Dictionnaire & vocabulaire aéronautique

2019 – PP #21 to #30

Practice 13/12/2019

2019 has been a great year for commemorations of various kinds.


1 – commemorations

First listen to this CNN  story celebrating 100 years of commercial flight:



then answer these questions:

a – Which airlines are celebrating 100 years of commercial flight in 2019?

b – What are the Delft houses filled with?

c – What does the commentator mean by « a different runway »?

d – Lisa’s uniform dates back to what year?


To have a look at the Delft houses, watch the video here; and if you have not got all of it, read the full transcript here .


Then read these shortened versions of two articles published on the 50th anniversaries of Concorde’s first flight and of the moon landing, then answer these questions:

e – What is another expression for first flight?

f – How long did this first flight last?

g – When did Apollo 11 undock?

h – Where did « Eagle », the Lunar Module, land?


For the whole stories of both events visit The Connexion and the NASA sites.



2 – vocabulary

The « Flying » chapter in L’Anglais pour voler has 13 sections. Review the vocabulary on radio aids with this extract  from the book.


3 – listening comprehension

Listen to this www.pilotworkshop.com audio on VOR decommissioning in the US:



Then answer these few questions:

a – What was the original number of VORs?

b – What does MON stand for?

c – What replaces a VOR when it has been decommissioned?

d – Above which altitude would MON coverage be guaranteed?

e – How many VORs does the FAA plan to decommission by 2025?


You can check the transcript here .

Remember that you can sign up for their « pilot’s tip of the week » here .


4 – general English corner


According to this Connexion article, English is the language that has been the most influenced by another language, and this language is French! One English word out of two is a direct import from French.

List all the French-originated words you can find in the Connexion article and in this fun video:


5 – word game

Have fun with this crossword where all words are anagrams of the word « aircraft« .



Practice 15/11/2019

Numbers are ever-present in the aeronautical world, and mastering their use is an important aspect of radio communications.



1 – numbers

Check some rules relating to various uses of numbers in general English here.


2 – reading comprehension

Read these extracts from former « In English, please » articles and from the official British phraseology book – CAP 413 – and answer these questions:

a – What is the other name for the CAA’s CAP 413?

b – How would you pronounce « 100 », « 250 », « 6500 », « 123,500 »?

c – How are « thousand » and « three » pronounced?


3 – listening comprehension

Listen to the audio recording:


and find the missing numbers in this transcript.


4 – grammar

Check what you learnt with this short exercise here.


5 – crossword

Alphabet soup



Practice 18/10/19

October is the first month of the fall season, and what better symbolizes autumn than clouds?


Let’s explore the cotton world of clouds!


1 – vocabulary

Review cloud-related vocabulary with this double page from « L’Anglais pour voler ».


2 – listening comprehension

Watch this  You tube video initially designed  for kids, thereby making it easy to listen to, and understand. Then answer these questions:

1 – When do clouds form?

2 – Why do clouds often form when the temperature cools?

3 – What are the five basic types of clouds?

4 – What are cirrus clouds sometimes called?


You can also watch this  short video, for its soothing effect!


3 – reading comprehension

Read this former Infopilote article published in June 2010, at the height of an ash cloud crisis, then answer these questions:

1 – What happened to the British Airways flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth, in June 1982?

2 – What does a fair weather cumulus indicate?

3 – In what other cloud can a cumulus develop, given the right conditions?


4 – general English corner

We’ve done it already, but it’s such a lot of fun, with amazing results, that’s it’s worth doing it again.

This is a word cloud on clouds made from a text found  on the internet:



Here is how to make your own: go to www.wordle.net and  download your Wordle version on your computer. Copy and paste (ctrl + V) a text and hit the « go » button.  You can adapt font, layout, color to your own specs.

Word clouds are awesome to look at, and are great to learn vocabulary the fun way, as they put forward the most recurrent words in a text. They are particularly dynamic when used in a presentation.


5 – quiz

Let’s finish on a light note with this quiz from www.boldmethod.com. What was your score?



Practice 13/09/2019

September is that time of the year when you’re supposed to go back to some serious work and PP #27 will help you do just that.  We’ll pick up where we left off in June, i.e. phraseology.


1 – vocabulary

The Phraseology division in « L’Anglais pour voler » is made up of 18 chapters, covering all aspects of flight. PP#26 offers a double page that regroups some useful words. Here is another double page with some more useful words!


2 – listening comprehension

Practice standard words and phrases with a former Info-pilote article.


Listen to the audio file below:



and find the missing words in the article here.


3 – reading comprehension

Go to www.skybrary.com, and click on the first button: « Air ground Communication ».


Scroll down the page to « Communication Guide for General Aviation VFR Flights ».


In this article, click on « Communication Guide » to gain access to « A guide to Phraseology for General Aviation Pilots in Europe ».


This 25-page brochure tells you everything you need to know about radio communications in English. For example:
– p. 13: How is 12 000 transmitted?
– p. 14: In which case is it possible not to transmit all six digits of a radio frequency?
– p. 27: How should you acknowledge a traffic information provided by an ATC unit?



4 – general English corner

Today, September 13th 2019, it’s full moon madness on Friday the 13th!


Read this dictionary.com article on Friday the 13th:
– Why is Friday and the number 13 considered unlucky by Christians, or by the Norse?


You can also watch the video attached to the article:
– What is a self-fulfilling prophecy?


Then read this article to know more about the Harvest Moon, micro moons, and when will the next co-occurence of these two ominous events happen.


5 – word game

We use words in French that look like they come from English, but which are not actually used by English speakers. In this crossword, the clues are the English looking French words. Try to find their equivalent in English.


Practice 14/06/2019

With Summer almost here, it’s time to brush up your communication skills with a few exercises on phraseology.

1 – reading comprehension

A former Infopilote article entitled « A brief story of Airspeak », will take us through a few decades of phraseology evolution.


You can choose to listen to the audio version of the article first:


The article was published in Infopilote’s November 2007 issue, and one thing has changed since then: there is now only one document related to phraseology, the « Manuel de formation à la phraseologie ».

– On the SIA site check the date of its latest version.

– What does the acronym CPDLC stand for?

In the 12 years since the publication of this article, CPDLC has made progress. Go to the Eurocontrol page dedicated to the subject:

– What is CPDLC used for?

– What are the advantages of CPDLC?


2 – vocabulary

The Phraseology division in « L’Anglais pour voler » is made up of 18 chapters, covering all aspects of flight. Here is a double page regrouping some useful words.


3 – listening comprehension

Standard phraseology doesn’t cover all situations. Read the article entitled « Beyond phraseology, expect the unexpected » and listen to the audio file below to find the missing words in the text.



4 – general English corner


First, review a few basic grammar rules on the use of articles. Then consolidate your knowledge with the help of Grammarman.


5 – wordsearch

Find in this grid 30 of the words listed in the extract of « L’Anglais pour voler » posted in exercise 2.



Practice 17/05/2019


Airspace in Europe is complicated and overcrowded. Busy airports, military areas, and/or special use airspace can make the planning of a flight something of a challenge. Let’s fly into the subject.


1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary on airspace with the help of a double-page extract from L’Anglais pour voler.


2 – reading comprehension

Read the « In English, please » article published in the March 2014 issue of Infopilote entitled: « Know your airspace, don’t become an infringement statistic ».

Then answer these questions:

a – is radio contact compulsory for VFR flights in class E airspace?

b – mention some factors that can lead to airspace infringement.

c – the Channel Island Control Zone is notified as which class of airspace?

d – what are the 4 classes of airspace that can be found in Belgium?


3 – listening comprehension

Listen to the audio recording of 15 pilot-controller messages, partly sourced from www.liveatc.net, and from former Infopilote articles.



Find the missing words in this transcription of the recording.


4 – general English corner

Mother’s day is closing in fast. To celebrate this very special day, we’ll review the expressions all mothers are bound to know, as they are universal in parenting. You want to check how they say « quand est-ce qu’on arrive? » in English? Well, here  is the place to go!


5 – wordsearch




Practice 19/04/2019

Standard radio communications have been worked on in PP #10,

PP #24 will therefore focus on unusual radio operations such as loss of communications, radio failure, and emergency communications.

1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary here.

2 – listening comprehension

Listen to the live traffic recording below and find the missing words in this article, published in Infopilote in August 2011.

It follows NWA 188 as it flew across several American states without any radio contact with ATC and/or airline dispatchers for more than one hour, eventually overshooting its destination.



3 – reading comprehension

To get some insights on why the incident happened, read these extracts of articles from CNN and The Atlantic, then answer these questions:

a – check the meaning of « snafu » on wikipedia . To whom is the coining of the word attributed?

b – on what subject was the first officer giving instructions to the captain?

c – what raised alarm on the flight deck?

d – again on wikipedia , check the legal meaning of « frolic ». In your opinion, were the pilots engaged in a frolic, a detour, or were they just « disengaged » as the FAA also adds?

If you are interested in more information, here are the 5 pages of the NTSB final report.

4 – general English corner

Today is Good Friday, the first day of the Easter holiday. The general English corner will take you where Brexit and Easter overlap: the Good Friday Agreement.

You’ll find here an introduction to the Agreement, found on the Northern Ireland Assembly educational site, and some extracts from an article by The Atlantic, explaining the impact of Brexit on this delicate balance.

a – Why is the Agreement known as the Good Friday Agreement?

b – What were the leaders of the two main political parties involved in the process awarded?

c – Which party didn’t support the agreement?

d – What is the DUP afraid of today?

5 – word game

Find here a word cloud, and a word search.

In the former, find 15 words that jump out at you, and place them in the latter.

Once you have completed the word search, the unused letters in the first 4 lines will give you a hidden message.

This hidden message will lead you to a mystery word.

Practice 15/03/2019


Following the crash of ETH302 last Sunday, now is as good a time as any to talk about accidents, incidents and investigations.



1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary on accidents  with the help of a double-page extract from L’Anglais pour voler.


2 – reading comprehension

Read the « In English, please » article published in the July 2011 issue of Info-pilote entitled: « Air accident investigations, looking for answers ».


Then answer these questions:

a – what does BEA stand for?

b – how long did the AF447 black boxes remain at the bottom of the ocean?

c – which ICAO annex describes the SARPs for aircraft accident and incident investigation?

d – what is not the purpose of investigations?

e – who designates the investigator-in-charge?


3 – listening comprehension

Listen to the audio recording of a CNN report of the ETH302 accident, and of Donald Trump announcing the United States’ decision to follow suit with the rest of the world and ground the B737 Max:



Find the missing words in this transcription  of the recording.


4 – general English corner



How does your English sound? Jersey or New Jersey ?

Practice with this exercise . Do the words fall in the Jersey (J) or New Jersey (NJ) category?

If you are craving for more, visit the British Council  site, an interesting place to go to fine-tune your general English.


5 – crossword

A crossword with attitude!



Practice 15/02/2019

Practice Paper #22  focuses on the only part of the aircraft which should ever be in contact with the ground: the landing gear.


Where aircraft meet earth



1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary on landing gears  with this double page from L’Anglais pour voler.


2 – crossword

This crossword  offers more practice to help you remember the main words.


3 – listening comprehension

Listen to these recordings from www.liveatc.net.

Then find the missing words in the transcript.


4 – reading comprehension

Go to www.pilotworkshop.com  first to listen, then read an article on gear-up landings, and answer these questions.

1 – according to Tom, what is the main reason leading to a gear-up landing?

2 – what is Tom’s advice if you realize that your landing gear is still up when you are within 500 feet of the ground?

3 – why?

4 – scroll down the page to the « comments » section. Buck Rogers, Uniangulo and Mark Logan have a common technique to avoid the gear-up landing trap. What is it?

5 – what is the GUMPS check?



5 – general English corner

It’s cold season. There’s a cold virus going around and some of the people you know may already have one.

What are the symptoms  of the common cold?

Then read this  common cold fact file  and answer these questions:


1 – What should you eat if you want to avoid getting one too?

a – plenty of oranges and other fruit that is rich in vitamin C

b -chocolate

c – food like carrots, spinach, eggs and liver that is rich in vitamin A


2 – If someone with a cold sneezes on a bus, everyone on the bus is exposed to the cold virus. What can you do to avoid a cold?

a – wash your hands regularly

b – relax – take things easy

c – have regular saunas


3 – It’s too late now for preventative action. You’ve got a cold and you feel dreadful. Which cold remedy, among others, actually works?

a – hot, spicy Indian or Mexican food

b – a glass of milk

c – a cheeseburger with large fries


4 – You’re probably miserable and feeling a little sorry for yourself. What should you do to get over your cold and start to feel better?

a – use a cloth handkerchief to blow your nose

b – put your head over a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam

c – go to bed and get some more sleep



Practice 18/01/2019

Ten years ago, on the 15th of January 2009, following a bird strike shortly after take-off, Captain Sullenberger ditched his Airbus A320 into the Hudson. Practice Paper #21 will commemorate this amazing demonstration of flying skills by looking into bird strikes and more broadly into flight hazards, .



1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary on  flight hazards.


2 – listening comprehension

Listen to the audio version of the March 2009 Info-pilote article, « Sorry, say again Cactus », recounting what happened to AWE 1549 on the 15th of January 2009. Pilot/controller and controller/controller exchanges are excerpts from the official FAA file.



And answer these questions:

a – how long did the flight last, from taxiing to ditching?

b – what was AWE 1549’s scheduled flight?

c – what was the current ATIS?

d – what was the clearance given by NY Tracon on first contact?

e – what airport was suggested by the controller after radar contact was lost?

f – how many souls were on board?


Read the whole script here .

Jeppesen, the iconic company which has been creating aviation maps and approach charts for more than 80 years, also have a sense of humor! From time to time, they release commemorative personalized charts to celebrate special events. Their most popular so far is the HUDSON MIRACLE APCH  plate, published to honor Captain Sullenberger and his crew. Follow AWE 1549’s flight path from GOOSE to RESCUE, check the SAAAR procedure, and find out the flight crew’s combined years of experience.


3 – reading comprehension

Read this article on wildlife mitigation risk at airports , and answer these questions:

a – which aircraft parts are more likely to be hit?

b – what is IBIS?

c – where are the vast majority of birdstrikes happening?

d – what is the aim of the prevention tactics?

e – ultimately, when prevention is not enough, what is the most efficient option?


4 – general English corner



The Chinese will celebrate the advent of the Year of the Pig on the 5th of February. Learn everything you need to know about the Chinese New Year at www.chinesenewyear.net .

Navigate the site to find the answers to these questions:

a – by what other name is the Chinese New Year known?

b – why do people clean their house before the start of New Year?

c – why do children like to get red envelopes?


5 – word search

Find 20 words, all in connection with flight hazards, in this grid.