Cessna Six Papa Whiskey is in trouble. The engine is making strange noises, and it’s dark outside. The pilot requests a vector from air traffic control to any airport with pavement and lights.
As if that weren’t nerve-wracking enough, now the engine has completely failed, and the pilot declares an emergency. But as you can follow along through a series of simulated radio transmissions between the aircraft and controllers, it all ends safely with the powerless airplane stopped on a runway and a tug coming out from the fixed-base operation to bring it to the ramp.
The same can be said of the many other radio interactions, mostly of a much more everyday variety, between a pilot flying VFR and other parties from air traffic controllers to an airport’s unicom operator presented in VFR Communications, the latest in a series of manuals and accompanying videos from pilot proficiency organization PilotWorkshops, that "clearly explain, in a task-oriented format, what to say, when and where.”
“We recognize that all new pilots, and many experienced ones, feel intimidated talking on the radio. Our new VFR Communications manual utilizes both print and video in a unique combination that makes learning or refreshing radio skills easier and more effective,” said Mark Robidoux, founder of Nashua, New Hampshire-based PilotWorkshops, in a Nov. 24 announcement of the new product.
The VFR Communications manual adopts the same format proven successful in past editions on a variety of aeronautical topics, he said.
“We’ve sold thousands of our Pilot-Friendly GPS Manuals because pilots love the step-by-step format that shows the proper way to perform a task or procedure. We’ve taken that formula and brought it to radio skills,” he said.
The VFR Communications manual and the related online videos illustrate the position of the aircraft on diagrams or charts at the point where communications are taking place, helping a pilot understand when and where they should be communicating, as well as demonstrating what to say.
The text also includes helpful tips and sidebars with information about the communications scenarios.
The price for the manual and videos is $49. Details and samples are available at the PilotWorkshops website.