Flying through Alphabet Soup

10:42 PM

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor

The ABCs of flying have been a critical but often loathed part of piloting since the CAA became the FAA. But as things progress in our wild world of aviation, will Average Joe pilot be able to translate an exchange like this between an inbound airplane and ATC:

Cherokee 8527W: “Center, Cherokee eight five two seven whiskey with you six thousand five hundred inbound for landing WTF, and FYI, we have the airport on our GPS and the GNSS GUI is showing clear and a million over the ITWS.”

ATC: “Cherokee two seven whiskey, confirm you have the current MSAW from the NMCC and are following safe RNP procedures for your PATS.”

Cherokee 8527W: “Roger center, two seven whiskey is squared on the AOAS and is expecting my ALTRV of four thousand. And be advised the DARC shows minimal LFME traffic inbound on the SWAP, so we’ll need a UPT for the alternate STARS as we cross EARTS via the outer MARSA LOC.”

ATC: “Two seven whiskey, roger the alternate STARS, we have NARACS frequency interpolation in effect today, so the NPIAS requires you to monitor the PRM and REGIS simultaneously as you pick up the RML for inclusion into the PAMRI system behind the 747 heavy that we show is at your twelve o'clock opposite direction same altitude closing fast. For immediate traffic avoidance, you’ll need to initiate a STVS switch to 126.45 and monitor the SMGCS for spacing.”
Whew.

It used to be that new flight students were scared to use the radio for fear that they’d say something to ATC that made them sound like a rookie. But as we move quickly through the 21st century, it is more important than ever that we are all up to speed on the radio.

Here is a downloadable PDF that I have compiled that shows every FAA acronym I could find. Oh, and yes, this WAS complete crapola, because everyone knows a GA plane can't be included in PAMRI, and the frequency for the SMGCS inbound to WTF is 123.85, not 126.45.

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