3.3_ Example Flight

Welcome to Boston, where FreeWorld 1826 is about to depart for Toronto. This is an example flight containing most standard ATC communications on a North American flight.

Audio transcript of Pilot / ATC communication available soon.

Pilot communication ATC communication What's going on
Clearance ___________________________________________________________________________
Boston delivery Hello, FreeWorld 1826 request radio check. Pilot makes initial contact with the Clearance Delivery facility, and checks that communications is working adequately.
FreeWorld 1826 good afternoon sir, read you 5 by 5. Controller reports that he can hear the transmission. 5 out of 5 is perfect, 1 out of 5 is very poor quality voice connection. If too poor, you may need to use text rather than voice.
Read you 5 as well, thank you. Requesting clearance Toronto, FreeWorld 1826. Now we know we can hear each other, pilot needs to request permission to make the flight for the flight-plan he just filed.
FreeWorld 1826 cleared to the Toronto airport via the Logan 2 departure, radar vectors to Manchester, then as filed. Maintain 5000ft, expect FL350 10 minutes after departure. Departure on 120.6, squawk 1436. ATC gives permission, and includes an extra information (in this case the Standard Instrument Departure, initial altitude, and departure frequency) as well as any changes to the flight-plan which are necessary. He also assigns you a squawk code (-> Transponder)
Roger, cleared to Toronto via the Logan 2, vectors Manchester. Initial altitude 5000ft, departure on 120.6 and squawk 1436, FreeWorld 1826 Pilot acknowledges the message, repeating it so that the controller can verify it was received correctly
FreeWorld 1826 your Read-back is correct, contact ground 121.65 for push and start. Clearance delivery has given us everything we need, so he passes us to the next controller. If we initially contacted GND, TWR (or somebody else) they will most likely keep us on their channel for the next part of the process.
Roger, 121.65 for Push and start, FreeWorld 1826.
Ground _____________________________________________________________________________
Boston ground hello, FreeWorld 1826 Delta concourse requesting push and start. We're ready to get pushed back from the parking position and start our engines, but need to ask for permission first.
FreeWorld 1826, Boston Ground. Push and start approved. expect runway 4L for departure. We can go ahead with the push/start, and will have to call back before taxiing away from the parking position.
Roger, push and start approved, will call for taxi, FreeWorld 1826 As with all instructions/clearances we repeat what the controller has said so that he knows we have understood him, and add the call sign on the end.
Ground, FreeWorld 1826, our push and start is complete, requesting taxi. Our Push and start is complete, we now have to request taxi.
FreeWorld 1826 taxi runway 4L via Kilo Sierra. Boston altimeter 29.99" The controller clears us to taxi, and provides the routing to be followed to get to the runway. He also gives us the Local Altimeter setting (QNH in the rest of the world).
Roger, we'll taxi runway 4L via K S, altimeter 29.99, FreeWorld 1826  
FreeWorld 1826 holding short of runway 4L. Ground may instruct you to 'contact the tower holding short' while taxiing, if not we tell him we're at the runway. Never taxi onto an active runway without permission from the tower controller.
FreeWorld 1826 contact Boston tower on 128.8 Ground hands us off to the tower....
Roger tower on 128.8, FreeWorld 1826 And we acknowledge by repeating at least the frequency.
Departure __________________________________________________________________________
Boston tower g'day, FreeWorld 1826 holding short runway 4L. The first contact with tower is much the same as the first contact with Ground...
FreeWorld 1826 good day, after departing Northwest 757 position and hold 4L The tower is instructing us to to position ourselves on the runway after departing traffic (NW 757). This is the time to complete final take-off checks, and set the transponder to mode Charlie (-> Transponders)
Roger, after departing 757 position and hold 4L. FreeWorld 1826 We acknowledge the instruction. Notice how our reply is somewhat brief... this is so as not to congest the radio when there is lots of traffic.
FreeWorld 1826 winds 060 at 11 knots, fly the Logan 2 cleared for take-off runway 4L. The Northwest 757 is well clear, the tower now gives us take-off clearance, and a wind check. He also reminds us to fly the Logan 2 DP after take-off.
Copy winds, cleared take-off runway 4L, FreeWorld 1826  
FreeWorld 1826 airborne
FreeWorld 1826 contact Boston departure 120.6 Tower controller hands us off to the Dpearture controller.
Boston departure hello, FreeWorld 1826 out of 4L 1.5 for 5 on the Logan 2. When making contact with the Departure controller state your current altitude, your target altitude, and the SID you are flying and the runway which you departed from. (e.g. 18)
FreeWorld 1826, Departures g'day, Radar contact 1800ft. Climb and maintain one-four fourteen thousand, turn left direct Manchester when able. Departure controller confirms he has us on radar and may give further climb instructions. If not maintain the initial altitude (contained in the SID) until cleared to climb higher.
Roger 14 thousand and direct Manchester VOR, FreeWorld 1826.  
FreeWorld 1826 depating my airspace vertically, contact Boston center 134.7 ... Further climb clearance, and the Departure controller hands us off to the center controller
roger center 134.7  
En-route ___________________________________________________________________________
Boston center hello, FreeWorld 1826 with you 20 miles inbound Manchester VOR climbing through 13.5 for 14. On first contact we provide altitude and position to the oncoming controller. (-> Radio communication 1)
FreeWorld 1826 center radar contact, climb and maintain FL350 proceed as filed. Boston Radar confirms he has radar contact, and clears us higher (in this case to our final cruise altitude), he also clears us to proceed according to the route we filed.
roger climb FL350, proceed as filed, FreeWorld 1826.  
(time gap) (Now we have made a time gap, no need to sit the 20 minutes before the next hand off)...
FreeWorld 1826 leaving my airspace, contact Cleveland now on 134.9 We are now leaving Boston airspace, Boston center hands us off to the Cleveland center controller.
roger, over to Cleveland 134.9, FreeWorld 1826  
Cleveland center hello, FreeWorld 1826 FL350. Again, first contact with Cleveland. (-> Radio communications 1)
FreeWorld 1826 Cleveland, radar contact, continue as filed.  
continue as filed, thank you. FreeWorld 1826.  
(time gap) (time gap)
FreeWorld 1826 descned and maintain FL180 Descent instruction
roger down to FL180. FreeWorld 1826
FreeWorld 1826 contact Toronto center now 125.77 bye. Now we are instructed to contact the Toronto center controller
Toronto hello, FreeWorld 1826 with you 2nm inbound ISTON FL180 First contact with Toronto center (-> Radio communications 1)
FreeWorld 1826 Toronto centre g'day. Cross LINNG at one-zero ten thousand Toronto altimeter 30.12. Landing 24R Lots of things in that last transmission: 1. ATC has identified us on his radar. 2. We are instructed to descend to 10'000ft to be level by LINNG... not before and not after. 3. Center informs us that 24R will be the runway we'll use to land
Roger 10'000ft by LINNG, altimeter 30.12" We acknowledge the descent instruction, no need to read back the runway information as it's not a clearance/instruction.
FreeWorld 1826 call Arrivals 132.8 so long. Toronto centre is handing us off to the Toronto approach controller.
Arrivals 132.8, FreeWorld 1826
Arrival _____________________________________________________________________________
Arrivals good evening, FreeWorld 1826 with you 10.5 for 10, Information Echo. Always mention the ATIS Letter on first contact with Clearance, or Arrivals/Approach.
FreeWorld 1826, Arrivals, runway 24R Information Echo altimeter 30.12" Cleared to the LINNG hold as published, maintain 7000ft. Expect further clearance at 0114z. Toronto arrivals 1) confirms arrival runway, indicates current ATIS and instructs us to enter the hold over LINNG as published and to descend to 7000ft in the hold. (see NAV-Holds for more ifo on holding procedures)
Roger hold over LINNG, 7000ft, FreeWorld 1826
FreeWorld 1826 leave the hold, cleared YOUTH 2 arrival runway 24R. the Controller has instructed us to leave the hold and proceed on the YOUTH 2 STAR we will NOT receive further vectors.
leave the hold, cleared YOUTH 2 arrival 24R. FreeWorld 1826
FreeWorld 1826 maintain 5000 feet, speed 220 knots level. ATC instructs us to descend to 5000ft then slow to 220 knots indicated
5000 feet 220 level, FreeWorld 1826
FreeWorld 1826 maintain 3000ft, cleared straight-in ILS approach 24R. Here ATC is instructing us to 1) descend to 3000ft, and 2) continue on the STAR to intercept and fly the ILS apporach for runway 24R
down to 3000ft cleared ILS 24R will report established, FreeWorld 1826
FreeWorld 1826 speed 170 to NOAHA and tower 118.7 when you cross. so long Once established on the ILS the APP controller 1) imposes a speed restriction, and instructs us to call tower when crossing NOAHA (not before, not after)
Roger 170 to NOAHA and tower 118.7 when we cross, FreeWorld 1826, g'day Readback
Landing ____________________________________________________________________________
Tower hello, FreeWorld 1826 ILS runway 24R, 4.5 miles. On first contact with the tower state your situation (on the ILS for 24R) and your distance to the threshold (4.5nm)
FreeWorld 1826 Tower hello, number 2 behind a 737 short final, continue approach. winds 240 at 13 gusting 18 The tower can not clear us to land because there's another plane between us and the runway. We are told to continue our approach. If you do not receive a clearance to land when reaching the approach minimums initiate a missed approach. NEVER LAND WITHOUT CLEARANCE.
Check the winds, continue approach. FreeWorld 1826
FreeWorld 1826 cleared to land runway 24R, winds 245 at 11 gusting 17 knots The tower has cleared us to land, we may proceed on a normal landing.
Check the winds, cleared to land 24R, FreeWorld 1826 when acknowledging a landing/take-off clearance there is no need to read back the winds. On the other hand the QNH/Altimeter setting must always be read back.
FreeWorld 1826 Welcome to Toronto. Vacate right on Charlie 2, contact ground 121.65 clear. Once on the ground the tower may give us instructions on how/where to exit the runway. This is sometimes included in the landing clearance.
If Tower doesn't hand us off to Ground with the vacating instructions it is mandatory to report to the tower once you are clear (by 200 ft) of the runway. 'FWA344 clear of runway 23 on Victor'
We'll vacate C2 and contact ground 121.65, FreeWorld 1826.
Ground _____________________________________________________________________________
Ground hello, FreeWorld 1826 24R vacated Charlie 2. On first contact with ground we report our position on the apron.
FreeWorld 1826 Hello. Taxi C2, Charlie, Alpha, Alpha-Kilo to stand 131. Ground assigns us a parking gate, and tells us how to get there. It is very important to follow these instructions, you wouldn't want to find yourself nose to nose with another plane.
C2, Charlie, Alpha, Alpha-Kilo to stand 131 FreeWorld 1826.
FreeWorld 1826 shutting down stand 131. Once the aircraft is at the gate we have to let the controllers know we are shutting down. Somtimes Gorund will say 'call for shut-down' this means we have to request permission to shut down the engines.
FreeWorld 1826 roger, flight plan closed 12:55 zulu, have a good evening.
copy, thank you, FreeWorld 1826.

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