A Complete Manual for Conducting International Flight Operations

Position Reporting

Position Reporting

The days of position reporting are numbered as 80 percent of the aircraft in MNPS airspace now use CPDLC, but for flight crews who have done position reports throughout their career, they will probably be the first to say that there is an art to position reporting and someone with limited experience is readily apparent.


Radio operators will be listening for position reports over the HF. HF radios are notorious for their distortion. The distortion coupled with multiple aircraft transmitting at the same time, and a new pilot unfamiliar with position reporting procedures and etiquette creates an opportunity for error.

Common Position Reporting Errors

Some of the most common errors that pilots make when first learning to give a position report are the following:

  • Using non-standard ICAO phraseology
  • Reading position reports too fast
  • Not annunciating
  • Reading position elements out of order
  • Reading latitude and longitude in Airinc 424 format rather than longhand
  • Failing to cross check position read backs
  • Failing to question radio operators when in doubt of clearance
  • Not addressing the correct ATS control

Initial Position Report Call

 When making the initial call for a position report the flight crew shall raise the ATS radio operator as follows:

“San Francisco radio, San Francisco radio, N74GG, Position on frequency 5574”

Key elements of this initial transmission are:

  1. The name of the oceanic controller, repeated twice.
  2. The aircraft registration, using the November call sign.
  3. The position, which implies the intent of the flight crew to relay a position report and gives the radio operator an opportunity to prepare to record the forthcoming position report.
  4. The frequency on which the flight crew is transmitting. Announcing the frequency helps the radio operator in optimizing the signal quality of the transmission and reception.

At the end of the transmission the radio operator will state:

“N74GG go ahead with position report” or “November flight calling standby.”


When giving a position report the order and phraseology is as follows:

“N74GG, position Dinty, 1200, flight level four zero zero, estimating Duets at 1230, Dadie next, Over”

Journey Log Recording

ACI Jet pilots have a journey log that mimics the order of a position report to aide flight crewmembers.

For this position report, N74GG crossed Dinty at 1200Z at flight level 400 and is estimating to cross position Duets at 1230 and Dadie is the subsequent position after Duets. F/R implies fuel remaining, F/F implies fuel flow, F/U implies fuel used, Mach is the Mach speed filed, cleared and flown using Mach number technique, wind is the wind speed obtained from the FMS and MH is magnetic heading after centering the heading bug and would be used as a reference if all other navigation sources failed.

For questions relating to position reports flight crewmembers shall reference ICAO Doc 4444, appendix 1, 1,1.


Revision date: July 29, 2015

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