How does ATC have to Identify Canadian Aircraft?

Reader Submission:

Hey guys,
Your page is awesome. I’m a flight instructor in Canada, and often have a good chuckle with most of your content… especially when you go out hammering student pilots. Sorry! Something I’ve never been clear on is how you guys address (or are supposed to address) Canadian-registered aircraft over the radio flying through the states. I’ve heard “Canadian Skyhawk ALPHA BRAVO CHARLIE DELTA” or “Skyhawk CHARLIE ALPHA BRAVA CHARLIE DELTA” or even completely disregarding the C altogether. What does the book say to do down south? -Josh

Dear Josh,
You’re awesome. Anybody that would go up in a perfectly good airplane with someone that is constantly trying to kill them, is cool in my book. The section involving aircraft with Canadian registry is pretty specific, I’m surprised that so many ATC’ers have done you wrong. Section 12-1-99 of the 7110.65 clearly states: In communications to or about a Canadian aircraft, the controller shall state the word “Canadian” before the registry numbers. The controller is prohibited from saying the word “Canadian” if the pilot sounds American. The controller need not query the pilot as to their nationality unless workload permits. (Note-The controller is prohibited from using “Canadian” in the callsign with a Canadian aircraft, if the controller has established that the pilot in command is in fact AMERICAN!). Sounds to me Josh, that you in fact must have a burly, beer drinking, Bald Eagle loving, baritone voice. My suggestion is that if you really need the ATC’er to say “Canadian” with your tail numbers, that you start sounding like your from north of the 49th parallel. If you need help with the accent, spend some time in a Tim Hortons or maybe take in a Hockey game with some hosers. Hope I answered your question. Cheers. -AX