No announcement yet.

Cockpit Email

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cockpit Email

    A search in this forum did not find a thread, so I'll take a chance on starting one. Seattle Times ran this article in today's edition. Got my imagination fired up.

    They say it is about speeding up departures, but it immediately reminded me of working with Work Visa people from South India. I always had to push them to the instant messaging app because their "English fluency" was not intelligible to anyone not from their region. There wasn't TIME to have them repeat things over and over. Anyway, so English is alleged to be the "global language of air traffic control". To me, that's a joke. Just because someone knows the meaning of a word doesn't mean they can say it comprehensibly. Even the dialects on the British Island are so various, I can't help wondering if there are difficulties. Take in pronunciation differences of natives of every country on the planet, and I just don't see how radio transmission is an ideal way of communicating. So instant messages and email seem a good move.

    BUT my mind didn't stop there. These tiny incremental things have the advantage of not asking entrenched minds to adjust too much. But the 20th century would have been much less impressive if every innnovator settled for what the slowest minds could accept. So my thought is that the control tower should HAVE control. As it is, a captain can really go whenever he wants to. Only discipline makes him wait. And if he's too obsessed with falling behind his itinerary like the guy on the Canary Islands, he can just slam into gear and GO! So it is a misnomer to say ATC "controls". It distributes DATA and then relies on its proper use. You want the tower guys to CONTROL, given them a switch that cripples planes till it is safe to roll. Not really expecting such a utopian solution in this messy world, but can't let my mind be constrained by the realm of possibility. Edison wasn't.

  • #2
    Hope they don't use Comcast for their emails. Sometimes I receive emails several hours after they were sent.


    • #3
      I used CPDLC (Controller Pilot Data Link Communications) many many times flying the 767 out in the Pacific. It was a fantastic tool and worked very well. There is a "free-text" feature, but for most of the routine communications, there are "canned" statements. Change altitude? Request a weather deviation? Report turbulence? It can all be done via CPDLC. I would use the free text feature while operating in Oakland Center's airspace (which included most of the Pacific that I flew in--all the way out to Guam and north to almost halfway between GUM and Tokyo). In Tokyo's airspace the canned messages worked just fine but I never did use the free-text feature.
      The "keep my tail out of trouble" disclaimer: Though I work in the airline industry, anything I post on here is my own speculation or opinion. Nothing I post is to be construed as "official" information from any air carrier or any other entity.


      • #4
        Aviation English is the global standard. Not American, British, or any other version of conversational English. It is important to understand the distinction.

        I do not assume, when I fly into a place where English is a second (or third) language, that anything I say other than in 'Aviation English' will be understood, which is why we only use standard language unless absolutely necessary.

        CPDLC is fantastic. As snydershapshots has said, it is basically 'canned messaging' - the same words we use in aviation english over the radio, restricted. Some places get a little more fancy with the 'free text' function, which they probably shouldn't - although it can be very useful to make specific requests which may be misunderstood.

        The technology they're talking about implementing is not new - we've been able to get new routes uplinked to the aircraft for years - its just a more widespread implementation of it. A great example was where our company did a mid-flight analysis of the new wind data and realised that we were not on the optimum route, so they were able to uplink a flight route to our computers, which we checked made sense, and then we sent that same route to ATC for them to approve as a revised clearance. To have done that over the phone would have either left one of us out of the loop, or taken a significant amount of time with high risk of error.

        For simple clearance amendments voice will remain the simplest for a while yet though.