ON THE AIR June 2023


A number of years ago we were talking with Edmonton Center. We heard Cessna 123 check in with Center requesting flight following to Calgary International. Edmonton responded, “Maintain VFR and contact approach on…”

We knew the weather was not that great. We switched our number two radio to monitor the situation and we heard: “Calgary Approach, Cessna 123 requesting flight following to Calgary.”

We could tell the situation was starting to get tense from the sound of the pilot’s voice.

Calgary Approach: “Cessna 123 Calgary below basic VFR. Remain outside Class C. Are you instrument rated?”

Cessna 123 responded tersely: “Negative.”

Calgary Approach: “Cessna 123 state intentions.”

Cessna 123: “I’m having a hard time maintaining VMC, I’m declaring an emergency and landing on a road.”

Calgary Approach: “Cessna 123 if you’re declaring an emergency come land at the airport!”

No further problems. Cessna 123 got into a jam. Fortunately, he didn’t make it worse. Calgary approach was spot on.

Jim Robinson
Anchorage, Alaska

Traveling southwest to New Orleans through southern Mississippi, our IFR clearance always includes a pair of VOR’s, EWA and LBY, to steer clear of the numerous military facilities in the area. I queried Memphis Center about their names, Kewanee and Eaton.

Baron 658M: “Center, I can understand the name of Kewanee and ID of EWA, but do you know how they got Eaton out of LBY?”

Memphis Center was quick with a response, almost as if he’d prepared it: “Sir, there isn’t enough government money to answer that question.”

Travis Witherington
Knoxville, Tennessee

I heard the following around my home airport:

Cessna 1234M: “Cessna N1234M, four miles northeast for landing with Echo. Full stop.”

Tower: “34M turn right base. Cleared to land 25R.”

A few moments later as the Cessna was on short final.:Tower: “34M, be aware tractor mowing between 25R and 25L.”

Cessna 1234M: “Roger. Too close for missiles. Switching to guns.”

Marc Costantino
Livermore, California

Another tip of the (baseball) cap to the TERPSters for more creative fix names.

Pilots flying into New York’s La Guardia airport, which of course is located in Queens, via the Park Visual RWY 31 will fly from SHAYY (the former home of the Mets) to GACAR (Gary Carter, catcher on the World Champion 1986 team), to DRRYL (as in Strawberry), to KEYTH (Hernandez), and around Citi Field, the current home of the Mets, on a left base of sorts to DCTRK (Dwight Gooden, otherwise known as “Dr. K”) for a short final.

Here’s hoping LINDR, ALNZO and SHRZR can deliver another championship to owner Steve COHEN.

Let’s Go Mets!

Jeff Kelly
Plandome, New York

Our local airport has one strip, one departure, and a mix of general aviation and airliner traffic. Airliners often have a fixed wheels-up time and Ground will prioritize their movement over the general aviation traffic. The commercial ramp is between the general aviation ramp and the approach end of the preferred runway. I heard the following exchange one day:

Skyhawk 123: “Ground, Skyhawk 123, tie-downs, taxi with Tango.”

Ground: “Skyhawk 123, taxi Alpha, Bravo, hold short 16.”

Skyhawk 123: “Alpha, Bravo, hold short 16, Skyhawk 123.”

A few minutes later:

Airliner 456: “Ground, Airliner 456, ready for taxi.”

Ground: “Airliner 456, taxi Hotel, Alpha, Bravo, hold short 16.”

Airliner 456: “Hotel, Alpha, Bravo, hold short 16, Airliner 456.”

Ground: “Skyhawk 123, give way to the Airbus 319 at Hotel.”

Skyhawk 123: “Giving way to the small French Twin, Skyhawk 123.”

Name withheld by request


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