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The forum date stamps are

  Quickbeam 06:27 27 May 2017

...10 days out of sync.

I'm posting this on 27th May

  bumpkin 23:27 28 May 2017

FE, thanks for that info. As I understand things all air traffic controllers have to speak English (I will stand corrected if mistaken) I was wondering if there was a similar system for time on aircraft. Ie. an international reference point.

  Forum Editor 07:12 29 May 2017


As from 1st January 2008, the International Civil Aviation Authority decreed that all Air Traffic Controllers and all airline crew members who engage in contact with international flights must speak English 'proficiently'.

In practice, ground controllers may speak in their native language, provided inbound and outbound pilots are proficient in that language, but English must be used if a pilot requests it. Ground controllers will ask an inbound flight to 'squawk ident' when entering the ATC area. The pilot does this by pressing a button which causes a transponder to transmit the aircraft's identification code. This is interpreted by software in the ATC system, and a notation appears next to a screen trace, so that the ground controller knows which of the aircraft he or she sees on the screen is the one he/she is talking to. Once ident has been established, controllers will often talk to flights operated by their national carriers in the native language of the region.

The overriding requirement is for clarity - instructions regarding altitude and compass headings must not be capable of being misunderstood.

English is by far the most common ATC language.

Time zones obviously vary, and flight timings are always local. All airborne aircraft can use point of departure time or that of the destination, depending on context.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:00 29 May 2017

I don't care if the pilot doesn't know date and time as long as he knows where he's going ad how to fly the plane :0)

  Forum Editor 10:31 29 May 2017

*Fruit Bat /\0/*

" long as he knows where he's going ad how to fly the plane :0)"

The first thing to say is that, increasingly, airline pilots are women. The percentage is still fairly small (6% in the UK), but it is rising and the airlines are trying to encourage more women to train as captains.

As for knowing where they are going - that is certain to be the case, but if there's a doubt, the aircraft definitely knows. It can fly the journey all on its own, and can do the landing on its own as well, if necessary. Airline captains need to have around half a mile of clear visibility to land, and if the weather is foggy, or visibility is low for other reasons the captain will opt for an autolanding. You'll know, because the autolander system tends to put the aircraft down more 'firmly' than happens in a manual landing. I have experienced quite a few autolandings, and all of them have been perfect; it's an extremely reliable technology.

  bumpkin 15:50 29 May 2017

What is the diffence between a pilot and a Captain. I thought the person controlling the plane was called captain. This is meant as a polite question lest I be missunderstood.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:24 29 May 2017

Watched "stripping a jumbo" last week.

According to the pilot trainer in the simulator for the 747, the auto lander is not "fully automatic" as the pilot needs to control the throttles and the brakes.

Hope the pilot's "sat nav" is better than what you get from Halfords and doesn't send the plane down a no existant road or in his case a non fly zone ;0)

  Quickbeam 19:23 04 Jun 2017

I've just noticed that the forum date stamp format has been revised and is much clearer thanks!

  Forum Editor 19:34 04 Jun 2017

I didn't spot the change myself, and I certainly can't take the credit - it's thanks to the team behind the scenes.

  Quickbeam 20:02 04 Jun 2017

Thanks behind the scenes team :-)

  simonjary 07:09 05 Jun 2017

Full year now displayed. Thanks for the feedback.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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