“Airport XXX Traffic, Cessna N1234 Engine Out Runway 27.”
Yup, that was the radio call I heard. Obviously, location and aircraft number have been changed to protect the pilot, an instructor, who made this call.
When I hear this on the radios I think there was actually a problem. But nah, they were just practicing.
Verbalizing a potentially catastrophic event like this on a radio frequency can give those listening on the frequency the incorrect impression a real emergency may exist.
It is important that instructors teach emergency procedures to their students and customers, but it is also important that they are careful in their communications about their actions on radio frequencies to avoid creation of the impression that an emergency may exist.
So, what would have been better then?
Well, some will preface a radio call such as this with something like, “Airport XXX Traffic, Cessna N1234 SIMULATED Engine Out Runway 27.” It’s better, but it still probably isn’t enough.
Think about a busy UNICOM frequency and how much squawking and squealing is happening on a nice summer day. That singular word, “SIMULATED” can easily get lost in the mix.
How about trying this instead, “Airport XXX Traffic, Cessna N1234, SHORT APPROACH Runway 27.” It conveys what the pilot is going to do, a close in non-powered approach to the runway while at the same time not using any emergent phraseology over the radio that might get anyone else on the frequency excited for no reason.