5. RT exercise
The simulated flights are necessarily simplified versions of real-life situations. Candidates cannot be expected to demonstrate the total situational awareness which would come from a detailed preparation of the flight. In rare cases some candidates have not yet completed their flight training!
For VFR candidates the primary concern for assessors should be flight safety. Particular attention will be paid to:
- Readback of hold short instructions particularly for active runways
- Readback of minimum and maximum altitude restrictions
- Traffic information directly affecting flight safety
- Unambiguous and concise interactions with ATC
- The speed and accuracy of responses
- Use of standard radiotelephony procedures
For IFR candidates more rigour would be expected with respect to standard phraseology. Rapid and concise readbacks should be natural.
For both types of candidate, assessors should not penalise candidates unnecessarily for readback errors which are corrected and resolved efficiently as often happens in real life. A missed digit in a squawk code or a slip of the tongue on a frequency change are frequent occurrences in real life. However, if correction or clarification is laborious or repetition is frequently required throughout the simulated flight then assessors will have to think hard about the pass/fail aspect of the section, especially if there is any doubt about flight safety or communications where a concise and immediate response is required. It is commonly agreed that poor performance in the RT section can in some cases impact the general English mark for the examination. Typical areas impacted are interaction and comprehension which can be downgraded.