We can all agree there are many “pilot personalities” out there. I spend the majority of my day listening to all sorts of stuff said over the radios (121.5) and while most of it I just tune out, there are a few things that just make me cringe.
While most of this is harmless, especially if you are cruising into Joe Schmoes Airport in Nowheresville, USA; It annoys me (and probably ATC much worse) when New York Center is overloaded and understaffed during rush hour traffic while some pilot is making their transmission longer with useless words and phrases.
10.) “With You”.
No. You are not with him/her.
EXAMPLE: “New York Approach, this is N123AB with you at four thousand feet with information Mike.”
TRY INSTEAD: “New York Center, N123AB four thousand, Mike.”
9.) “Checking in”.
Yeah, we know, that’s why you keyed the mic in the first place.
EXAMPLE: “Jacksonville Center, N123AB just checking in with yah here at twenty three thousand feet.
TRY INSTEAD: “Jacksonville Center, N123AB, FL230.”
8.) Reading back every single syllable a controller says.
This is a personal pet peeve that will drive me bonkers. I usually don’t let it get to me when I hear a Sunday Cessna driver do it, but its inexcusable in La Guardia during cluster f*** hours (majority of the time).
LGA Approach: “N123AB, traffic twelve o’clock, five miles, altitude 3,500. Left turn heading three six zero, descend and maintain 2,000 feet. La Guardia one o’clock and 12 miles. Advise when traffic or airport in sight.”
Annoying Pilot: “La Guardia Approach, N123AB, traffic at twelve o’clock and five miles isn’t in sight. We’ll make the left turn heading three six zero and descend and maintain 2,000. We do have La Guardia in sight.”
Professional Pilot: “N123AB negative contact, Heading tree six zero, descend two thousand, Airport in sight.”
7.) Using the word FOR instead of Climbing/Descending
It’s confusing. Stop it.
EXAMPLE: “N123AB leaving four thousand four hundred FOR fourteen thousand.
Yes that is an egregious example, but it can lead to errors
TRY INSTEAD: “N123AB four thousand climbing fourteen thousand.”
6.) Calling Atlanta Center “Hot-Lanta”.
It’s not new. It’s not Clever. It’s obnoxious.
5.) Blocking transmissions to say “Blocked”
I get it, you want to help. But a lot of the times it is very obvious to ATC it got blocked. But when you block ATC again to say BLOCKED, it can be maddening during peak traffic hours. Give ATC enough time to get on the radio and try again, because inevitably he will need the read back anyway.
4.) Not listening to the frequency before you key the mic.
This is how number 5 happens. Doing this makes you an asshole. You’ve crossed the threshold of annoying into asshole land. Most common offenses happen on ramp frequencies when calling for push back and calling ground for taxi. I understand you want to get into the lineup, but when you are stepping on someone you are just slowing it down for everyone.
*DISCLAIMER* Sometimes you just have to force yourself into the conversation when you are getting ignored and/or stepped all over by other rude pilots. This is an intentional power move and is sometimes necessary.
3.) Using the “Fish Finder” (A.K.A. TCAS, Traffic Collision Avoidance System) to respond to traffic alerts from ATC.
I face palm every time I hear this. It’s a waste of words and a waste of time. TCAS is not an appropriate means for avoiding traffic unless it is giving you a TRAFFIC RESOLUTION (e.g. CLIMB, CLIMB NOW! CLIMB, CLIMB NOW!)
Unless you can VISUALLY see the traffic out the window or your airplane is actively telling you how to avoid imminent death, it doesn’t matter what your fish finder says. And it doesn’t matter to ATC at all and you are just wasting everyone’s time and you should feel badly about your life choices.
ATC: “N123AB immediate left turn heading one eight zero. Traffic twelve o’clock, 2 miles, opposite direction, same altitude.”
N123AB: “Roger we got ’em on the “fish finder.”
TRY INSTEAD: “Left one eight zero, N123AB.”
2.) Accidentally Transmitting on Guard 121.5
Accidents happen. Everyone has done it. It’s still annoying. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve accidently transmitted on guard. I’ve also accidently transmitted over the cabin PA system as well. It happens. Still annoying. It is almost instinctual for my hand to grasp the radio selector knob before every transmission now. At a minimum at least glancing at it. Will myself and every pilot do it again at some point? Yes. It will still be annoying. Your twenty minute goodbye speech to the passengers that you apparently fell in love with during your long flight from Charlotte to Fayetteville NC belongs in the cabin, where it can annoy your passengers and flight attendants, not every airplane in a 150nm radius.
1.) SAYING ANYTHING ON GUARD 121.5 AT ALL
Just. Shut. Up. You guard monkeys are a disease. Saying “guard” like an inbred heathen because of number 2 on this list makes you king of the assholes. You are the pilot no one likes to fly with. Your own self righteous need for attention is sickening. Whether you are a captain or first officer, your co-pilot should be ashamed for not reporting you to the chief pilot for therapy.
This goes for all the people who do anything on guard not flying related. Saying “guard”, meowing, playing music, mocking inadvertent guard uses, chastising Delta. All of it. Just go away. All of you.
But seriously, stop it.