English is the international language of the air, although a few minutes spent listening to an air traffic controller and you’d be forgiven for not realising it!
Over the decades aviation has collected a unique blend of specialist terminology and a dizzying array of acronyms.
But, it is a language that pilots and controllers all over the world will recognise, with the standardisation helping to ensure efficiency and above all, safety.
However, to the uninitiated it can seem as impenetrable as any foreign tongue. So we wanted to see how good you were at deciphering five phrases from Heathrow controller, Ady Dolan.
Leave a comment with what you think the ‘translation’ is to these common air instructions, not forgetting the bonus round at the bottom.
And no cheating!
1. “After departure, climb straight ahead London 2 DME”
2. “Cleared to New York Kennedy, Compton 3 Foxtrot departure, Squawk 6244, QNH 998 Hectopascals”
3. “Turn right on Bravo, Link 21 join Alpha, hold at MORRA”
4. “Follow the greens, Stand 544”
5. “Speedbird 472, LOC/DME approach, Runway 27 Left”
Most aircraft use the airline name as the start of its callsign, e.g. Air France 4421, Lufthansa 371, United 232. But some, like BA with Speedbird, have unusual alternatives.
Can you identify these airlines just from their callsigns?
Just add a comment with your answers and we’ll reveal the truth later today.
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