On The Air: November 2015


I file IFR in the Los Angeles Basin because it makes things easier transitioning the complicated airspace. Usually, ATC likes to leave you high over the Ontario traffic and then slam dunk you into Santa Ana.

One evening, while returning from Lake Havasu to Santa Ana, ATC gave me the usual late descent. The air was smooth, so I just nosed it over and came down like a rock to intercept the ILS. The final controller and I had the following exchange:

ATC: “Cirrus 469CP, I need you to slow down 30 knots, you’re in trail of a Southwest jet on a 6 mile final.”

Me: “9CP, say again please.”

ATC: “9CP, slow down to 160 or slower, you’re overtaking a Southwest jet on final. Is there a problem with my radio?”

Me: “No sir, I heard you fine the first time. I just wanted to hear you say again that I was faster than a 737.”

Southwest: “I’ll bet you’re going to go home and listen to that on LiveATC.”

Me: “Yup—several times.”

Brian Brown

Seal Beach, CA

One dark night, I went out flying to extend my night currency. Intending to fly some stop and goes, I flew to the nearby Class D airport with limited commercial service, mostly CRJs.

Being so late in the evening, tower was closed and I was transmitting CTAF on tower frequency. I was on short final for Runway 18 when the last CRJ of the day reported a left base for Runway 18, turning a five-mile final.

I announced my position, “Warrior 1234X. Short final 18. Full stop. Will expedite clearing active for inbound CRJ.”

I paused a moment, then in a very official sounding ATC tone of voice, I said, “Inbound CRJ, #2 for landing behind a Warrior. Caution wake turbulence.”

Both the captain and FO laughed over the CTAF.

J. W. Bruce

Starkville, MS

Flying into Hillsboro, OR on the ILS 13, somewhere on the ramp below the muck sit two beautiful new Gulfstream 650’s in their side by side palatial glass and aluminum swooshy hangers owned by a famous swooshmeister. This swooshmeister is well liked by the U.S. president. Ducks like him too, a lot.

This swoosher built the University of Oregon Ducks athletic department in Eugene, Oregon and he makes sure his Ducks always have plenty of Dollars.

Hence on the ILS 13 approach into Hillsboro (just miles from Swoosher Headquarters) the two IAF’s are DAFFI, if you’re joining the UBG 29DME ARC or DUCKA if you are in the course reversal/hold on the localizer. And you’ll intercept DOLLA at the glide slope.

Jim Stoffer

Astoria, OR

One Saturday my wife and I flew our P-Baron from Hailey, Idaho to Salmon, Idaho to visit a friend’s farm and returned to Hailey the same afternoon. The route takes you over the Central Idaho Mountains which are beautiful but can be rather bumpy on a summer afternoon.

The next Sunday while flying from Hailey to our home in Seattle, I heard a pilot check in with Salt Lake Center. The controller asked the pilot to confirm his destination. The pilot replied, “Salmon, Idaho and I am taking the safe route. I’m not flying over the mountains.”

My non-pilot wife sitting in the back and reading said over the intercom, “Does that mean over the mountains is the dangerous route?”

Thomas Ysasi

Seattle, WA

This story has been appropriately vetted and approved by my wife in order to assure continued harmony.

Not “On the Air”, but over the ground. My wife (who apparently knows as much about automobiles as she does about airplanes—not very much) was riding in a dealership courtesy van to pick up her car. The driver asked what work was being done. She answered, “Oh, they are changing the altimeter.”

The kind driver then asked her whether her husband was a pilot.

“Why yes, how did you know?” she asked.

“Well”, said the van driver, “altimeters are usually found in airplanes and not in automobiles. And you must be having an alternator replaced.”

It’s all those similar sounding “a” words that must have confused her.

Larry Baum

Ithaca, NY

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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