Real Answers from Real Pilots


What is the best way to pick up and understand ATC chatter and slang. They talk so fast and sometimes I cannot pick up all the information to reciprocate back. Any good books or videos to use? Thanks



There are a few audio and video programs out there but honestly I wouldn’t sweat it too much. It’s one of those things you pick up as you go and will improve as you actually do it. One of the problems most people have is the “slang” doesn’t make a whole lotta sense out of context. What I mean is if you have no idea what’s going on (ground vs tower vs departure etc) it’s that much more difficult to make sense of it. That said if you’re concerned and really want to practice there are live ATC broadcasts available online. I’d simply tune in and practice.



This is one of those things that I wouldn’t worry about too much until you are in training. Right now so much of the lingo is foreign to you, it is hard to put it all together. Once you start training it will all make so much more sense and your ears will be tuned for what to listen to.