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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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