Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about Wilco Radio.

What is Wilco Radio?
It's a brand new training platform for pilots (both trainee and experienced) to learn radiotelephony techniques and procedures with an artificial 'Bot', rather than a real person. It's the perfect platform for learning or refreshing your RT skills. This makes learning radio much more relaxed and stress-free.
Who is Wilco Radio for?
It's for everyone who needs to use a radio whilst flying to communicate with ATC (air traffic control), FISO (flight information service officer) or AG (air-to-ground) operator. Whether you're a pilot in training, or a more experienced pilot who wants to perfect your radio skills, Wilco Radio will show you the right way of communicating with your aircraft radio whilst in flight.
How much does it cost?
Head over to our Pricing Page for more details about how much it costs to create an account and start learning valuable radio skills.
Why should I learn this stuff?
If you're intending to use a radio as a pilot, you need a FRTOL (flight radiotelephony operator's licence) as set out in the Air Navigation Order (ANO). It is an offence to use your radio without a valid licence. Wilco Radio will enable you to learn the skills to be able to take your FRTOL licence and pass with flying colours (geddit?).
Can't I just talk normally on the radio?
You need to learn the correct procedures to be able to communicate your intentions with the ground. Using valid communications procedures ensures that you make each flight safe and enjoyable, leaving you to be able to fly your aircraft with confidence.
What procedures does Wilco Radio teach?
We're busy adding as many standard procedures as we can to the system. By the time we launch Wilco Radio, we expect to have a wide range of procedures in place, including MATZ Transits, asking for a traffic service from ATC, joining/leaving an aerodrome and many more procedures.
So my tutor is a robot?
Yes, you do! We've created AI (artificial intelligence) bots that act as the ATC operator, FISO, and air-to-ground operators. By doing this, each procedure can be 'custom-scripted' to use your own callsign, departure airfield or arrival aerodrome. It's all very cutting edge!
No more embarrassment, then?
That's right. By talking to an AI 'bot', you can practice radiotelephony in the comfort of your own home, avoiding the embarrassment of getting it all wrong with a real person. But the best thing about practicing with an AI Bot is that you don't have to practice whilst flying, which makes it a whole lot safer too.
What can I customise?
Pretty much everything can be tailored by you, to make it a truly realistic experience. Not only will the AI Bot use your aircraft name and callsign, but you can also specify ANY airfield or aerodrome too - as long as the Bot can say it, of course.
Can I practice a whole flight?
Indeed you can. You can choose from a range of custom flights, in which you can tailor everything to your aircraft, airfield and your experience. Want to chuck in a random emergency procedure? You've got it. Want an unexpected surprise to keep you on your toes? Yeah, that too.
Can I practice IFR rules too?
At the moment, Wilco Radio covers just VFR rules. If there is enough demand, we might get our heads together and discuss whether to introduce IFR procedures alongside our VFR modules too.
Is it really a free trial for 48 hours?
Yes, absolutely free for 48 hours. If you don't think Wilco Radio suits your needs then just let your membership lapse, and you won't be charged a thing. Want to continue? Then just upgrade to our pricing plan listed on our Pricing Page, and benefit from full membership.
Why don't you use voice recognition?
The initial idea for Wilco Radio took this into consideration, and it was an attractive idea. However, voice recognition is still in its infancy, and it can be very poor at translating abbreviations, acronyms (something we use a LOT), regional dialects, and cadence variations. Our research shows that other apps with voice recognition experience extremely bad feedback, complaining that voice recognition is ruining the learning experience.
Will this help prepare me for the FRTOL licence?
Absolutely! The radio procedures that you'll be learning and practicing are all fully compliant with the CAP413 Radiotelephony Publication, making Wilco Radio perfect if you're taking the Flight Radio Telephony Operator Licence (FRTOL).
Is it just an AI Bot, or is there more?
Yes, there's more. All the procedures have (or will have shortly) written materials accompanying them so you can get a more thorough understanding of the procedures involved in RT. What's more, we're also working on a comprehensive Classroom section, which walks you through the whole subject of aviation radiotelephony.
This is great! Can I offer this to my flying school students?
Sure thing. We're very early stages, but we're able to offer Wilco Radio as part of your course curriculum. More details about our partnership and affiliate programme are here.
Does Wilco Radio comply with CAP413 regulations?
Indeed they do. We're strong advocates of every pilot using the correct radiotelephony procedures, because it makes us all much safer in the skies. So, we've taken extra care to ensure that all of our radiotelephony modules follow CAP413 - by the book.
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