodically identifies itself by Morse Code and may have an additional voice identification feature.Of the three axes in flight. Also used by pilots and controllers to indicate a specific type of flight plan. and ceiling equal to or better than specified minima.Visual Approach Slope Indicator . The term is also used in the US to indicate weather conditions that are equal to or greater than minimum VFR requirements.VHF OmniRange . Yaw .VASI . as in skewing. hourglass-shaped metal tube.

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