“The ATC course was fantastic. Having it led by someone who has experience working with ATC as well as someone that participated in ATC online activities as an amateur controller was really helpful. Nick was great in teaching the course by not only covering the material that was included in the displayed presentations, but relating some of his real world experiences. Thanks to Nick and the course material, I’m at least not paralyzed at the thought of talking to ATC any longer.”
Learn to talk to Air Traffic Control (ATC)
Learn how to speak to ATC with confidence! Our innovative approach will give you extensive opportunities to practice in a relaxed, friendly environment.
By the end of this course, you will:
- Be able to communicate with ATC (whether in real life, on VATSIM and PilotEdge). You will know what to say, when to say it, and understand what ATC is saying to you. You will get practice talking with ground and tower controllers.
- Know how to fly in Class D airspace under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) using FAA procedures
- Understand how to obtain and use airport and sectional chart information to perform basic flight planning
- Understand numerous variations of ATC instructions (such as hold short, line up and wait, traffic pattern modifications, wake turbulence, traffic advisories, and more)
- Understand how to use online ATC networks like PilotEdge as practice tools
Real-world student pilots: If you complete this course, we are confident that you will be able to tackle radio communications during your flight lessons. Your instructor will be impressed and you will have more mental capacity to focus on flying the aircraft.
Flight sim enthusiasts: Fly VFR on VATSIM and PilotEdge with confidence.
Our unique approach treats learning ATC like it really is—learning a new language!
You will learn the basic building blocks of ATC communications using easy-to-remember mnemonics, and you will get extensive repetition at both speaking and listening to ATC instructions. We’ll start simple, but by the end of the course, you will be able to handle more complex instructions with confidence.
In just three engaging lessons, you may very well have practiced more than many student pilots will during their entire flight training.
“The course contained a wealth of information, presented in both lecture format and then the hands on application of the communications taught by actually flying the aircraft. The available recording of the course was very effective in allowing one to review the many points covered.. The presentation was given in a professional manner from instructors with very experienced backgrounds. Homework was given to enhance the overall immersion into ATC communication. The net result was a solid competency of the beginning student to be able to enter the world of ATC communication from a pilot’s perspective.”
“Extremely helpful fine tuning best practices for ATC communications. Appreciate the personal approach, ability to pause the simulator, and opportunity to ask additional questions (e.g. incorporating Foreflight)”
The first half of each class will consist of briefing and initial practice of the relevant radio calls.
The second half will consist of you flying your simulator to practice what you have learned along with the other students. The instructor will act as ATC in addition to providing helpful guidance and suggestions as you practice your radio calls.
You will learn not only from the instructor’s direct feedback to you, but also from the feedback given to the other students.
Each class will end with a suggested homework assignment to reinforce what you have learned.
For students joining as Pilots: You can utilize the free 1-on-1 coaching session at any point when you need extra support or practice.
Software used: Each class will be conducted using Zoom as the primary method of communication. A stable internet connection and a computer microphone are required. Webcam is not required.
- Lesson 1 — Communicating with a control tower (2 hrs): ATC hierarchy; interpreting airspace on sectional charts; communications best practices and structure; airport diagrams and frequencies; taxi instructions; hot spots; takeoff clearances; PilotEdge intro
- Lesson 2 — Traffic patterns (2 hrs): ATIS and weather info; traffic pattern review; hold short instructions; use of “unable,” types of landing clearances; confirmation of instructions; clearing the runway; taxi instructions to parking
- Lesson 3 — Traffic pattern entry/exit and PilotEdge intro (2 hrs): Flight from KSBP to KSMX; basic flight planning; other instructions and advisories from the tower (such as line up and wait, traffic advisories, and wake turbulence); go around instructions; calling tower inbound to land; traffic pattern entry instructions; visualizing the entry into the traffic pattern; traffic pattern modifications
- An ATC script you can use as a quick reference guide
- Homework after each lesson to help you reinforce the content covered
- Access to recordings of each lesson for your review (available for up to 6 months)
- For students joining as Pilots: A 30-minute 1-on-1 lesson with any of our Certified Flight Instructors (valid within 2 months of the course start date). Use this to get set up on VATSIM/PilotEdge, to get extra assistance on areas where you need more help, or to cover more advanced topics (such as class C/B airspace, LAHSO operations, etc.).
This class will be taught by Nick Marcantonio, an FAA CFI/CFII and active airline pilot who enjoys helping pilots refine proper radio technique.
He has been an instructor since 2015 and has taught private, instrument, commercial, and multi-engine students. He has used home flight simulation for my own training and to teach others since 2008.
Learn to talk to Air Traffic Control (ATC)
Currently no group classes are scheduled. Get notified when we add more, or book a 1:1 session today.
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