Introducing PocketATC, a new iPhone app for mastering ATC radio comms
I've been working on a team including pilots and a former air traffic controller to develop an app for just over a year now, and I'm pleased to announce that it's now available.
Back in 2015, I was just in the process of looking for a plane to buy when my wife and two kids and I ended up moving to Japan for a few years... so much for buying that plane. Flying's insanely expensive over here (around $400 to 450 an hour, ouch), so I've been stuck getting my aviation fix vicariously by listening to ATC recordings as I work on the app... not the best way to experience flying, but out of the various possibilities, probably one of the less unpleasant ways to experience the FAA.
Anyway, having developed language learning software for almost 20 years, I wanted to apply that approach to ATC phraseology, which--as many of you I'm sure will agree--seems an awful lot like a foreign language when you first hear it. (And for years after, sometimes.) With in-flight radio procedures, as with any foreign language, breaking down difficult language into manageable chunks and then repeatedly listening to them is an effective way to gain confidence and proficiency, and I think PocketATC helps you do just that with more than 400 recordings and transcripts. I won't bore you with all the details; you can find out more at the website (link below) if you're interested.
I wish I were here to announce an app that's free, but unfortunately that's not realistic due to the truly enormous amount of work that went into developing the code, parsing the audio, and authoring the transcripts, not to mention the cost of marketing the thing. Still, I hope we've been able to create something that offers good value and an effective, new approach to student pilots as they work toward proficiency.
Feel free to post any questions or feedback here, and thanks for taking the time to read this.
Read responses in pilotsofamerica.com