With ongoing challenges to the accuracy of aeronautical communications, distress and urgency calls need to be brought into sharper focus. They are the only possible ways pilots can obtain assistance in non-routine emergency situations. Radiotelephony communication is not an after-the-fact activity: “You need to know what you’re going to say before an event occurs” (Tavlin, 2019). Otherwise a minor event can be turned into a major disaster. Since research on aeronautical discourse is a relatively new research area, we face a significant gap here. The presentation aims to explore the current status of distress and urgency calls and check whether their recommended structure works well in an emergency context. In order to understand these types of messages, it is mandatory to be familiarised not only with the aeronautical context, but especially with the mechanism of radiotelephony communication as well as the linguistic code supported by plain English. Moreover, the emphasis should be particularly on saying the correct message at the proper time, so that no one involved is confused.
The radiotelephony language variety has also to be learned by operational personnel being native speakers of English because its specific coded nature impedes comprehension by general users of aviation community. The debate about whether the use of distress and urgency calls by native speakers of English and non-native speakers is similar to or different will follow.
Anna Borowska, University of Warsaw, Poland
Stream: Applied linguistics research
This paper is part of the ECLL2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window
Comments & FeedbackPlace a comment using your LinkedIn profile
Share this Research