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Aviation Communication

Between Theory and Practice


Edited By Silvia Hansen-Schirra and Karin Maksymski

This book contains a collection of articles dealing with aviation communication from a practical as well as a theoretical perspective. Its publication arises as a result of the conference «Languages and cultures above the clouds – International English between standardization and everyday aviation communication», which took place on the 4th and 5th November 2010 at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germersheim. The book substantiates and prospectively encourages an exchange between pilots, air traffic controllers, (language) trainers and researchers, i.e. an exchange between theory and practice. Not only does it contribute to the discussion of communication problems, but also to the development of efficient solutions concerning communication in Air Traffic Control.


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César Eugène Holzem: So Much to Say, so Few Words–Why Pilots Deviate from Standard Phraseology


55 César Eugène Holzem So Much to Say, so Few Words – Why Pilots Deviate from Standard Phraseology 1 Introduction Much can be said about to what extent and how pilots deviate from the ICAO standard phraseology in aviation communication, as is done in other contribu- tions to this volume. In the following, I will try to provide explanations as to why pilots deviate from this standard language – especially when they are not sup- posed to do so. Several reasons can be identified, of which five will be discussed as the main motives behind deviation, before moving on to the question how they can be dealt with and how communication can be improved. 2 Crew Resource Management Questions of aviation communication and the problems arising in this context can be discussed in the broader framework of Crew Resource Management (CRM). This section contains a short summary about CRM’s main issues and its importance for aviation. 2.1 CRM – What is It About? Research into aviation accidents at the end of the 1970s revealed that “the pri- mary cause of the majority of aviation accidents was human error, and that the main problems were failures of interpersonal communication, leadership, and decision making in the cockpit”.1 In this context, CRM was introduced as a means of improving interpersonal and situational behavior among the crew as well as between aircraft and air traffic control. It does not focus very much on the crew’s knowledge or their ability to operate an aircraft, but...

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