Este conteúdo é escrito especificamente para os pilotos, com metodologia que também o torna útil para comissários ajudando-os com escuta e interpretação. Para o conteúdo específico de comissário, aqui

Lesson Objective

This lesson has two objectives.  We will try to explore some of the problems that occur when native speakers use plain English with non native speakers and we also have an excellent opportunity to learn some new vocabulary


JAL7 is a 787 departing Boston for the long trip back to Tokyo, the captain is aware that they have a problem, but he doesn’t know what the problem is!

Note, the video has a spelling mistake.  See if you can find it!

First check the vocabulary, then move on to the questions


  • System Trouble
    Problemas da sistema
  • Spilling
  • Appears
  • Fuel Leak
    Vazamento de combustível
  • Engine Shut Down
    Desligamento do Motor
  • Power Down
    Desligamento do Motor
  • Surrounding
    Circundante/ Em Torno
  • Already
  • Clean up Procedure
    Procidemento da Limpeza


Do you think that the communication in this audio was professional?  Why or why not?

From the first contact with the tower, how long did it take to establish the true nature of the problem?

At 1:23 JAL7 requests to return back to the ramp (gate) and the controller tells JAL7 to hold position.  Why did the control disagree with the pilots decision?

Why did the pilot wish to return to the ramp?

At what time in the video were the aircraft and the firecrew first in DIRECT contact?

At 2:53 the firecrew asks if the passengers are “set” this is an ambiguous phrase (it could have several meanings) what do you think that the controller meant?

At 3:22 the pilot uses English that is not understandable, can you try to rewrite what the pilots were trying to say (Don’t worry, this is not an easy question!!!)

Are the Passengers Set?

My interpretation is that the firecrew (bombeiros) used the word set to mean ready, or prepared. The intention of the phrase was to ask if the passengers were briefed and ready to make an emergency evacuation if a fire was to start.

In the video, many native speakers would blame the JAL crew for not having a sufficient understanding of the English language.  I disagree, Native speakers can sometimes be the worst offenders of using poor aviation English as they “expect” that they will be understood.  The pilots of JAL7 should be congratulated (parabenizado) for their ability to remain calm whilst dealing with a serious problem and interpreting the slang (gíria) and were nor affraid to ask the ground staff to repeat their questions.

If you would like to discuss this video with a native teacher, please contact us, your first class is free!

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