Careers: Military--Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard/Jetplane terminology


Hello, I understand that there are many phrases that one can use to converse with the control tower or another aircraft. However, how would one order another jetplane to be escorted to another location, if there is no tower onsite?

For instance, if one is from another country, that does not have permission to be in a location is there a translator for them?

Unless each pilot is to know what is restricted air space. Commercial flights happen all the time.

I'm not even sure how a warning would even happen. What about stealth planes?

Thank you. I'm sorry if it's a bit long. I'm not sure if every plane has an ID number on it.

I'm not sure precisely what you're asking here, but I'll give it my best shot.

As far as translators are concerned, English is actually the official language of worldwide air travel. A pilot for Swiss Air, for example, will be able to converse in English with an air traffic control tower in Chicago (or anywhere else#.

Any pilot, commercial or military, is required to file a flight plan. This is done with official internationally-recognized charts #maps#, and the pilot has to log the route he/she plans to take. Any restricted airspace is marked on these charts, so all pilots are aware of areas they are not permitted to fly. An example of this is the airspace in the area of the White House -- no aircraft are allowed to fly over that area. Another well-known restricted area is the airspace over and near Area 51, which is a highly secure Air Force testing base in Nevada. Even military pilots are not allowed to cross that airspace without special authorization.

Stealth aircraft, when not flying in combat situations, carry special transmitters #called transponders# that broadcast a signal that allows radar to track them easily. In fact, civilian air traffic control radar doesn't actually detect aircraft in a physical sense; it just tracks these transponder signals #which are carried on all commercial aircraft as well#. Only military radars physically detect aircraft.

In the event that a commercial or private aircraft approached a forbidden area, they would first be contacted by the nearest control tower #civilian or military#. If there is no response, then military aircraft will be dispatched to intercept them. The military aircraft will identify the intruder #to answer another of your questions, yes, all aircraft, civilian and military are marked with identification numbers) and then attempt to contact them by radio. Depending on the situation and the area, they may be given the order to shoot the intruder down if they do not get a response, or if the intruding aircraft refuses to alter course.

Hope this helps.

Chris McDowell

Careers: Military--Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard

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Chris McDowell


I can answer any question regarding aircraft types, missions, weapons systems, design and service history, and capabilities. This includes American as well as foreign aircraft.


I have extensive study experience in all aspects of modern military aviation, going back more than 20 years. I have personal relationships with pilots, engineers, aircrew, and maintenance personnel which give me access to a wide array of anecdotal information as well as technical data not easily found through conventional sources like internet searches.

University of Texas at San Antonio

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