How To Use Your Communication Scripts In Your Training

A prepared pilot is a safe and successful pilot.

To help learn correct and efficient air communication phraseology, use the resources and learning strategies in the VFR and/or IFR Communication Kits. If you follow the actions listed below, you will become an accomplished aviation communicator quickly and without a lot of stress:

1. If at all possible, secure a copy of the VFR and/or IFR Communications Kit before your first ground school class and your first flight training session. This may be an ideal goal, but try to get one or both of the Kits as soon as possible.

2. Read and review the following sections of the book BEFORE your first ground school class and your first flight training session, if possible;

a. Suggested Users – select the appropriate category
(1 minute),

b. Template Description and Tips and the accompanying actual template blanks (30 – 45 minutes),

c. Template Assembly Instructions (5 minutes),

d. VFR -- Airport Approach and Departure Communication Guide
IFR – IFR Communications Template Guide (5 minutes),

e. VFR – Assembled Templates Example
IFR – Sample Flights 1, 2, and 3 (10 minutes).

You will spend about an hour reading and reviewing the Kit. This time spent will literally save you hours of flight training time and reduce your stress levels significantly.

3. Bring your Kit with you to your ground school. Show it to your Ground School Instructor. He or she may wish to learn more about the Kit. Don’t hesitate to refer them to our website for more information.

4. Ask your Ground School Instructor if he or she wants to incorporate the Kit into the ‘Airspace and Communications’ component of the ground school for all the students. Another less formal option would be for you to show the Ground School Instructor and the class, how to construct a communications ‘script’ based upon local conditions and your particular flight school’s protocols.

5. Show the Kit to your CFI and explain how it is supposed to be used while flying. He or she may wish to learn more about the Kit. Just as with your Ground School Instructor, don’t hesitate to refer them to our website for more information.

6. Prepare a communications ‘script’ for your next flight session using the assembly instructions in the Kit. You should do this at the same time that you conduct your other preflight requirements, usually within 24 hours of the flight mission.

7. PRACTICE the communications ‘script’ several times. You may wish to have a colleague or friend listen to you for accuracy and the cadence of your delivery.

8. Present your prepared preflight materials, including your communications ‘script’, to your CFI for review and any editing changes that may be required. Be sure to secure the script to your knee-board, lap-board, or binder. A cockpit is a busy place, so place your script in an easy to use and comfortable position. Your CFI will be of great help with this issue.

9. At each point in your flight session where a communication is required, you should quickly refer to the appropriate template in your communication script before speaking. After a few flights your ‘delivery’ of the expected communication will get smoother and quicker. It just takes practice.

There will be times when the next communication from ATC will require you to do a 'readback.' Please note that the templates are set up as complete sentences with sections left open to be filled in by you. Just fill in the information supplied by ATC on the template and do a quick 'readback.'

If you have practiced your script several times, then the script’s templates will quickly become like ‘note cards for a speech.’ For example, there will be some templates that you will rarely refer to while speaking, while others, such as the Clearance Delivery template that you may refer to for a 'read back, often.

Since you will have prepared the script to match the sequence of the flight session, all you need to do to stay on track during your flight is turn over the template pages with each communication. Here again, practice before you fly is the key to smooth communications.

You may encounter communications from ATC and other pilots that you may not have anticipated. Your CFI will help with these in the beginning. Listen to how those communications are performed and note the words, phrases, and sentences used.

10. At the end of each flight session, be sure to ask your CFI to critique all your communications. This critique will point to areas of competency and areas where more practice is needed. Note the CFI’s communications suggestions so that the next flight will go even smoother. Don’t be discouraged! Within just a few flights your communications during all phases of flight will be efficient and correct. REALLY!

11. Until you are told otherwise, prepare a complete communications ‘script’ for each flight session. Remember that you are not required to read the script verbatim! If you practice your communications before each flight, only selected templates of the script will need to be used on occasion during the flights. Your CFI will let you know when you no longer need to bring along your complete script.

That is not to say that the script can’t be used in the future. On the contrary, many pilots continue to prepare and use complete or partial scripts long after their training.

12. Don’t hesitate to ask for help or make comments about the communications portion of your flight training to your CFI and/or your Ground School Instructor.

Just a dozen steps to becoming a great aviation communicator quickly and without a lot of stress!



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