Lately, it seems that I hear many pilots at nontowered airports announcing their intentions like this:
Generic Traffic, Cessna 123A, 8 miles to the south, setting up for a 45 to the downwind, runway 27. Generic.
Generic Traffic, Cessna 123A on the downwind for base, runway 27. Generic.
Radio calls that include two or more legs of the traffic pattern grate on the ear (almost as much as “Any traffic in the area…“). More importantly, they could easily confuse other pilots, especially when the CTAF is busy and transmissions are cut off or lost in the static of multiple position reports:
Did that Cessna say, “On the 45” or “On downwind?”
Perhaps my noticing such CTAF calls is an example of the frequency illusion called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon:
Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, or Baader-Meinhof effect, is when your awareness of something increases. This leads you to believe it’s actually happening more, even if that’s not the case.http://www.healthline.com
Whatever the actual frequency of the announcements, they don’t help. When transmitting your position and intentions, provide the essential information, not a detailed description of your plan. For example, I teach this sequence of calls on the CTAF:
Podunk Traffic, Cessna 123A, one-zero miles south, planning left/right traffic runway 27. Podunk.
Podunk Traffic, Cessna 123A, on the 45, left/right traffic, runway 27. Podunk.
Podunk Traffic, Cessna 123A, [turning] left/right downwind runway 27 [full stop/touch and go]. Podunk.
Podunk Traffic, Cessna 123A, [turning] final runway 27 [full stop/touch and go]. Podunk.
Stating the direction of the traffic pattern (left or right) is especially important at airports with non-standard patterns or parallel or intersecting runways. It’s also helpful to tell other pilots that you’re planning a touch-and-go, full-stop, stop-and-go, or low approach.
AC 90-66B: Non-Towered Airport Flight Operations provides more details about this topic, and AIM 4-1-9, Traffic Advisory Practices at Airports Without Operating Control Towers includes additional specific examples such as:
Strawn traffic, Apache Two Two Five Zulu, (position), (altitude), (descending) or entering downwind/base/final (as appropriate) runway one seven full stop, touch−and−go, Strawn.
Note the forward slashes: downwind/base/final as in “downwind or base or final.”
And as for “Any traffic…please advise,” see both the AIM and the AC:
Pilots stating, “Traffic in the area, please advise” is not a recognized Self−Announce Position and/or Intention phrase and should not be used under any condition. (AIM)
Note: Pilots are reminded that the use of the phrase, “ANY TRAFFIC IN THE AREA, PLEASE ADVISE,” is not a recognized self-announce position and/or intention phrase and should not be used under any condition. Any traffic that is present at the time of your self-announcement that is capable of radio communications should reply without being prompted to do so. (AC 90-66B)
For more details, see Operations at Non-Towered Airports.