lying in to Waterloo Regional in Ontario, where wild turkeys can gather:
Waterloo Tower: “Aerostar Charlie Fox Kilo Whisky Mike, cleared to land 14. Caution, there is one bird sitting on the runway at the intersection.”
C-FKWM: “Does he look dangerous?”
Tower: “Actually … I’d have to say he looks edible.”
Somewhere in central Kentucky late in the afternoon, Memphis Center is a little busy with traffic and some Level Five storms. I overheard this exchange between Center and an airliner bound for Nashville, Tenn.:
Memphis Center: “Skywest Fifty-six Thirty-five is cleared to, uh … GROAT … uh, HEHAW … uh, GUITAR … Skywest Fifty-six Thirty-five is cleared to wherever you were cleared to. Cross GROAT at or above one five, 15,000.”
Skywest 5635: “Uh, Skywest Fifty-six Thirty-five is cleared to …” (a pause, and then with a hint of mirth in her voice) “… that would be BUGME! At or above one five, 15,000.”
Center (in a noticeably brighter tone): “Skywest Fifty-six Thirty-five is cleared to BUGME. Cross GROAT at one five, 15,000.”
Bowling Green, Ky.
This exchange happened as I was crossing southern Idaho:
Delta 1037: “Center, did we miss a handoff or are we just with you this long?”
Seattle Center (female): “Delta One Zero Three Seven, you are just with me this long. I’m sorry.”
Delta 1037: “Oh, no ma’am! We’ve enjoyed it.”
Center: “Not as much as I did!”
Not a word was said on frequency for at least a minute following that one.
It was one of those IFR days with multiple layers, rainshafts and low-level fog that made it impossible to know whether you’d be IMC or VMC just three minutes into the future. There were also occasional areas with ceilings high enough to throw some VFR traffic in the mix. Not knowing who might see who, ATC worked valiantly to call traffic to any and all:
Burlington Approach: “Chautauqua Two Three Three Eight, traffic is a Beech Sierra, 12 o’clock, three miles, opposite direction at 8000.”
Chautauqua 2338: “Chautauqua Two Three Three Eight is in and out, but mostly in. We’ll keep looking.”
Approach: “Twin Cities Five Oh Five, traffic 10 o’clock, appears to be maneuvering at 3000. I’m not talking to him.”
Twin Cities 505: “Twin Cities Five Zero Five, we’re hard IMC over here, but we’ll let you know if we feel a bump.”
A few months back we flew to England from Germany to complete some recurring training. We spent a few days at Yeovilton Naval Air Station (near Somerset, England), completing the first phase of our training before flying to Biggin Hills (London area). I was second ship, with five-minute separation IFR to Biggin Hills in our UH-60A Blackhawk, and was cleared for departure. Initial IFR clearance was to Southampton VOR then London Control for follow-on clearance. After takeoff, the following conversation transpired:
Yeovilton Approach: “Duke Sixty-two, cleared to Southhampton. What type of radar service are you requesting?”
I and my copilot looked at each other in confusion.
Approach: “Duke Sixty-two, what type of radar service are you requesting?”
Duke 62 (Us): “Approach, Duke Sixty-two. Ummm, the best services you have?”
Approach: “Duke Sixty-two, say again radar service.”
Fortunately for us, our sister ship had not switched frequencies and called us on internal:
Duke 60: “Hey Sixty-two, ask for deconfliction services.”
Us: “Approach, Sixty-two is requesting deconfliction services.”
Approach: “Roger, Duke Sixty-two. Deconfliction services provided.”
Needless to say, “deconfliction services” were the phrase of the day as we moved from sector to sector.