English Vs French on the Radio.

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rocket81
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rocket81 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:53 pm

Like my Brit friend would say, tempest in a teapot?
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by AirFrame » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:39 am

rookiepilot wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:51 pm
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".
Don't get confused by the statistics. Those are percentages of the general population, not percentages of the pilots in that region. It would not surprise me that the percentage of French-speaking pilots could be higher in Ottawa than the general population, due to the proximity to Quebec. But in BC, the percentage of pilots who speak Mandarin or Cantonese as their first language is definitely lower than the percentages you reference. There are also Hindi-, Punjabi-, and Farsi-speaking pilots who are ESL.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by photofly » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:44 am

rocket81 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:53 pm
Like my Brit friend would say, tempest in a teapot?

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Um... that's not a tea pot..?
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by Braun » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:27 am

HiFlyChick wrote:
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...?
If a 5 second transmission is the dfference between something happening or not a lot of other things wen't wrong before that! I have yet to come accross a situation where language, in an ATC world, has been a safety issue.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by digits_ » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:52 am

Braun wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:27 am
If a 5 second transmission is the dfference between something happening or not a lot of other things wen't wrong before that! I have yet to come accross a situation where language, in an ATC world, has been a safety issue.
Absolutely, I don't think anyone here thinks that speaking French in itself will make a plane crash. It's just one -imo unnecessary- hole in the cheese that one day may or may not contribute to an accident.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by 5x5 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:35 pm

The horrors, just this alone must make it unbearable......

"tout trafic conflictuel s'il vous plaît aviser"!!!
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rookiepilot » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:47 pm

5x5 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:35 pm
The horrors, just this alone must make it unbearable......

"tout trafic conflictuel s'il vous plaît aviser"!!!
Winner!
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by Rezy » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:13 pm

Fortunately, Aviation is a very safe industry and just because there isn’t a causal relationship yet, doesn’t mean there won’t be in the future. The real question is, does understanding the language of other radio transmissions make aviation safer. The answer is obviously true.
The near miss in Providence comes to mind and I put it forth as an example of a US Airways flight crew that avoided a crash by understanding the conversation taking place by ATC and a United Airlines aircraft, which was lost at the airport and on an active runway, in thick fog.
ATC issued a takeoff clearance to US Airways, the pilots refused the clearance as they heard of the lost United Airlines aircraft correspondents with ATC.

Full details here :https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/ ... 971f228d28

There’s no doubt that in this instance, if the United Airlines and ATC were speaking another language, not understood by the US Airways flight crew, they would have accepted a takeoff clearance that would have led to a catastrophic crash.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by TG » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:45 am

Rezy wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:13 pm
Fortunately, Aviation is a very safe industry and just because there isn’t a causal relationship yet, doesn’t mean there won’t be in the future. The real question is, does understanding the language of other radio transmissions make aviation safer. The answer is obviously true.
The near miss in Providence comes to mind and I put it forth as an example of a US Airways flight crew that avoided a crash by understanding the conversation taking place by ATC and a United Airlines aircraft, which was lost at the airport and on an active runway, in thick fog.
ATC issued a takeoff clearance to US Airways, the pilots refused the clearance as they heard of the lost United Airlines aircraft correspondents with ATC.

Full details here :https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/ ... 971f228d28

There’s no doubt that in this instance, if the United Airlines and ATC were speaking another language, not understood by the US Airways flight crew, they would have accepted a takeoff clearance that would have led to a catastrophic crash.
On the other end anti French speaking warriors on the radio would be all over this one below, had it happen in Quebec during dual French/english transmissions.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angel ... y_disaster
The SkyWest flight was told to taxi into takeoff position while the USAir flight was landing on the same runway.
Upon landing, the 737 collided with the twin-engine turboprop
Full report:
https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Acc ... AR9108.pdf


Everybody was speaking English there, it didn't stop the tragedy.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by dpm » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:37 pm

First, not everyone in Quebec aviation speaks English. I've often arrived at GA airports where the FBO staff has zero English, or close enough as matters.

Second, it's very tiring working in another language, even if you speak if fairly well. At the end of a day of meetings in French or Spanish, my comprehension is about 40% of what it was first thing in the morning, and my brain is foggy. Why should francophone pilots in Quebec subject themselves to extra fatigue and an elevated risk of misunderstanding all the time just because because an anglo pilot like me might occasionally stumble into their airspace?

If you're nervous, learn just a few dozen aviation phrases in French — piste, approche finale, vent-arrière, verticale de, etc — and you'll be able to follow what's happening in the circuit. It's not like someone's asking you to recite Proust.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by B208 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:23 am

5x5 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:35 pm
The horrors, just this alone must make it unbearable......

"tout trafic conflictuel s'il vous plaît aviser"!!!
Somebody have this man marched to the fence line and shot.....
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by dpm » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:47 pm

rookiepilot wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:51 pm
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.
1. The city of Ottawa is not officially bilingual--that has nothing to do with the issue.
2. Ottawa Terminal airspace covers both the Ontario and Quebec sides of the river (Gatineau as well as Ottawa).
3. The only places a pilot can get ATC service in French are those whose airspace are at least partly over Quebec, while pilots can get ATC service in English right across the country (including inside Quebec). Remind me again why it's us English-speaking pilots who are complaining?

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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rookiepilot » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:03 pm

dpm wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:37 pm
First, not everyone in Quebec aviation speaks English. I've often arrived at GA airports where the FBO staff has zero English, or close enough as matters.

Why should francophone pilots in Quebec subject themselves to extra fatigue and an elevated risk of misunderstanding all the time just because because an anglo pilot like me might occasionally stumble into their airspace?
In my instances, I've repeatedly said on this thread, they happened well within Ontario. meaning -- not just on the border. isn't it reasonable to expect communication in English....within Ontario?

Does no one read before commenting? Or it doesn't matter?

Never mind. Lost interest.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by ahramin » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:07 pm

Actually, your claim of well within Ontario is still a highly doubtful one. You still haven't explained how you know where they were since you don't know where they were.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by rookiepilot » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:09 pm

ahramin wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:07 pm
Actually, your claim of well within Ontario is still a highly doubtful one. You still haven't explained how you know where they were since you don't know where they were.
Ok A.

You must be right. I invented the entire thing.

Whatever :roll:


But over the campbellville VOR, I think was around there -- at maybe 5000 feet, hearing position reports in French, you all tell me if they are likely in Quebec. Doubt it. Could be wrong.

Also fairly sure I recall hearing traffic on the Cornwall Unicom, in French. Believe that's in Ontario. Of course it COULD have been another airport sharing that freq. Possible. I was pretty low though.

Ottawa terminal, using 2 languages, I think we've beaten that dead horse enough.

As I said, really I've lost interest.

It's a bilingual country. I get it. And having no attributable accidents, it's officially a dumb thread. Everyone happy?

If 2 747's collide because of it one day, we can re argue this.
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Last edited by rookiepilot on Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by shimmydampner » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:09 pm

rookiepilot wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:03 pm
isn't it reasonable to expect communication in English....within Ontario?
Yes of course. But then again, there are two official languages in this country so it would be reasonable to expect communication in French.... anywhere.
Just my opinion as an Anglo-Canadian who speaks very little French.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by dpm » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:00 pm

rookiepilot wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:03 pm
dpm wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:37 pm
First, not everyone in Quebec aviation speaks English. I've often arrived at GA airports where the FBO staff has zero English, or close enough as matters.

Why should francophone pilots in Quebec subject themselves to extra fatigue and an elevated risk of misunderstanding all the time just because because an anglo pilot like me might occasionally stumble into their airspace?
In my instances, I've repeatedly said on this thread, they happened well within Ontario. meaning -- not just on the border. isn't it reasonable to expect communication in English....within Ontario?

Does no one read before commenting? Or it doesn't matter?

Never mind. Lost interest.
I'm sure you realise that ATC boundaries aren't the same as provincial boundaries. Montreal Centre offers service in English and French, and their airspace happens to include part of Eastern Ontario (about as far west as the former Campellford VOR) -- it would be both silly and unnecessarily complicated to tell them to refuse to talk to a pilot in French when they were over Pembroke, start talking in French when they crossed the Ottawa River briefly, stop again when they were on the Ontario side, etc.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by valleyboy » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:12 pm

every other country in the world controls traffic in their "official" language(s). Why should Canada be any different?
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:14 pm

Is Canada two countries, with two languages?

Fortunately we have the availability of access to the international language of aviation in their country ( Quebec. )
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by digits_ » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:35 pm

valleyboy wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:12 pm
every other country in the world controls traffic in their "official" language(s). Why should Canada be any different?
Incorrect.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by valleyboy » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:34 am

well damn it seems France, Spain, Italy Portugal and even in Scandinavia I have heard languages other than English on ATC. English might be the common language but by no means the official language.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by digits_ » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:18 am

valleyboy wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:34 am
well damn it seems France, Spain, Italy Portugal and even in Scandinavia I have heard languages other than English on ATC. English might be the common language but by no means the official language.
English is the only language allowed on the radio in Belgium, and it is actually a well respected rule.
Same in the Netherlands, although you might hear a bit more Dutch on the radio at smaller fields, but that's unofficially and still pretty rare.
Germany I believe requires English for all transmissions at controlled airports. Smaller fields can have German air to air I believe.
Luxembourg same as Belgium/Netherlands
UK English only if memory serves correctly.
Hungary / Czech / Romania / Switzerland, all ATC transmissions were English. Not sure about air to air on smaller fields.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by xyzzy » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:52 pm

CARs 602.133 does state that English and French are the languages of aeronautical radiocommunication in Canada.

For clarity and to follow up on what dpm said about airspace boundaries not lining up with provincial ones, here's a (googled) map of the region under discussion. In particular, places mentioned (Cornwall, Carp) are in the Montreal FIR and hence you can expect communication to occur in either language, with ATC and FSS service being provided in both. On the flip side, there are portions of Quebec where this is not the case; but there are also areas of Labrador where bilingual service is provided!
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by dpm » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:30 am

rookiepilot wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:09 pm
ahramin wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:07 pm
Actually, your claim of well within Ontario is still a highly doubtful one. You still haven't explained how you know where they were since you don't know where they were.
Ok A.

But over the campbellville VOR, I think was around there -- at maybe 5000 feet, hearing position reports in French, you all tell me if they are likely in Quebec. Doubt it. Could be wrong.
The former Campbellford VOR YCF (if that's what you're thinking of) is only 85nm from the Quebec border. If you were listening to 126.7 at 5,000 ft, I would have been more surprised if you didn't hear a lot of position reports from the province.
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Re: English Vs French on the Radio.

Post by Doug Eves » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:10 pm

I am new to this forum as of today and looked at this blog simply because I KNEW it would be interesting to look at. At least for a page or so and then I became quite bored. One language on the airways is enough and should be mandatory in Canada and the entire planet. It just makes sense. I flew through Quebec on my way to PEI last summer at 182 knots and came very close to a mid air near Sherbrooke due to a french position report that I could not understand. Unfortunate for the anti English crowd but I wonder why the big guys with many passengers all speak English. Not too difficult to figure out.
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