• A new tool from West Lafayette, Indiana-based PlaneEnglish provides a training application for new pilots learning to speak with air traffic controllers during all flight phases, from taxi out, to takeoff, to airspace entrance, approach, landing and taxi in, the company says. Credit: PlaneEnglish
     A new tool from West Lafayette, Indiana-based PlaneEnglish provides a training application for new pilots learning to speak with air traffic controllers during all flight phases, from taxi out, to takeoff, to airspace entrance, approach, landing and taxi in, the company says. Credit: PlaneEnglish

Air Force Backs Aviation Communications Simulator

January 29, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
E-mail About the Author

Radio communications app to help pilots engage properly with air traffic controllers.


The U.S. Air Force and its innovation arm, AFWERX, have funded an application-based simulator of aviation radio communications through a $1 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award. The tool, called PlaneEnglish, offers a training environment for pilots to learn aviation speak and radio telephony flight procedures by simulating communications between the pilot and air traffic control. 

According to the West Lafayette, Indiana-based eponymous company, PlaneEnglish runs users through random scenarios in all phases of flight, testing their communication skills, and then analyzes and assesses their aviation phraseology, speech accuracy, speech fillers, and speech rate performance, with a resultant radio proficiency scoring.

For users to practice air traffic controller communication procedures, PlaneEnglish’s radio simulator provides thousands of scenarios at more than 80 airports. The interactive tool does not require an internet connection. The app works on both iOS and Android platforms and is available through Apple’s AppStore or Google Play.

Muharrem Mane, Eren Hadimioglu and Sam Dickson, who attended Purdue University’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, School of Aviation and Transportation Technology, and Department of Computer Science, respectively, created the app, working closely with the Purdue Research Foundation, the foundation reported.

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