On The Air: June 2022


I was flying an airliner a very short distance in the Los Angeles basin. I was under the Class B and the controller asked, “Give me max forward speed. What’ll that be?”

I replied, “Well, since we’re under the Class Bravo, it’ll be 200 knots.”

ATC: “I don’t see the administrator around here anywhere. Now, give me your max forward speed.”

Me: “Yes Sir! Pushing the thrust levers to the ‘go-fast’ position.”

Unknown voice: “Yeehaw!”

Sal Cruz
Watsonville, California

The recently published RNAV (RNP) X 33L approach to Boston Logan was designed with the help of community stakeholders to limit noise. It has some waypoints that reflect that objective: PEOPL, CALMM, PCFUL, SRENE, SHUSH, KWIET, and MURMUR. Plus it honors one of Boston’s favorite foods, CNOLI, even suggesting a FEEST, and honors Red Sox star Kevin YOUUK Youkilis.

Ted Lester
Somerville, Massachusetts

A few years ago I was heading west out of Westchester County Airport, White Plains, New York in my Cessna 414. Headwinds were pretty strong, clocking 90 knots above 5000 feet, and I was being vectored north while faster airplanes climbed to the west. When I finally made it high enough to get on course, the New York controller, noticing that my ground speed was under 100 knots, said, “I bet you wish you had your daddy’s Corvette today!”

I replied, “Yeah, he has a CJ3 and that would do the trick!”

Dudley Taft
Cincinnati, Ohio

I do flights in my Cessna Cardinal for PALS, Patient Airlift Services, such as flying people with cancer to their medical appointments in another city. On one recent flight I decided to let my passenger/patient, a lady, put headsets on so she could hear me talking to the controllers.

Well we were taking off from Hudson Valley Regional Airport, Poughkeepsie and ATIS information Whiskey was current. The lady ground controller, when I called ready to taxi asked, “Confirm you have Whiskey.”

I of course did.

Once we took off my passenger asked me, with her eyes wide open in surprise, “It’s okay to fly with whiskey? I certainly hope you’re sober.”

I had to explain the terminal information system and the phonetic alphabet to her, to keep my reputation intact.

Brian Gately
Brooklyn, New York

Departing Houston Hobby recently on an Angel Flight, I’d just been switched from tower to Houston Departure when I caught a piece of what’s apparently a long-running, good-natured rivalry:

Cessna 56M: “Approach, good morning, Skyhawk 56M, 3000.”

Houston Approach: “Skyhawk 56M, good morning, Humble altimeter 30.23.”

Cessna 56M: “Approach, 56M, I hesitate to mention this, but I work for Center.”

Approach (without skipping a beat): “Skyhawk 56M, roger. I’ll talk a little slower then.”

Moments later, in a short lull on frequency, they were commiserating together like the best of friends.

Go figure.

Scott Humphries
Houston, Texas

Recently, we were on an IFR flight plan from Chicago Executive Airport to Ankeny, Iowa. It was a severe-clear day. We were approaching the nuclear power plant just south of Rockford, Illinois, and unfortunately, the giant steam plumes from the cooling towers at the plant were in our way. The winds were light enough and the OAT was cold enough that the plumes were extending well above my altitude before dissipating. I wasn’t interested in a steam bath so I asked for a 20-degree right deviation and told the Rockford approach controllers why.

After a long pause the controller said “Don’t you want super powers?”

Before I could respond, another pilot on frequency said, “I want some super powers!”

The response was met by several pilots and the controller keying up their mic and subsequent laughter on air.

Zach Stubbs
West Des Moines, Iowa

The low OTA warning is still on. Don’t want repeats? 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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