Top Gear

Readability5 app

From 4 | www.readability5.com

As a student pilot I found making radio calls while flying the aircraft, watching for traffic, working out my location and, if I was still upright, somewhat challenging. 

Enter readability5.com, which promises to help student pilots learn radiotelephony (RT) to exam standards, on the ground, without the associated pressures of flying.

The screen shows representations of a yoke-mounted tablet, transponder and radio.

Students are given audible instructions by a ‘controller’, which are repeated in a green box at the top of the screen. The student then presses the yoke transmit button and says the relevant RT. 

There is also an ‘instructor’ button on the yoke that relays the correct RT for you, which you can then practice when ‘transmitting’. 

Currently the website does not listen to your voice – you still get the ‘Great!’ pop-up box appear no matter what you say – and the developers are planning voice recognition and the ability to record your sessions, so you can email them to your instructor in the future.

In the modules, after your RT exchanges the screen changes to the next scenarios in turn. Taxing lining up, departure, late downwind, turning base leg, orbit for separation for a landing aircraft etc. There are useful hints that appear under the transponder which are a great idea. 

The ‘VFR Landaway’ module showed me how rusty my own RT had become during lockdown. 

I like the details, including the way the ‘controller’s’ accent changes as you talk to different ground stations, just as they do in real flying, and the hints such as, ‘the tower has abbreviated your callsign’.

Currently, there is one module available and the developers have said they aim to release a new one every two weeks and should have all seven completed by early May, including a mock ground exam.

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