How to pass your Radio Telephony Exam

I wanted to write this post on how to pass your radio telephony exam as it was an exam I was worried about before I took it, but it really wasn’t that bad.
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I wrote this post on what to use to study for your radio telephony exam.
The information in that post is still very useful and valid for your exam and to be honest it really is all you need. I was so worried about the exam that I had looked at RT courses online as I felt that the exam will be a lot harder. I would say unless you are really awful on the radio then these courses are just not needed.
My advice is wait until you have at least done your cross country qualifier before taking this exam. The reason for this is that this is the first time you experience flying where you change frequencies a lot and do position reports etc. These are the things that you need to do on your RT.

On my test I had to know how to do the following things.

  1. Start up
  2. Request Taxi
  3. Take off
  4. Hand off to approach
  5. MATZ penetration
  6. Change to radar
  7. Position report
  8. Request a true bearing
  9. Change to radar
  10. PAN PAN PAN call
  11. Request zone transit
  12. Enter the circuit and attempt to land
  13. MAYDAY call

When you look at the list, if you are later in your training you have most likely done a lot of that. I had done everything bar the MATZ penetration, request a true bearing and do a zone transfer.
On top of this your examiner will give you a briefing before you start and give you examples of how to do these things. However you can also find examples in both the CAP 413, the safety sense leaflet and the other document I have linked above.
You will also then get time with the route to plan what you have to do etc. You also get instructions on what you have to do on the test.
The setup is very basic, it is two machines connected to each other by a cable which you can plug a headset in. You sit in one room and the examiner sits in the other one.
You have a transmit button and the ability to change the frequencies. On top of this there is a light which signifies an emergency. I wish I had taken a picture but to tell the truth, I forgot (shame on me).
The examiner is really good, he plays the part of all the controllers as well as the part of additional traffic on frequency.

Some advice for you.

  1. Read everything carefully.
  2. If you make a mistake just say “standby” and compose yourself.
  3. You dictate how fast or how slow the test goes, take your time it is not a race.
  4. When somebody announces a mayday you be quiet.
  5. If you do a mayday call and nobody answers you simply say you got no response from your mayday so you are going to 121.5.
  6. Know how to relay a mayday call.
  7. Don’t stress, this is when you are more likely to make errors.
  8. When the examiner gives you examples of a call WRITE THEM DOWN.
  9. Practice the calls, driving is a great time, people must have thought I was crazy doing mayday calls at red lights 🙂
  10. Make sure the controller is talking to you before replying.

Put simply, it isn’t as bad as you are thinking and I am sure if you prepare properly you will pass without much difficulty.

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