Pilots tend to have their own language that passengers would not be able to understand without some prior knowledge.
Pilots are, for the most part, rather quiet throughout the flight. However, as they get ready for the descent and landing process, they start to become more vocal.
The pilot will traditionally make an announcement telling you the local time and temperature of the area you’re landing in so that you have some knowledge of what you’re about to be stepping into.
They will then tell the flight crew to prepare for the landing, which will spur the flight attendants to make their own announcement.
This should give you instructions such as putting your seatbelt back on and returning the tray to its original position.
Once landed, the pilot will offer another announcement to inform you that you have in fact landed in your destination and to enjoy your vacation.
Overall, you won’t hear much from the pilot throughout the journey or after you’ve landed.
Do pilots talk to other planes?
Yes, pilots can talk to other planes while in the air. However, this isn’t often a common occurrence unless they need to coordinate departures before taking off. In controlled airspace, planes are separated by air traffic control.
This allows pilots to be notified of oncoming traffic within a few miles before they meet.
They do have to converse through air traffic controllers with other pilots, and they’ll need to request access to get in touch with them.
However, the ATC can allow this access, and the two planes will be able to communicate with one another.
This is mainly down to pilots being in the same airspace to ensure that they keep both planes safe.
They won’t simply request access to talk to other airlines to have a chat or to keep them company as they’re passing each other.
As the reason for talking to one another is to keep the passengers safe, it is very important that they are easily understood over the radio transmission.
If you’ve ever talked over the radio, you know that this is easier said than done.
So, aviators have their own pilot lingo to avoid miscommunicating with one another. For example, ‘tree’ means ‘three’, ‘fife’ translates to ‘five’, ‘niner’ to ‘nine’, and so on.
This is used to prevent similar-sounding numbers from being misheard over transmission, putting the pilots, planes, and passengers in danger.
What do pilots mean when they say heavy?
Hearing the word ‘heavy’ from a pilot might cause some uneasiness in their passengers.
No matter how seasoned you are to flying, knowing that the aircraft you’re being transported in high above the clouds is bound to make you feel a little worried.
The word ‘heavy’ simply means that the aircraft is larger and therefore heavier than smaller planes.
It will have a takeoff weight of 160 tonnes or higher, and there will be a higher chance of turbulence thanks to the heavier and longer wings.
‘Heavy’ airplanes will need specific requirements, such as further distances between them and other aircraft, both in and out of the sky.
So, a pilot will often refer to their plane as ‘heavy’ so that the ATC and other pilots know and are aware of these additional requirements.
However, if you hear a pilot referring to your plane as ‘heavy’, it is nothing to worry about.
They will have had plenty of training with both small and large aircraft and how to fly them correctly. The only difference is the increased chance of turbulence, but they will attempt to avoid this as much as possible.
What does flying dirty mean?
The term ‘flying dirty’ refers to when an aircraft is flying with all of the slats, flaps, and wheels hanging down.
This is opposed to a clean configuration in which everything is where it is meant to be and hidden away.
It is not common for pilots to fly dirty as this is not how planes are meant to be used. It is often unheard of when it comes to commercial aircraft.
Another potential meaning to the term ‘flying dirty’ could mean to fly upside down. Some aircraft do fly dirty in airshow formations.
For example, the Blue Angels flew dirty in their 40th-anniversary ceremony to unveil a new aircraft called the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.
On 8th November 1986, the Hornet flew dirty with the landing gear down for a formation loop. This sure impressed viewers and amped up the popularity of ‘flying dirty’, or flying upside down, in many air shows.
Don’t worry, though, your pilot of a commercial aircraft is not about to take you upside down. At least, not without telling you first!
Why do pilots say ‘V1 rotate’?
If an engine fails on an aircraft carrier, V1 is defined as the speed at which the decision to continue the flight has been made.
V1 is a quicker and more efficient method of informing the necessary people that the pilot has committed to continue flying.
V1 is also known as the speed that a pilot needs to decide whether they’re going to abort or not if they’re going to stop on a runway.
This decision is made by looking at several factors, such as the length of the runway, temperature, if there are any obstacles in the plane’s way, the weight of the plane, and the runway slope.
Pilots will say ‘rotate’ to inform the necessary people that the airplane has reached its predetermined rotation speed.
This is often abbreviated to VR, which is the speed at which the control can be inputted to lift the nose from the runway and into the air.
Before V1 has been reached, takeoff can be aborted if needed.
The pilot stating ‘V1 Rotate’ therefore means that the aircraft has reached the predetermined speed at which takeoff cannot be aborted as well as the correct rotation speed.
An aircraft can now take off into the air as all of the correct speeds have been reached.