According to the article, "Back door IFR: When stratus happens and you didn't file, you'll need to sweet talk your way into the system. Here are some practical tips to do that safely" (2006 obtaining an IFR clearance, literally on the fly, does not constitute not a to be taken for granted privilege.
Approximately 15 years ago, U.S. pilots almost lost a significant portion of this flexibility, when the FAA's legal department proposed procedural changes in FAA Order 7110.65 Air Traffic Control, potentially requiring pilots to request such "pop-ups" to be permitted "to climb under VFR to whatever minimum IFR, vectoring or en route altitude applied to the area in question" (Back door IFR... 2006, ¶ 30).
The proposal additionally extended to particular clearances being withheld; contending that controllers may be held responsible when pilots hit terrain or obstructions at a low altitude. Previously, a pilot was held responsible to know his/her position and avoid obstacles and terrain. In the past, the majority of controllers did not favor of this change.
AOPA asserted that as long as a pilot knew his/her location, it was not an unsafe circumstance. (Back door IFR... 2006, ¶ 32) in deteriorating weather, pilots may not have received an IFR clearance without a climb, potentially discouraging pilots from obtaining help, and in turn, increasing the accident rate. This change would adversely affected operations at numbers of airports; hindering their flight's flexibility, as well as the utility of IFR flight.
3. Traffic Information
The following depicts an example of proper phraseology for traffic advisories, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. According to the Federal Aviation Administration: Unless an aircraft is operating within Class a airspace or the pilot requests omission controllers are to, issue traffic advisories to all aircraft (IFR or VFR) on their frequency when, in the controller's judgment, the pilot's proximity "may diminish to less than the applicable separation minima" (Air Traffic..., 2008, p.18),
Where no separation minima applies, such as for VFR aircraft outside of Class B/Class C airspace, or a TRSA, issue traffic advisories to those aircraft on your frequency when in your judgment their proximity warrants it. Provide this service as follows:
a. To radar identified aircraft:
Azimuth from aircraft in terms of the 12-hour clock, or When rapidly maneuvering aircraft prevent accurate issuance of traffic as in 1 above, specify the direction from an aircraft's position in terms of the eight cardinal compass points (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, and NW). This method shall be terminated at the pilot's request.
Distance from aircraft in miles.
Direction in which traffic is proceeding and/or relative movement of traffic. When requested by the pilot, issue radar vectors to assist in avoiding the traffic, provided the aircraft to be vectored is within your area of jurisdiction or coordination has been effected with the sector/facility in whose area the aircraft is operating.
When requested by the pilot, issue radar vectors to assist in avoiding the traffic, provided the aircraft to be vectored is within your area of jurisdiction or coordination has been effected with the sector/facility in whose area the aircraft is operating.
If unable to provide vector service, inform the pilot. (Air Traffic..., 2008, p.18)
The following portrays an example of proper phraseology between controller and pilot:
Traffic, eleven o'clock, one zero miles, southbound, converging, Boeing Seven Twenty Seven, one seven thousand"(Air Traffic..., 2008, p.19)
Traffic, twelve o'clock, one five miles, opposite direction, altitude unknown."
Traffic, ten o'clock, one two miles, southeast bound, one-thousand feet below you."
The next section portrays an example of proper phraseology from controller to pilot when traffic the controller has issued is not reported in sight:
a) the traffic is no factor.
A b) the traffic is no longer depicted on radar.
Traffic No Factor/No Longer Observed, or (Number) O'clock Traffic No Factor/No Longer Observed, (Direction) Traffic No Factor/No Longer
Observed. (Air Traffic..., 2008, p.20)
B. Aviation phraseology may be found in the following two locations:
2. Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM)
Once a pilot becomes radar identified, he/she will receive a clearance. To confirm that the directives ATC relates to the pilot constitutes the "real" message, according to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), a clearance normally possess the following components: (Back door IFR... 2006, ¶ 23)
The clearance authorizes flight to a specific location, generally the airport of where the aircraft intended to land. In some instances, as particular locations, a short-range clearance procedure may be used, whereby the controller issues a clearance "to a fix within or just outside of the terminal area, and pilots are advised of the frequency on which they will receive the long-range clearance direct from the center controller" (Back door IFR... 2006, ¶ 24). The controller may issue headings to fly, as well as altitude restrictions to split a flight from other air traffic in the airport's terminal area. If the volume of traffic warrants the need to do so, the airport's departure and arrival procedures are published (Back door IFR... 2006, ¶ 25).
The clearance must include some reference to a route to be flown, even if it's "direct."Due to traffic, it is frequently necessary for ATC to specify an altitude or flight level or route different from that requested. Clearances can also include the data necessary to identify where you're supposed to be going, like when a controller spells the name of a fix. (Back door IFR... 2006, ¶ 26)
C. Why Proper Phraseology is Important
Successful aviation communication requires more than possessing a knowledge of basic English and ATC phraseology. Effective aviation communication also mandates that the pilot and controller possess the capability to think in English. Many pilots who speak English as their second language, according to Dr. Marjo Mitsutomi, a linguistics expert with the University of Redlands in California "are not rooted in general language competence. They can only use what is memorized" (Mitsutomi, as cited in News Briefs, 2000, ¶ 4) Mitsutomi, who has taught English to speakers of foreign languages for more than 15 years, notes that in everyday circumstances, individuals who possess limited language skills may utilize standard procedures and memorized phrases to communicate without experiencing an major problems. However, Mitsutomi stresses, life happens.
When confronted with unique circumstances, miscommunication with/by a person with limited language proficiency may actually compromise safety. Mitsutomi, also a pilot purports: Flying and communications go together." (Mitsutomi, as cited in News Briefs, 2000, ¶ 4)
The culturally loaded information. Mitsutomi and the FAA's O'Brien issued a "call for action" at last week's national runway safety summit. An Aviation English Council should be formed, with experts from a broad section of the aviation community. This task force should develop and propose English language proficiency standards and a means of testing to the FAA and to ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) by December 2000, with prototype testing to begin in 2001. (News Briefs, 2000, ¶ 5)
Addressing Human Factors Issues Could Help Improve Runway Safety FAA could further improve runway safety by addressing human factors issues, which aviation safety experts identified as the primary cause of incursions. To address these issues, FAA could encourage the development of new technology, revise additional procedures, and adopt best practices. A system that provides a direct warning to the cockpit being developed by Honeywell and the Sensis Corporation, called the Runway Incursion Cockpit Alerting System, is designed to work at airports equipped with ASDE-X and functioning safety logic. NTSB officials said that FAA could move faster to approve technology that provides runway incursion warnings directly to the cockpit. However, FAA officials said the cockpit warning system would need to be thoroughly reviewed before being approved for use, a process they said could take at least 2 years (Dillingham, 2008, ¶ 1).
3. Accident Prevention Runway incursions are a major aviation safety issue, with the number of incursions increasing. In fact, the worst aviation disaster in history (the collision between two Boeing 747s at Tenerife, Canary Islands) was a runway incursion. Complex runway and taxiway layouts, large numbers of aircraft, controlled take-off times, weather, time of day, taxiway and runway closures, airfield construction, and inadequate airfield diagrams are all challenges that must be managed so that runway incursions can be avoided. (Preventing runway..., 2007, ¶ 2)
The FAA has produced a paper that they refer to as "10 Ways to Help Prevent Runway Incursions."I've listed their 10 ways below (in italics) and took the liberty of adding my two cents. (Preventing runway..., 2007, ¶ 5)
The FAA's ten ways to help prevent runway incursions:
1. See the "Big Picture."Monitor both ground and tower communications when possible. Of course the objective here is to improve your situational awareness by knowing what other aircraft are doing and the instructions they are receiving. (Preventing runway..., 2007, ¶ 6)
2. Transmit Clearly. Make your instructions complete and easy to understand. Pilots must know…