Part 3: Listening comprehension

Part 3: Listening comprehension

The following recording comes from a podcast aimed to inform people about airline safety.

Before listening

Make sure you understand the following words and expressions:

  • to fail (for a device, mechanism)
  • backup
  • to trigger
  • brace for impact
    1. Listen to the recording and then complete these sentences:
      • Technical problems in modern airliners are …
      • If they do happen, it is very rare for them to…
      • Every component in a modern airliner is designed to …
      • Every system in an aircraft is controlled by independent subsystems and it is almost impossible for …
    2. Give details of the incident mentioned in the report
      • Date of incident:
      • Airline:
      • Flight number:
      • Destination:
      • Aircraft involved:
      • Nature of fault:
      • Action taken by pilots:
    3. In the case of an emergency, passengers are told to:
    4. What comment does the report make about media coverage of such incidents?

Transcript

Technical problems in modern airliners are extremely rare and when they do happen are unlikely to put the airliner and its passengers in danger. One reason for this is that every component in a modern airliner is designed to function for at least 1 billion flight hours without breaking down. In addition, each and every system in the aircraft – electricity supply, braking, navigation, etc. – is controlled by several, independent subsystems and it is extremely rare – almost impossible – for them all to fail at the same time.

Nevertheless, technical problems can lead to emergency situations. On the 16th October 2013 the Air France flight AF6222 from Paris to Nice had to make an emergency landing in Lyon, as a result of a problem with its hydraulic systems. The aircraft, an Airbus A320 has 3 independent hydraulic systems. One of these systems failed and the backup started to overheat. Although the A320 is designed to fly normally on just one hydraulic system, regulations stipulate that, in such circumstances, the aircraft must land.

In the case of an emergency landing, other emergency procedures are automatically triggered. Passengers are told to “brace for impact”, in case of a runway excursion, and to be ready to leave the aircraft via the emergency slides. In addition, the emergency services are put on alert. All of these are precautionary measures which do not mean that the aircraft or its passengers are in any real danger. However, media coverage tends to dramatize such incidents, giving an impression that flying is dangerous and creating anxiety amongst the general public.

Radiotelephony exercise

Listen to this exchange between a pilot and City Ground. Now complete the pilot’s part in the dialogue:

Before listening

Make sure you understand the following words and expressions:

      • Intermittent
      • Fault
      • Immediate diversion
      • Generator
      • Radar vectors
      • Visual approach
      • Electrical power

*** AUDIO FILE ***
Listen to this exchange between a pilot and Lille Tower and then complete the pilot’s part of the dialogue.

Pilot: Lille Approach from __________, __________ ________ _____________, PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN, experiencing intermittent _____________ ___________. Request immediate diversion to your field.

Pilot: Squawking _________, standby for further details, ___________

Pilot: Lille Approach from ______________ we have an intermittent generator ____________ __________ , we are currently IMC at __________ at __________ to the _________ _________ of the airport. Request radar vectors for a visual approach in case we lose all electrical power.

Pilot: Descend altitude __________, ______________ maintain present heading, runway _______ copied, ______________

Pilot: Turn left heading _______ degrees, we have the runway ____ __________, _________

Pilot: Turn left heading _________ degrees and contact tower on ____________, _________

Pilot: Lille tower from ________ on _________ _____________ runway ______

Pilot: Roger, continuing approach __________

Pilot: ____________ to land runway _______, ___________
(lands)

Pilot: Thanks, vacate ___________ ____________ and contact ground on ____________, __________

Pilot: Lille Approach from D-IFZS, Piper PA-34 Seneca, PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN, experiencing intermittent electrical fault. Request immediate diversion to your field.

ATC: D-IFZS this is Lille approach, squawk ident. Can you provide more details when able?

Pilot: Squawking ident, standby for further details, D-IFZS

Pilot: Lille Approach from D-IFZS we have an intermittent generator warning light, we are currently IMC at Flight Level 70 at 20 Nautical Miles to the south-east of the airport. Request radar vectors for a visual approach in case we lose all electrical power.

ATC: D-IFZS , radar identified. When able, descend altitude 3000ft QNH 1004 and maintain present heading. Runway 26 in use.

Pilot: Descend altitude 3000ft QNH 1004 maintain present heading, runway 26 copied, D-IFZS

ATC: D-IFZS, turn left 290 degrees and report runway in sight

Pilot: Turn left heading 290 degrees, we have the runway in sight, D-IFZS

ATC: D-IFZS, turn left heading 260 degrees and contact tower on 118.550

Pilot: Turn left heading 260 degrees degrees and contact tower on 118.550, D-IFZS

Pilot: Lille tower from D-IFZS on long final runway 26

ATC: D-IFZS, continue approach, Cessna just vacating runway 26 now

Pilot: Roger, continuing approach D-IFZS

ATC: D-IFZS runway 26 cleared to land

Pilot: Cleared to land runway 26, D-IFZS
(lands)

ATC: D-IFZS, vacate next right and contact ground on 121.850. They’ll guide to the nearest maintenance area

Pilot: Thanks, vacate next right and contact ground on 121.850, D-IFZS