One day on my way back from Nantucket I overheard the following when I was talking with the Washington Center:
Aircraft: “Quick question—by any possibility would our previous controller happen to be sitting next to you or close by?”
Washington Center: “Affirmative.”
Aircraft: “Would you please ask her to turn her volume down—she’s drowning you out on the freq.”
Washington Center: “I’ve been telling her that for years. It doesn’t do any good.”
Don’t know whether they were married or not, but…
Don C. Stansberry
In August my wife won three free tickets to an NFL pre-season game. We live a few hours away from the stadium, so we decided to fly there. Any excuse to fly, right? I got to the airport earlier in the day (about a half-hour drive from our house) to preflight, and my wife drove up with her dad just before our planned departure time. A few minutes after receiving our IFR clearance to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport—we had been airborne for about 5 minutes—my wife tapped my shoulder with the most panicked looked I’d seen. She had left the tickets at home.
Me, making a 180: “Raleigh Approach, N12345 returning to departure airport.”
Raleigh Approach: “Roger, cleared direct. Is something wrong?”
Me, just trying to be honest: “We’re on our way to a Panthers game and forgot the tickets.”
I just hope someone else on the frequency got a little chuckle out of our adventure.
I was flying with a student in SoCal. Before taxi, she got an appropriate VFR clearance as required per ATIS.
However, she was a little confused and despite talking to approach with a distinct transponder code, was unsure if we had flight following. She asked me if she could confirm with ATC and against my wishes, proceeded to do so.
Except, she asked ATC to confirm if we had IFR flight following.
The controller, being in a good mood, responded, “No Ma’am, you are VFR, with flight following aaaaall the way to Montgomery field.”
The next transmission from another pilot on frequency, went as follows: “N1234 also requesting flight following aaaaall the way to Chino.”
San Diego, CA
On a particularly clear day I was practicing commercial maneuvers west of Sioux Falls when I heard a King Air check in with Approach. He was told to descend to 4000 feet and expect the visual for Runway 15 when he had the field in sight.
King Air: “Five three golf we’re goin’ to four, and we actually picked up the field about forty-four out.”
King Air: “There’s not too many days when you got visibility like this.”
Approach: “That is correct.”
About two minutes later the pilot was given a vector for sequencing. He complied, but then asked, “Approach, five three golf, where is that traffic? We’ll be lookin for ‘im.”
Approach: “Um, 11 mile final to two one. You’ll never see him.”
King Air “Oh, I dunno! Visibility’s pretty good today.”
Approach: “Yeah, but you’re old and your eyes aren’t that good.”
Sioux Falls, SD
While flying on a pleasant Sunday afternoon near Northwest Missouri, I heard the following on a local Unicom frequency.
After several seconds of nothing but screaming, I was expecting to hear a “Mayday” call. Instead, a slow, calm voice said, “Jumpers away over Lexington. Use caution 10,000 and below.”
You could still hear the screaming continue in the background.
This was followed by an unidentified voice, with a southern drawl saying, “There sure was a lot of screaming going on in that jump plane!”
The jump-plane pilot came back with, “She’ll be all right.”
There was total silence in the background now.
I hope the jump-plane pilot was right.
Send us your cleverest or most embarrassing moment on the radio—or your favorite fix names or airport names—with a subject of “OTA,” toIFR@BelvoirPubs.com. Be sure to include your full name and location.