Basic Aviation Terminology for New Beginners (PPL Students)

As APA, We offer our distinguished students to have English Aviation Proficiency.

APA’s Motto : English is the primary element of Aviation, even more important rather than skill…So, English is an absolute must ! Our aim is to give you self confidence in Pilot Training and make you a pilot flying globally…

  Aviation offers you all science, freedom, beauty, adventure..

So, APA proposes to students at least 30 H. Aviation English Classes If they don’t feel enough confident to start up training ATC Pilot Glossary, 


Abeam — An object or point app. 90 degrees to the right/left of aircraft track

Affirmative – Yes

Altitude readout indicates — Used when ATC has an unconfirmed Mode C radarreturn.

Cleared for takeoff Cleared to land

Cleared for the option — Tower clears pilot to make t n g’s, full stop landing, low app, etc at pilot’s discretion.

Cleared into Class B airspace — You need to hear this BEFORE entering any Class B airspace.

Confirm — ATC wants you to confirm the question, such as “4SH, confirm 1,500”

Expedite — ATC wants you to do something as soon as possible, such as takeoff, clear the active runway, etc.

Go ahead — Normally used in communications, proceed with request.

Go around — Immediately discontinue landing approach and re-enter pattern.

Have traffic — Use when you see the aircraft traffic that ATC has alerted you to.

Heavy — Aircraft potentially over 255,000# GW. Significant because of waketurbulence.

Immediately — Do it right now!

Looking — Use when you don’t see aircraft ATC has alerted you to. 

Maintain — As in maintain runway heading, maintain a certain altitude, etc. 

Negative — No

Negative contact — Same as “looking”, probably more correct if you really want to be conformist.

Radar contact — ATC has positively identified you on radar.

Radar service terminated — Used by ATC when leaving their airspace or if controller gets too busy. 

Readback correct — ATC confirming you have correctly understood their instructions, usually for clearances. 

Report — ATC wants you to let them know when you are at a certain point, i.e. “Report left downwind, 28”.

Resume own navigation — Usually used when you had been given radar vectors around traffic or to a location.

Roger- Last transmission was understood.  Often overused.

Runway heading — Used with “maintain” usually in Class C or B to initially get you away from airport.

Say again, please — Never be afraid or embarrassed to say this!

Say altitude — In thousands and hundreds of feet, i.e. 1,500 “45H, level one thousand five hundred”.

Say heading — Use magnetic heading from compass or directional gyro.

Squawk XXXX— The 4 digit code that you input into the transponder. “Squawk VFR” 1200.

Standby — Wait until ATC gets back to you, usually used when they are very busy.

Taxi into position and hold — Cleared to taxi/hover onto the runway but NOT cleared to takeoff.

Traffic in sight — You reporting seeing an aircraft that ATC has alerted you to.

Traffic no longer a factor — You can stop looking for the traffic.

Unable — Cannot comply with ATC request, i.e. “4SH, can you give me 150 knots on final?”

Verify — Essentially interchangeable with confirm.

Wilco – Will comply.  You are going to comply with the instructions just given.

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