On the Air: October 2020


I just recently ran across the WORXS 2 arrival into Greenville Spartanburg International airport. It includes the fixes: BESTT CNTLR EVRRR WORXS ANGRI TDAAY.

I assume there’s a back story to that arrival, but I have no idea what it is, or what the controller might be angry about…

Philip Rash

Durham, NC

While flying from San Jose International airport to Portland International airport we heard the following:

Oakland Center: “Pinion, cleared to FL 680.”

Bonanza 12AB: “Oakland Center, Bonanza 12AB with a question, when able.”

Oakland Center: “12AB, go ahead.”

Bonanza 12AB: “Did I just hear you clear an aircraft to climb above 60,000 feet?”

Oakland Center: “Affirmative, 12AB.”

Bonanza 12AB: “What kind of aircraft is that?”

Oakland Center: “A military aircraft.”

The exchange abruptly ended there.

Daniel Sternbergh

San Jose, CA

On a recent flight from Telluride to Houston, CAVU and quiet over the desert between Albuquerque and Lubbock, our G-1000 panel suddenly went bonkers. Alarm messages abounded; green numbers turned yellow; the autopilot shut off; the ADS-B shut down; TAWS (the Terrain Awareness & Warning System) announced out loud it had disabled itself; and a big red X appeared over the moving map.

As my wife nonchalantly glanced up from her magazine and cocked an eyebrow while I was contemplating our immediate future, we heard (from a part of the panel that appeared to still be working) the following exchange:

“Albuquerque Center, Pilatus 1234. Uh, did something just happen?”

Albuquerque Center: “Affirmative, GPS is intermittently disabled for a 400 NM radius surrounding White Sands Missile Range. Advise if you’d like a heading.”

Pilatus 1234: “Uh, okay, yes. Thank you. Boy, my plane does not like that at all.”

I thought, “I hear ya.”

Scott Humphries

Houston, TX

As a flight instructor we’re always impressing upon our students to read back ATC instructions so there are no misunderstandings.

I was flying around the traffic pattern with my student one busy afternoon when an aircraft called the tower seven miles out for landing. The pilot sounded nervous on the radio, but was doing a good job. He was making the proper calls and reading back instructions, almost verbatim. After sequencing the pilot in and delaying his clearance to land till short final due to traffic, the controller, realizing the pilot was very busy landing the plane, said, “Cessna 123, no need to acknowledge. Runway 3, cleared to land.”

Sure enough, relying on his training, the pilot read back, “No need to acknowledge. Runway 3, cleared to land. Cessna 123.”

Jim Thumm

Waukegan, IL

While waiting to depart from Colorado Springs to San Jose, the following exchange occurred:

COS ground: “Medevac 123CC, confirm your destination is San Jose.”

Me: “That’s correct. Do you know the way?”

COS ground: “I sure do. Advise ready to copy a full-route clearance.”

Paul Preidecker

Madison, WI

Returning to San Carlos airport late one day, I clicked the mic five times on tower frequency to see if it would do anything. I don’t fly at night so the last time I tried this would have been more than a decade ago.

Controller (slightly irritated): “We have control.”

Me (slightly embarrassed): “You have control of the horizontal and the vertical?”

Controller (laughing): “Cleared to land three zero.”

And all was well again. I wasn’t sure he’d be old enough to have seen “The Outer Limits” but was glad he got it. Humor is so helpful to peace.

Jeremy Bloch

San Francisco, CA


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