problems are mentioned in a high percentage of incidents reported to
ASRS. Misunderstandings account for the greatest number of communication
errors, but improper radio operation and equipment malfunctions are
switch, apparently overlooked during the cockpit preflight, resulted
in this A300 Captain transmitting to a very limited audience.
First Officer handled the radios as we taxied. When we were cleared
for takeoff (First Officer's leg), I responded using my boom mic (microphone)
and we commenced our takeoff. Tower made no query as to whether we
received the takeoff clearance (presumably because they saw us on
the roll). As we passed through 2,000 feet, Tower called and instructed
us to turn right to 050 degrees and contact Departure. I acknowledged....
Tower called again (with a more urgent tone) with the same instructions,
and asked if we had received their instructions. I then switched to
my hand mic and replied again. Tower repeated the last instruction
in a more urgent tone and also stated, "'Ident' if you can hear
me or contact Departure." I looked at the Com #1 (Captain's)
audio box and noticed that it was set to transmit on Intercom not
Classic in D - Unplugged
the plug" is the classic first step for troubleshooting many electronic
devices. An unplugged headset caused an embarrassing departure for this
approached Class D airspace and called the Tower. I got no response
after several calls and made the assumption that the Tower was closed.
I then made the proper Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) calls
all the way to the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) for the ILS approach.
At about 1,200 feet MSL on the ILS, I noticed several planes over
the runway in the pattern. I thought it was strange that that many
planes would not be using the CTAF. I started looking around in the
cockpit to find out why I was not hearing the traffic or the Tower.
I found the headset unplugged. When I plugged it in, Tower immediately
came on the air and advised me to execute a missed approach. I did
that and departed the pattern...
pilot reported on a number of difficulties encountered when flying with
a contract pilot. The problems started with this communications error.
Departure handed us off to Center, but the contract SIC (Second In
Command) had a problem changing the frequency on the Com 2 radio.
[He] put the frequency in the transponder and tried to speak, but
he was talking to Departure again....
While military pilots
might be familiar with radio silence procedures, such operations are
never intentionally conducted at civil airports. This private pilot,
when confronted with the phrase "carrier no voice" apparently
assumed that "zip lip ops" were in effect. What the controller
was trying to convey to the pilot was that his radio was transmitting
an unmodulated, constant tone (carrier frequency) without a discernable
I ...called Ground [Control], but did not receive any confirmation
and concluded that I might be out of range or blocked by another aircraft.
After three attempts, I heard Ground reply, "Carrier no voice."
I tried to call again and was again told, "Carrier no voice."
I had already filed a VFR flight plan. I had been given a special
squawk code because of the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) issued
for [a nearby area]. I assumed that the term "carrier no voice"
meant that, for some reason, they were suspending voice communications....
As I was taxiing on the ramp toward the taxiway, I called Ground Control
once more and was told, "[Aircraft] calling, carrier no voice."
This reassured me that I had clearance to taxi since they identified
my plane which was now moving on the ramp. Yet I was still bothered
by this procedure, so I made sure to check the tower for any light
signals. During taxi, I did not receive any light signals. In the
run-up area I attempted to contact Ground again to clarify the situation.
They replied, "Carrier no voice. If you are contacting Ground,
click your mic two times." I complied and they acknowledged saying,
"We got your clicks." Again, I interpreted this as a clearance
because they heard and acknowledged my mic clicks. I finished my run-up
and taxied to the runway hold short point. While doing this, I called
the Tower and was told politely, "Carrier no voice." I continued
to taxi up to the hold short line when the Tower said, "[Aircraft]
on the active, turn around and return to your starting place. You
are not cleared for takeoff. I repeat, you are not cleared for takeoff."
It was now obvious that we had not established proper two-way communications
and I immediately complied with their instructions....
"amplification" of the problem by Ground Control might have
prevented this pilot from going as far as he did.
cause many communication errors. The following ASRS reports illustrate
the need for clear, unambiguous phraseology in all aviation operations.
Recipe for Miscommunication
distractions, assumptions, and misinterpretations. Add a little pressure.
Arrange on a long, flat surface. For "well done" communications,
clarify all ingredients before lifting off. For "half-baked"
communications, lift off early- even if it feels wrong.
aircraft departed ZZZ airport without being released... The ultimate
reason was a miscommunication between the First Officer and myself....
I work hard never to rush the First Officer beyond his or her ability,
yet in this case, I believe I did. Even if I said nothing verbally,
I probably said it with my actions because we were running late and
I was moving quickly.... During taxi, while the First Officer got
the clearance, I wanted to verify the winds. This created a situation
where I was listening to ATIS while the First Officer was picking
up the clearance.... We taxied to the hold short line just north of
another aircraft. The First Officer briefed the clearance...but never
indicated that we were being held for release and I never asked at
that time. We then proceeded to wait for the other aircraft to taxi
out. Finally we asked them if they were going to go. They indicated
that they were waiting on us. I was surprised, because I didn't know
we had been cleared for departure or released. As I entered the runway,
something felt wrong to me, and because I didn't hear the clearance,
I asked if we were cleared and the First Officer answered, "Yes"
(it turned out that this was a reference to all the checklists being
cleared). With that confirmation I departed.... Departure let us know
that we had departed without being released.
In two similar incidents,
key information was left out of otherwise clear communications. In each
case there were two different interpretations of the same phrase.
was told, "Cleared to land Runway 24" while on final. As
I came closer to the airport the Tower said, "Can you make Runway
15L?" I said, "Yes, I can" (it was my understanding
that I was to enter a base leg and land on Runway 15L). When I was
[on] short final the Tower proceeded to confirm that I could make
Runway 15L. My understanding was that I should try to land on Runway
15L because of other traffic. The Tower meant for me to land on Runway
24 and make the first available left turn onto Runway 15L due to traffic
on final. The aircraft behind us did a go-around.
runway incursion occurred because of a miscommunication. I will clarify
a request like that in the future. If both the Tower and I were clearer
in what we said, I believe something like this would never have happened.
being cleared for the ILS Runway 1L approach and then cleared to land,
I noticed that the taxiways were loaded with aircraft heading for
Runway 1L. Also, my destination on the field was at the end of the
runway. I requested a long landing. The controller said that he was
unable due to landing aircraft behind me, but I could use Runway 31.
As I was getting ready to turn mid-field final for Runway 31 the controller
asked if I intended to go around. I replied, "No" and that
I was starting my turn for Runway 31. After landing the controller
stated that he meant that I should land on Runway 1L and turn off
on Runway 31.... There was clearly a miscommunication...
language is one of the oldest forms of communication, but even hand
signals can be misinterpreted, especially when they are intended for
ground marshaller signaled for us to start our taxi out from the gate.
During turnout the Captain stopped the aircraft midway through the
turn. When I asked him if there was a problem, he replied that the
marshaller "had an odd look on his face" so he elected to
stop the aircraft.... The marshaller then gave the stop signal and
notified us that the left wingtip had contacted the jetway, causing
a slight indentation on the left wingtip and breaking a fiberglass
panel on the jetway. The aircraft was shutdown where we stopped, the
flight was cancelled, and the passengers were offloaded. After the
incident, we learned that the jetway was not fully retracted away
from the aircraft. A wing walker had been motioning to the jetway
operator to retract the jetway. Our marshaller saw the wing walker's
hand motions and interpreted them to mean that it was OK for the aircraft
to move and directed us to begin taxi out.
learned: 1. Everyone in the ground crew was trying to do a good
job, turn the aircraft quickly, and not inconvenience the passengers.
2. Lack of proper communication between the wing walker and the
marshaller led to the mixed signals that caused the incident.
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2003 Report Intake
Carrier/Air Taxi Pilots