1

Post-Solo Communications Sheet

Generally, you initiate calls by stating:
1. who you are talking to
2. who you are
3. where you are, and then
4. your intentions or request.
Remembering this order will help you think through what you should say on the radio.

When making an initial call on the radio, give your full call sign. If Air Traffic Control (ATC) abbreviates
your call sign to the last 3 digits then you can also abbreviate your call sign when responding to them.

The communications that you would say are in all CAPITALS and are indented. The communications that
ATC or someone else would say, are in lower case and are italicized.

Ground Station Call Signs:
When calling a ground station, begin with the name of the facility being called, followed by the type of
facility. The correct terms are as follows:
Multicom Riverview Traffic
Unicom Ionia Unicom or Ionia Traffic
FSS Lansing Radio
EFAS (WX) Chicago Flight Watch
Control Tower Battle Creek Tower
Clearance Delivery Lansing Clearance
Ground Control Kalamazoo Ground
Approach Control Lansing Approach
Departure Control Grand Rapids Departure
ARTCC (Center) Chicago Center

ATC Communications:
There are three types of communications ATC will give you: Clearances, Instructions and Information.
Clearances must be read back to assure positive communication. Some instructions are read back and
information is generally not read back. Here are some examples of each.

Clearances – “Skyhawk niner five three, cleared to land three five left.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, cleared for takeoff runway two three.”

The above should be read back. Example: “CLEARED TO LAND THREE FIVE LEFT, NINER FIVE THREE.”

Instructions – “Cessna seven x-ray charlie, report two mile final.” You could reply with, “WILCO (I will
comply), SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE.” or “REPORT TWO MILE FINAL, SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE.”
Don’t say, “TWO MILE FINAL, SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE.” or ATC will think you are
reporting your current position.
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“Cessna seven x-ray charlie, cross one three right.” You reply, “CROSS ONE THREE
RIGHT, SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, line up and wait, runway five.” You would reply with, “LINE
UP AND WAIT RUNWAY FIVE, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, hold short eight right.” You must read back all hold short
instructions with, “HOLD SHORT EIGHT RIGHT, NINER FIVE THREE.”

Information – “Skyhawk niner five three, you are number two behind a Baron on short final.” You don’t
need to read back the whole phrase but simply acknowledge that you understand the
information given by saying, “NINER FIVE THREE.”

Sometimes instructions and information could be combined. You only need to read
back the instructions.
“Skyhawk niner five three, turn left heading two seven zero, on that heading the airport
will be eleven o’clock and six miles.” You would read back, “HEADING TWO SEVEN ZERO,
SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”

Multicom: The multicom frequency is 122.9 and is used at airports where there is usually very little
traffic and generally no one to answer the radio from the ground.
“RIVERVIEW TRAFFIC, CESSNA TWO FOUR EIGHT THREE ONE, ONE ZERO SOUTH, TWO
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, PLANNING OVERHEAD, RIVERVIEW.”
If you know which way the wind is blowing and the favored runway, you can just announce your
intentions on the multicom frequency.
“RIVERVIEW TRAFFIC, CESSNA TWO FOUR EIGHT THREE ONE, ONE ZERO SOUTH, TWO
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, PLANNING CROSSWIND ONE FOUR, RIVERVIEW.”
Make all other reports the same as you have been doing at non-towered fields.

Unicom: Unicom frequencies are between 122.7 and 123.075. A complete list is available in the AIM
paragraph 4-1-11. A number of different airports use the same common frequency so you must listen
carefully to reports to determine if they are pertinent to the airport you are using.
Unicom communications are the same as for multicom with one exception. If you don’t know the active
runway, you may request that information from the Unicom operator, but realize they may not answer.
“GREENVILLE UNICOM, CESSNA TWO FOUR EIGHT THREE ONE, ONE FIVE NORTH, THREE
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, LANDING, REQUEST AIRPORT ADVISORY.”
If someone answers, you can plan your entry and make a report to ‘Greenville Traffic’ like at a multicom
field. If no one answers, you may try again or you may just make an announcement to traffic that you
are planning to fly overhead (like in the multicom section) to evaluate the wind direction and select a
runway.





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FSS:
Flight Service Station on the field:
Some FSS’s are on the field but don’t have control of the Unicom frequency. Lansing, Terre Haute and
Kankakee are examples of this. It is harder to find a FSS on the field that does operate Unicom. If the
FSS operates Unicom, it will use frequency 123.6. Monitor frequency 123.6 at least 15 miles out and call
by 10 miles out. Call is similar to a Unicom call for an airport advisory but you address them as “Radio.”
“ANDERSON RADIO, CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE, ONE FIVE NORTH, FOUR
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, LANDING, REQUEST AIRPORT ADVISORY.”
All other calls will be the same as at a Unicom field (making reports to ‘Anderson traffic’), however, the
FSS may provide wind and sometimes traffic information. One nice thing about landing at a field with a
FSS on the field is that you can close your flight plan directly with them.
“ANDERSON RADIO, CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE, CLEAR OF THREE FIVE, REQUEST
YOU CLOSE MY VFR FLIGHT PLAN.”
Make your taxi out calls like you would at a Unicom field (‘Anderson traffic’). However, when you are
ready to depart the airport you can open your flight plan directly with them.
“ANDERSON RADIO, CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE, DEPARTING FIVE, EASTBOUND,
THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, REQUEST YOU OPEN MY VFR FLIGHT PLAN TO NOVEMBER
FIVE TWO AT THIS TIME.”

Opening Your Flight Plan: See the closest VOR frequency box for the information about which
frequency to use and who the controlling agency is. The most common frequency is 122.2. Others
range between 122.2 and 122.65. Because FSS monitors many frequencies and has numerous locations
that transmit on one frequency, it’s important to tell them which frequency you are listening to when
you make your initial call.
“LANSING RADIO, CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE, LISTENING ONE TWO TWO POINT
TWO FIVE, GRAND RAPIDS.”
“Cessna seven five seven x-ray charlie, go ahead.”
“CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE, REQUEST YOU ACTIVATE MY VFR FLIGHT PLAN
FROM YANKEE SEVEN ZERO TO MIKE GULF CHARLIE, AT ONE THREE ONE FIVE ZULU.” (time is
always given in Zulu) If you are talking with a FSS that would know that Y70 is Ionia and that
MGC is Michigan City, you can say, “…ACTIVATE MY VFR FLIGHT PLAN FROM IONIA TO
MICHIGAN CITY, AT ONE THREE ONE FIVE ZULU.”
“Cessna seven five seven x-ray charlie, your flight plan is activated, Grand Rapids altimeter is two
niner niner eight.”
“CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE.”
If you only see a 122.1R, this means that the FSS only receives on this frequency (they can’t transmit on
that frequency). So you must listen to the VOR. First, tune the correct VOR frequency into the Nav
radio, listen to it by selecting the correct Nav radio on the audio panel, then on the Nav radio, select
voice and turn up the volume. When you call FSS you will transmit on 122.1 and listen on the VOR
frequency, you will say,
“LANSING RADIO, CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE, LISTENING ONE ONE SEVEN POINT
SIX, WHITE CLOUD V-O-R.”
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The rest of the communications are the same for opening your flight plan once you have established
communication with FSS.

Closing Your Flight Plan: Establishing communications with FSS is the same as in “Opening Your Flight
Plan” above. Normally you will not want to close your flight plan too far out, but you don’t want to
close it when you should be listening/talking on CTAF or with ATC. Be sure to let them know your
position when you close so if you don’t show up, they can at least listen to the tapes (you are being
recorded) and they know where you were at the time you called and can begin searching for you there.
After you have established communication with FSS you can say something like this.
“LANSING RADIO, CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE, ONE ZERO SOUTHWEST OF IONIA,
THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, REQUEST YOU CLOSE MY VFR FLIGHT PLAN TO IONIA.”

Getting Weather: You can call FSS or Flight Watch to get weather. If you call FSS, you will need to
establish communications with them and then ask for the weather like this:
“CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE, ONE ZERO WEST OF MOUNT PLEASANT V-O-R,
THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, REQUEST LATEST WEATHER FOR PELLSTON AND SAULT STE
MARIE.”
Then be ready to write down the weather they give you.

If you call Flight Watch, you will contact them on a common frequency (122.0) all across the U.S., below
18,000’. You call them “Flight Watch” and give them the name of the closest V-O-R to your present
position so they know which transmitter to use.
“FLIGHT WATCH, CESSNA SEVEN FIVE SEVEN X-RAY CHARLIE, MOUNT PLEASANT V-O-R.”
They will respond and you can ask them for weather, receive PIREP’s and give PIREP’s. They do NOT do
flight plans.

Flight Following:
If you want ATC to watch you and provide traffic advisories for you, you need to call them and let them
know. Establish communication with them first, then say:
“LANSING APPROACH, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, OFF IONIA, TWO THOUSAND
NINER HUNDRED CLIMBING THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, REQUEST FLIGHT FOLLOWING
TO TOLEDO.”
ATC will then assign you a squawk code, establish radar contact with you and provide traffic advisories
along your route.
ATC will hand you off from one controlling sector to another all the way to your destination.
“Skyhawk niner five three, contact Cleveland Center, one three four point six five.”
“CLEVELAND CENTER, ONE THREE FOUR POINT SIX FIVE, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
Then switch to the appropriate frequency, listen first and then make your initial call.
“CLEVELAND CENTER, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, LEVEL THREE THOUSAND FIVE
HUNDRED.”
Center will respond with something like:
“Skyhawk niner five three, Jackson altimeter three zero one two.”
“THREE ZERO ONE TWO, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”

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If you want to cancel flight following at any time just say,
“CLEVELAND CENTER, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE WOULD LIKE TO CANCEL FLIGHT
FOLLOWING.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, radar service terminated, squawk VFR, frequency change approved.”
“NINER FIVE THREE.”

ATIS INFORMATION:
Prior to departing from and arriving at towered air fields, you will listen to ATIS on the appropriate
frequency. Be sure to listen to ATIS prior to making your initial contact with ATC. Although the volume
of information in an ATIS broadcast may seem overwhelming, it is structured in a typical sequence as
follows.
 Airport name
 Information letter for ATIS
 Time in Coordinated Universal Time, or Zulu
 Cloud cover
 Visibility
 Temperature
 Dew point
 Wind
 Altimeter
 Remarks and other information
 Information letter for ATIS
A complete broadcast reads something like this: "Lansing Airport information Golf. 1856 Zulu weather.
Ceiling 3,800 broken, visibility 7 miles in light rain. Temperature 17, dew point 12. Wind 110 at 9, gusting
14. Landing and departing runway one zero right. Advise on initial contact you have information Golf."
Class D Airspace:
Class D communications are the same as Class C airspace except you must request “TRAFFIC
ADVISORIES” or “FLIGHT FOLLOWING” if you want flight following on your next leg, whereas in Class C, it
is assumed that you want that service. Traffic advisory will be given only as controller work load
permits. Communications MUST be established before entering their airspace upon arrival.

Arriving:
Listen to ATIS
When making initial contact with ATC, be sure to use your full call sign. If they abbreviate it, you may
too, but don’t assume that they will abbreviate it. Listen.
When telling ATC your location – remember that you operate in a three dimensional world. Give a
distance, direction from a known point and altitude, in that order.
“JACKSON TOWER, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, ONE ZERO SOUTHWEST, TWO
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, LANDING WITH ECHO.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, report entering left downwind, runway two four. Your traffic is a
Cherokee on a three mile final.”
“REPORT DOWNWIND TWO FOUR, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, DOWNWIND TWO FOUR.”
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“Skyhawk niner five three, you have a regional jet that will be departing before your arrival,
cleared to land two four.”
“CLEARED TO LAND TWO FOUR, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
After you have landed:
“Skyhawk niner five three, contact ground point niner when clear.”
“GROUND POINT NINER, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
When you have cleared the runway, switch to 121.9 (all ground frequencies are 121 point something.
ATC will usually abbreviate it to “point seven, point eight or point niner”)
“JACKSON GROUND, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, CLEAR OF TWO FOUR AT BRAVO.”
(the taxiway you are on) (Refer to the Jackson airport diagram at the back of this packet)
“Skyhawk niner five three, where will you be parking?”
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE WOULD LIKE TO PARK AT THE BASE OF THE TOWER.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, taxi via Bravo, hold short of three two.”
“TAXI VIA BRAVO, HOLD SHORT OF THREE TWO, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
Be sure to stop prior to the hold line for runway three two. ATC may clear you to cross the runway prior
to getting to the hold line.
“Skyhawk niner five three cross runway three two, taxi to parking, monitor this frequency.”
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, CROSS RUNWAY THREE TWO, TAXI TO PARKING, MONITOR
GROUND.”
Just monitor the ground frequency until you park and shutdown in case they need to call you for any
reason.

Departing:
Listen to ATIS
Start your engine and contact Ground Control when ready to taxi.
“JACKSON GROUND, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, BASE OF THE TOWER, READY TO
TAXI, VFR, IONIA, TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, WITH (information) FOXTROT.”
“Skyhawk six one niner five three, after departure, turn left heading three six zero, climb to your
requested altitude, taxi to runway one four via Echo and Delta, hold short of runway six.”
“SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, THREE SIX ZERO, TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, TAXI
RUNWAY ONE FOUR VIA ECHO AND DELTA, HOLD SHORT RUNWAY SIX.”
“Skyhawk six one niner five three, cross six, taxi to runway one four.”
“CROSS SIX, TAXI TO ONE FOUR, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE.”
Monitor ground control until you are ready for takeoff at the end of the runway and then switch to the
tower frequency without needing to get permission to switch frequencies.
“JACKSON TOWER, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, READY FOR DEPARTURE RUNWAY
ONE FOUR.”
“Skyhawk niner five three fly runway heading, cleared for takeoff.”
“CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF ONE FOUR, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
At a Class D airport without approach or departure control, you will not be told to switch frequencies,
you can just switch off of the tower frequency when you are outside their airspace.

Class C Airspace:
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Arriving: (Refer to the Grand Rapids airport diagram at the back of this packet)
Listen to ATIS approximately 25-35 miles out. Close your VFR flight plan before contacting approach
control. See FSS communications section. Communications must be established with approach control
before entering Class C airspace (generally 10 miles from the primary airport)
Contact approach control approximately 20 miles out.
“GRAND RAPIDS APPROACH, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, TWO ZERO SOUTHWEST,
THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, WITH (information) MIKE.”
“Aircraft calling two zero southwest, standby.”
Are you allowed to enter the Class C airspace? No. Approach hasn’t called out your N-number. You
don’t need to respond to his instruction to standby since that’s what you are doing. He will then come
back and say,
“Aircraft southwest at three thousand five hundred, go ahead.”
“GRAND RAPIDS APPROACH, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, ONE SEVEN SOUTHWEST,
THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, WITH (information) MIKE.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, squawk zero three four seven and ident.”
You will set the transponder from 1200 to 0347 and push the small “ident” button on the face of the
transponder. This makes your symbol on the radar scope blink a few times which the controller uses to
help him know which target out there is really you.
“Skyhawk niner five three, radar contact, fly heading zero six zero, plan left base runway three
five.”
“ZERO SIX ZERO, JOIN LEFT BASE THREE FIVE, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, descend and maintain two thousand.” (or they could say, “descend
pilot’s discretion two thousand.”)
“THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DESCENDING TWO THOUSAND, (or “PILOT’S DISCRETION
TWO THOUSAND) SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
Pilot’s discretion means that you can choose when you want to descend. If you don’t plan to start right
away, you can say, “pilot’s discretion two thousand” but whenever you decide to start your descent, let
approach control know that you are starting your descent which would sound like this.
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DESCENDING TWO
THOUSAND.”
Sometimes approach control will say, “advise the airport in sight.” Whether they say it or not, once you
have the airport in sight you should let approach know. Approach won’t switch you to tower until you
have the airport in sight.
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE HAS THE AIRPORT.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, contact tower now one three five point six five.”
“TOWER ONE THREE FIVE POINT SIX FIVE, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
Switch to the tower frequency and contact them.
“GRAND RAPIDS TOWER, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, PLANNING LEFT BASE THREE FIVE.”
Tower could say any number of things.
“Skyhawk niner five three, continue.” You would say, “WILCO, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.” Or
they could say,
“Skyhawk niner five three, you are number two for the runway following a King Air on a five mile
final.” You would say, “SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.” (because all the rest is just information.)
Eventually they will say,
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“Skyhawk niner five three, cleared to land three five.”
“CLEARED TO LAND THREE FIVE, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
After you have landed and are rolling out they will instruct you to contact ground control.
“Skyhawk niner five three, turn left next taxiway, contact ground point eight when clear of the
runway.”
“LEFT NEXT TAXIWAY, GROUND POINT EIGHT, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
When you have cleared the runway and taxied completely across the runway hold lines, stop and
cleanup the airplane, switch to ground control and contact them.
“GRAND RAPIDS GROUND, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, CLEAR RUNWAY THREE FIVE AT BRAVO
THREE, REQUEST TAXI TO RAPID AIR.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, turn right on Bravo, hold short of two six left.”
“RIGHT ON BRAVO, HOLD SHORT TWO SIX LEFT. SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, cross two six left, taxi to the ramp via Bravo, Victor, Foxtrot and
Juliet.”
“CROSS TWO SIX LEFT, THEN VIA BRAVO, VICTOR, FOXTROL AND JULIET, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE
THREE.” (this is why it’s a good thing to have an airport diagram in front of you)
Be sure you carefully look at the airport diagram to make sure you know what you’ve been instructed to
do. If you have any questions, clarify with ATC.

Monitor the ground control frequency until you shut down. As you taxi into the Rapid Air ramp space,
you will likely be met by someone who will guide you to a place to park. After shutdown, advise the line
person how long you will be there. He may ask you to not set your parking brake because they may
move the airplane to another location, especially if you will be there for several hours or more.

Departing:
Listen to ATIS
Contact Clearance Delivery (if it’s available) before engine start. They do have a separate clearance
delivery frequency at Grand Rapids.
“GRAND RAPIDS CLEARANCE, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, VFR, IONIA, TWO
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, WITH (information) NOVEMBER.”
Your clearance will normally include the following components in order. Heading, Altitude, Frequency
and Squawk Code. It may sound like this.
“Skyhawk six one niner five three, after departure, fly runway heading, climb and maintain two
thousand, departure frequency will be one two four point six, squawk zero four two six.”
You can abbreviate the readback by cutting out extra, unnecessary words.
“RUNWAY HEADING, TWO THOUSAND, ONE TWO FOUR POINT SIX, ZERO FOUR TWO SIX,
SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
“Readback correct, contact ground when ready to taxi.”
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
Now you can start the engine and when you are ready to taxi call ground control.
GRAND RAPIDS GROUND, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, NORTH RAMP, READY TO TAXI
WITH CLEARANCE AND NOVEMBER.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, taxi two six right via taxiway Juliet.”
“TAXI TO RUNWAY TWO SIX RIGHT VIA JULIET,SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
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When you have reached the end of the runway and are ready for takeoff, switch to the tower frequency
and let them know you are ready for takeoff. You don’t need to get permission from Ground control to
switch frequencies.
“GRAND RAPIDS TOWER, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, READY FOR DEPARTURE TWO
SIX RIGHT.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, line up and wait two six right.”
“LINE UP AND WAIT TWO SIX RIGHT, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
This allows you to taxi onto the runway and line up for takeoff but do NOT takeoff. You should feel
uncomfortable stopped on the runway with your back to landing traffic. Airplanes have been landed on
in this position. If you are sitting there for more than one minute, gently alert the controller that you
are still waiting by saying something like:
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, IN POSITION RUNWAY TWO SIX RIGHT.”
The tower should soon clear you for takeoff.
“Skyhawk niner five three, fly heading three three zero, cleared for takeoff two six right.”
Notice that this is a different clearance than what was received from clearance delivery. Delivery told
you to fly runway heading and now tower is telling you to fly three three zero. The new clearance
supersedes the old one. Just read it back as follows.
“HEADING THREE THREE ZERO, CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF TWO SIX RIGHT, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE
THREE.”
Set your heading bug to 330° and accelerate for takeoff.
After you have climbed through 400’ AGL and are past the airport boundary, you can begin your turn to
heading 330. At some point, tower will say:
“Skyhawk niner five three, contact departure.”
Tower won’t tell you what the frequency is because clearance delivery already gave that to you. You
should already have the frequency written down or tuned into the standby frequency or second radio.
Respond to tower first with:
“CONTACT DEPARTURE, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
Switch to the departure frequency, listen to make sure no one else is talking and make contact with
departure. You don’t need to establish communication with departure because they know you are
coming; tower handed your information to them. You do need to tell them your altitude so they can
confirm that what they see on the radar scope matches what you see on the altimeter.
“GRAND RAPIDS DEPARTURE, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, ONE THOUSAND SEVEN
HUNDRED.”
“Skyhawk three Juliet Sierra, radar contact, climb to your requested altitude.”
You will respond with your current altitude and the altitude you are climbing to.
“ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED, CLIMBING, TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, SKYHAWK
NINER FIVE THREE.”
‘Climb to your requested altitude’ allows you to climb to the altitude you initially requested from
clearance delivery. It does not let you turn on course yet.
“Skyhawk niner five three, resume own navigation on course.”
“WILCO, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
This allows you to join your course, so be sure you have been navigating while being vectored. ‘Resume
own navigation’ does not imply that you can climb to your requested altitude.

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Transitioning through Class C:
Establish communications before entering their airspace! After you have established communications
and you are ready to advise them of your request, say:
“GRAND RAPIDS APPROACH, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, TWO ZERO NORTHWEST,
THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, VFR TO IONIA.”
They will give you a squawk code and give you traffic advisories inside their airspace.
“Skyhawk niner five three, you have traffic two o’clock, five miles, northeast bound, type and
altitude unknown.”
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, HAS THE TRAFFIC.” or
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, TRAFFIC IN SIGHT.” or
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, LOOKING, NEGATIVE CONTACT.”
If you need to change altitudes within the Class C airspace, you must have permission first.
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, REQUEST DESCENT TO TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, descend and maintain two thousand five hundred.”
“THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, DESCENDING TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, SKYHAWK
NINER FIVE THREE.”
Usually ATC will tell you when you are out of their airspace and give you the frequency change without
you having to ask for it. However, if you are outside the Class C airspace and want to get off the
approach frequency prior to being terminated by ATC, you may say:
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, REQUEST FREQUENCY CHANGE.”
“Skyhawk niner five three, radar service terminated, squawk VFR, frequency change approved,
good day.”
“SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
Then be sure to set your transponder to 1200 but continue in the Altitude Mode.

Class B Airspace:
The communications for entering and departing Class B airspace are essentially the same as for Class C
airspace. However there are a few key differences. You must be using your transponder all the time
you are within 30nm of the primary airport. You must have a clearance to get into Class B airspace.
That clearance will sound something like this:
“Skyhawk niner five three, cleared into the Detroit Class Bravo airspace, fly heading one zero
zero, descend and maintain three thousand.”
“CLEARED INTO THE DETROIT CLASS BRAVO AIRSPACE, HEADING ONE ZERO ZERO, THREE
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DESCENDING THREE THOUSAND, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE.”
If you are VFR departing the Class B, you will also be cleared out of the Class B airspace when you get
your clearance from Clearance Delivery.
“Skyhawk six one niner five three, you are cleared out of the Class Bravo airspace, fly heading
two niner zero, climb and maintain two thousand, departure frequency will be one two four
point zero five, squawk zero two six seven.”
You will read that back similarly to the read back for Class C departures.

SMAT Position Reports:
Practice area reports and flights to nearby airports are the same as the pre-solo communications.
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Position reports for cross-country flights.
Departing: “SMAT OPERATIONS, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, OFF IONIA, ONE FOUR TWO
FIVE (Zulu), THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, ESTIMATING SAGINAW ONE FIVE ZERO FIVE.”
Arriving: “SMAT OPERATIONS, SKYHAWK SIX ONE NINER FIVE THREE, LANDING SAGINAW,
ESTIMATED TIME OF DEPARTURE ONE FIVE FOUR FIVE.”
If you are staying on the ground longer than 30 minutes, you should call back to SMAT to let them know
you have arrived and give them your estimated time of departure.
Enroute: Every 30 minutes or so, make a position report on SMAT Operations frequency.
“SMAT OPERATIONS, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, ONE ZERO EAST OF ALMA, THREE
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, ENROUTE TO SAGINAW.”
“SMAT OPERATIONS, SKYHAWK NINER FIVE THREE, ONE ZERO EAST OF ALMA, THREE
THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED, DIVERTING TO OWOSSO, ESTIMATING OWOSSO ONE FIVE ZERO
TWO.”

Words or phrases not to use: (this comes from an AOPA article)

Ah ... Why fill the air with meaningless noise?
For. This word should not be used. "Four" should mean the number "4" only.
I am ...at ... Of course you know who you are, but instead of "I am Cessna Three-Niner-Zulu level at
2,000 feet, roger," it is more efficient to just say "Cessna Three-Niner-Zulu level 2,000." Note the
deletion of the words "I am," "feet,” "at” and “roger."
Is about…miles… Everyone knows that a position report is an approximation. Don’t say, “Skyhawk
Three-Niner-Zulu is about fifteen miles south...” Just say, “Skyhawk Three-Niner-Zulu, one five south…”
Right. This should only mean a direction - right or left. If you mean "correct," say "correct," and if you
mean "yes," say "affirmative."
To. This word should be rarely used except as the number "2." If you use "to" as a conjunction, separate
it from other numbers, "Turning to heading 220." Otherwise, the communication is confusing as in
"Turning to two two zero." Say "Descending two thousand two hundred," and not the baffling
"Descending to two two hundred."
With you… A quibble I have with many pilots is when they throw in the phrase "with you" when talking
to ATC, as in "Charlotte Approach, Cirrus Five-Seven-Seven-Mike-Golf with you at six thousand five
hundred." Isn’t it obvious that you’re “with them” if you’re talking to them? A "check in" can be as terse
as "Charlotte approach, Katana Six-Six-Zero-Seven-Kilo, level three thousand, five hundred." If you want
to be polite, and the frequency is relatively quiet, you can preface your call with "Good morning" or
"good afternoon."
Any traffic, please advise. This drives me nuts. Any potentially conflicting traffic who is paying
attention on the radio should do this without being asked/told. Adding this phrase at the end of your
inbound call is just a demonstration of undisciplined communication skills. If you are inbound and make
your correct call (without the above statement tacked on at the end) you should be looking for traffic
even if no one answers. If you are a potential conflict for inbound traffic who makes a call (with or
without the above statement), you should speak up and let the inbound traffic know who you are,
where you are and you’re intentions.