Classic On The Air: November 2012


I worked a route between Manchester, N.H., and Boston Logan. We flew eight-seat Navajos and 19-seat Twin Otters. This is from my copilot.
Precision 72: “Boston Approach, this is Precision Seventy-Two, 40 miles north with Alpha landing Logan.”
Boston Approach: “Squawk four three five three. Are you a Navajo today?”
Precision 72: “No, I am a white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestent male. If I was a Navajo, I’d have a real airline job by now!”

Jeff Helmericks
Via e-mail

One of the joys of flying in the New York City metro area is listening to the controllers. In addition to being the best in the business, they deliver some good wisecracks, always with that unmistakable accent. We had just landed at Islip (KISP):
Islip Tower: “Comair Two Three Four, take a left at the next intersection and taxi to the gate.”
My first officer read back the instructions. Then, just to make sure Tower didn’t want us to switch to the ground frequency, he asked, “Stay with you?”
Tower (without missing a beat): “Sure, but you’ll have to sleep on the couch.”

Rick Sanders
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Overheard on Chicago Center at 4 a.m., where a controller worked a frequency with almost no traffic:
Cessna 3AB: “Cessna Three Alpha Bravo, radio check.”
Chicago Center: “You’re loud and clear, Three Alpha Bravo.”
Cessna 3AB: “Not too busy this morning.”
Center: “It’s not even four o’clock.Doesn’t pick up for another hour.”
Two minutes later:
Cessna 3AB: “Chicago Center, Cessna Three Alpha Bravo, request direct O’Hare.”
Center: “Three Alpha Bravo, how about world peace?”
Cessna 3AB: “Worth a try.”

Matt Aaronson
Chicago, Ill.

I had never been to El Paso, Texas, before. The field layout wasn’t real confusing, but since there was both commercial and military traffic, I thought I would ask for progressive-taxi help:
Me: “Ground, Piper Six Six Foxtrot. Can you keep an eye on me and make sure I don’t do anything stupid? It’s my first time to your field.”
Ground (female controller): “Roger Six Six Fox. But don’t worry about it. You’re a guy, you can’t help it.”

Rick Kalister
Knoxville, Tenn.

On a day with weather right above minimums, a Beechjet landed at Knox County in Maine, an uncontrolled field:
Beechjet 72Z: “Portland Approach, Beechjet Seven Two Zulu on the ground Knox County. Cancel IFR.”‘
Portland Approach: “Beechjet Seven Two Zulu, IFR cancellation received.”
Beechjet 72Z: “Portland, will we be able to reach you on the ground to get our clearance?”
Approach: “Seven Two Zulu, where are you now?”
Beechjet 72Z: “Right.”

Shane Burns
Owls Head, Maine

There is an approach into San Francisco known as the Quiet Bridge Visual. You fly to the bridge and match up with another aircraft for the parallel:
NorCal Approach: “United Four Five Three, report traffic 10 o’clock one mile, a Skywest Brasilia, in sight.”
United 453: “Traffic, bridge, airport, parking lot and my car in sight.”
NorCal: “United Four Five Three, roger, cleared for the visual 28R, enjoy your days off, contact tower.”

Danny Rice
Via e-mail

We were taxiing to the ramp at Buchanan Field in Concord, Calif., and noticed a number of jackrabbits on the taxiway:
Me: “Concord Ground, Beech Three Seven Quebec. Where did all these jackrabbits come from?”
Concord Ground: “From older jackrabbits.”
Me (laughing my — off): “That one’s going to IFR.”

Lindsey Whiteway
Concord, Calif.


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