Say Again, More Slowly

Devil07

Rookie
Jul 14, 2018
68
0
6
I'm not so much hard of hearing as I am "slow of hearing", when I'm rusty. :)

I've never actually said "say again, more slowly" but I'm told thats what I should say if the controller is talking to fast for me. One time, I had to ask for clarification two times, because it was too fast and too much information for me to write down or remember, and I thought to myself that it would have taken less time if the controller just spoke a little slower the first time. lol.

I sometimes wonder if controllers change their delivery based on the speed of the pilot's calls. For example, if a pilot calls you up and is enunciating every syllable and speaking clearly and somewhat slowly (like the way you would expect a new pilot or student to do), do you adjust your response speed/cadence, as opposed to when you are responding to an airline captain that is clearly a pro and you talk to every day?

What do you do when a pilot asks to "say again, more slowly?" Is there another way to accomplish this, such as if pilot calls up and is speaking slowly do you match their speed (example above)? Do controllers find this annoying? Just curious.

I did an IFR flight last week, which was the first time in 10 years, luckily I had a CFI to help with the radio. Part of my problem is that I'm not anticipating what the controller is going to say, so I'm trying to hear and understand each word. Its much easier when I can anticipate what is going to be said. The only way I know how to fix this is to do it more often.
 

Stinger

Epic Member
May 24, 2009
1,563
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38
The good ones adjust their speech/amount of instructions a little slower if they need. The really good ones never feel rushed so they never have a need to talk at a crazy fast rate, but still have a feel for which pilots will need a little more hand-holding.

"Say again, more slowly" is a perfectly reasonable request for any controller if you're starting to feel behind or overwhelmed as a pilot.

Anticipation of what your instructions should be is a huge part of IFR flying. It really cuts down on the calls that are surprising to you now. It just takes time and good practice to get quicker.
 

Devil07

Rookie
Jul 14, 2018
68
0
6
Good to know, thank you. I flew IFR again this weekend into a more congested area (luckily I had a CFI to help with radio). It would have definitely been ugly if I had tried it on my own. I probably need to start off by going to out of the way airports until I get more proficient on the radio--at least when I'm by myself. Also, I think picking up flight following every time I fly VFR would also be helpful.
 

Devil07

Rookie
Jul 14, 2018
68
0
6
The good ones adjust their speech/amount of instructions a little slower if they need. The really good ones never feel rushed so they never have a need to talk at a crazy fast rate, but still have a feel for which pilots will need a little more hand-holding.
Can I file with "Request additional hand-holding" in the remarks section? :)