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PilotWorkshops explains nontowered airport communicationsPilotWorkshops explains nontowered airport communications

Inbound to a nontowered airport, you have just made your initial position announcement 10 miles out when you hear another pilot report taxiing out for departure on Runway 24.

Photo by Mike Fizer.

The pilot of the taxiing aircraft has included an unfamiliar phrase in the transmission, announcing that the aircraft will remain in “closed traffic.” What does that mean, and how might it affect your arrival in the traffic pattern?

A great way to be ready to deal with “closed traffic,” and other terms used by pilots announcing their position at, near, or in the traffic patterns of nontowered airports, is to check out A Quick Reference Guide to Non-Towered Airport Communications, available as a free download from PilotWorkshops, the pilot proficiency organization that has been delivering online training for general aviation pilots since 2005. The PilotWorkshops team of nationally recognized instructors delivers focused lessons that build pilot skills, improve decision making, and build aviation safety.

The guide is an excerpt from PilotWorkshops’ VFR Communications manual that debuted in November and presents topics in a format proven successful in past editions, providing “clear guidance on what to say and when to say it as you maneuver for takeoffs, landings or pattern work.”

A Quick Reference Guide to Non-Towered Airport Communications includes illustrations, sidebars to the discussions of communications in the air and on the ground, and helpful tips that make it “an indispensable resource for any pilot who appreciates the value of proper, precise communications.”

The guide is an ideal reference for student pilots or rusty pilots, and also makes great source material for those pilots who seldom fly into uncontrolled airports and wish to review.

About that pilot who was reporting “closed traffic” as you were preparing to land at the nontowered airport: A Quick Reference Guide to Non-Towered Airport Communications explains that the term “closed traffic” informs other local traffic that the pilot making the call will stay in the airport traffic pattern. “Some pilots prefer to say ‘for touch-and-goes,’ or “remaining in the pattern,’” it adds.

The guide also reminds pilots who are flying in closed traffic that at the end of the session, it is proper to announce that your last landing will be “full stop.”

Topics: Flight Training, Communication

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