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Aviation English (AE) is the “primary dialect” of international aviation. Demonstrably, AE and Conversational English (CE) are distinct varieties of English. Pastresearch shows that AE is spoken more rapidly, with less inflectional variation and differentrhythm than CE. Differences are strong enough that AE and CEmaynot be mutually intelligible. However, flight students are not trained in AE production and perception prior to flight training.This study examines the intelligibility relationship between AE and CE by comparing native English speaking non-pilots andnative English speaking pilots responding to actual air traffic controller transmissions. A difference between these groups was predicted, given theircomparative AE familiarity. However, the difference in AE intelligibility proved to be stronger than expected. Additionally,results from licensed pilotsindicate that AE learning continues with flight experience, suggesting there may notbeadequate training prior toreliance on AE in flight.