TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION’S ROLE IN AVIATION

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Who is Captain Neil Kliebert?

Captain Neil Kliebert

An aspiring aviator ever since he can remember, now Envoy Air Captain Neil Kliebert eagerly meets and greets everyone that boards his aircraft. Back in 2005, Neil graduated from Louisiana Tech University in Professional Aviation. He then became a flight instructor for Louisiana Tech University teaching future pilots and building required flight hours and experience. Now he is flying for Envoy Air Inc. (a regional air carrier in Irving, Texas, formerly American Eagle Airlines) since March 2008. Captain Neil currently flies a Bombardier CRJ 700 based out of Chicago O’Hare airport.  He enjoys his job tremendously and is ecstatic about recently becoming a Captain for Envoy where he gets to lead and motivate his flight crews. He is a real people person and relishes the fact that he helps passengers achieve their transportation needs. Captain Neil was recently awarded the Envoy President’s Award for his exceptional contributions to his company.

Why do Pilots Need to Communicate?

Pilots do not ordinarily compose large amounts of technical writing, but they do use an enormous amount in the completion of their daily duties. They must be well read on the Federal Aviation Regulations (F.A.R.), Aeronautical Information Manual (A.I.M.), Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), Weather Charts, Standard Instrument Departures (S.I.D.), and Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (S.T.A.R.) just to name a few. Pilots then use this information to safely transport their passengers from departure gate to arrival gate. Without the proper use of these technical writings, air transportation would come to an abrupt halt. Pilots mostly use technical verbal communication. The communication is specific and precise. Certain words in a specific order are used to avoid confusion in the aviation world. Neil says “Our manuals have [them] in bold and quotations, there’s no confusion, there’s no doubt.” Neil explained that their company manuals use “standard A.T.C. [Air Traffic Control] phraseology.” Devoid of precise universal communication, written and verbal, the industry would be in chaos.

Why is Technical Communication like a Highway in the Sky?

Captain Neil Kliebert’s Flight Routes

A pilot uses technical communication to form a three dimensional mental image of the surrounding air traffic and maintain their correct course. Technical communication with Air Traffic Control is basically the “road” in the sky that a pilot travels on. Standardized traffic routes are created for pilots to use in the form of S.I.D.’s and S.T.A.R.’s. Air Traffic Control will clear pilots for these routes through radio communication. Since radio communication with Air Traffic Control is essentially a “party line”, efficient radio communication is essential. S.I.D.’s and S.T.A.R.’s expedite this process and quickly allow pilots to know which road they are cleared to be on.

How Does Technical Communication Make Air Travel Safe?

Communication is a key factor in the equation that makes aviation the safest form of transportation. Without its exact communication the industry could not achieve this high degree of safety. Safety and communication in the aviation industry are intertwined. Safety is utterly dependent on how well all parts of the aviation world communicate with each other. Poor communication would severely denigrate the system. This is why the International Civilian Aviation Organization (ICAO) chose to use only one language for aviation communication: English. All pilots, domestic and international, must use English and the correct standardized terminology when communicating with Air Traffic Control and other pilots. This arrangement keeps everyone on the same sheet of music and the system operating optimally.

Guest Blogger  Chad Laviolette

 

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