Behind the Scenes, Part II

Pilots are taught to aviate, navigate, and communicate, in that order.  In other words, keep the plane in the air, find your way, and, well, chat.  This advice is well taken if you’re flying in Timbuktu, but if your flight takes you through heavily congested areas such as Cape Town International Airspace – communication is a necessity.

Fortunately for us mono-lingual Safari pilots, english is the international language of air traffic control. On the other hand, not all english is created equal, which prompted George Bernard Shaw to quip ” America and England are two countries separated by a common language.” As it turns out, the english spoken in South Africa adds a third degree of separation.

The following audio clip is of ATC communications at Lanseria, Johannesburg, South Africa. Lanseria Air Traffic Communications

Here’s a test: If you can correctly interpret at least 75% of the communications, you’ll get a special shout-out on the blog.  

Safari pilots Doug, Mike, and David have been listening to tapes of South African ATC communications, in hopes of preventing an international incident with our communications.  :-)


5 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes, Part II

  1. Mark

    Well said Doug. Bon voyage, blue skies and safe flight. You guys have a wonderful trip and we’ll be tracking you from here.


  2. Layne

    Intense! Unfamiliar accents coupled with ATC-speak makes for a pretty incomprehensible experience! I’m sure you’ll be fine. ;)

  3. Bud

    Hi Doug,

    Lots of us in Fresno, some with extensive safari experience are reading your every word. Best to you guys and keep bringing the news.


  4. Linda Wyman

    Yikes…”left” was the only word I understood! The woman was easier to understand…figures!


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