On The Air: July 2021


I rarely clog the radio frequency with unimportant chatter, but this was a very special day. It was March 19, 2015 when I completed my IFR checkride successfully. I was filled with excitement and gratitude as I reflected on hours of study and flight training with a fantastic instructor who, in the process, became a good friend. It was an extremely rewarding experience!

On the flight back after my checkride, the frequency at my home base, Solberg-Hunterdon Airport, was silent. I flew the standard pattern announcing my position as usual, until turning final when I pressed the mic and proudly said, ‘’Solberg traffic, Skyhawk turning final 22, Solberg. And you’re listening to someone who just passed his IFR check ride.”

I was just throwing it out there to the silent universe and living in the moment. I was shocked when I heard my instructor’s voice on the CTAF say, “Nick, I knew you could do it! Great job!”

He was inbound with another student about to announce his position and heard me on the frequency. I pressed the mic one last time and said, “Thank you so much Tom! I couldn’t have done it without you! You’re the best!”

Nicholas Wagner
Ringoes, NJ

I was driving to my hangar at Manchester Airport one really nasty, windy and turbulent day. I had no plans to actually fly. I overheard, and coincidentally was able to watch, a Mitsubishi MU-2 land on Runway 35. You could see him wrestling with the wind all the way in. I was listening to Live ATC, and heard the following exchange after he landed:

Manchester Tower: “Mitsubishi 60 Kilo Charlie, turn right at Bravo, right on Hotel, stay with me.”

Mitsubishi 60KC: “Right at Bravo, Kilo Charlie. It’s a %#^$ ride down final today, I’ll tell you.”

Manchester Tower: “I was just going to ask, say ride on final.”

Mitsubishi 60KC: “Well we had a… believe it or not, a 50-knot tailwind on base at 2000 feet. And, ah, coming down below 2000 on final it was moderate, bordering on ah… severe in a couple of spots, it was just nasty.”

Manchester Tower: “Turbulence? Moderate to severe turbulence below 2000?”

Mitsubishi 60KC: “Yeah, occasional, and ah, we had about 20 knots coming down final.”

Manchester Tower: [Double mic click to acknowledge]

There was a long pause, and then:

Mitsubishi 60KC: “Other than that, not bad!”

John Cotton
Windham, NH

Early on a quiet morning, as I was taxiing, a rather over-eager student pilot called ground control. A young voice, with textbook radio language, and a perfectly articulated request to taxi from the flight school ramp. The seasoned controller just could not resist: “Cessna 123 alpha bravo, you will have to hold for about 30 minutes as we need to finish our breakfast.”

There was a long pause, as the student clearly hadn’t been trained for this possibility. The controller made him sweat for a perfect number of seconds before saying: “It’s okay Cessna three alpha bravo, you can taxi to Runway 35.”

Many chuckles on frequency, as everyone appreciated hearing a little humor from our local tower.

Bill Colton
Houston, TX

Saw this PIREP (below) on a recent flight with ForeFlight.

David Hunstad
Alden, MI

Please 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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