Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about Wilco Radio.

What is Wilco Radio?
It's an innovative, and very unique training platform for pilots (both trainee and experienced) to learn radiotelephony techniques and procedures with an artificial 'Bot', rather than a real person. With classroom modules that follow the CAA's CAP413 Radiotelephony, you can become fully prepared for your FRTOL (Flight Radio Telephony Operator's Licence) quickly and easily - and pass first time.
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.
Does Wilco Radio replace the FRTOL exam?
Unfortunately not. Wilco Radio provides you with the official training syllabus that follows SRG1171, issued by the CAA, which outlines the subjects that you need to become familiar with BEFORE you take the FRTOL exams. By law, you must take the FRTOL (Flight Radiotelephony Operator's Licence) examination in person with a CAA-approved examiner. Online training platforms are unable to provide this service.
Will this prepare me for the FRTOL exam?
Absolutely. CAP2325 mandates that anyone requiring a flight radiotelephony operator's licence (FRTOL) must undergo training for the FRTOL practical test. On completion of the Wilco Radio course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and completed SRG1171 form (FRTOL Record of Completion) to hand to your FRTOL examiner as proof that you have the necessary knowledge to take the exam.
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.
Does the course follow the official syllabus?
Yes. Wilco Radio is fully compliant with the SRG1171 training syllabus, which includes 6 sections: Aircraft radio equipment General phraseology, references & procedures Departure procedures Arrival & circuit procedures Enroute procedures Emergency, abnormal & lost procedures
Do I get a certificate?
Yes, you do. When you have completed all the Wilco Radio syllabus modules and passed all six interactive quizzes, we award you with a Certificate of Completion AND a completed Form SRG1171, ready to hand to the FRTOL examiner.
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. Rest assured, when compared to paying for private tuition for radiotelephony, Wilco Radio works out VERY favourably, saving you both time and money whilst learning CAP413 radiotelephony.
What is Form SRG1171?
Form SRG1171 confirms to the FRTOL examiner that you are aware of the subject matter and knowledge required to pass the Practical Test. The premise of Wilco Radio is to prepare students to be able to walk straight into the exam and pass first time, having gone through all the lessons, practice test routes, and Interactive Trainer. We're confident that by the time you go through what we've got to offer, students will not only be able to save money on RT training, but be in an excellent position to pass the official exam with absolutely no problems whatsoever.
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) by law. 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?).
Financially, how does Wilco Radio compare to other alternatives?
Most trainee pilots pay for a series of practical and theory lessons with a radiotelephony instructor. An instructor can cost up to £150 per hour, meaning that 8 hours tuition can cost up to £1,200 to learn radiotelephony - even before taking the exams. Wilco Radio prices are far less. When you use our unique platform, not only do you save money, but you can use Wilco Radio forever. You can continue to improve your radiotelephony skills even after you've passed your FRTOL test.
What's the Interactive Training Bot?
We've created an AI (artificial intelligence) "bots" that act as the ATC operator, FISO, and air-to-ground operators. What's more, each procedure can be customised to use your own callsign, departure airfield or arrival aerodrome to give you an ultra-realistic experience that will help the learning process. The system uses advanced Speech Synthesis technology, giving you a realistic voice that you can communicate with. Combined with the customisable callsigns, runway numbers, and frequencies, it makes the learning experience not just more interactive - but fun too.
Can I take the FRTOL test online with Wilco Radio?
By law, the CAA FRTOL test must be done face-to-face with a CAA examiner, and cannot be taken online. When you sign up with Wilco Radio you will have an exclusive discount with a CAA-approved examiner at a discounted rate.
What procedures can I practice in the Interactive Trainer?
You can get to practice EVERY SINGLE PROCEDURE that you'll need to be familiar with when flying VFR. These include arrival and departure communications and procedures, emergency calls, and enroute procedures such as MATZ Transits, Traffic Service requests, UK Flight Information Services, Control Zone Transit procedures. The lot!
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?
Yes, absolutely free. 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.
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. The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 requires the licensee of radio transmitting and receiving equipment in an aircraft to hold an Aircraft Radio Licence (FRTOL).
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.
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.
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