Member Login 

 Email Address 


Forgot Password

Flyer Signup

Writing Down Clearances

Source:, Featuring Doug Stewart


"For many pilots, picking up a clearance can be very intimidating, especially if you’re dealing with controllers that have had a lot of coffee in the morning, you know. And they’re spitting that clearance out as fast as they can.

So one of the greatest tools is certainly to understand that a clearance is always going to follow the same format. Okay, we have some acronyms to help us with that. CRAFT or CRADS. For example, CRAFT: it stands for the clearance limit, the route, the altitude, the departure frequency, and the transponder code. And it’s always going to follow that form, wherever we get our clearance from.

The next thing is certainly if you’ve got a speed freak reading back your clearance and you’re scrambling to write everything down and you can’t keep up with them, sometimes I’ve certainly seen a lot of my clients will stumble. They’ve missed something and they’re trying to think, now what did I miss - what did I miss? And in the meantime they’re missing everything else. Okay? So as you’re writing that clearance down, let go of what you’ve missed and continue to write. Don’t try to stop and: “What did he say - what did he say?” Let go of it so that at least you might miss the rest of the route, but you’re going to get the altitude, the departure frequency, and the squawk code.

Now when you do your read back, all you have to do is say, well, Cardinal 2088 Quebec is cleared for Wilkes-Barre via direct ATHOS, rest of the route missing, climb and maintain 2,000, expect 5,000 in 10 minutes, departure frequency, etc. And now when they read that when they come back they’ll say okay, the rest of the route from ATHOS is Vector 270 Delancey, etc. It can save a lot of time. So don’t fixate on the fact that you missed something. Let go of it and continue to write and get the rest of it."

I Fly America
PO Box 882196
Port St. Lucie, FL 34988

Office hours M-F 8:30am - 5:00pm
Our Privacy Policy
© I Fly America 2024