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.

"Extend Downwind" While this may seem obvious. "Report position" The controller wants to pinpoint your position relative to the airport. Displays the aircraft's altitude above sea level. Shows the roll and pitch of the aircraft. as a measurement of altitude above a specific land mass. taking off. . "Go around" Pilots receiving this transmission should abandon their approach to landing. "Ident" ATC request for a pilot to use his aircraft transponder identification feature (usually an IDENT button). Usually used by ATC once you've been vectored clear of other traffic in the area.Automatic Direction Finding via automated radio.. Keep course and scan for other traffic. "Squawk" Followed by a squawk code or function button on the transponder. climbing. or taxiing to your destination. distance..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. AFT . "Proceed direct" You may turn to the direct heading of your destination (often followed by this heading). 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. descending. ADF . landing. You should report altitude.Altitude indicator. 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"). VFR aircraft executing a go around should overfly the runway while climbing to pattern altitude.Referring to the rear of the aircraft. In all likelyhood you're going to have a long final. This helps the controller to confirm an aircraft identity and position. and differentiated from MSL." Usually followed by the direction and distance of the traffic. then enter the traffic pattern by way of the crosswind leg. Unless otherwise instructed."Caution: wake turbulence" This call from ATC advises the pilot of the potential for encountering wake turbulence from departing or arriving aircraft. AIM . 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. ADI .Automatic flight control system that provides inputs to the fight controls to assist the pilot in maneuvering and handling the aircraft.A primary FAA publication whose purpose is to instruct airmen about operating in the US airspace system. Aileron . Air Terms and Aviation Glossary AGL .Airman's Information Manual . and direction.Above Ground Level. "Watch for Traffic. AFCS . ATC issues individual squawk codes to all aircraft within radar service in order to differentiate traffic.Attitude direction indicator. Additional instructions from ATC may then follow. "Frequency change approved" You've reached the edge of the controller's airspace and may change your radio to your next frequency. AI .

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

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

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

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

The weight of crew. fuel. Sinking Speed . Slipstream .The flow of air driven backward by a propeller or downward by a rotor. density. airspace not designated as Class A. but proceeds immediately to another take-off. the movable part being the elevator.(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. curved tube.A four-digit number dialed into his transponder by a pilot to identify his aircraft to air traffic controllers. Turn & Bank Indicator . causing it to drop.0 mHz) used at uncontrolled (nontower) airports for local pilot communication. Because an air speed indicator indicates true air speed only under standard sea-level conditions.Sink. Torque .Landing practice in which an aircraft does not make a full stop after a landing. Slip .The fixed part of a horizontal airfoil that controls the pitch of an aircraft. gyroscopic force acting in opposition to an axis of rotation. one engine out VY = Best Rate of Climb Speed VYSE = Best Rate of Climb Speed. Uncontrolled Airspace . generally excluding emergency or portable equipment and ordnance.Too steep a bank in a turn.The speed at which an aircraft loses altitude. to counteract ("trim") aerodynamic forces on the main control surfaces.Universal Communication .Used in defining air speeds. Trim Tab .Velocity .A small. UNICOM . Opposite of drag.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. especially in a glide in still air under given conditions of equilibrium. resulting in a loss of velocity and an abrupt drop. may also provide air traffic control with an aircraft's altitude. adjustable mechanically or by hand. one engine out . baggage. a combined turn indicator and lateral inclinometer to show forces on an aircraft in banking turns. auxiliary control surface in the trailing edge of a wingform. Skid . and pressure. Useful Load . (2) A maneuver initiated by the steep raising of an aircraft's nose. Transponder .Primary air-driven gyro instrument. such as with a turning propeller.Class G Airspace. Also referred to as "needle & ball" indicator. Thrust . passengers.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.True Air Speed . Squawk Code . the needle as the gyro's pointer and a ball encased in a liquid-filled. V . causing an aircraft to slide inward from its ideal turning path.A common radio frequency (usually 121.Too shallow a bank in a turn. B. C. causing an aircraft to slide outward from its ideal turning path.True Air Speed. Stabilizer . aka Torsion. 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. Touch-and-Go . Stall .A twisting. and ballast. D or E. true air speed is usually calculated by adjusting an Indicated Air speed according to temperature. TAS .

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

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