On The Air: October 2015


While on a flight over San Francisco enroute to Napa Valley during a Presidential TFR in the Bay Area, I heard the following:

Bonanza: “Bonanza 1234 checking in, enroute for Palo Alto.”

NorCal Approach: “Bonanza 1234, Palo Alto closed due to TFR delay. Suggest select alternate or vectors for a hold.”

Bonanza: “Approach, Bonanza 1234, how much longer is this going to go on?”

Unidentified pilot: “For two more years!”

After landing, I received a phone call from ATC requesting that I ID a Bonanza on the ground who forgot to close his flight plan: Bonanza 1234.

Name withheld by request.

I’m studying to get my instrument rating and we were west of Chicago in actual IFR conditions. Apparently, O’Hare was using the western arrivals and there were other students in the air. The approach controller was a little stressed. We told him we would “go missed” at DeKalb and hold.

He told us to report the missed approach. We did. He cleared us to the hold, which we also reported on arrival. He told us to report when we wanted to leave and we told him we were going to make one more trip around the hold. He acknowledged. We finally reported leaving the hold headed for Aurora when he asked if we would be landing. When we said, “Full stop at Aurora.” I heard him mutter, “Thank God!”

Jerry Ossowski
Orland Park, IL

The following waypoints in DRLLR FOUR (RNAV) and GUSHR THREE (RNAV) arrivals into KIAH (George Bush Intercontinental Airport) recognize that Houston is a business center for the oil and gas industry.

After completing a drilling plan (DPLAN), a DRLLR drills for PTROL(eum) resulting in a GUSHR with no need to (i)MPORT OILLL. The OILLL is then PPUMP(ed) via a PPIPE(line) to a REFYN(ery) with SSTAX (smokestacks). There it is REFYN(ed) to produce DIESL STOCK and aviation FFUEL(s).

Luca F. Bencini-Tibo
Weston, FL

As I was catching some rays in my back yard years ago, I was monitoring Boston Center on the handheld. Since traffic was uncharacteristically light this particular afternoon, there was only one aircraft on the frequency and the conversation turned briefly to baseball. The pilot of a Delta flight inbound to JFK was obviously a Yankee fan and he heckled the center controller with a barrage of insults directed against the Boston Red Socks. ATC patiently listened for a while, but then the following dialogue took place:

Boston Center: “Delta 43, advise when ready to copy holding instructions.”

Delta 43: (after a few seconds of silence) “Yes ma’am, we’re ready to copy. And I’m sorry I said anything bad about such a great team as the Red Socks.”

Boston Center: “Delta 43, roger. Disregard holding instructions. Cross Calverton at 12,000.”

Jack Garland

Bohemia, NY

I recently heard the following.

Southwest 123: “Center, were you calling me?”

Center: “Negative.”

Southwest 123: “Oh good, I didn’t screw up.”

Center: “Well, not yet.”

Orest Skrypuch
Brantfird, ON, Canada

At 5000 feet my Skylane 182 RG will usually true out around 143 knots. I typically fly an approach at 100 knots and short final at 70 knots. Years ago, I was being vectored for an approach to Runway 23 Left at Raleigh/Durham International (RDU) when the controller instructed me to reduce speed. She did not assign me a speed at which to fly, or point out any traffic to follow. After I acknowledged her instructions there was a brief pause, then she cheerfully announced to everyone on frequency, “That’s the first time I have ever told a Cessna to slow down.”

I was somewhat bemused, but had no clever response, so I made no reply. I didn’t realize at the time that my Skylane had become a footnote in that lady’s record book.

Robert Willard
Concord, NC

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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