When pilots get on the radio and talk to other pilots, or a control tower, or an Air Traffic Control Center, they have to identify themselves by using their "N" number. The "N" number of our airplane is N708X.

Sometimes radio communication is quite indistinct, and certain letters might not be heard correctly. Therefore, all pilots use the Aviation Phonetic Alphabet to identify letters.

My husband would say, "Tower, this is November 7-0-8 X-ray," and the tower wouldn't be confused, thinking he might've said "M708X."

The letter for Z is Zulu, and this ends my A-Z Challenge with the theme of Flight Terminology. I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing about flying--this passion of my husband's and mine--and its terminology.

Have you ever had reason to learn the Aviation Phonetic Alphabet?


  1. These alphabet terms sounded familiar so I asked my hubby about it. He said it's also the military alphabet they used when he was in the army in the 70s. They'd use these same words when in contact with the RTO, "radio telephone operator." :-)

  2. Cathy, I almost used "Zulu" as well; for shortwave radio communications on boats - used by ham radio operators...but, I didn't. Hope you'll visit and see how I handled our Grand Finale.
    It was a great ride into the clouds of new friendships, wasn't it.

  3. So cool! I think I need to learn this alphabet so when I'm on the phone with the utilities company reading back my account number I'm not stumped when I get to "G". "G as in .... as in...goat?" Happens to me all the time. My mind goes and I can't think of a letter to use. This would be helpful...

    Happy Z day! Yay, we survived!! :)

  4. A perfect end to the a-z :) When I hear the pilot chatter on headphones, I swear I can never make the words out, but I think the ear gets used to it. Vince says it all makes sense to him.
    Yay for finishing another challenge, Cathy!!

  5. One of our students commented, "This chart is really cool! We used these when I was in NJROTC. It's interesting to see how pilots use this stuff!" Visiting from A to Z Challenge at Learning at Cedar Ridge Academy and Cedar Ridge Academy

  6. This has been interesting info. Never had the
    need to learn this Alphabet.

    M : )


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