GREETINGS from C-5 AIRCRAFT, SHAKESPEARE, AND… CHUCK NORRIS

Hi there!

Dear readers, it’s high time I sent season’s greetings, and a happy new year to you through this video:

In this amusing video, a voice-over quotes Hamlet, act 1, scene 1:

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike;
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

Then, the voice-over adds:

So, I brought you that… Merry, merry Christmas, and happy new year to you all.

The voice-over quotes Marcellus’s cue from the original version of Hamlet:

It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long.
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad.
The nights are wholesome. Then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is that time.

…, which roughly means:

It faded away when the rooster crowed. Some people say that just before Christmas the rooster crows all night long, so that no ghost dares to go wandering, and the night is safe. The planets have no sway over us, fairies’ spells do not work, and witches cannot bewitch us. That is how holy that night is.

Here below a translation from François Maguin’s bilingual book in both old English, and French:

Il a disparu au chant du coq.
On dit que toujours, lorsque vient la saison
Où l’on célèbre la naissance de Notre Sauveur,
L’oiseau de l’aube chante toute la nuit.
Alors, dit-on, nul esprit ne se risque à sortir,
Les nuits s’en trouvent pures, nulle planète ne frappe,
Pas de fée ni de sorcière qui puisse jeter un sort,
Tant la grâce vient sanctifier ce temps.

Video from Valentin Bajkov © Delov Digital, www.delovdigital.hu

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LANGUAGE CRITICAL TO AVIATION SAFETY

The 5th ICAO Journal dates back to August 2013, and there is a chapter on Language Proficiency Requirements (LPR) in it. The Journal reviews ICAO’s LPRs and other recent initiatives developed, and reported during a technical seminar to support language proficiency in March 2013, and particularly English language testing among Member States.

All the stakeholders were gathered at the seminar. Those who implement the safety-critical language provisions as mandated by Assembly Resolution A32-16 in 1998, and embodied in Annexes 1, 6, 10 and 11, as well as Doc 4444 — PANS-ATM have their work cut out for them!

According to ICAO Convention, Annex 10, Vol.2, « If a pilot, and an air traffic controller don’t speak a common language, the default language is English. Additionally, the flight crew establishes the language to be used. »

The seminar presented an ICAO speech sample training aid. This tool provides examples of ICAO levels 3, 4 & 5. There was a discrepancy among the various ratings given to samples in a workshop. I know that the juries throughout the world have done some good work. However, candidates have already reported differences between juries within a fortnight. The ratings can vary up to almost two ICAO levels. Rating is difficult, and setting a test is difficult as well.

We know now from the journal that EUROCONTROL is developing a Level 6 examination and that EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) might establish a validity period of 9 years for Level 6.

Another initiative is the launch of a new AELTS (Aviation English Language Test Service) website at http://www.icao.int/aelts .

The LPR seminar report is available here:

ICAO JOURNAL 2013 LPR

Further information:

FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF ICAO’S AVIATION ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST SERVICE (AELTS)

Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements

Latest news: The MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) on the aeronautical documents test might be given up in 2014. Therefore, the FCL .055 D might be deleted. The FCL .055 tests VFR and IFR only would be left unchanged ie without the 15-minute MCQ test.

Thanks to Thierry Hermas – English teacher at the French Air Force Academy (FAFA) – who passed the documents on.

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