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Quiz: Do You Know These 6 Odd ATC Phrases?

Thanks to Bose for making this story possible. Check out the full series here. And if you want to know why we fly with Bose, learn more about their headsets here.

If you heard these phrases, would you know what ATC was talking about?


  1. 1) This is a scenario where the closing rate of a target (airplane) flying toward a radar antenna can actually make it disappear, because the radar thinks it's ground clutter.
    Thundershead

    Blind Speed is a scenario where the closing rate of a target (airplane) flying toward a radar antenna can actually make it disappear, because the radar thinks it's ground clutter.

    Blind Speed is a scenario where the closing rate of a target (airplane) flying toward a radar antenna can actually make it disappear, because the radar thinks it's ground clutter.

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  2. 2) A _________ is an approach flown by a single-engine military aircraft that has lost engine power. The pattern is flown over top of the runway, with continuous 180 degree turns.
    USAF

    You'll want to be far away from the runway when a fighter loses power and performs a flameout pattern. 

    You'll want to be far away from the runway when a fighter loses power and performs a flameout pattern. 

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  3. 3) ______ is a term assigned to aircraft that can't communicate, or aren't communicating when they are supposed to be.
    Boldmethod

    If an aircraft isn't talking, they're NORDO (No Radio).

    If an aircraft isn't talking, they're NORDO (No Radio).

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  4. 4) A _______ is a pilot who has received special training in observing and reporting inflight weather.
    Boldmethod

    A 'skyspotter' is a pilot who has received special training in observing and reporting inflight weather.

    A 'skyspotter' is a pilot who has received special training in observing and reporting inflight weather.

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  5. 5) You probably won't hear this one over the radio, but if you do, it's an ATC request for a pilot to stop using their electronic jamming equipment.
    US Navy

    You probably won't hear STOP STREAM over the radio, but if you do, it's an ATC request for a pilot to stop using their electronic jamming equipment.

    You probably won't hear STOP STREAM over the radio, but if you do, it's an ATC request for a pilot to stop using their electronic jamming equipment.

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  6. 6) Say again? Say again? __________ is used when communication between ATC and a pilot is difficult, usually due to a language barrier.
    Boldmethod

    'Words twice' is used when communication between ATC and a pilot is difficult, usually due to a language barrier. Basically, it means that you want the other person to say every phrase twice. Who knew?

    'Words twice' is used when communication between ATC and a pilot is difficult, usually due to a language barrier. Basically, it means that you want the other person to say every phrase twice. Who knew?

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Well, that was a tough quiz...

You scored % Better luck next time.

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Nice work. You have these phrases down...for the most part.

You scored % Nice work.

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Well, you pretty much aced this quiz.

You scored % Well done.

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What are pilots saying about their Bose A20 headsets? Read the reviews and learn more here.


Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at colin@boldmethod.com.

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