Pilot's tip of the week

Any Traffic Please Advise

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Subscriber question:

"I often hear inbound pilots make a call of 'any traffic please advise' on the CTAF. My instructor says this is improper procedure. Why?" — James H.

Wally:

“Your instructor is correct. The Aeronautical Information Manual section 4-1-9(g)(1) states:

Pilots stating traffic in the area, ‘please advise’ is not a recognized self-announce position and/or intention phrase and should not be used under any conditions.

The reason for this is that the CTAF is a party line and the same frequency is often used by more than one airport in the area. An unnecessary call at one airport could inadvertently block a critical call at another. In the case of non-towered airports, less is better than more. Therefore we all need to keep our radio work short and concise.

Asking for any traffic to advise gains a pilot little useful knowledge. For example, if there is more than one aircraft in the area, and they all respond, then it simply jams the frequency for a time. On the other hand, if there is no response to that call it does not mean there are no aircraft in the area, it just means no one responded. There could still be 10 no-radio aircraft in the traffic pattern. So as you can see it simply ties up the frequency and could possibly block a required call at yours, or a nearby airport, which could decrease safety rather than improve it.

If we all follow the recommended procedures—that is, when inbound calling 10 miles out, entering downwind, turning base, turning final, and clear of the runway— any inbound aircraft can learn what radio-equipped aircraft are in the pattern by monitoring the CTAF. When arriving I try to monitor the CTAF as far out as practical to give me a picture of the traffic.

Of course, there can always be no-radio traffic and a plane on the wrong frequency, so let’s still keep a sharp watch for traffic.

If someone has a better idea, get it into the AIM and we will all use it.”

Do you use "Any traffic please advise" when approaching a non-towered airport?

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