RADIO INSTRUMENTS COMMUNICATIONS
Reference: FIH Section B, "Position Reporting Procedures"; AIM, Chapters 4 and 5; FAA
In Radio Instruments (RI) you will be introduced to the nonradar and radar environment. Since
radio communications will change somewhat depending upon which environment you are flying
in, it is important to know which format applies.
If informed by ATC that you are in "Radar Contact," then the radar environment radio
procedures are appropriate. This call is normally made on initial contact with departure control
after takeoff. In the absence of this advisement from ATC, or if informed "Radar Contact Lost"
or "Radar Service Terminated" then nonradar environment radio procedures apply.
NONRADAR ENVIRONMENT Your first four primary RI simulators will be flown in a
nonradar environment. Keep in mind, while you are flying in a nonradar environment ATC
cannot track your position using radar. Therefore, position reports will be required to inform
ATC of your position and when you expect to arrive at the next point. The PTAPTP format
(Position, Time, Altitude, Next Position, ETA at Next Position, following Position) provides the
required information to ATC.
Position reports are given at compulsory reporting points for
flights conducted along airways. They are also given when
requested by ATC, regardless of whether it is a compulsory
reporting point. For flights conducted off airways the report is
given for each point used in the flight plan.
The radar environment has three major advantages for the pilot:
It affords more expeditious routing in high density traffic areas.
It enables controllers to alert pilots to potential inflight hazards.
It reduces the frequency and complexity of voice reports.
There are also two disadvantages:
It can lead to overreliance on ground controllers for navigational assistance.
RADIO INSTRUMENTS COMMUNICATIONS 5-1