All over the world, aircraft pilots learn to communicate with each other and with ground based controllers using these five principles.
The Five Ws of Communication
1. Who are you calling ? 2. Who are you ? 3. Where are you ? 4. What information do you already have ? 5. What are your intentions ?
For example, a pilot may say:
1. La Guardia Tower. La Guardia Tower * 2. Cherokee 8478 Foxtrot ** 3. Five miles North *** 4. With the numbers. **** 5. Landing La Guardia. *****
* This is said twice. The first repetition gets the listener's attention. The second verifies that the listener is indeed the person you intend to communicate with and offers a chance to correct any misdirected message. This may also be used to identify the persons most likely to know the answer to your specific question.
** This tells the listener(s) who you are and provides information needed to identify you, uniquely by your aircraft type, and tail number On Eng-Tips.com this is a good place to tell others what your knowledge and experience level is.
*** Now you tell the listener(s) where in the world you are. Eng-Tips.com has readers in at least 30 countries, each of which has its own laws, standards and practices and each of which too often assumes that their standards are universal.
**** For a pilot, this tells the control tower that you already know the wind direction and speed, the active runway and the radio frequency to use for ground control after you land. On Eng-Tips.com, this is where you tell your listeners all you know, or assume.
***** Finally, you can now ask a sensible question without forcing your listeners to assume things, clarify your question, or otherwise waste their time guessing at what it is you are trying to accomplish. Tell your listeners how their answers will be used so they can fashion answers that are indeed usable to you and others.
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