In addition to superior flying skills, pilots also need to have a firm grasp on communication skills and industry terms. When communicating with ATC or other pilots, aviators must be clear and succinct. This is why the International Radiotelephone Spelling Alphabet or NATO phonetic alphabet was established to create a universal code all pilots could use to safely communicate, no matter their country of origin.
No matter if you’re a seasoned aviator, student pilot, or simply an aviation enthusiast, it’s always a good idea to study up on aviation terminology. Here are ten common terms to test your knowledge:
ATA: Actual time of arrival
Bleed air: hot, high-pressure air from gas turbine engines that provides cabin pressurization and air conditioning and prevents icing on the aircraft.
Clean: clean configuration: gear and flaps up.
DH: Decision height or decision altitude is the specified lowest altitude in a pilot’s approach decent in which the pilot must have the runway in sight or initiate a go-around. If the aircraft is lower than this height, the pilot must land the plane.
ETD: Estimated time of departure
POH: Pilot’s Operating Handbook. Usually the aircraft owner’s manual.
STOL: Short take off and landing.
Waypoint: A reference point in physical space for navigation that’s usually indicated by latitude and longitude and sometimes altitude.
Zulu time: Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The universal standard time, which ensures all pilots use the same 24-hour clock when flying across time zones.
What are some of the common phrases or terms used in your hangar? Let us know in the comments below!