NORDO is FAA speak for ‘no radio communication’. The FAA has established standardized procedures that can be found in the Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge of how to proceed in case of loss of radio communication which are part of pilot license curricula at all levels. VFR pilots are trained to recognize light signals from the tower to indicate whether it is safe to land etc. In the world of instrument flight issued clearances are binding instructions to be followed whether in contact with ATC or not, and which act as a backup plan if radio communications are lost. Both ATC and the pilot have ‘read the memo’. Controllers know what to expect from the pilot and vice versa. In this post under ‘Instructional Resources’ I describe some real-life experiences in Hawaii and provide some strategies of how to cope if you are at the receiving end (no pun intended) of a COM failure.

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