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Official SLRCFA Pilot Communication

30 Mar 2017 5:37 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

The SLRCFA Board of Directors unanimously passed this document listed below in order to improve awareness, safety, and communication while flying.  This document not only includes the recommended callouts, but also includes runway priorities and protocols. Click here for the Rules & Safety page.


Pilot Communications (callouts) are verbal announcements that are required to be used between you and other pilots anytime you or your aircraft enters the runway operations area (grass or paved runways and taxiways beyond the white lines). All Communications must be acknowledged by all pilots before proceeding with your intentions. Fly as close as practical to the other pilots already flying to improve communication.

Use the following Pilot Communications, and make sure you get confirmation from 100% of all other pilots in the air before proceeding, unless you need to land for safety’s sake:

  •         "Coming out" as you prepare to place your aircraft on the runway or taxing to the runway.
  •         "Taking Off" aircraft is on the runway and ready for takeoff roll.
  •         "Setting up to land" as you begin your downwind leg gives others time to clear the area for you.
  •         "Landing" as you are on final approach.
  •         "On the runway" if your aircraft stops dead on the runway.
  •         "Off on the far side” or “In the grass" if your aircraft veers off on the side away from the pilots' stations
  •         "Crossing the runway" Anytime you have to cross the runway (in either direction).
  •         "Runway clear" after you have retrieved your errant aircraft, or if it has been taxied off the runway on the pit side.
  •         "Dead stick" when your engine dies while in the air. Other pilots will pass this announcement down the line as it is a signal for everyone to immediate clear the runway.
  •         "Touch and go" or "Slow fly-by" (note that high speed low passes and acrobatics over the runway when other pilots are at stations are forbidden-these may only be performed out past the runway over the grass).
  •         Low Pass” is a high or low speed pass a low altitude over the border between the asphalt and grass runways.
  •         Aircraft down” followed by the general area. An aircraft has crashed.
  •         "Don’t have it" A loss of control. The pilot will announce that he has a problem as soon as possible, other observers may be able to get a fix on the plane if it goes down. If you do get a fix, such as a certain tree, etc., do not move.  Call for another person to stand beside you and show them the point you fixed on. Even turning around and back can lose the fix.

Runway Protocol/Priorities allow multiple aircraft operating in close airspace to land and/or maneuver on or over the runway in an orderly and safe manor.  This list below is in order of priority.

  • 1.     Declared “dead stick” landing has priority over all other flight activities. The runway must be cleared for him. If more than one happens at the same time, generally, the first declared has the right-of -way, or he may yield to a lower other aircraft at his discretion.
  • 2.     Declared “equipment problem” and needing to land ASAP.
  • 3.     Declared normal “landing
  • 4.     Declared “touch and go
  • 5.     Declared “takeoff
  • 6.     Declared “slow fly-by” or “Low Pass

High speed low-passes over the paved runway are never allowed and must be performed past the far edge of the paved runway.

Per the FIELD RULES, the established flight pattern must be maintained. 3D maneuvers over-the-runway (like hovering and “Harriering) by definition, breaks the pattern, and therefore is allowed only if all pilots in the air have acknowledged and allowed you to do so. These Maneuvers may not be performed any closer than the paved runway center line. If you are alone hovering, you may exit the PILOT ZONE to get closer to your aircraft. See the Field Rules for specific rules governing establishment of a pattern, changing a pattern, and when hovering is allowed. Hovering or “Harriering” beyond a line established 30 feet  away from the far side of the runway is allowed at all times.

(c) 2016, St. Louis Radio  Control Flying Association

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