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Ground Radio to Taxi
2010-03-18

Ground Radio to Taxi

Never transmit on the radio without practicing what to say while holding the microphone to your lips. It does no good to practice without the microphone. Take a deep breath and get all the words out smoothly without pause or punctuation. Don't broadcast until you have mastered what and how to say everything. The order of words is often as important as the words themselves. For our convenience all practice will use the ATIS as "Alpha".

Concord Ground Who you are talking to...
Cessna 6185 Kilo Who you are...
East ramp taxi with Alpha Where you are...
request three two right What you want...

This should come out an a smooth series of words without punctuation or pauses, as....
Concord Ground Cessna 6185 Kilo East ramp with Alpha request three-two right (32R is the runway, Alpha is the ATIS)

Practice, with the unkeyed microphone, until you get it right. Then say it with the keyed mike. We usually ask for the closest runway that wind conditions make usable. If ATC is unable or unwilling they will make a runway assignment. You will find the radio much easier to understand if you know what to expect ATC (Air Traffic Control) to say. The usual ATC response will be...
85 Kilo taxi to 32R
Almost every ATC communication needs to be acknowledged and sometimes repeated back for verification. Your response would be...
"85 Kilo to 32R

All runway assignments are to be readback whether on the ground or in the air. A clearance to taxi lets you taxi anywhere on the airport as long as you do not intrude on the runways in use. The usual expectation is that you will proceed be the shortest route but it is not required. Let ATC know if you plan to wander.

Have clearly in mind where you are, where you are going, and the route to get you there. If ever in a situation where you are unfamiliar as to where you are or how to get where you are going on the ground advise the controller. If ever in doubt, ask for help. Just say,
85k is unfamiliar request progressive taxi assistance

This tells the controller that you expect him to advise you where to go and turn as you proceed. It is a sign of professional competence to admit when you require help. It is just as important to know how to get help as it is to know the way. You are going to be landing at many strange airports where the ability to get timely assistance is important.

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