Military Air Traffic Controller – ATC Phraseology

Dean short initial Runway one-six additional traffic unmanned MQ-9 Midfield left downwind for Runway two five on Departure maintain a Tableau 5600 Until Outside the Class Delta One way to five wind one four zero at slides there for takeoff changes air traffic control phraseology is our way of communicating with pilots And other air traffic controllers it provides us with a quick and effective way of communicating at the same time Reducing any misunderstanding there may be having a standardized set of phraseology gives us a baseline so we can communicate effectively And quickly we want to provide safe orderly and expeditious service to make 3 1 Km maintain 6600 traffic two F-16s over get a thousand 100 right after basic training You go to tech school and you start getting the fundamentals of air traffic control and mainly the Phraseology Via Juliet Delta Alpha Bravo Correcting Phraseology can be fun and Frustrating a lot of controllers will practice just by saying it out loud Over and over until it’s driven into their head so you know when they need to use it they can use it properly And when I’m sound nervous or unconfident confidence is a big factor in this job. Especially was saying phraseology It’s important for the pilot to have trust in you you’re giving him a control instruction take the part your destination industry respectively turn right turn left [sent] and maintained climb and maintain you know he wants the Confidence in your [voice] [that] all right this guy wants me to do this I have confidence that they’re going to keep me safe So when you say phraseology everyday, and you know it’s your job. You’re saying it all the time It’s not uncommon to find yourself. You know with your buddies Spinning off phraseology, you know not uncommon to say standby or unable Sometimes I’ll find myself saying correction when I don’t like something. I said, and I don’t know people look at me like I’m crazy I found that in Rapcon which is a military version of the trach on the radar Controller it’s a whole nother ball game. You’re given longer traffic calls You’re given more detailed control instructions out here. We see the aircraft We have a lot smaller airspace so usually our control instructions are Simple one Charlie hold sure. our job mainly is too far as traffic calls go tell pilot of other aircraft’s location around them we use control instructions to steer them out of the way or climb them send them and maintain separation between a Example of traffic call and maybe with the control instruction to be climb maintained 7100 turn right heading 0-3-0 traffic Eleven o’clock five miles F-16 South westbound descending out of 6500 so that means I want the pilot to turn right and climb to avoid the traffic that is at his 11 o’clock and Bearing down on them only five miles away Unless there’s an immediate threat to the pilot and his aircraft we control it we tell him what to do and when to do it. Because he was just flying out there he might just turn right into someone and not even though they were there So that’s our job, to prevent that from happening Levi 11 Romeo 8 2-5-1-9-0 @ 8 clear takeoff, change to departure.

84 Replies to “Military Air Traffic Controller – ATC Phraseology”


  2. Phraseology bleeds into everyday conversation when you are a pilot too. Anyone who has worked with me can't tell you the number of times they have heard "stand-by'" or my favorite "approved as requested" from me.

  3. I had the chance to do that but the washout rate was 50%, as I remember they did their training at Mertal Beach. A great place to hang. After basic we went to the base chapel and had a meeting about who wanted to go into the PJ's, after watching the film on it I almost bit, even though the wash out rate was over 90%. Looking back I wish I had went for the PJ's. Nothing would have been lost (but my pride) if I would have washed out because they would have sent me to the job me and the AF agreed on when I enlisted. But I can always say that that I was invited to join the Special Forces lol!! I mean really, how many people In the whole world can say that LOL LOL!!

  4. We were never allow to have our mike buttons on our uniform, always we hold them to talk to all aircraft and radar.

  5. Leaving for boot in a month then going to A school for AC, nerve-racking hearing all the phraseology spoken so fast at times and knowing the drop out rate. Study hard heres hopes i dont find it to be impossible

  6. yes but can you analyze quickly enough to fly that aircraft at Mach 2 hope their are trim adjustments on the stick at mach 2 would not want to move that two much at that speed, micro movements. not too mention dog fighting at jet speeds, hey do not be a maverick and goose and whilst under fire spin that is a big no no as your increasing the probability of the jet firing at you is increased think about the thickness of your aerofoil I have my pattern that is my concern

  7. are you guys going to leave me in the civilian sector and why? I should not be where I am guys.

  8. I'm a student pilot working on my PPL and I often fumble when talking to the ATC, hopefully it gets easier with more practice.

  9. What I want to have explained is what all the aircraft terms mean. I've been watching a lot of sim videos lately and I'm not 100% sure what all the terms they're using mean. Stuff like mud spike, fox 1, fox 2, rifle, ect.

  10. Been retired from ATC for 28 years and I still find myself saying "unable",  "affirmative", "negative", "unable",  etc.

  11. Subtitle starting at 0:12 makes no sens. It should read" Runway two five wind one four zero at five clear for take off"

  12. Nice! I went through Air Force ATC tech school. My first day on the simulators was on 9/11. Crazy day. Unfortunately I washed out and retrained in airfield management. When I went through you had to qualify in both tower and RAPCON. They have since changed it to one or the other. I think I would have made it if I only had to do tower. I hated RAPCON. Still have all of my ATC training manuals 16 years later lol.

  13. I recently completed a painting of the F-15 Strike Eagle. You may view this painting and others on my Facebook Page.

  14. tzink- don't stress yet! I went to Keesler AFB ATC school in 74. Our school was 36 weeks, consisting of Weather, VFR Tower, GCA and RAPCON. I stressed too and never thought I would graduate. Yea, there is a tough washout rate but if you study and don't party too much. you'll be fine. (belive me, we did some serious parting} I did 8 years as a USAF Air Traffic Controller in the tower, GCA and the Approach Control. The one job I couldn't wait to get to work. Oh yea, after you get out of ATC school, the first thing you're gonna hear is "Forget everything you learned in school, Welcome to the real world!" TZink. pat yourself on the back you were chosen because of your ASVAB score so don't sell yourself short and dont crash and burn!! Michael, USAF . Travis AFB

  15. davey 123 Got your'e comment about the LAX runway collision. First off- this happened Feb 1 of 1991 and had absolutely nothing to do with the military controllers tasked to augment the PATCO stike in 1981. The "local controller was Robin Wascher (WR) a civilian controller with no military ATC background so what does this have to do with your'e comment about military controllers being sub-par? US AIR 1493 (737-300) on final was cleared to land on the same runway SkyWest 5569 (Fairchild/ Metroliner) was told to taxi in to position and hold. Grave mistake with tragic results. At the time traffic in the ATA was light so Local Control and Ground Control positions were combined, a common practice. Clearance Delivery failed to give the Local controller the 'flight progress strip' for SkyWest. Another Metroliner taxing on taxiway tango entered an area not visible to the tower known as "No man's land" and was not answering the local controller. That pilot had switched to the wrong freq. To make matters worse the airport 'ground radar' had been INOP that day. These are NOT excuses but facts that contributed to this terrible accident. Most incidents/accidents happen when traffic is slow, it's called "Complacency" and "loosing the big picture" civilian or military.

  16. My apologies to TZink124. As an old controller, I take statements from idiots personally. "Train till you die" and "keep them flying!"

  17. To all that think ATC is just a job, "WALK THAT MILE " !!!!! Some can _ Most CAN'T. Put you're "PF Flyers" and your " big boy pants" on!

  18. So, Davey123 Are you saying you worked with { W S ) and you were a controller? Answer my question! You have circumnavigated this question long enough, Davey 123.

  19. D- now were finally getting somewhere. You are or were a Gen. Av "HOBBY" pilot of a puddle jumpin Cessna 210 with re-tractable landing gear? (Wow) flying out of Sacremento Metro, Vacaville, or CCR- Bucanan field? Damn, I'm impressed. I take it all back-NOT.

  20. D123 You and I know their are lousy pilots and controllers as in every profession, but to sum up an entire group is just plane stupid! Go take a nap!!!!!!

  21. D123 – i hate to keep beating you up, but here is the ugly truth. In aviation there are categories and priorities for both pilots and controllers. First are Military, Civil Air Carriers and then General Aviation (yours). General Aviation pilots are not considered "professionals" and airports that are lower level GA / Class Delta, are manned with controllers accordingly. General Aviation is considered the bottom of the food chain. I know there are a ton of great General Av pilots out there, but there are a bunch of GA pilots who shouldn't have a drivers licesne. Come on D123 you know this, if not , hand over your drivers license.

  22. D123 A Cessna 210 Really? your'e about 300 knots from the "real world". You've got your "head up and locked".

  23. Davey 123- "extend your downwind I"ll call your base" from KSAC tower / BFD. You were in a Puddle jumpin 210? Get over yourself BONEHEAD! [General Aviation]- you get what you get!
    GA is on the bottom of the food chain. Sorry!!

  24. I'm a former Air Force GCI controller and he's not kidding about having controller phraseology slip into our normal speech. If my wife says something I didn't quite catch I say "Say again?". If I say something incorrectly I'll say "correction" without even a pause and keep on going by saying whatever it was correctly. If somebody tells me to ignore something I say "Disregarding". That is normal speech for me. And confidence in the voice really is vital.

  25. For all you folks going into the armed forces with a guaranteed job as Air Traffic Controllers, Study your butts off and this career field will never let you down. Apply yourself , "Train till you die. You are Special! Controllers are the only "Non Coms" that can give Officers a Direct Order all day long!

  26. Affirmative, Negative, Say again, Unable, UR Clear, Stand by 1,UR No 1/2/3 after Golf Alpha Papa Mike Fox. (Speaking to Civil AIrcraft using mix of Military and Civil Air Traffic language at Civil/ Military, dual Use International Airports plus all the usual short sharp terms, understandable by almost ALL pilots,both civil and Military was always a challenge, especially when speaking with non English speaking pilots in South East Asia, eg Laos, Cambodia Vietnam (many of the latter speak good French however) The British ROYAL AIR FORCE had extremely good and tough training systems which permitted raw recruits the simpler tasks of creating NOTAMS,(Notice to Airmen) also a universal Q Code was used for the written NOTAMS ,E.G. Q-RUUS R/W 09 OIII (in English,Teheran Airport Runway 09 U/S ( Unserviceable due to WIP (Work in Progress) NOTE Pity the Taiwanese didn't use such information when the Singapore 747 Airliner Crashed into Work Machinery some years ago, taking off on the wrong runway.
    The Royal Air Force training included Runway Caravan Operation, GCA Approaches and other highly responsible positions and is among the best in the world,especially when Dual Military/Civil operations occur, plus the advantage of working dual systems with civil aviation operators.When an Ex Military operator leaves the RAF he 'she is able to easily fit into Civil operations with only a very few verbal adjustments.Terry Offord

  27. S (MN?)- what were you're initials> mine seem to change from year to year and facility- IE>>>RE then MR after another RE – that out ranked me came on board. I was pissed, But whats in a name? He was our new Chief Controller . Never did like the "pencil whipped" thing, but to take my initials? Life goes on!

  28. Davey123- Base Ops, Really? Log the wheels up and touchdown times given by ATC "over the phone" Go change the paper in the FDEP and straighten the FLIP/STAR charts. How do you want your eggs?

  29. Davy123- let me guess, either you were a 27230 washout in ATC school, failed certification after school or just got assigned to Base OPS and hoped for better. Why can't you just be happy for rTZink124 for getting the chance of a lifetime.

  30. Davey 123 "WAS" a military Base Operations person. As a controller, our flight data position would call Base OPS using the 302a land-line, to give the wheels up and departure/ arrival times. This was the ONLY time Base Ops had ANY contact with Air Traffic Controllers!!! Davey123 tell me where you worked BO- MHR/ MCC? Yea, I didn't think you had the balls!

  31. Is phraseology used in Army as well? If I would like to learn the same calls and lines used within ground units, what should I look for?

  32. I'm an airline flight dispatcher now but I used to be a controller in the Air Force. My supervisor told me that he could tell I used to a controller because sometimes in the middle of a sentence I'd say "correction" and keep on talking without a pause. When my wife says something I don't understand I say "Say again". When I leave someplace I "depart fix". And I was a controller back in the 70's. That stuff never leaves you.

  33. Does ATC to aircraft pilot radio communications vary on the ground of an airport from airport to airport concerning receipt of IFR clearance on designated frequencies such as Clearance Delivery, Ramp, Ground, Apron and Tower? IFR clearances can be obtained from contact with any of these Air Traffic Control units above dependent on the ATC operational procedures in force at that specific airport. Does the pilot of an Airline have to be trained by the Airline as to which ATC unit to contact to obtain the specific clearance required at each airport?

  34. As a USAF TWR/ GCA/Rapcon Senior controller- We went out of our way to make sure you leave work at work! We worked two shift schedules, 2 days, 2 swings, 2 mids-2off/ swing afternoon, morning, mid—- always had a sign over the cab/ Exit door saying – leave it where you found it Enjoy the day*

  35. oh god thats freaking crazy, twisted tongue sometimes. F16 F go right fuck @speed 190. pussy approaching level Eco porn altitude 1100 ft, alpha engage orgy cock XX 40021 curve turn. ahahaha its kinda good..

  36. Well, i used to pick products (by-voice) so when something is empty i just say "refill", and the product will be refilled by someone at work. (Logistics).

    Now, when i am at the supermarket and the milk is empty i ofthen say (REFILL!)
    It never worked so far.

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