On the Air: December 2015


aircraft pilot cigar cartoon

The weather uplink near my destination impersonated the epicenter of a measles outbreak. Corpuscles of green, yellow and red advanced from the southeast, and were popping up north and west. I wanted to avoid the infection.

Me: “Houston Center, Skylane 182SP request change destination to Hooks. I am not going to tempt the weather at Brenham.”

Houston Center: “November 182SP, cleared direct Hooks. Good call.”

Me: “Thanks, 2SP.”

To me, it was an easy call. But I’m applauded so seldom by ATC I felt a glow. It got brighter a few minutes later.

Two frantic calls from a Mooney and King Air who got too close to the virus were returned with vectors to Lufkin to join the arrival procedure. As I reached for my iPad, I inquired, “Houston Center, N182SP. Will I get vectors for an arrival?”

Houston Center: “Negative 182SP. Good decisions get rewarded. Continue direct Hooks.”

Mark Fay
Naperville, IL

Returning from a trip to California we were about 20 miles south of Las Vegas and being vectored on a 360-degree heading directly over McCarran International to North Las Vegas when the following exchange took place:

Approach: “Cirrus 05X turn right immediately to heading 090 for traffic.”

Me: “Right to 090, 05X.”

Approach: “Cirrus 05X I said immediately.”

Me: “Immediately right to 090.”

Approach: “When I say immediately, I mean immediately.”

Me: (in a 60 degree bank with a little higher voice) “I’m turning as hard and fast as I can.”

Approach: “Cirrus 05X, never mind. Return to heading 360. Our computer is messed up. Sorry about that.”

After settling down and back on course we had a very nice view directly over McCarran airport and the Las Vegas Strip.

Robert Gorecke
Las Vegas, NV

On a beautiful late-summer Saturday in northern New Jersey, a very busy New York Approach controller barked, “To all aircraft on the frequency, be advised there are multiple VFR targets in the vicinity of everywhere.”

Joe Robillard
Morristown, NJ

For pilots with a musical bent, you will find these interesting waypoints in DOOBI TWO (RNAV), SKNRD THREE (RNAV) and WHACK TWO (RNAV) arrivals into KIAH (George Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston).

Singers: (Jimmy) BFFET, EDEEE (Money), (Fats) DOMNO, (The Big) BOPPR (aka J. P. Richardson who died in the airplane crash with Richie Valens), ODISS (Redding), BOZZZ (Scaggs or The Boss—Bruce Springsteen), (Tina) TURNR.

Styles of music: BLUUZ, PPUNK, CLSIK, SOFFT.

Bands: BEATL(es), (The) EGULZ, HHART (Heart), DOOBI(e Brothers), HOOTI(e and the Blow Fish), JERNY (Journey), (Lynyrd) SKNRD.

Luca F. Bencini-Tibo
Weston, FL

On Christmas day, like many grounded pilots, I was noodling around with ForeFlight on my iPhone mindlessly checking out the METARs at our nearby airports when I came across this report from Rickenbacker Airport:

Time: 9:45 AM

Wind: 260 @ 15-21 knots.

Viz: 10 miles

Clouds: Few @ 2,200, OVC @ 2900

Temp: 2

Dwpt. -2

Alt.: 30.05

Remarks (In all caps and red letters): MAGIC REINDEER DUST.

E. Joel Wesp
Columbus, OH

Wanting to sharpen my radio skills, I was monitoring the ATC channel on my commercial flight’s in-flight entertainment system, and heard this exchange:

United 123: “Chicago Center, United 123, flight level 260, requesting higher.”

Center: “United 123, Chicago Center. We have pilot reports of a rough ride up in the 30s and really turbulent in the 40s.”

United 123: “Roger. Sounds like my first wife.”

John Pultorak
Dixon, IL

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 full name and location.


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