English Vs French on the Radio.

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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by digits_ » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:42 pm

AuxBatOn wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:05 pm
Partly because most people can understand.
Honest question: wouldn't an English transmission be understood by more people, even in Quebec?

I admit my encounters with Quebec pilots are limited, but all pilots I've met know English. Is it common for Quebec people to understand English?
English pilots flying in Quebec usually don't understand French enough though.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by photofly » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:53 pm

rookiepilot wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:38 pm
Not advocating an impractical change in any "rules".
We misunderstood. You did write "Why is English not mandatory on the radio in Canada?" That does sound like you want to change the rules to make it mandatory.

What are you advocating for?
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rookiepilot » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:14 pm

Common sense, which even mentioning is as obviously a waste of time as advocating a rule change.

I actually asked some questions, which of course go unanswered
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by ahramin » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:34 pm

Your common sense doesn't have much sense, but I'll agree on the waste of time. However, if you really want to know, the main reason the French are so rabid about speaking French on the radio is because they keep getting attacked for speaking French.

If you don't know how this all started, I'll try to sum up though my history lesson is distant and I'm fuzzy on some details. English used to be the only language in aviation in Canada. We were a bilingual nation, but not in the air. Then one day a French controller said to another French controller sitting next to him "L'avion blablabla va faire bloubloublou" and the supervisor overheard them. Of course this was totally VERBOTEN (there's really no English word that conveys the proper level Forbidenness). Both controllers were suspended or censured or something because "French is unsafe in aviation" (sounds like familiar not so sensical common sense). So the union or civil liberties association or local militia or whatever took up a call to arms over the issue and after Transport Canada failed to resolve it quickly Trudeau stepped in and mandated the creation of the current system (French allowed and required to be available for all level of service in Québec and Ottawa). Anglophone pilots went on strike, Ontario politicians went bananas, but Trudeau being a true federalist felt that it was important not to piss off the Québecers over small issues with little benefit. Keep in mind that if the original supervisor had used some common sense, we mightn't be here today and non English speakers might well be relegated to non towered airports in Québec.

So I can understand why over 40 years of continued and common nonsense of "French on the radio is dangerous" and "There's going to be an accident" has made them a little deranged to the point where they feel they need to speak French on the radio to prove a point. Maybe if some common sense is used in the next 40 years to say "geez, it makes ME uncomfortable but it makes a lot of THEM more comfortable and there's absolutely no data to support my point of view, maybe I'll just leave it alone" and everyone stops trying to force them to stop when they know it's not going to happen, maybe, just maybe, they'll give it up and choose the safer option. Maybe ... but we're talking about a nation that have Je Me Souvien on their licence plate parbleu. I mean they're still talking about how some farmers with muskets got their asses kicked sur les plaines d'Abraham by British Red Coats. Red Coats for smegs sake. Professional soldiers that could fire 4 rounds a minute and if you killed half of them, would respond by closing up ranks and continue firing. Against farmers with minimal training, none of it with live rounds.

It's as bad as those phsycho Air Canada pilots still monumentally pissed 20 years later that they didn't get to destroy the careers of their peers at Canadian and instead were expected to act like adults and make the best of an unfortunate situation.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by Braun » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:00 pm

Geee, thanks for quoting me and starting a bonfire. I've read enough of your posts here and there to not get into an argument with you, you're clearly more knowledgeable on what is safer and better for us. So thanks! I'll make sure the whole VFR GA population that doesn't speak English in Quebec (and yes there are people who don't speak English to an adequate level) stop flying and attend your language and communication school.

Honestly, I'd be happy to just get adequate readbacks (in whatever language) by ''professional'' pilots. To me that is much more of a safety issue.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by TeePeeCreeper » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:05 am

Braun wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:00 pm
Geee, thanks for quoting me and starting a bonfire. I've read enough of your posts here and there to not get into an argument with you, you're clearly more knowledgeable on what is safer and better for us. So thanks! I'll make sure the whole VFR GA population that doesn't speak English in Quebec (and yes there are people who don't speak English to an adequate level) stop flying and attend your language and communication school.

Honestly, I'd be happy to just get adequate readbacks (in whatever language) by ''professional'' pilots. To me that is much more of a safety issue.
Braun,

I have no idea if your native tongue is English or Français.
Your previous response on another recent thread was read and most appreciated by myself as I too have always wondered about odd vectors into YUL.

The above post above yours is either a rant or a clever rambling to infuse some humour into this discussion.

I take no issue to either. (Although he could have been kind in posting said message in both Official languages) 8)

My fellow brethern,

Can we put this non issue to rest already?

Merci à tous!

TPC
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by Heliian » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:06 am

If you cannot understand, ask them to repeat in English.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by Jet Jockey » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:24 am

ahramin wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:34 pm
It's as bad as those phsycho Air Canada pilots still monumentally pissed 20 years later that they didn't get to destroy the careers of their peers at Canadian and instead were expected to act like adults and make the best of an unfortunate situation.

OMFG... I almost sh!t my pants, too funny!

Having friends that worked at Air Canada and Canadian at the time (and still are) this is right on... Can’t believe how arrogant the pr!cks at Air Canada were.

Anyway, I’m not going to debate on this subject too long and all I’m going to say is that I totally agree with the use of French for communications in the air whether in controlled or uncontrolled airspace in Quebec and perhaps Ottawa!

Having worked in Europe for 3 years and having flown all over the world where local languages are also used at all sorts of airports, I cannot agree with the philosophy that only “English” should be used. There are many areas of the world where locals, even airline pilots are not proficient in english or not enough to communicate properly so it makes sense for them to talk to ATC or do position reports in their own language.

Now, If I find myself in a situation where an anglo only pilot communicates on a MF freq going into an uncontrolled airport in Quebec, I will do my position reports both in French and English as a professional courtesy... I will also interact with the the anglo pilot in english to avoid any distress to him.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rookiepilot » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:26 am

ahramin wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:34 pm
Your common sense doesn't have much sense, but I'll agree on the waste of time. However, if you really want to know, the main reason the French are so rabid about speaking French on the radio is because they keep getting attacked for speaking French.

If you don't know how this all started, I'll try to sum up though my history lesson is distant and I'm fuzzy on some details. English used to be the only language in aviation in Canada. We were a bilingual nation, but not in the air. Then one day a French controller said to another French controller sitting next to him "L'avion blablabla va faire bloubloublou" and the supervisor overheard them. Of course this was totally VERBOTEN (there's really no English word that conveys the proper level Forbidenness). Both controllers were suspended or censured or something because "French is unsafe in aviation" (sounds like familiar not so sensical common sense). So the union or civil liberties association or local militia or whatever took up a call to arms over the issue and after Transport Canada failed to resolve it quickly Trudeau stepped in and mandated the creation of the current system (French allowed and required to be available for all level of service in Québec and Ottawa). Anglophone pilots went on strike, Ontario politicians went bananas, but Trudeau being a true federalist felt that it was important not to piss off the Québecers over small issues with little benefit. Keep in mind that if the original supervisor had used some common sense, we mightn't be here today and non English speakers might well be relegated to non towered airports in Québec.

So I can understand why over 40 years of continued and common nonsense of "French on the radio is dangerous" and "There's going to be an accident" has made them a little deranged to the point where they feel they need to speak French on the radio to prove a point. Maybe if some common sense is used in the next 40 years to say "geez, it makes ME uncomfortable but it makes a lot of THEM more comfortable and there's absolutely no data to support my point of view, maybe I'll just leave it alone" and everyone stops trying to force them to stop when they know it's not going to happen, maybe, just maybe, they'll give it up and choose the safer option. Maybe ... but we're talking about a nation that have Je Me Souvien on their licence plate parbleu. I mean they're still talking about how some farmers with muskets got their asses kicked sur les plaines d'Abraham by British Red Coats. Red Coats for smegs sake. Professional soldiers that could fire 4 rounds a minute and if you killed half of them, would respond by closing up ranks and continue firing. Against farmers with minimal training, none of it with live rounds.

It's as bad as those phsycho Air Canada pilots still monumentally pissed 20 years later that they didn't get to destroy the careers of their peers at Canadian and instead were expected to act like adults and make the best of an unfortunate situation.
Actually I was unaware of the history on this issue. So thanks for this. Most interesting.

FWIW--- to everyone as it seems I've stirred the hornets nest over language rights: :roll:

I don't have any particular issue with pilots using French in Quebec controlled or otherwise. Ok? Peace?

In Ontario -- which I repeatedly referenced was the basis of my own experiences -- and particularly west of Ottawa, might be a different story.

Now I'm off to my Mandarin class, so I can use that the next time I fly to BC....... :mrgreen:
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by photofly » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:06 am

I don't have any particular issue with pilots using French in Quebec controlled or otherwise. Ok? Peace?

In Ontario -- which I repeatedly referenced was the basis of my own experiences -- and particularly west of Ottawa, might be a different story.
Why the distinction? It's a safety issue, right? Language misunderstandings that cause accidents don't stop at provincial boundaries so why are you only concerned in Ontario?
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by ahramin » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:17 am

rookiepilot wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:26 am
In Ontario -- which I repeatedly referenced was the basis of my own experiences -- and particularly west of Ottawa, might be a different story.
So do share your experience. If there is an actual problem as you claim then the more people who know about it the better. Transport Canada has been know to take up issues like this with circulars and information drives. Transport Canada routinely requires the bilingual airlines in Canada to publish memos reminding everyone not to use French unless both crews understand. I'd like to support your position but you're not making it possible. You have referenced a midair in Carp but there doesn't seem to be anything pertaining to that midair that supports your argument. You have claimed that pilots are speaking French on the radio in other parts of Ontario, but I can't seem to wrap my head around how you know they are in Ontario since they are speaking French and the whole problem with French on the radio seems to be that you don't know where they are.

Other than Trumpisms stating that you know it's happening or Rumsfeldian hypotheticals, please share your actual relevant experiences so that the rest of us can share your concerns.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by TG » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:34 am

Jet Jockey wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:24 am
having flown all over the world where local languages are also used at all sorts of airports, I cannot agree with the philosophy that only “English” should be used. There are many areas of the world where locals, even airline pilots are not proficient in english or not enough to communicate properly so it makes sense for them to talk to ATC or do position reports in their own language.
Very true!
I recall asking permission to speak in French with Bamako's tower one time (Mali has French as official language) Since none of us in the cockpit could figure out what he was "saying" in English.
"None" is including one English speaking only guy! And boom! Communication problems solved :mrgreen:
Same thing in Annaba, Algeria, which truly cut short 50% of our radio's exchanges, confusion and all...

I recon they are extreme examples. Just that sometime it is safer to let it done in Native official language when English proficiency is well below par.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by ahramin » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:00 pm

Ha, just try to figure out what the controllers in Edinburgh are saying.

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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rookiepilot » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:34 pm

The point is, ever exercising one's "rights" in aviation, in any regard, at the willful expense of safety, is being a jerk.

The regs should mean bare minimum to a safe pilot.

Airmanship should be everything, and it really sucks in so many ways, (that I've personally observed) because of everyone's preoccupation with their "rights".
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by AuxBatOn » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:37 pm

Again, either provide facts (incident/accident reports with language as a root cause or contributing factors) or first hand experiences where language was a safety issue, not your relatively inexperienced aviator’s opinion.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by trey kule » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:50 pm

No, I won't. Because a quick look at the accident rate shows that there is no safety risk in flying through China without being able to speak Mandarin. What's silly is claiming that not learning a language is safe unless it's someone else that doesn't learn a language in which case it's dangerous.
Your claim is in dispute. The number of airports you can fly into in mainland China is very limited; the majority are Mandarin only. The ATC folks at ?all the non international airports there do not speak a word of English. There is no safety risk because you can’tdo it.

And, other than in some small pockets all fights in China are IFR. And kept on an a tight leash.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rookiepilot » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:51 pm

ABO:
rookiepilot wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:35 pm

I'm a GA pilot who has flown into Quebec but more often into Eastern Ontario. I'd heard French both in controlled and uncontrolled airspace, the latter certainly is a safety concern for someone with extremely rusty French when it gets really busy.
Multiple occasions heard, (over the years) at low altitude, well inside Ontario -- over 100 nm -- on 126.70 and different Unicom frequencies while I was transiting. Can't recall one when I was actually landing -- to be fair, except perhaps Ottawa, which was controlled.

The logic of doing that, makes no sense to me. If I can be enlightened, I'm all ears.

Here's an interesting stat: (OTTAWA)
"As such it is the largest city in Canada with both English and French as co-official languages.... [T]hose with French as their mother tongue make up 14.2 percent of the population."

And for that small amount // dual language everything.

(RICHMOND BC).

"In Richmond, 44.8% indicated Chinese as their mother tongue, 33.1% indicated English".

Why isn't there approaches and the ATIS offered in Chinese at YVR?
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by AuxBatOn » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:21 pm

Because you hear French and don’t understand doesn’t mean is any less safe. That’s just your perception. Language and communications is one of many barriers preventing accidents in aviation.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rookiepilot » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:27 pm

AuxBatOn wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:21 pm
Because you hear French and don’t understand doesn’t mean is any less safe. That’s just your perception. Language and communications is one of many barriers preventing accidents in aviation.
By that rational we should allow Chinese in the lower mainland.

Why not choose the safest option when possible?
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by trey kule » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:39 pm

Auxbat posted
Again, either provide facts (incident/accident reports with language as a root cause or contributing factors) or first hand experiences where language was a safety issue, not your relatively inexperienced aviator’s opinion.Again, either provide facts (incident/accident reports with language as a root cause or contributing factors) or first hand experiences where language was a safety issue, not your relatively inexperienced aviator’s opinion?
What he said......

Rookie. You show some hard facts, from CADORs, TSB investigations,etc. , and I will wholeheartedly support you.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by AuxBatOn » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:15 pm

rookiepilot wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:27 pm
AuxBatOn wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:21 pm
Because you hear French and don’t understand doesn’t mean is any less safe. That’s just your perception. Language and communications is one of many barriers preventing accidents in aviation.
By that rational we should allow Chinese in the lower mainland.

Why not choose the safest option when possible?
If it was a primary language taught in a large proportion of schools throughout Canada then sure, let’s allow Chinese. But it is not.

By your logic, we should stop flying altogether. That’s the real safest option in aviation.

The framework of aviation (ie: the rules) is made of a balance of safety, convenience, practicality and cost. Nothing is as safe as it could be nor is it as cheap or convenient as it could.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rookiepilot » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:41 pm

digits_ wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:01 pm
Here's another question: why even bother with an MF if there can be 2 pilot groups on the frequency that don't understand each other?

NavCanada determined an airfield needs an MF, but the pilot group/regulator decides it's not an issue if you only understand half the planes in the circuit.

At least in Ontario: We are operating under the reasonable assumption most every pilot CAN choose to communicate in English -- yet some choose not to.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by confusedalot » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:49 pm

I don't know why I am a sucker for abuse, but whatever, I know I am wading into a situation where I will be torn apart to itty bitty pieces.

I am an English guy. I live in Quebec. Because of that, and that only (read, no special merit), I am fully bilingual. But that does not matter.

If you fly in Quebec, you WILL get service in English.

Flown around a big chunk of the world. Only by circumstance. 100% of those countries provide English service, 99% (probably more), also use another language. As far as I can tell, only Germany mandates the use of English only, even for their own nationals, but that was years ago. May have changed now.

So.......what exactly is the problem? I never encountered a safety problem because of language.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by HiFlyChick » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:24 pm

Interesting discussion on both sides - not sure which side I agree with at this point.

Just a real world example from a few years ago....
Flying into CYQB (or was it CYOW...can't recall) and listening to the controller talk to another guy in French and me in English. Got clearance to land and in the flare I got a call from ATC in French. My French is limited to understanding little old ladies (who generally speak slower than youngsters), so while I caught my call sign, I couldn't get what he'd said and asked "Say again". He said "Oops - sorry..." and repeated the original transmission in English, but I must confess I wondered if it had've been an emergency (i.e. runway incursion, etc) would the loss of a few precious seconds made a difference...?
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by Old fella » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:49 pm

confusedalot wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:49 pm
I don't know why I am a sucker for abuse, but whatever, I know I am wading into a situation where I will be torn apart to itty bitty pieces.

I am an English guy. I live in Quebec. Because of that, and that only (read, no special merit), I am fully bilingual. But that does not matter.

If you fly in Quebec, you WILL get service in English.

Flown around a big chunk of the world. Only by circumstance. 100% of those countries provide English service, 99% (probably more), also use another language. As far as I can tell, only Germany mandates the use of English only, even for their own nationals, but that was years ago. May have changed now.

So.......what exactly is the problem? I never encountered a safety problem because of language.
Oh FFS, not this English vs French again. Probably like you, I remember the 1976 shit storm on the introduction of ATC bilingualism in Quebec and the associated job action and protests taken by ATC and pilots. At that time it was said there going to be major accidents by introducing bilingualism in ATC communications in Quebec, crashes every few months they thundered. It didn’t happen then and hasn’t happened now, that I am aware of. I have flown plenty in Quebec during my tenure in this business and never was a safety issue and I was never uncomfortable being unilingual English. Unfortunately for me I didn’t pursue language training that was made available to me during my time with the Regulator. A road not taken, sadly.
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