Although a portion of the terminology covered in our previous three posts (see Magic Words – Parts 1-3) dealt with phraseology specific to the airport environment, today’s installment covers parlance exclusive to the aerodrome; namely the traffic pattern. Let’s face it, landings will be one of the most difficult challenges most student pilots will encounter during the course of their flight instruction. Unless you’re an extremely gifted aviator-in-training, expect to spend some quality time flying circuits around the runway.
We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect, and such exercise shouldn’t be limited to stick-and-rudder manipulation of the flight controls. While you’re at it, aim to refine your radio communications to a concise, efficient, professional level of delivery. Doing so will add credibility to your piloting skills (Yes, really!) and can even help you get more favorable ATC handling than is offered to your radio-challenged counterparts. Below, we’ll look at some of the common phrases tower controllers will likely throw at you during the course of your traffic pattern practice.