On The Air: June 2012


We overheard this conversation with Tower at Anoka Blaine-County, Minn., just after a Skylane had landed:
Anoka Tower: “Skylane Two Five Eight, turn right on Bravo, right on Charlie One, Cross 9-27 to parking.”
Skylane 258: “Bravo, Charlie One, Cross 9-27.”
Skylane 258 (after a short pause): “Anoka Tower, ahhh, we made a wrong turn.”
Tower: “I see that. That’s OK. Cross 9-27, left on Alpha Three.”
Skylane 258: “Cross 9-27, left on Alpha Three.”
Skylane 258 (after another pause): “We just had a teachable moment.”
Tower: “Did that involve a pencil and paper?”
Skylane 258: “Affirmative … and a red-faced instructor.”

Woody Minar
Dresser, Wisc.

I love the informality of small-town control towers. I had flown into New Braunfels, Texas, for a short meeting. This was my conversation on departure:
Me: “Ground, Stationaire Three Five Eight Eight Five, at the terminal with information Delta, taxi for takeoff.”
New Braunfels Ground: “Stationaire Three Five Eight Eight Five, taxi east on Foxtrot, left on Charlie, left on Alpha, left on Delta, hold short of Runway 13.”
Me: “Ground, sorry, but I didn’t get all that. Stationaire Three Five Eight Eight Five.”
Ground: “Never mind. Just go back the way you came.”

Tom Pearson
Houston, Texas

Flying from Atlanta to Reno in our Mooney M20-C, our attention was outside the aircraft viewing the western landscape, so I was worried a Center transmission I half heard was for me:
Albuquerque Center: “… garble garble X-ray you are cleared to block altitude FL300 to FL600.”
Me (hearing the “X-ray” and concerned I missed a call): “Was that for Mooney One Two One Two X-ray?”
Center: “Mooney One Two One Two X-Ray, it’s yours if you can get up there.”

John Williams
Sky Valley, Georgia

I usually fly the Pipers in our club, but I decided to get a high-performance endorsement in our Cessna 182RG. However, my mouth didn’t get the memo and I kept using the wrong model in my call sign. But I wasn’t alone:
Me: “El Monte Ground, Cherokee Two Three …” (audible grunt) “… correction, Skylane Two Three Three Three Charlie off the active at Delta, taxi back for takeoff.”
El Monte Ground: “Skylane Two Three Three Three Charlie, El Monte Tower …” (audible sigh) “… correction, Skylane Two Three Three Three Charlie, El Monte Ground, taxi to 19 via Alpha.”
Me: “Three Three Charlie, taxi to 19 via Alpha … Apparently, I fly too many Pipers.”
Ground: “And apparently I take too many rotations on the Tower frequency.”

Carlos Villalpando
El Monte, Calif.

In the Huntington, W. Va., area:
Cherokee 28997: “Cherokee Two Eight Nine Nine Seven to Huntington Approach”
Huntington Approach: “Cherokee Two Eight Niner Niner Seven, Huntington Approach. Go ahead.”
Cherokee 997: “I just bought this plane and the transponder has a couple of buttons I’m not familiar with. Could I try them out and you tell me if you notice anything?”
Approach: “Cherokee Niner Niner Seven, affirmative. Go ahead.”
Cherokee 997: “OK, anything?”
Approach: “Negative.”
Cherokee 997: “How about now?”
Approach: “No change.”
Cherokee 997: “OK, one more. Anything?”
Approach: “No change, but I’m getting reports that garage doors all over West Virginia are going up and down.”
Cherokee 997 (laughing): “Thanks. I’m done. Cherokee Nine Nine Seven.”

Ed Mayer
Huntington, W. Va.

With so many air carriers in the L.A. basin, it’s not unusual to hear an air-carrier pilot mistakenly use 121.5 to call her company about something. Recently, a Jet Blue pilot made that mistake and a controller on 121.5 cut in to tell the pilot that she was on “Guard.”
Another pilot responded, “Hey, 121.5 is the Jet Blue company frequency!”

Andy Couch
Newport Beach, Calif.


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