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RTC – MOD-05 – Pt.06 – Radio’s during departure

When the Ground Controller has handed the flight over to the Tower Controller the following steps are conducted.


First the check-in of the flight is done. Of course the flight-lead need to find a suitable time on the channel to do this to avoid stepping on ongoing radio traffic.


“Hammer 3 Flight, check-in”




The term take-off is protected in radio communication. The term is only used for the clearance by Tower and when the flight-lead confirms.

The importance of this cannot be overstated.


After the check-in, the flight-lead will contact Tower with the intent.

If the flight is ready to take-off right way, it would go as follows:

“(Airfield) Tower, Hammer 3 flight, ready for departure”

“Hammer 3 flight, cleared for take-off, surface wind 030 11”

“Cleared for take-off, Hammer 3 flight”

Other responses are of course possible where Tower is not ready to allow the flight to take-off. Calls can then vary, for example:

“Hammer 3 flight, hold position”

“Hold position, Hammer 3 flight”


“Hammer 3 flight, line up and wait”

Line up and wait, Hammer 3 flight”

In case the flight is not yet ready, the flight-lead can still check-in and then the exchange will be as followed:


“(Airfield) Tower, Hammer 3 flight, at the hold”

Hammer 3 flight, report ready for departure

Wilco, Hammer 3 flight

Any checks that are to be done by any flight-member are to be done before the flight-lead declares “Ready for departure”. When that call is made, the flight should be able to line-up and take-off, basically within a minute.

The controller will use this call to plan the departure of the flight combined with the incoming flights for landing. If the flight fails to expedite the departure, the plan of the controller to have the flight depart before a landing flight, could be disrupted, which can be avoided by simply only stating “ready for departure” when the flight is ready.


All the calls that are done between the flight-members on the intra-flight frequency are decided by the squadron.

The calls that are made by the flight-lead are:

“Hammer 3 flight, airborne”

When the flight crosses exits the MATZ, the last call is made:

“Hammer 3 flight, push TAC 1.”

Pushing TAC 1, Hammer 3 flight

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