Talking on the radio is always near the top of the list of concerns for student pilots. Nobody wants to sound bad in front of the “audience” of your fellow pilots, but the jargon used by pilots and controllers alike can make it hard to know what to say and when to say it.
There are plenty of great resources to improve your communications skills, whether you’re brand new or have some time in your logbook. The best advice is to anticipate what you’re going to hear from ATC, then think before you key the mic. If you know what you’re likely to hear, it is much easier to understand ATC’s instructions. Likewise, if you know what you want to say before you start talking, you’ll sound more professional on the radio.
But most of all, avoid some common mistakes. There are a few things that can instantly make you sound less professional—let’s call them the 7 deadly sins of radio communication. These phrases should not be in your aviation vocabulary.