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No. 41 Squadron ‡
AIR 36
GND 31
Sorties 42

R/T Procedure

Call Sign

5. In the event of communication being made with leaders of formations and single aircraft whose individual numbers are not known, the following call signs may be resorteq to, but only when absolutely necessary, bearing in mind at all times that the size of the unit being so called may thereby become known to the enemy:-

Squadron Leader
Squadron call sign followed by "Leader" (Example: "TIGER Leader").
Flight Leader
Squadron call sign, colour of flight, and the word "Leader". (Example: "TIGER Red Leader".)
Section Leader
Squadron call sign, colour of section, followed by "One". (Example: "TIGER Black One".)
Any other aircraft in formation
Squadron call sign, followed by colour of flight or section they are in, followed by the number according to their position in the formation, even numbers being on the starboard side of the leader and odd numbers on the port side.

Full Procedure - Component Parts of a Message

6. Every R/T message by full procedure is composed of three basic parts :-

  1. The Call.
  2. The Text.
  3. The Ending.

7. The Call. To establish initial communication the caller repeats the call sign of the station called. Thereafter, except when reception is bad, call signs are given once only.

8. The Text. The R/T vocabulary, as appended, provides for most needs. In other contingencies the subject matter must be restricted to the minimum consistent with clearness. Messages are acknowledged by the use of "' '"Roger", meaning:-

  • "I have received and understood your last message." (Roger - phonetic equivalent of W/T "R").

(Note: "Okay" is not to be used as an acknowledgement.)

9. The Ending.

  1. When the caller is going over to "receive" and expects a reply- "OVER".
  2. When the caller is going over to "receive" but no reply is expected~ "OUT".
  3. When the caller is closing down (e.g. an aircraft on landing), or is changing frequency to work another station (e.g. a D/F homing station), and is consequently closing down to the former station - "OFF". (The use of "OFF" is restricted to Fighter Command. This ending is not included in combined U.S.A.-British R/T procedure. "OUT" is used instead.)

10. Examples of Messages.

  1. Call Initial: "Hullo ROCKET, ROCKET, this is TIGER 15 -
    Text: Request Homing -
    Ending: Over".
  2. Call: "Hullo TIGER 28, this is ROCKET -
    Text: Roger -
    Ending: Out".
  3. Call: "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER 22 -
    Text: Roger -
    Ending: Off".

Abbreviated Procedure

11. In abbreviated procedure the "Call" of a full procedure message is omitted when there is no danger of confusion as to the identity of either the caller or the called.ยท In other cases, the call sign of the station called is omitted and the pilot's call sign is abbreviated to his individual number.

12. Examples.

  • G/S. "Hullo TIGER 17, this is ROCKET - vector one five zero".
    A/C. "Roger - out", or" 17 - Roger - out".
  • G/S. "Hullo TIGER 27, this is ROCKET - vector two two zero-over".
    A/C. "Roger-out", or "27 - Roger-out", or "two two zeroout", or "27 - two two zero-out".

Manual of Fighter Operations, A.P.3200. Air Ministry. April, 1949.


17. In acknowledging messages the following points should be borne in mind :-

  1. Operational orders and information messages are acknowledged by "Roger", and not by "Okay", "Message received and understood", or by a repetition of the order or message as, e.g., "Understand pancake". In R/T, the words "Please", "Thank you", etc., are at all times superfluous in acknowledgements and must not be used;
    1. "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER l8-about to pancake-over".
      "Hullo TIGER 18, this is ROCKET~Roger-out".
    2. "Hullo TIGER 18, this is ROCKET-orbit-over", (or)-"vector one three zero-over".
      "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER l8-Roger-out".
      (Abbrev. Proc., e.g. "18-Roger-out").
  2. If the pilot believes he may have misunderstood an operational order containing airspeed, vector, steer, or angels, he repeats the speed, vector, steer, or angels in his reply.
    "Hullo TIGER 18, this is ROCKET-vector one three zero-over".
    "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER l8-one three zero-out".
    (Abbrev. Proc., e.g. "18-one three zero-out").
    Note: Since vectors are given thus: "two three zero" and airspeeds thus: "two thirty", there is no need to repeat the words "vector" or "speed").
  3. If the pilot believes he may have misunderstood some part of a composite message containing airspeed, vector, steer, or angels, he acknowledges that part ofthe message that is clear by "Roger" but repeats the doubtful speed, vector, steer, or angels.
    "Hullo TIGER 18, this is ROCKET-bogey for you, thirty miles, vector two zero zero, angels G for George-over".
    "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER l8-Roger-two zero zero-out".
    (Abbrev. Proc., e.g. "18-Roger-two zero zero-out", or "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER l8-Roger-angels G for George-out ".
    (Abbrev. Proc., e.g. "18-Roger-angels G for George-out").

18. Note that, even in "abbreviated procedure", the word "angels" is repeated in the reply. This is necessary to prevent confusion with a place name.

19. In cases of bad reception, controllers may require aircraft to acknowledge instructions by a full repetition.


20. Any misunderstanding is corrected by the caller repeating that part of the message which has been misunderstood prefaced by the word" wrong".

  • "Hullo TIGER 21, this is ROCKET -vector one zero zero - speed three twenty - over".
  • "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER 21-one seven zero, three twenty-out".
    (Abbrev. Proc., e.g. "21-one seven zero three twenty-out").
    (The pilot is here doubtful of both the vector and the speed.)
  • "Hullo TIGER 21, this is ROCKET - Wrong, vector one zero zero - over".
  • "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER 21-Roger-out".
    (Abbrev. Proc., e.g. "21-Roger-out").
In the correction, stress is laid on the word "wrong" and on the corrected figure.


21. When, on account of bad reception, the repetition of the entire message is required, the receiver requests :-

  • "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER 24-say again-over".
  • The originator replies :-
    "Hullo TIGER 24, this is ROCKET-I say again ... (repeats original text)- over", and the receiver acknowledges in the normal way :-
  • "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER 24-Roger-out".

22. When only a portion of the message has been badly received the procedure is as follows :-

  • "Hullo TIGER 24, this is ROCKET-ten bandits, twenty-eight thousand to port, orbit port-over".
  • "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER 24-Roger-say again height-over".
  • "Hullo TIGER 24, this is ROCKET-I say again, twenty-eight thousand - over".
  • "Hullo ROCKET, this is TIGER 24-Roger-out".
    (Abbrev. Proc., e.g. "24-Roger-out").

Manual of Fighter Operations, A.P.3200. Air Ministry. April, 1949.