On The Air

This is a collection of old usenet articles of alledged ATC exchanges plus a couple recalled from my own collection.


From: William C. Carton (bill@axiom.UUCP)
Date: 1990-01-07 11:00:35 PST

Reprinted from a letter to IFR by Bruce Kaiser, Clearwater, FL

"It was an unusually quiet morning on Miami Ground Control frequency. But the quiet was soon disturbed.

Unidentified:

I have no idea where I am. I'm all f---ed up!

MIA Ground:

All right, this is Miami Ground. WHO SAID THAT??!!??

(Pause.)

Unidentified:

I'm not THAT f---ed up!


From: Ronald J Wanttaja (wanttaja@ssc-vax.UUCP)
Date: 1990-01-07 11:00:35 PST

One of those old, old, stories.  My favorite is this one:

Center: 

Cessna 4444X, traffic is at twelve o'clock.

Cessna

Is that Zulu or standard time?


From: Lars-Henrik Eriksson (lhe@sics.se)
Date: 1990-01-09 07:59:14 PST

Another variation:

A USAF pilot in Western Germany got more than slightly lost and infringed numerous kinds of controlled airspace at high speed. Fortunately he had his transponder turned on, so ATC could follow his progress and get other traffic out of the way. Finally they managed to establish radio contact:

ATC:

Aircraft squawking xyzw, say your callsign.

A/C:

I may be lost, but I'm not stupid!

And while we're at it:

ATC:

Speedbird xxx, London Approach, cleared to Heathrow via (STAR name) arrival.

A/C:

Er, we're going to Gatwick.

ATC:

My piece of paper says you're going to Heathrow.

A/C:

Hold on, I'll check

(time passes)

A/C:

Yes, my passengers all agree we're going to Gatwick!


From: Dan Flak (flak@mcgp1.UUCP)
Date: 1990-01-11 06:31:59 PST

And while we're still at it. We were flying our C-130 from Osan to Yokota AB one evening. We were lucky enough to catch the jet stream and pick up a 150 knot tailwind. This gave us an unusually high ground speed of 430 knots!

About half way across the East Sea (that's what the Koreans call it. Going the other way, it's called the Sea of Japan) we were directed to contact the Japanese Controller who had just picked us up on radar.

ATC:

MAC xxx, we show you with 430 knots ground speed. Please confirm.

MAC:

Roger, we are showing 430 knots.

ATC:

MAC xxx, say type aircraft.

MAC:

C-130.

ATC:

Are you sure?

MAC:

Well, that's what it says right here on the yoke.


From: Bluejay Adametz (bluejay@feathr.enet.dec.com)
Date: 1990-01-11 11:46:36 PST

My favorite occurred when both our flight school Tomahawks showed up inbound at the same time...

436:

Greenville tower, Tomahawk 23436 is 7 west inbound for landing.

GMU:

436, winds....[etc..]

591:

Greenville tower, Tomahawk 23591 is 7 southwest inbound for landing [me].

GMU:

591, winds....

GMU:

436, Traffic off your right is another Tomahawk.

436:

436 has traffic in sight.

GMU:

591, Traffic off your left is another Tomahawk

591:

591 has the traffic

 

(brief pause while the tower operator tries to figure out who's going to get to the airport first; we're just about even)

GMU:

You guys want to fight it out amongst yourselves?

591:

Go ahead, Sam.

436:

Naw, you go ahead. I got this guy under the hood.

591:

Tower, 591 will be number 1.

GMU: 591

Roger, cleared to land.

A fine example of not letting the rules and procedures get in the way of keeping the traffic flowing and happy


From: Geoff Peck (geoff@Apple.COM)
Date: 1990-01-09 10:01:41 PST

Well, here's a recent one (it's a week or two ago that I heard this):

Cast of characters:

SEL:  some random light single, possibly a Bonanza

SCK:  Stockton Approach

SEL:

Stockton approach, SEL, with you, 5,500.

SCK:

SEL, Stockton approach.  Where 'ya going, SEL?

SEL:

San Jose.

SCK:

Do you know the way?

SEL:

Well, I could sing it to you...

SCK:

Nevermind...


From: Jay "you ignorant splut!" Maynard (jay@splut.conmicro.com)
Date: 1990-01-10 02:03:27 PST

Me:

Houston Approach, Warrior 80765 off Brazoria County, inbound to Ellington for landing, like advisories and flight following, out of 1000 for 3000.

Houston Approach

Warrior 80765, squawk 0235, fly heading 040, maintain 2500 for now, Ellington altimeter 30.11.

Me:

0235, 040, 2500, 3011. 765. Hut! Hut!

My instructor always taught me to repeat any numbers I was given...


From: Gary Koerzendorfer (gdk@hpindda.HP.COM)
Date: 1990-01-10 16:55:47 PST

More 'heard on the air': Sometime ago I flew into Fresno [Calif] Air Terminal,

"FAT", on a very quiet night. A helicopter, obviously a regular also joins the airspace.

Helicopter:

Fresno approach [etc].

FAT

Helo,I hear you are flying the new model [whatever]

Helicopter:

Yes, we have 2 now.

Helicopter:

Is that new lady controller married?

FAT

Stand by.

FAT

No, she's not.

Helicopter:

Maybe I'll invite her up for a ride.

FAT

You better hurry up, the Highway Patrol 'chopper pilot has the same idea!


From: Rob Farlee (farlee@eplrx7.uucp)
Date: 1990-01-12 13:15:31 PST

Me

Jackson traffic, Cessna 98S, short final 35, Jackson

Deep Voice

Jackson Hole traffic, United 727, 4 mile final and. yup, we have the Cessna!"

Me

(In squeaky mouse voice) "Eeek!  Give it back, please?"

Deep Voice

Ahh, shucks!"

Me, on 121.9

Reading Ground, Cessna 8098S, at the terminal, ready to taxi for southwest departure

Delightful Female Voice

Cessna 98S, taxi 31

Me, on 119.9

Reading Tower, Cessna 8098S ready at 31

Same DFV

Cessna 98S, cleared for takeoff

Me, on 125.15

Reading Departure, Cessna 98S with ya through 1000

Same DFV

98S, radar contact, proceed on course

Me

Reading Departure, err, Cessna 98S with a question

DFV

98S, go ahead

Me

If you cover 3 positions, does the FAA pay you 3 salaries?"

DFV, laughing

No, but I'll pass on your suggestion to my supervisor!"

Me

Baltimore Approach, Cessna 8098S

Appr

Cessna, standby."  (handles some heavies)

Appr

Cessna calling vfr, say your message."

Me

Cessna 8098S, at 2000, 20 miles NNW, like to do some sightseeing over the Inner Harbor, then land Martin State."

Appr

Cessna weak and unreadable, remain clear of the ARSA

Deep Voice

Baltimore, United 123 with a question

Appr

United 123 go ahead

Deep Voice

What's wrong with you guys, I could hear that Cessna fine."

Yeah, the inner harbor was real pretty at night.


From: Diana L. Syriac (dls@genrad.com)
Date: 1990-01-12 16:47:01 PST

Found in a General Aviation newspaper:

Pilot:

Patmar Tower, this is 63 Romeo, student pilot.  I'm outta fuel. What do I do?!

Tower(as he's pressing the "crash button"):

Student Pilot that just called the tower.  Stay calm! Don't panic!  Can you give us your exact position?

Pilot:

I'm parked in front of the tower and was just wondering where the  fuel truck was....


From: Berry Kercheval (berry@lll-crg.llnl.gov)
Date: 1990-01-13 19:22:58 PST

Here's one I heard a while ago.  I (93M)was doing pattern work at Livermore (LVK) where my (well, *our*) plane is based, and two balloons had taken off just before I started.  Now, you need to understand that the active runways were 25L+R, that Springtown is a neighborhood about 6-7 miles east of LVK, and that the Holiday Inn is about 4 miles East. We join the drama as one balloon has already landed and gone home.

LVK:

Musketeer 93M, cleared for the option, runway 25L.

93M:

93M

123:

Livermore Tower, Baloon 123 landing Springtown

LVK:

Roger, Baloon 123. Make straight in, Runway 25L, report 4 mile final abeam Holiday Inn.

123:

!$??

LVK[Different voice]

Uh, Baloon 123, disregard, approved, have a nice day.

Remember, if you are a student pilot harassing controllers, there are sometimes student controllers harassing pilots too!


From: Lars-Henrik Erikssonlhe@sics.se)
Date: 1990-01-16 01:53:35 PST

I've flown once in the US (with an instructor on board). I have no problems with radio communication in English, even at the busiest airports in Europe (I've tried Frankfurt...). Getting out of Boeing Field in Seattle however, was more than I could handle. I managed to get to the holding for the active runway, then I had to hand the radio over to the instructor. Just trying to hear my call sign among endless streams of numbers was too much.

Obviously the Americans can do it, so it must be a matter of practice. On the other hand, I wouldn't have any problem with C-GJKZ...


From: Dan Flakflak@mcgp1.UUCP)
Date: 1990-01-17 21:26:32 PST

 Not all Americans! I had the pleasure of flying my O-2A (Cessna Skymaster that got drafted), northward from Shaw AFB, S.C. to New York City (White Plains) with a squadron mate who was born and raised in a small town in Georgia.

He was completely lost by the time we hit Washington Center. I remember flying along to suddenly have his left arm stretch out in front of me with the enroute chart unfolding across the flight instruments. This was accompanied by the question, "What intersection he say we cleared to"? I hated to disappoint him, but in the interest of flight safety I had to inform him that he was working on our previous clearance.

Somewhere in my C-141 co-pilot training records there's an entry, "We couldn't have made it (the trip to Europe) without Capt. Flak. His knowledge of the Northeast dialect was essential to the safe conduct of flight".


An unusually quiet afternoon at an airport near Boston, with nobody else anywhere around, a CFI working the radio.  Third time around.

97R:

97R midfield

Twr:

97R number one cleared to land

97R:

97R cleared to land

97R (sounding bored):

Couldn't you find us some traffic or something?

Twr:

Sorry, we can only work with what we got.

97R: (very slowly and carefully)

Lawrence tower, this is November 3997R. We're in a Piper Cherokee  PA28-180 on the downwind side of the left-hand pattern for runway 32, requesting touch and go.

Twr:

Aircraft calling Lawrence Tower say again? Just kidding 97R number one cleared to land


Originally printed in the "Fife Leader" - an actual recorded conversation at Kansas City Municipal Airport.  (PP = private plane, 707 = Boeing 707 pilot (TWA), CT = control tower)

PP (talking to CT):

You might inform the TWA plane which is about to take off from the north end that the object near my position that looks like a rock is really a turtle on the runway.

707:

Tower, we heard that transmission. Understand.  One turtle on runway.

CT:

Based on available pilot's report, turtle course is oriented south-east heading towards Gate 5.

707:

Kansas City tower, can you give us info on turtle's speed and estimated time of runway clearance?

CT:

Computer calculation indicates turtle speed around 200 feet per hour. Maybe less in this quartering headwind. If threatened course and speed are maintained, runway should be clear in 8 minutes.

707:

Unable to wait due to fuel depletion.  Will employ evasive action on take-off roll.

CT:

Roger TWA.  Cleared for take-off.  Be on alert for wake turbulence behind departing turtle.


From: A. Marquis (bam@bang.UUCP)
Date: 1990-09-25 19:35:39 PST

Over the years when going into Las Vegas from the Southeast, i.e. inbound from Peach Springs VOR, I have noticed that there will often be some strong updrafts as one crosses the ridge line that separates Las Vegas from the Lake Mead area, with no corresponding down drafts.  Unfortunately this is usually where approach wants you to descend.  This was our radio exchange on Saturday afternoon.

LVA = Las Vegas Approach.

P.

LVA

96R Descent and maintain 7,000.

96R

Out of ten for seven.

LVA (about two minutes later)

96R you can continue your descent to five thousand and please pick up the descent rate as I have to get you beneath crossing traffic.

96R

Ok, we are out of 9.2 for 5 and we'll try to hurry it up.

LVA (about another two minutes later)

96R if you are planning to land at McCarren anytime in the near future you are going have to get down to 5 thousand, I show you at 8,400 and CLIMBING!

96R

Approach, I got the engine all the way back, the prop in flat pitch, the nose pointed down and the landing gear out and I am still going up at 400 feet per minute.  Right now I am open to suggestions.

LVA (Laughter in background)

Ok 96Romeo, we'll work it out. But we are going to get even.  Just wait till you see the climb we want you to maintain when you depart!

96R

You guys are all heart.

Sn but with an overhead drop approach P.S. I did make it in P.S. I did make it in but with an overhead drop approach the likes of which I haven't done since Vietnam.


From: mmajka@.next.com (mmajka@.next.com)
Date: 1991-06-17 15:18:27 PST

Heard in the Bay Area:

BB: 

Barnburner 123, Request 8300 feet."

Bay Approach:

Barnburner 123, say reason for requested altitude."

BB: 

Because the last 2 times I've been at 8500, I've nearly been     run over by some bozo at 8500 feet going the wrong way!"

Bay Approach:

That's a good reason. 8300 approved.


From: Brad D. Clark (clark@brahms.amd.com)
Date: 1991-09-09 14:49:12 PST

Heard during a late-night of backing up the hard-drive with the scanner on Moffett Air Base clearance delivery:

Test 08:

Request clearance for direct Miami.

MC:

Say type of aircraft?

T08:

Ah... our TACAN just blew up, amend us from Type Delta to Type Alfa

MC:

Roger... clearance to Miami direct approved, do you have UHF?

T08:

Ah... well, we did, but it just got thrown out of the cockpit. We are VHF only.

MC:

Roger, (gives loooooong clearance) departure freq 123.45.

T08:

Moffett Clearance, be advised our starboard wing just fell off. Looks like we'll have to cancel our IFR.

MC: (after a long pause)

Roger Test 08, have a nice day.

This was apparently the breaking in of a rookie controller by instructors.


From: Dan Flak (flak@mcgp1.UUCP)
Date: 1991-09-11 15:50:52 PST

I was once asked for my heading, altitude and airspeed while on the back side of a loop. I told them *after* I leveled out, but I wish I was quick enough on my tongue to say, "Straight down, rapidly decreasing and rapidly increasing, respectively".

I once had a flight of Oscar-2's VFR on top and was putting them through their paces. I kept on calling in my altitude changes and heading changes to ATC. Eventually they came back and said, "You are cleared WAATSUS." I asked them what WAATSUS meant, and they replied, "Cleared to wander aimlessly about the Southern United States - maintain between 6 and 10 thousand feet, stay off the airways, monitor this frequency and give us a call when you want to come home."

On another cross-country to White Plains I was flying VFR through the TCA from the north shore of New Jersey.

JFK Proceed direct Kennedy. Fly the such and such radial outbound direct White Plains
Me (Repeat clearance) Can I deviate a couple of miles left of course?
JFK State reason for deviation
Me Mom's house
JFK In that case, multiple 360's approved. Let us know when you want to resume on course.

I've also gotten other unusual clearances from New York Center.

JFK Are you familiar with the city?
Me Yes
JFK Can you identify the Brooklyn Bridge.
Me Tally ho!
JFK Cleared Flatbush Avenue to the Brooklyn Bridge. White Plains via the East River.

ATC "Fly runway heading to 1,000 feet, turn left to 290, direct Tappan Zee Bridge. Climband maintatin 3000, at the Statue of Liberty, climb and maintain 3,500.
(Later on that flight)
ATC Can you fly the east side of the Hudson? You're getting too close to the pattern at Newark.
Me I understand you want me to take the West Side Highway.
ATC You got it.


From: Martyn Thomas (mct@praxis.co.uk)
Date: 1992-01-15 10:55:08 PST

Extracted from the UK CAA GASIL (general aviation safety info leaflet) Dec 1991.

Lady Radar Controller

Can I turn you on at 7 miles?

Airline Captain:

Madam, you can try.

Pilot:

Golf Juliet Whiskey, request instructions for takeof

Persons unknown:

Open the throttle smoothly, check temperatures and pressures rising, keep the aircraft straight using …

Student pilot(who forgot to ask for surface wind)

Please pass wind

Lost student pilot:

Unknown airport with Cessna 150 circling overhead, identify yourself

Tower:

Alpha Charlie, climb to 4000 ft for noise abatement

AC:

How can I possibly be creating excess noise at 2000 ft?

Tower:

At 4000 ft you will miss the twin coming at you at 2000 ft, and that is bound to avoid one hell of a racket.

These may, of course, belong in alt.folklore.urban


From: John Pettitt (jpp@specialix.co.uk)
Date: 1992-01-16 15:54:23 PST

Taken from a short wave radio magazine (Monitoring Times)

LAX

King Air 99 say altitude

KA99

Altitude

LAX

King Air 99 say cancel IFR

KA99

King Air 99 is maintaining 9,000.


From: willcr@bud.sos.ivy.isc.com
Date: 1992-09-28 04:45:48 PST

The scene: In an Arrow coming back from the Reno Air Races.  Another aircraft is talking to Burbank Approach (or Coast or LA, can't remember) about landing at Van Nuys and requests the right runway (16R) and is told instead that he'll have to use the left runway due to a disabled aircraft blocking 16R.

A/C:

Can you tell us the nature of the disabled aircraft's problem?

ATC:

Well, I wasn't on duty when it happened, but the scuttlebutt around here is that the pilot descended to field elevation before reaching the "gear down" part of his checklist.