On The Air: April 2021


I was cruising along one day when I heard the following:

Center: “1JT turn right heading 120.”

1JL: “120 1JL.”

1JT: “Center I think another aircraft responded to the heading for 1JT.”

Center: “OK heading is 120 for 1JT only.”

Loud squealing

Center: “Alright 1 uh Justin Timberlake, you fly heading 120.”

1JT: “120 1 Justin Timberlake.”

Center: “And 1 Jennifer Lopez, you continue direct destination.”

1JL: “Direct destination, 1 Jennifer Lopez.”

Sometimes we need a better phonetic alphabet I guess?

Adam Nance

Greensboro, NC

My friend Ron has several pet peeves regarding radio etiquette on CTAF. I was inbound to our home base Charlotte- Monroe Executive Airport when I heard him on frequency one afternoon and decided to see how many of his pet peeves I could check off in one transmission:

“Monroe traffic, SkyHawk 2055E is turning left final (1) for Runway zero five (2) for full stop landing and taxi back to line up and wait (3). Any traffic in the area please advise (4).”

(1) You can’t turn left or right final. There is only a turn to final.

(2) “Zero Five” isn’t painted on the runway. It’s only the number 5.

(3) You don’t “Line up and wait” at a non-towered field.

(4) The AIM specifically states not to say this! You should be listening prior to making your call.

Ron is an avid reader of IFR and is the reason I subscribe. I’d love for him to see this in OTA.

Elliott Cox

Clover, SC

Flying north from Florida, Jacksonville Center asked for an assist.

JAX: “Meridian 821J, we’re not sure the Savannah VOR is working. Would you tune 115.95 and see what you get?”

Me: “Sure. (pause) It’s working fine.”

JAX: “Thanks a bunch. I bet you haven’t done that in a long time!”

Patrick Jebaily

Florence, SC

I often fly a piston twin into Boston’s Logan Airport. Normally, whether VFR or IFR this requires talking to Center, three handoffs for Approach, two Tower frequencies, and Ground. Each frequency sounds like an auctioneer selling an estate, and it’s difficult to get a word in.

But when the pandemic hit its nadir, I was handed off to the first layer of Approach at the typical thirty miles out:

Approach: “Care 14, are you familiar with Boston landmarks?”

Me: “Affirmative, Care 14.”

Approach: “Care 14, hang a left at the Pru. Cleared Runway 4 Left visual approach. Contact Tower in the turn.”

The Pru is the Prudential Center, one of Boston’s three tallest buildings.

On my flight out, Tower handed me to Approach at 400 feet. Normally I’d get a vector and then work through the approach onion’s layers; but today:

Approach: “Care 14, cleared direct to whatever fix you usually use for your destination. Climb pilot’s discretion to 6500 feet. Have a good flight.”

Charlie Freeman

Lebanon, NH


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