Technology and Learning Method


PocketATC is based on TrueTalk, a language learning technology that has been used in both the private sector and higher education in fields ranging from telecommunications to carbon fiber and textiles. PocketATC brings this proven method to aviation to fast-track pilot training in radio phraseology. 

Three steps to proficiency

Step 1 >
Break down.


Remember the first time you heard your CFI talking to a controller? If you're like most pilots, it probably sounded like a foreign language. 

Turns out that impression isn’t too far off—ATC phraseology is a foreign language. Fortunately for us pilots, it’s a relatively simple one, because its vocabulary and conventions have been streamlined and standardized by organizations like the FAA and the ICAO. That said, it differs from everyday English in its jargon and tempo, and that means most student pilots need a little practice before they can make sense of it.

The first step is to break down the radio back-and-forth into individual transmissions so you can focus on each line of the conversation and its meaning. We've dissected each of the more than 400 conversations included in the app into a series of discrete transmissions so that you can zero in and focus on manageable chunks of language without the need to fiddle around with playback heads and pause buttons.

Step 2 >
Dig in.


Breaking down that stream of unintelligible words into individual transmissions is a good first step, but you may still find that you can’t make out what the controller or pilot is saying. That’s where the transcript comes in, allowing you to dig in and decipher exactly what’s being said with complete confidence.

Working with experienced pilots and a former air traffic controller, we've created a painstakingly accurate transcript for each transmission so that after trying to decipher the audio on your own, you can quickly and easily refer to the actual language being spoken. 

Step 3 >
listen. Listen. Listen.


Now that we've broken down the conversation into individual transmissions and documented each transmission with a transcript, it’s time to listen to the audio over and over until the rhythm, cadence, and pronunciation used by professional pilots and controllers become second nature.

As with all language learning, practice and repetition are the keys to mastery, and PocketATC’s true value lies in the way it lets you listen to recordings of actual ATC conversations anytime, anywhere, right on your iPhone. Now instead of paying hundreds of dollars an hour for flight time that amounts to just a few minutes of radio practice, you can listen to your heart's content for the cost of a meal at a fast-food restaurant.