Aviation Communications

Category: 
Aviation
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Jan 2020

 

Discuss the following information in terms of effective communication with aircraft. Involve the pilot in this discussion.

  • Establish an air-to-ground frequency on the fire, and make sure everyone knows what it is.
  • Avoid switching frequencies in the middle of an operational period.
  • Discuss Guard frequencies:
    • How they work.
    • When to use them.
    • What frequencies are established for aircraft in your area?  
  • Aviation communications should be clear, concise, short, and to the point.
  • Use standard terminology that can be understood by all people you are talking to. Do not use local slang.
  • Know what you want to say before you key the microphone. Don’t think and talk at same time.
  • Before you key your microphone to talk, be sure to listen to ensure you don’t cut into another transmission.
  • Identify who you want to talk to by the call sign and identify yourself in every transmission.
  • If the frequency gets congested, request another frequency. Upon receipt, ensure that all people who need to be on the new frequency transfer to that frequency.
  • When giving ground descriptions, describe the location as if you are viewing the location from the direction an aircraft would be traveling. Use a common frame of reference for the sender and receiver.
  • Use easily understandable directions, such as north, south, east, west, 2 o’clock, 9 o’clock, left 20 degrees, right 45 degrees, etc.
  • When giving directions, always give them in relation to the pilot’s perspective.

 

 

Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

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