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pdebaty

VFR Grammar improvement suggestions

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Hello,

I fly VFR in X-Plane and Pilot2ATC is by far the best solution for AI ATC speech recognition out there! Great job and I love using it. As mentioned, I only fly VFR at the moment and I have a few suggestions of little tweaks that could be done to the grammar to better match my experience with real life pilot lessons:

  • It seems that saying "Inbound" is not recognized unless it's combined with "for landing". But in real life, it's not recommended to say "inbound for landing" as the word "for" should be avoided whenever possible (because it sounds like four) and it is superfluous. My flight school teaches to just say "XXX tower, N643JK 10 miles south at 2500ft, Inbound with information XXX". And that is currently not recognized by Pilot2ATC. It seems like it would be an easy tweak? 
  • Pilot2ATC does not recognize phrases like "Left Closed Traffic" or "Right Closed Traffic", which is what is recommended by my flight school for pattern work.
  • That seems more complicated but it would be cool to support miniroutes or VFR special flight rules through class B airspace.
  • Also much more complicated, but it would be awesome to hear CTAF calls from other traffic (either from LiveTraffic plugin or AI traffic plugins like Traffic Global).

Are any of those suggestions already on the roadmap, or would they be considered for future releases? If so, a rough ETA on each item would be awesome!

Thanks again for all the great work!

Philippe   

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Your first and second requests might be feasible in the near term.  The other two are on the long term enhancements list with no timeframes.

On the second one, I have not heard that term used in civilian aviation.  In the military it meant a request to make a climbing turn to downwind, without flying the large box pattern to get back onto initial before making our 60 degree banked turn to downwind.  How are you using it?  What country/region are you doing your training?

Dave

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5 hours ago, Dave-Pilot2ATC said:

How are you using it?  What country/region are you doing your training?

I am taking lessons in Southern California (KSMO to be precise). When holding short of the runway before departure, we say "Santa Monica Tower, N643JK holding short of runway 21, Left Closed Traffic". This is equivalent to requesting take-off to remain in the pattern, which happens to be a left pattern at KSMO. Nothing special about that pattern, it's the normal large box rectangular pattern. You can also just say "Closed Traffic" if you're not sure of the direction of the pattern and tower will respond with "...Left Closed Traffic approved, Runway 21, Cleared for take-off". For the more unusual airports where the pattern in on the right, you would ask for "Right Closed Traffic". 

I assumed these were universal standards but I now realize that VFR communication standards can vary by region. Not sure if this applies to everywhere in the US or just the West coast. This style is also recommended by PilotEdge (https://www.pilotedge.net/pages/cat-03-rating). 

Another thing my flight school recommends doing at our airport that confuses Pilot2ATC is to ask for VFR flight following at the same time as asking for taxi to the runway:

"Santa Monica Ground, N643JK at south parking, request taxi to run-up B5 with information Lima, and request flight following to Malibu". 

Then ground would first give directions to taxi to the run-up and a little later, while we taxi, give us a squawk code and departure frequency for the flight following. I realize this would be more complex to handle for the AI and it's not a big deal to break it up in two separate requests.

 

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Doing a quick search, and I found that "Left/Right Closed Traffic" is the recommended phraseology when talking to ATC at least in the US according to  JO 7110.65V (3−10−11).
https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/2023/what-is-the-difference-between-closed-traffic-vs-stay-in-the-pattern-request

But for un-towered airports "remaining in the pattern" is the correct phraseology when talking on the CTAF frequency.  

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