On the Air: December 2014


Here are some more eccentric airport names in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Axinn—located about two miles north of Middlebury, Vt.

Ass-Pirin— about 10 nm further west, and likely what you will take shortly after visiting;

Bonebender—13 nm southwest of Burlington, Vt.

Daniel Spitzer
Piermont, N.Y.

After landing Runway 32 at Raleigh-Durham airport with our red Cirrus we were crossing Runway 23L and waiting at the A-C intersection for our ground clearance to the ramp. At the same time a Southwest Airlines 737 reported ready for push back.

Our ground clearance was, “Cirrus N-123 taxi to the ramp via Alpha and Juliet,” followed by a, “Southwest 123 taxi to Runway 23L on Alpha following the Cirrus.”

Southwest: “We’ll follow the little red guy on Alpha to 23L.”

The controller defended our airplane by stating, “The paint job of the red guy is really nice.”

I replied to the controller, “Thanks for defending us, Ground.”

Chris Stern
Raleigh, N.C.

Overheard at our local airport where many foreign students come up from the south to get their tower experience.

Tower: “Roger N123C, turn left your discretion, climb on course.”

Foreign student: “Tower say again.”

Tower: (very slowly) “N123C, turn left your discretion, climb on course.”

Foreign student: “I no understand. You use word I can understand.”

Tower: “You turn left now, climb on course to the south.”

Foreign student: “Ah thank you very much. Now I understand.”

Good thinking. Always clarify if you don’t understand what ATC is trying to tell you.

Mike Marquette
Pocatello, Idaho

I used to fly into Lebanon, N.H. to see my son who went to nearby Dartmouth College. The ILS 18 Approach reflected what’s at every college town. HAMMM, BURGER and FRYYS. Flying makes me hungry anyway, and this doesn’t help.

Phil McNeill
Reston, Va.

I was enroute to Burbank, approaching Beale Air Force Base’s airspace when I heard the following:

NorCal: “Cirrus 2 Tango Tango, you’ll have one King Air 500 feet above you and one 500 feet below you, maneuvering over Beale.”

Cirrus 2TT: “We’ve got one…both King Airs in sight!”

NorCal: “There are actually four of them out there.”

Cirrus: (very upbeat) “I’m 50 per cent there then!”

NorCal: “Which one’s ya got?”

It’s fun to hear the utter positivity of it all…

Glen Janssens
Ashland, Ore.

This happened to me after departure from Henderson airport in Vegas last summer:

LA Center: “Squawk 4666.”

Me: “Hey, that sounds a bit menacing. Squawking 4666 now.”

After a short pause:

LA Center: “I can give you another squawk if you prefer, sir.”

Me: “It’s fine, I’m an atheist.”

LA Center: “Ha-ha, radar contact.”

Adam Frisch
Hollywood, Calif.

At Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, the final approach fixes for Runways 4L and 4R are, in best Tony Soprano fashion, HOWYA and DOOIN.

John Krug
Mashpee, Mass.

Flying south off the west coast of Florida, I recently overheard Jacksonville Center asking a Bonanza pilot why he accepted a routing that was normally used only for jets. Center encouraged the pilot to “next time, just correct them when they give you that approach.”

Long silence on the air, as GA pilot seemed unsure how to respond. The controller came back with, “Most of us are married so we are used to being corrected.”

Bill Colton
Addison, Texas

Send us your cleverest (or most embarrassing) moment on the radio—or your favorite fix names or airport names—with a subject of “OTA,” to [email protected]. Be sure to include your name and location.


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