On The Air: May 2010


I was westbound on a sunny day just south of Duluth, Minn., when the following conversation regarding situational awareness occurred:

Delta 2234: “Minneapolis Center, Delta Twenty-two Thirty-four. What is the large lake in front of me?”

Minneapolis Center: “Uh, which one? Minnesota license plates do say, ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes.’ “

Delta 2234: “The one at my 12 o’clock.”

Center (annoyed or flabbergasted, I’m not sure): “Uh, Lake Superior!”

Delta 2234: “Oh, Wow!”

There was a brief period of radio silence likely due to Center employees rolling on the floor laughing and crying at the same time.

Ryan Holt
Woodruff, Wisc.

I was approaching Boeing Field in Seattle in my SR22 after an IFR training flight in the San Juan Islands. I called in to Boeing Tower and the following conversation ensued:

Me: “Boeing Tower, Cirrus Five Six Four Juliet Hotel at Shilshole, landing with Papa, midfield hangars.”

Boeing Tower: “Cirrus Five Six Four Juliet Hotel, straight in Runway 13R, report Safeco.” (Safeco is our local baseball stadium and is about a three-mile final for Runways 13L/R.)

Me: “Straight in 13R. Call Safeco. Cirrus Five Six Four Juliet Hotel.”

Tower: “Cirrus Five Six Four Juliet Hotel, can you except Runway 13L?” (Runway 13L is much shorter, but still fine for a Cirrus.)

Me: “Affirmative, but I park at the midfield hangars on the west.”

Tower: “We have your request, plan on 13L and a right turn to cross 13R to taxi to midfield, Cleared to land.”

Me: “Cleared to land on the left. Four Juliet Hotel.”

Tower: “Cirrus Four Juliet Hotel, caution wake turbulence for departing 787 on 13R.”

Me: “I have the caution for the Dreamliner and cleared on the left, Cirrus Four Juliet Hotel.”

I turned to my passenger and asked, “He did say 787, didn’t he?” He agreed that’s what the controller said. I wonder if we were the first GA to get that caution. Or at least the first Cirrus. We watched in amazement as it rolled. I had to force myself to focus to land on 13L.

Karl Leaverton
Bellevue, Wa.

Years ago, long before 9/11, my wife and I flew our Bellanca Viking from out west to the northeast and had the chance to do the once-in-a-lifetime trip up the Hudson River corridor at skyscraper height. It was a gorgeous, sunny, crystal-clear day, and we wanted to make the most of the experience. We had our camera ready to go—this was way before the days of digital cameras—and Lady Liberty beckoned:

Me: “New York Approach, Viking Three Niner Romeo. Request permission to circle the Statue of Liberty to take a few photos.”

New York Approach: “Viking Three Niner Romeo, keep it tight, then on course.”

I rolled in, circled a few times, and then rolled out. But after seeing the horrified look on my wife’s face, I had to ask again:

Me: “Approach, uh, Viking Three Niner Romero. Could we possibly do that circle one more time?”

Approach (slightly annoyed): “Three Niner Romeo, this is a busy corridor. Say reason?”

Me: “Approach, uh, I believe my wife forgot to load film in the camera.”

Approach (trying very hard not to laugh): “Three Niner Romeo, approved as requested. And take it nice and slow this time!”

Steve Kanig
Albuquerque, N.M.

I overheard this on my way from Montpellier, Vt., to White Plains, N.Y.:

Delta 7274: “Uhm, Boston, Syracuse is a long way from Cambridge and we might not be able to pick it up. Could we get a heading from you?”

Boston Center: “Delta Seven Two Seven Four, That’s not the route we show for you. You’re supposed to be Manchester Cambridge J547 Syracuse.”

Delta 7274: “Ahm, let me see … well, sure enough, Manchester Cambridge J547 Syracuse, yeah, you are right.”

Center: “Well, let’s just make it official: Delta Seven Two Seven Four, your clearance is Manchester Cambridge J547 Syracuse.”

Delta 7274: “We have Manchester Cambridge J547 Syracuse.”

Boston Center: “Right, and may I say that was the most ingenious request for a direct Syracuse I’ve ever had laid on me.”

Emery Stephans
Stamford, Ct.

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