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Quiz: Do You Know What These 6 ATC Phrases Mean?

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Say again?


  1. 1) You're practicing landings in the pattern, and tower says you're "cleared for the option". What does that mean?

    "Cleared for the option" means you can make a touch-and-go, stop-and-go, full stop landing, low approach, or missed approach.

    "Cleared for the option" means you can make a touch-and-go, stop-and-go, full stop landing, low approach, or missed approach.

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  2. 2) You're holding short of runway 33, and you call tower letting them know you're ready for takeoff. Tower tells you to "line up and wait" for runway 33. What should you do?

    You should taxi on to runway 33, but don't take off until you're cleared to do so.

    You should taxi on to runway 33, but don't take off until you're cleared to do so.

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  3. 3) You're inbound to Salt Lake City and the ATIS says "LAHSO" operations are in effect. What does that mean?

    You may need to land and hold short of an intersecting runway, taxiway or other point if ATC tells you to.

    You may need to land and hold short of an intersecting runway, taxiway or other point if ATC tells you to.

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  4. 4) You're departing a Class B airport, and tower tells you to contact departure. You call departure control and they ask you to "ident". What should you do?

    You need to activate your transponder identification. Most transponders have an "IDENT" button on them.

    You need to activate your transponder identification. Most transponders have an "IDENT" button on them.

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  5. 5) You're in the traffic pattern and tower asks you to report "abeam the numbers". Which one of these positions is abeam the numbers?

    The green highlighted answer is abeam the numbers, where the numbers are directly off your wing.

    The green highlighted answer is abeam the numbers, where the numbers are directly off your wing.

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  6. 6) You're coming in for landing and tower tells you there's a "NORDO" aircraft 5 miles south of the airport. What does that mean?

    NORDO means the aircraft can't communicate or isn't communicating with ATC or other aircraft.

    NORDO means the aircraft can't communicate or isn't communicating with ATC or other aircraft.

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Those were some tough questions...

You scored % Better luck next time!

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Nice work, you have most of these phrases down.

You scored % Well done.

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Nailed it!

You scored % Well done...

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What are pilots saying about their Bose headsets? Find out 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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