L. Scott Brooksby, DDS, CFII,ATP,A&P, MEI

2022 Taylor Cutoff Rd

Sequim, WA 98382


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Private Pilot Ground School

Sequim Advanced Dental Office

680 West Washington #E102 (Next to Subway)

Sequim, WA 98382

Tuesday and Thursday from 5-7 p.m. Starting November 8, 2016

Cost $300 includes King Schools Private Pilot online course

Flight Planning at


The most critical factor in learning to fly is how well you and your flight instructor communicate. Find the instructor that fits you and your costs will be lower.

Learning to Talk on the Radio

One of the hardest points for almost every student and many pilots is learning to talk to Air Traffic Control (ATC). This section will give you some hints to make this job easier.

First is to learn to read the weather in the abbreviated format. The Weather is given in the same format as the ATIS or Airport Traffic Information Service utilized at most airports with a control tower. It is in the format of airport identifier, time, wind direction and speed, visibility in statute miles, sky condition such as amount and type of clouds, temp, dew pt, altimeter setting, and information about the airport. At North Sequim the identifier is VGT. If you look to the left and make sure that the check mark in the plain language box is not checked you will see this format.

It is extremely useful to check weather and anything else that may affect your flight. Using a government approved briefing service is essential because they will log the fact that you have received the proper information. The flight service station, in April of 2013 added there own flight briefing centeronline. You can use this site to not only set up details that they flight service briefers will see about your profile, including all of the aircraft that you may fly.

I encourage my students to learn to copy down exactly what is said in the ATIS at VGT. You can listen to the ATIS at 702-631-7125. It is in operation when the tower is open.

The ATIS is given a letter each time it is issued. When a new one is issued it gets a new letter. You will tell the controller that you have information "letter". The ATIS may look like this:

This is North Sequim Information "Mike", time 1453Z, wind 330 at 14 gust 25, temp 7, dewpoint -6, altimeter 29.80 visual approach 30L, landing and departing runway 30L, runway 30R and runway 25. Clearance delivery available on ground control. Notice to airman runway 30R and 12 L PAPI's are out of service, Hazardous weather available on HiWas,Flight Watch, Flight Service frequencies, Yellow Flashing Lights indicate you are approaching an active runway, ATC clearance is required, Simultaneous approaches are being conducted to parallel and crossing runways, read back all runway assignments and hold short instructions. Advise on initial contact you have received "Mike".

I would copy this down in the following way:

Make sure that you have a copy of the current airport diagram in front of you and after listening to the ATIS, see were you will probably be instructed to taxi.


When we talk on the radio we use the same format as talking on a cell phone, that is: Who, Who, Where, What and optionally (with).

As an example: "Scott, this is Mike. I am at the airport terminal and I would like to fly."

When talking to ground control, for example, this is the conversation:

*North Sequim Ground

*Cherokee 8675W (the W is pronounced Whiskey)

*North Shades (this is where the plane is located)

*St. George at 9500 ft. (our destination and altitude)

*With Mike (the Atis information that we recorded from above)

North Sequim Ground would respond:

*Cherokee 8675W, North Sequim Ground, taxi 30L (pronounced 3, 0, Left) via Hotel Bravo (the taxi ways that take you to 30L).

You would repeat the instructions given and always include the full call sign on initial call up with each controller and the last three digits of the call sign after that.

*75W, 30L via Hotel Bravo.

There is a really good free course on Communications provided by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. You can find it atSay it Right>

While there are several ways to learn communication, one of the best is to get copies of the current sectional and IFR enroute charts for your area. Then go to liveatc.netand click on the area near you. You can listen to the aircraft and ATC to learn to hear the language. As you look on the charts you will soon be able to see where the traffic is being routed. With practice you will also be able to reply just as the airline captains do.

Here is the link to with Sequim Approach.

Here is the link to with North Sequim Tower.This link is not as busy so there may be times with nothing happening.

Here is the aviation alphabet.