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Aviation Learning Center Document Radio Communications Phraseology and Techniques - P-8740-47
Author: Federal Aviation Administration Date: revised April 2006
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Radio Technique - Overview
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Here are some general tips for good aviation radio technique:

Listen before you transmit. Many times can get the information you want through ATIS or by monitoring the frequency. Except for a few situations where some frequency overlap occurs, if you hear someone else talking, attempting to transmit will be futile. You will probably jam ("step on") someone else's attempt to transmit, causing a need to repeat the call. If you have just changed frequencies, first pause and listen to make sure the frequency is clear.

Think before keying your transmitter. Know what you want to say and, if it is lengthy, (e.g., a flight plan or IFR position report), jot it down so you do not waste transmission time trying to remember what you need to say.

Position the microphone very close to your lips. After pressing the mike button, a slight pause may be necessary to be sure that the first word is transmitted. Speak in a normal conversational tone.

Be patient. When you release the transmit button, wait a few seconds before calling again. The controller or FSS specialist may be jotting down your number, looking for your flight plan, transmitting on a different frequency, or selecting the transmitter to your frequency.

Be alert to the sounds, or lack of sounds, in your receiver. Check your volume, recheck your frequency, and make sure your microphone is not stuck in the transmit position. Frequency blockage can occur for extended periods of time due to unintentional transmitter operation. This type of interference is commonly referred to as "stuck mike," and controllers may refer it in this manner when attempting to assign an alternate frequency. If the assigned frequency is completely blocked by this type of interference, use the procedures described for en route IFR radio frequency outage (see below) to establish or reestablish communications with ATC.

Be sure that you are within the performance range of your radio equipment, and also the ground station equipment. Remote radio sites do not always transmit and receive on all of a facility's available frequencies, particularly with regard to VOR sites where you may hear but not reach a ground station's receiver. Remember that higher altitude increases the range of VHF "line of sight" communications.

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