One aspect of aviation that I thought I would mention is the phonetic alphabet. While that seems like something scary or hard I can reassure that it is quite simple. Pilots as well as air traffic controllers use this form of speech to convey the meaning of letters. This is a simple way of attaching a word to a letter. Avoiding confusion is another reason for this simple method.
Here are some examples of letters that may get confused one with another:
B & D
G & J
M & N
P & T
V & B
V & D
Z & D
I & L
Keep in mind that the phonetic alphabet is based on the english alphabet. Looking at some of the combinations I have listed above have letters that sound the same. For example when someone says this:
My professor said that B's are better than D's regarding the upcoming test because he wants a class average of 87%.
Maybe this one might make more sense, so read off the following at a moderate speed:
It depends on how someone says that sentence and that sequence, but oftentimes the letter B may get confused with the letter D. One neat aspect of this world is that everyone speaks differently. Everyone has an accent and that is how this world is so unique. With that being said, no one pronounces things the same way. For example, where I am from we rarely pronounce the T in the word mountain. We also usually turn the T's into what sounds more like a D sound like in the words better, butter, and pretty. Instead of better we say it more like this: 'bedder.' The phonetic alphabet allows for clear communication for all. When the differences in dialect and pronunciation get mixed in with the choppy radios and frequency it can cause a little confusion. Accents and things are amazing, but in aviation clear communication is always key. After all: think, communicate, aviate, and navigate is one of the most famous aviation phrases. The simple method clears up some letter pronunciation and confusion.
Here is the basic English alphabet:
Look at the alphabet and we can see that there are 26 letters, so that means that the phonetic alphabet has 26 words. Each one of these words represents the letter.
Here is the full phonetic alphabet:
It is that simple and easy. Memorizing the phonetic alphabet can also benefit those outside of the aviation industry. Talking over the phone -or in the case of pilots frequency- can often muffle and cause other listeners to misunderstand letters. The phonetic alphabet is an easy and highly effective way to communicate letters back and forth.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
My name is Jetta, and I am a student pilot currently attending Southern Utah University to become an airline pilot. Join me on my journey from zero to the left seat.