Dictionnaire & vocabulaire aéronautique

2020 – PP #31 – #40

PRACTICE PAPER #40 – PRACTICE FOR THE FCL.055 n°4 – radio operations
Practice 18/12/2020


1 – Phraseology review

Check your knowledge of phraseology on radio operations with this double page from « L’Anglais pour voler »:

Phraseology – Radio

Download the document and open it with a PDF reader to be able to listen to the English pronunciation of  a word by clicking on it.


2 – Listening comprehension, from easy to more difficult.

Listen to the audio file:

and find the missing words in the text here.


3 – Listening  (in)comprehension (!)

As the saying goes, hope for the best but prepare for the worst, the worst in this instance being a failure to understand.

Listen to the audio version of a former « In English, please » article, and find the missing word in the text:

« Even pros don’t always get it » 


4 – The general English section



Loch Ness is not the only place where monsters lurk. Go to this CNN article to  read about the « Caspian sea monster », look at amazing photos and watch a video. Then answer these questions:

– What is an ekranoplan?

– Why were they nicknamed « Caspian Sea Monsters »?

– How was the « Lun » ekranoplan powered?

– In the US, what is the project of The Flying Ship Company?


5 – Quizzes

Check your knowledge of light gun signals with a quiz from www.boldmethod.com

Last, find out how much your aviation film culture needs brushing up with these two quizzes, also from Boldmethod: one on aviation movies and one on famous quotes from aviation movies.


Find more exercises on radio operations in Practice Papers #10, #24, and #32

and in the December 2020 issue of Infopilote.

PRACTICE PAPER #39 – BACK-TO-BASICS n°3 – standard operations
Practice 14/11/2020


1 – listening comprehension warming-up exercise

Listen to this audio file and jot down as many elements as you can. There are 9 messages and one ATIS, as in the FCL.055 exam. Each message is played twice, with a short pause between each repetition and a 10-second pause between two messages. Unlike in this instance, the actual FCL.055 exam uses a fill-in-the-blanks format.


2 – FCL.055-type fictional flight

Look at this exercise as you would a FCL.055 fictional flight: play the pilot’s part in this scenario:

F-BASF is a DR400 from Luxembourg to Tempelhof

The script and audio file contain only the ATC messages, with enough blanks, in the text as in the recording, for the pilot’s messages and readbacks.


3 – listening comprehension

Listen to this audio file and find the missing words in the text:


North Las Vegas airport


4 – the general English section


In the US, the symbol of the Republican Party is an elephant, while the Democrats favor a donkey. Read some excerpts from a CNN article explaining the origin of these strange mascots, then answer the following questions:

–  Who popularized the symbols?

– Where did he work?

– Which word is said to be derived from his name?

– In which year was the elephant popularized as a symbol for the Republican Party?

– To what is Nast comparing American politics?


The full article is available here.


5 – the Fun Corner

Review the origin of Eliot’s Practice Papers and go for a treasure hunt among the first of them with this October 2018 Infopilote article entitled:

Double the pleasure, find the treasure, with Eliot’s Practice Papers.


Find more exercises on standard operations in Practice Papers #31 to #36 (Shelter-In-Place Special Editions n°1 to n°6)

and in the November issue of Infopilote.



Practice 16/10/2020

Mastering ATIS transcription is important for pilots, not only when planning a flight, but also when sitting for the FCL.055, since ATIS transmissions appear at least twice during the exam: in the fictional flight test, and as the last of the 10 messages of the live traffic test.

So, grab your headset and get some practice!

1 – 3 full ATIS

Listen to these ATIS from UK airports and jot down as much information as you can:

Belfast City




2 – more odds and ends

Listen to an audio file of various elements of ATIS recordings:

and find the missing words in this text.


3 – more listening comprehension 

Read an « In English, please » article published in Infopilote in May 2018 entitled « It was supposed to be the advent of spring », and listen to the recording below to find the missing words.


4 – the general English section


After watching this video from the BBC, preferably without enabling the subtitles:

US election 2020: how to become president

and reading these two articles, also from the BBC:

US election 2020: a really simple guide

US election 2020: what is the electoral college?

you should have a better understanding of how the presidential election works in the US, and why it is possible to be elected without having won a majority of the votes.

A few trivia questions:

1 – At the time of the writing of the constitution in 1787, why was the electoral college favored by the southern states?

2 – Which are the only 2 states that divide up their electoral college votes according to the proportion of votes each candidate received?

3 – In the past 100 years, how many presidents were elected without winning the public vote?


5 – the fun corner

This custom-made word search will help you review ATIS vocabulary the fun way!


Find more exercises on ATIS in Practice Papers #31 to #36 and in the October issue of Infopilote. 


PRACTICE PAPER #37 – BACK-TO-BASICS n°1 – letters and numbers
Practice 19/09/2020

Welcome back!

As explained in the September issue of Infopilote, « In English, please » is setting up a ten-month program to help you get ready to pass the FCL-055 VFR exam by June. Eliot’s Practice Papers will complement  the magazine’s articles to provide more practice on the month’s topic, not forgetting, of course,   some general English work, and having some fun in the process.

Let’s start straight away with Back-to-basics n°1, focusing on letters and numbers



1 – SERA

For a review of the rules related to the use of letters and numbers in voice communications go to the EASA site, and scroll down the page to download the SERA document:

SERA’s Section 14 is dedicated to « Voice communication procedures ». More precisely, the rules about letters are to be found in SERA. 14020 and those about numbers in SERA.14035 and 14040 .

– what is the general rule for the transmission of numbers?

– what is the general derogatory rule?

– in which case do you pronounce two digits together?


2 – listening comprehension

Below is an audio file of letters and numbers, the latest recorded in the same order as in SERA.14035


Find the missing letters and numbers in this script.


3 – listening comprehension … again!

Listen to this audio file of letters and numbers recorded randomly and jot down as many as you can.


4 – the general English section




Efficient communication starts with good pronunciation.  Step up your motivation a notch and visit the BBC Learning English’s pronunciation section at www.bbc.co.uk. Scroll to the bottom of the page to start at Episode 1, and work your way up, a couple – or more –  videos every day!


5 – the fun corner

Let’s unwind with a few riddles around numbers:

– find a number which, when written as a word, has the same number of letters as its numerical value.

– what number has its letters in alphabetical order when spelled out?

– find a four digit number in which: the first digit is one-third of the second, the third is the sum of the first two, and the last is three times the second. All digits in the number are different.


Find more exercises on letters and numbers in Practice Papers: #31 to #34 and #29.



PP #36 – Shelter-In-Place Special Edition n°6
Practice 08/05/2020

Shelter-In-Place Special Editions n°1 to 5 followed the chronological development of a flight.

In this process, the main topics covered were: radio operations, airports, taxiing, take-off, airspace, and flight information. 

Shelter-In-Place Special Edition n°6 will end this six-week journey by going over

navigation and landing.


1 – Friday, May 8th

Review vocabulary on navigation and phraseology on landing with these two double pages from L’Anglais pour voler:

FLYING – Navigation

PHRASEOLOGY – Aerodrome traffic circuit, landing

Then practice with a crossword.


2 – Saturday, May 9th

For a recap, follow the chronological stages of a flight from departure to arrival with this listening comprehension exercise:

ATIS, departure, flight information, arrival


With an additional fun quest: find the typo in the text!


3 – Sunday, May 10th



4 – Monday, May 11th

Oshkosh, the legendary fly-in held every year in July in the US, has been cancelled this year because of the pandemic. Revisit the 2018 event and listen to an awesome arrival sequence:



The links are still relevant, although Fraser MacPhee’s comment mentioned in the www.boldmethod.com paragraph is nowhere to be found.

www.pilotworkshop.com’s  pilot-friendly briefing guide.


5 – Tuesday, May 12th

Taxi, take-off, landing, … and more


6 – Wednesday, May 13th

Something a pilot needs to land is … a landing gear! Below is a digest of what can happen when its reliability is questionable:

Where aircraft meet earth


7 – Thursday, May 14th

The closing exercise is another full FCL.055 exam, for a last round of checkups. Practice with a fictional flight, an unusual situation, and a listening comprehension test. Read carefully the instructions, several times if needed, for each exercise. You’ll also find a complete presentation of the exam in PP #31 Shelter-In-Place Special Edition n°1’s seventh exercise .


– Fictional flight

scenario and audio file:


– Unusual situation



– listening comprehension

listen to the recording below and find the missing words in the text:



PP #35 – Shelter-In-Place Special Edition n°5
Practice 01/05/2020


Shelter-In-Place Special Editions n°1 to 4 took you gradually up into the air.

Now that you have taken off, what topics come next?

Airspace and flight information!

1 – Friday, May 1st

Get in the mood with a short refresher on airspace classification and airspace infringement:

Know your airspace, don’t become an infringement statistic


Read more on the subject of airspace infringement here. Scroll down the page to find a useful guide if you plan a flight in the UK : The Skyway Code 


2 – Saturday, May 2nd

From L’Anglais pour voler, two double-pages worth of vocabulary:

AIRPORTS – Surroundings

PHRASEOLOGY – Flight Information Service

Soon to come: check the pronunciation of some of the words: In-flight landmarks.

And practice with a crossword.


3 – Sunday, May 3rd

This first listening comprehension exercise will include some revisions on airport operations:

Airspace, airports, movement area



4 – Monday, May 4th




(1) : The ATIS phone numbers for the UK’s airports  are listed p.32  of the GetMet leaflet available on the Met Office site. Scroll down the   « Aeronautical meteorology – service for low-level aviation »  paragraph to the last entry: Training resources for pilots and GETMET. 


5 – Tuesday, May 5th

Another listening comprehension exercise, this time showing how significant  flight information can be for a pilot:

Flight Information Service



6 – Wednesday, May 6th

This listening comprehension exercise focuses on traffic information:

To help you see and avoid



7 – Friday, May 7th

At the end of the 5th week of intensive practice, it is time for a full FCL.055 exam, with one excercise for each of the three tests.

If needed, go back to PP #31 Shelter-In-Place Special Edition n°1, Thursday April 7th,  for a complete presentation of the exam.


1 –Fictional flight

2 – Unusual situation

3 – Listening comprehension





PP #34 – Shelter-In-Place Special Edition n°4
Practice 24/04/2020

Special Edition n°1 dealt with basic words, n°2 was about radio operations, and n°3 tackled airports and taxiing.

With Special Edition n°4, let’s go a step further in the chronology of a flight, and work on runways and take-off.

1 – Friday, April 24th

Some light reading to start with, review a few basic facts, and reflect on runway excursions and incursions:

Runways, are they really dangerous places to be?


2 – Saturday, April 25th

From L’Anglais pour voler, study these two double-pages:

AIRPORTS – The manoeuvering area

PHRASEOLOGY – Aerodrome, take-off

Coming soon: check the pronunciation of some of the words here.


3 – Sunday, April 26th

Now for some listening comprehension:

Standard tower operations



4 – Monday, April 27th

Back to ATIS and numbers, with some more listening comprehension practice:

Weather and numbers



5 – Tuesday, April 28th

More reading about what you are NOT supposed to find around an aircraft:

FOD, encounters of a dubious kind


6 – Wednesday, April 29th

Also on the subject of FOD:

Airside bizarre encouters



7 – Thursday, April 30th

End of week 4. It’s time for the already traditional FCL.055 VFR exam listening comprehension test:

Get ready for the new flying season




PP #33 – Shelter-In-Place Special Edition n°3
Practice 17/04/2020

Review the vocabulary associated with airports,

and  phraseology related to the phases of  flight preceding take-off: ground operations and taxiing.



1 – Friday, April 17th

To warm up your brain and switch it into English mode, read this article from Kiddle, Wikipedia’s offspring made for children.

Learning from children’s programs is a great way to go back to basics.

Airport facts for kids


Scroll all the way down the article, to read the pictures’ caption and review a lot of vocabulary, as you would in a visual dictionary.


2 – Saturday, April 18th

From L’Anglais pour voler, study these two double-pages on ground operations:

AIRPORTS – Ground handling

PHRASEOLOGY – Aerodrome, on the ground

And practice with a crossword.


3 – Sunday, April 19th

Taxiing is not as easy as it sounds:

Taxiing around an airport, an orienteering exercise



4 – Monday, April 20th

Numbers, again … but this time with letters!



5 – Tuesday, April 21st




Remember that the ATIS phone numbers for the UK’s airports  are listed p.32  of the GetMet leaflet available on the Met Office site.

Scroll down the   » Aeronautical meteorology – service for low-level aviation «  paragraph to the last entry: Training resources for pilots and GETMET. 


6 – Wednesday, April 22nd

What happens when something goes wrong:

Sorry, we’re closed



7 – Thursday, April 23rd

Celebrate the end of the third week of intensive English training with another  FCL.055  listening comprehension test.

FCL.055 VFR exam 


Practice 1

Practice 2



PP #32 – Shelter-In-Place Special Edition n°2
Practice 10/04/2020


Eliot is doing his upmost to keep you on your toes during the lockdown enforcement.

The second opus of the practice papers special edition focuses on phraseology and listening comprehension.



1 – Friday, April 10th

From Blériot to CPDLC, follow the evolution of pilot-controller communication in aviation:

A brief story of Airspeak

A quick remark about the second footnote: as mentioned in previous practice papers dealing with phraseology, there is only one publication left on the SIA site in reference to phraseology: the Manuel de formation à la phraséologie. The instructions formely found in the Procédures de radiotéléphonie are now available in section 14 –  « voice communication procedures » – of the Standardised European Rules of the Air.


2 – Saturday, April 11th

Review last week’s lesson with this listening comprehension exercise:

A few key messages and useful words



3 – Sunday, April 12th

From L’Anglais pour voler, study these two double-pages revolving around radio operations:

Phraseology – Radio

ATS – Radio

And practice with a crossword


4 – Monday, April 13th

ATIS, again …



5 – Tuesday, April 14th

Numbers, again



6 – Wednesday, April 15th

What happens when radio communications go wrong:

NWA 188 becomes NORDO



7 – Thursday, April 16th

Today is the end of the second week of intensive English training. Check your progress with another FCL.055 listening comprehension test:

FCL.055 VFR exam


Practice 1

Practice 2



PP #31 – Shelter-In-Place Special Edition n°1
Practice 03/04/2020

Quarantine, isolation, lockdown, shelter-in-place, stay-at-home, social distancing … you name it! Several words for one result: a lot of free time on your hands. Eliot is doing his share to help you with that! Until the end of these very strange times, expect a practice paper once a week,  each offering a daily exercise. Stick to the program, you’ll notice a definite improvement.



1 – Friday, April 3rd

Today is the first day of this new program, so let’s start with a general reminder of what you can do to improve your English:

Improve your English in 10 easy steps


Print the page, post it on the fridge, and practice one of the 10 steps instead of binging on junk food.


Two remarks:

– In step 7, the SIA has now only one document related to phraseology: the « Manuel de formation à la phraséologie »

– the correct internet address for step 8 is: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/services/transport/aviation/regulated.


2 – Saturday, April 4th

From L’Anglais pour voler, study these 2 double-pages to learn some basic words:

A few useful words – 1

A few useful words  – 2

And practice with a wordsearch.


3 – Sunday, April 5th

Reinforce the knowledge you acquired yesterday with this listening comprehension exercise, listen to the recording and find the missing words in the text:

Standard words and phrases



An update on the footnotes in the article:

(1) is now: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=1&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=6973

(2) same internet address, but there is only one manual now, the « Manuel de formation à la phraséologie ».


4 – Monday, April 6th

It is important in radio communications to understand and jot down numbers correctly. Here is some practice:

Transmission of letters, numbers and frequencies



5 – Tuesday, April 7th

The FCL.055 was presented in full in Info-pilote’s October 2013 issue:

The FCL.055 – a user’s guide

Not much has changed since then. The only noteworthy difference is found in the unusual situation test: applicants now have 90 seconds (instead of only 30) to read their card before explaining their trouble.


6 – Wednesday, April 8th

ATIS comprehension counts for 2 points in the FCL.055 listening comprehension test, and is also a key feature in the fictional flight. The good news: it’s an easy skill to work on.




Again, there is only one noteworthy change to consider in the article. In the footnote n°2, the UK’s airports ATIS phone numbers are now listed p.32  of the GetMet leaflet available on the Met Office site. Scroll down the  » Aeronautical meteorology – service for low-level aviation » paragraph to the last entry: Training resources for pilots and GETMET. 


7 – Thursday, April 9th

Today is the end of the first week of intensive English training. Check your progress with this first FCL.055 listening comprehension test:

… As if you were there


Practice 1

Practice 2



This Dictionary.com slide on new words the Coronavirus pandemic created and, to finish with a smile or two, a link to one of the many sites posting jokes on the subject .