Someone pointed out to me recently in e-mail that aviation people rarely say the name of the airport, but rather just say or type the code. It's true. Some of it is just because the code is shorter. Why type out Yellowknife or Saskatoon when the recipient knows perfectly well where YZF and YXE are? Why say all four syllables of Iqaluit when YFB does the job in three. (And if it's in written form, also avoids the risk of typing Iqualuit, which is something else entirely). In my experience people rarely say YYZ, because "Pearson" is shorter. But few people are going to say Kangiqsualujjuaq if they can help it. Savvy passengers for whom Kangiqsualujjuaq is a simple word in their native tongue will say "YLU" to make sure they don't get taken to Kangiqsujuaq.
Part of it is because I'm not going to Moosonee. I'm going to YMO. I'm going to land at YMO, get the passengers on board and get back to YTS. I've never actually been to many of the towns whose airports are familiar to me.
Yeah, there are a lot of Xs and other letters with no relationship to the town name in the codes, but you get used to them. Aviation likes Xs. We have a lot of abbreviations with Xs.
The other day someone from mx told me to record "oil px." I'm not sure I'd seen that one before, but I knew exactly what it was. What else can you record about oil that begins with P, other than pressure? The ambiguity of x-based abbreviations can be bad though. It hard to tell a scribbled m from a scribbled w. So if a pilot scrawl looks like "cx for wx," you might later have to go to the journey log to figure out if the flight was cancelled for weather or for maintenance.
Let's see what we've got:
- ax - got one in locker with the emergency gear, although of course I spell it axe
- cx - cancelled
- ex - pilots have a few, the lifestyle isn't good for long-term relationships
- mx - maintenance
- ox - perhaps if you don't have a tractor you could use oxen to tow into the hangar
- px - pressure/pax
- rx - have to clear these with your CAME
- sx - seen this for speed
- tx - seen for tickets, don't know if it's widespread
- vx - best angle of climb speed
- wx - weather
- xx - vertical clouds topped off the chart (weather symbol)
So there's lots of room for more. Anyone seen others in use, or have creative suggestions for bx dx fx gx hx ix jx kx lx nx qx ux yx & zx?