random picture

Training

Airborne Flight Plan

C.E.P.H.A.C.E.R.

The En Route Airborne Flight Plan. Version 1.2 16/01/08

This is the most abused of all the standard radio calls. In Flight Simulation and in the real world, one hears many many variations on this theme, some quite imaginative, some a life history, some which Grimm or Hans Andersen could have written, some monosyllabic, some barely intelligible. We in the Club are going to get it right and slick, and right and slick every time. Aren't we folks?

Initial Call
<Who you are calling> <callsign> <request> Say no more and no less than this.
Solent Approach Golf Golf Yankee Alpha Victor, request zone transit See Note 2.
Initial Reply
Golf Golf Yankee Alpha Victor Solent Approach, pass your message.
Off you go. It's your stage - perform, and perform brilliantly. The "Cephacer" text below is all said in one string.
C = Callsign & Aircraft Type
Solent Approach Golf Golf Yankee Alpha Victor, Cessna 172
E = En route
En route Biggin Hill to Popham [take a breath]
P = Position
10 miles south west of Bewl Water
H = Heading
Heading 135 degrees
A = Altitude
2000 feet (on QNH one zero zero two) [take a breath]. See Note 3
C = Conditions
VFR
E = Estimate
Estimate Lewes (either "at time fifteen ten" or "in 6 minutes") See Note 1
R = Request
Request zone transit from present position to Winchester then en route Popham. See Note 2.
ATC Reply
At the end of your soliloquy, don't get smug. ATC may have a surprise in store. Could be anything. Be prepared! See Note 4

Notes

  1. You choose whichever you prefer or is appropriate. If its a long time to the next waypoint or turning point, choose the former, but if you are only 3 minutes away, it is obviously better to use the latter.
  2. There are a number of standard requests, the most common of which are: -
    • "Request Flight (or Radar) Information Service"
    • "Request entry into the zone at xxxxx for landing"
    • "Request MATZ penetration" (for Military Aerodrome Traffic Zones)
    • "Request transit the zone from xxxx to xxxxx" (or similar - note that the example above is a slight variant on this.
    You may also use this slot for less formal dialogue, but it must always start off "Request..."
    If you wish to pass information to ATC, e.g. "I am unable to maintain VFR, and am unsure of my position", then CEPHACER is not the tool - there are others which we will cover elsewhere.
  3. By adding the QNH to your altitude statement, ATC can check your height relative to the QNH they are working with, which should be similar of course.  However, recent (2007) revisions by the CAA state that it is not necessary to quote your current QNH as they will give it to you in the next transmission anyway.
  4. "Golf Golf Yankee Alpha Victor, turn right heading 180 immediately. You are on the climbout path of a 747".

See CAA Publication CAP413 Radiotelephony Manual for the full (and official) information.