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On the Air January 2014 Issue

On The Air: January 2014

was a passenger listening to ATC on the A-319’s audio system. We had just landed at a very busy Newark Liberty International Airport. I heard this exchange between Tower and a regional jet:
Tower: “RJ One One Zero, line up and wait.”
RJ: (Groaning) “Unable. We just had a passenger stand up and go to the lavatory. What do you want us to do?”
Tower: “There are seven aircraft behind you. Try to hurry them up.”
(30 seconds later)
RJ: “Tower, RJ One One Zero, passenger is back in their seat, ready for departure.”
Tower: “Must have been a number one. Cleared for takeoff.”

Fred Simonds
Juno Beach, Florida

Returning to the Philadelphia area recently I was receiving flight following from the Dover approach controller when we had the following exchange:
Dover Approach: “Saratoga Eight Two Four Three Alpha, traffic 11 o’clock, one zero miles, Cessna 172.”
Me: “Four Three Alpha looking.”
Dover: “Four Three Alpha, correction. Traffic is a Cessna 182.”
Me: “Four Three Alpha, Roger. At this distance that probably doesn’t make much difference, but thanks anyway.”
Dover: dead silence.

Bob Smith
Harleysville, Pennsylvania

Returning to the Philadelphia area recently I was receiving flight following from the Dover approach controller when we had the following exchange:
Dover Approach: “Saratoga Eight Two Four Three Alpha, traffic 11 o’clock, one zero miles, Cessna 172.”
Me: “Four Three Alpha looking.”
Dover: “Four Three Alpha, correction. Traffic is a Cessna 182.”
Me: “Four Three Alpha, Roger. At this distance that probably doesn’t make much difference, but thanks anyway.”
Dover: dead silence.

Bob Smith
Harleysville, Pennsylvania

I was flying my Cherokee 140 toward the IAF for the GPS-A approach to William T. Piper Memorial Airport:
New York Center: “Cherokee Three Four Romeo, do you have anything on board to show your ground speed?”
Cherokee Four Six Three Four Romeo: (Reluctantly) “Well, we’re showing 34 knots ground speed.”
New York Center: “Good. I was thinking there was something wrong with my equipment.”

Howard K. Congdon
Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

In 1975 we moved from New York City to Santa Barbara, California (SBA)with our one-year old daughter. I had a commercial license but only about 200 hours and a new instrument ticket, so I did not want to attempt a 2200 nm trip in a 1952 B-35 Bonanza with a young child. Therefore I departed for California and my wife and child left on United Airlines two days later via Los Angeles.
Luckily, good weather and light headwinds prevailed for the whole trip, except for the coastal marine layer that produced 400-1 at SBA. I made the trip with only one overnight. As I prepared for the ILS into SBA, a United B-737 came up on the frequency. Since Santa Barbara did not have radar in those days, the controller issued holding instructions to the 737 until I canceled IFR.

I was in no hurry and offered to wait for United. Both the controller and the captain were surprised by my offer, so I explained that my wife and infant daughter would be on a United flight from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara later that afternoon, and I felt it only fair to show a little friendly assistance. The captain was even more amazed and asked, “You beat your wife here from New York in a Bonanza?” I explained that I had a two-day head start, but that my wife would be very surprised to find out that I had already arrived.

It happened that the Captain’s next stop was Los Angeles, and as he deplaned he overheard my wife telling the gate agent that her husband was flying out to Santa Barbara alone in our private plane but that she did not know where I was. The captain then told her that I was safely on the ground in Santa Barbara, and completely ruined my surprise at the arrival gate.

Bill Ramos, M.D.
Las Vegas, Nevada

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