On The Air: February 2010


Returning to Winston-Salem from the coast, I heard the following exchange as I was trying to find some smooth air and had requested a number of altitude changes:

Cherokee 37J: “Greensboro Approach. Three Seven Juliet, request.”

Greensboro Approach: “Go ahead Three Seven Juliet.”

Cherokee 37J: “Request 6000.”

Approach (a bit exasperated): “6000 approved. Do you think this will be your final altitude?”

Cherokee 37J: “Depends on if it silences my turbulence indicator.”

Approach: “Turbulence indicator? I didn’t know there was such a thing.”

Cherokee 37J: “I married one.”

Ken Hudson
Winston-Salem, N.C.

My wife and I were on our way to Salem, Ore., for some lunch and overheard this on the Tower frequency:

Cirrus 41ME: “Salem Tower, Cirrus Four One Mike Echo, seven miles north at 2000 with Lima, request full stop.”

Salem Tower: “Cirrus Four One Mike Echo, you are cleared straight in Runway 16. Report two-mile final.”

After a few minutes:

Cirrus 41ME: “Salem Tower, One Mike Echo, two-mile final 16.”

Tower: “One Mike Echo, turn right at Juliet, taxi to parking.”

Cirrus 41ME (somewhat speechless): “Uh, Salem Tower … do I have permission to land first?”

Tower (noticeably embarrassed): “Oh my! Yes, you are cleared to land Runway 16. Sorry about that. It’s pretty tough to taxi if you’re still airborne.”

Bruce Breckenridge
Happy Valley, Ore.

I’d say the controller definitely won this exchange with a pilot who might not have been entirely honest about having the current ATIS:

Hawker 93E: “Tulsa Approach, Hawker Nine Three Echo, can you give us the ceilings at Tulsa?”

Tulsa Approach; “Hawker Nine Three Echo, um, didn’t you say you had information Romeo?”

Hawker 93E (after a long pause): “Yes Ma’am … just wondered if there was an update.”

Approach: “Well, I’m in a room with no windows but information Romeo states 700 overcast.”

Dave Rodger
Dallas, Texas

On a sunny day between Salinas and King City in California, the following conversation took place between NORCAL, a Glassair and a Beech Baron:

NORCAL Approach: “Baron Niner Seven One Papa Delta, you have traffic at your 11 o’clock, two miles, a Glassair, same altitude.”

Baron 971PD: “Niner Seven One Papa Delta, looking, negative contact.”

Approach: “Glassair Five Four Golf Hotel, traffic at your five o’clock, two miles, same altitude, a Baron.”

Glassair 54GH: “Roger that. Negative contact. Four Golf Hotel.”

Approach: “Baron One Papa Delta, let me know when you have traffic in sight, you will be passing to the right.”

Several minutes later:

Approach: “Baron One Papa Delta, I was wrong about passing the Glassair on the right. He’s going faster than you. Number two behind the Glassair; contact Monterey Tower on 118.4.”

Baron 971PD: “Never did see the Glassair. Bet he started downhill before me.”

Approach: “Could be, but I’ll bet you can’t catch him.”

Jerry Hodnefield
Monterey, Calif.

Crossing Long Island, I was handed off to a New York Departure controller working Kennedy traffic. By his voice, he was obviously in a good mood and enjoying the light workload. An unwitting Delta pilot who must have been on the ground at Kennedy got caught up in the fun:

Delta 233: “Tower, Delta Two Thirty-Three, 22 Left at Echo.”

New York Departure: “Delta Two Thirty-Three, good afternoon. How are you doing today?”

Delta 233 (a bit startled): “Just fine … thanks.”

Departure: “Delta Two Thirty-Three. Where did you say you were?”

Delta 233: “22 Left at Echo, ready for departure.”

Departure (with laughter in background): “Well, that’s nice. Now, I’m over here in Westbury, Long Island, at the New York TRACON. Suggest you check your frequency.”

Delta 233: “Roger. With you in a few.”

Robert Smith
Harleysville, Pa.

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