Pilots’s secret language

Pilots’s secret language

Piloting a plane is a hard work and it requires excellent communication skills. The pilots have to be able to communicate swiftly and in an effective way and during the journey there is a continuos dialogue between the flight attendants, the control tower and the other flying planes.

The communication of pilots has improved in the last years and it has been created a language made by shorten words.

It’s also a funny language: sometimes the pilots and the flight attendants use it also to make sarcastic comments without the passengers can understand them.

The language of the pilot is precise, brief and unique. It is represented by the most international language: English.

The first example of its terminology is represented by NATO Phonetic Alphabet, which was created by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the 50′.

There is also a wide vocabulary used by pilots according to the kind of flight, military or civil.

The language used by the pilots is divided into 3 categories: a technical part with sentences regarding the different flight phases and altitude levels; a part full of euphemisms which “deceives” the passengers and a funny part with odd terms like for example the expressions “groin scan” referred to the security belts check or “crumb crunchers” referred to the children on board.

Here there are some of the most used words and expressions:

  • A/C: the aircraft.
  • Air Pocket: it’s an euphemism used to indicate the turbulences.
  • All-Call: all the flight attendants have to report to the pilot through the intercom.
  • Area of Weather: it’s a great storm described in a nice way.
  • Blue Juice: it’s the water of wc, because in the past its colour was blue.
  • Deadhead: it’s the name of a flight attendant or a pilot who are travelling on the plane but they are off-duty.
  • Direct Flight: it’s a kind of flight which can make some stops and the number of the flight is always the same.
  • Equipment: the aircraft. If there is an “equipment problem”, it means that there is a problem with the plane.
  • F/A: flight attendant.
  • First Officer: co-pilot.
  • Gate Lice: the people who crowd the gate because they want to come on board first.
  • Landing lips: it is referred to the moment when the flight attendants put the lipstick on their lips in order to seem refreshed after the flight and to greet the passengers.
  • Lounge Lizard: it is referred to a flight attendant who sleeps in the airport.
  • Sharon Stone Jumpseat: it is the seat placed in front of the passengers places, where the flight attendants usually stay. This is a clear reference to the famous “Basic Instinct” movie.
  • Transcon: an intercontinental flight.
  • Z Time: the Greenwhich timezone.