Rottnest Island (RTI) CTAF hosts a variety of traffic including private flights, VFR and IFR training flights, charter flights, military flights, helicopter shark spotting flights and parachute jumping flights. As a result, it can get quite busy at times and it is important that pilots build a clear picture of where traffic is and what it is doing while operating in the RTI CTAF. This can only occur if pilots are communicating clearly on the correct frequency.
Flights conducting IFR training should use calls that VFR pilots will understand. For example, the phrase ‘inbound on the RNAV runway 09’ will not likely be understood by a
non-instrument rated pilot. A better phrase may be ‘4 miles to the west inbound for straight-in approach’.
If you are deconflicting from both instrument and visual traffic, it may be necessary to make both calls.
If you hear any calls related to parachute jumping, ensure you understand what is being said and how that will affect your operations. Parachute landing areas can be located very close to the runway centreline on finals so it is important you have a clear picture of what is happening, if in any doubt, speak up. Ask the parachute ops pilot to repeat the message if necessary and to use plain English if you do not understand. RTI is a beautiful flying destination and can be enjoyed by all if everyone communicates effectively and follows correct CTAF procedures.