The term "NORDO" is sometimes heard in connection with lost communications emergencies.
The definition of "NORDO" in DOD FLIP General Planning is "NORDO Non-radio equipped
aircraft. Not to be used to designate aircraft which have radio failure." However, in the FAA
Pilot Controller Glossary, the entry for that term states: "NORDO - (See LOST
COMMUNICATIONS)" which reads "LOST COMMUNICATIONS Loss of the ability to
communicate by radio. Aircraft are sometimes referred to as NORDO (No Radio)". Instructions
for this emergency in the DOD FLIP Flight Information Handbook (FIH) are listed under "Two
Way Radio Failure" despite the DOD FLIP attempt to divorce the term NORDO from
application to an aircraft lost communications situation, any of the three terms discussed above
will be recognized throughout the field of aviation.
EMERGENCY USE OF THE ARR-40
The T-2C is minimally equipped for IFR flight. It is not only a "TACAN only" aircraft, but has
only one communications transceiver (AN/ARC-159). The ARR-40 can be used as an
emergency UHF receiver on Guard frequency, or on a frequency designated for local use in
emergency NORDO situations. During a lost communications situation (just as at other times)
the UHF Automatic Direction finding (ADF) capability of the ARR-40 can be used for
determining bearing to/from UHF transmitters on the surface or installed in another aircraft. As
with any other aircraft equipment, which can be used in an emergency (such as a tail hook), it is
common sense to check the ARR-40 for correct operation before takeoff.
Lost communications is listed in the curriculum for each of the three RI events in the simulator
stage, and it is included by scenario in the SUA event. The references to study in preparation for
these events are the Flight Information Handbook and the VT-86 In-Flight Guide, which contains
local Letter of Agreement procedures for NORDO while in Special Use Airspace.
FLIGHT INFORMATION HANDBOOK PROCEDURES (NORDO)
The Flight Information Handbook (FIH) contains verbatim excerpts from Federal aviation
Regulations and some additional military-unique procedures. Both are mandatory in VT-86
The mnemonic "AVE-F AME" is useful in aiding recall of the regulations concerning route
("Assigned, Vectored, Expected, Filed) and altitude (Assigned, Minimum, Expected). However,
three aspects of the FIH rules require careful study for full understanding:
There is an exception to the "AME" rules during a departure (this exception is explained in the
Departure Section which follows).
The steps for Two-Way Radio Failure during RADAR APPROACHES are listed in the reverse
of the "Aviate Navigate Communicate" priorities (this is explained in the Terminal Section