On The Air: September 2015


After accepting an approach clearance while in the soup, I let out loud to myself, “Yea-Ha!” as I turned to intercept the inbound course. Twenty seconds or so later, the controller let me know I had been clogging up the frequency with a stuck mic. Oops.

Matt Hanson
Pomeroy, WA

The residents of Stony Creek, New York have many positive attributes, including apparently having “thick skins.” The FAA has named the only intersection over their rural town “GASSY.”

Tom Clements
Glens Falls, NY

We fly frequently from our home in southern Wisconsin to airports in Ohio. Usually Chicago Center routes us way over by Rockford, Illinois before allowing us to head home. One night, due to a late start, we left Ohio and approached Chicago at 2 a.m.

We were surprised when we were offered direct, right through the normally-busy Chicago airspace. Then the controller said, “Would you like to descend to 2000 and do a little sightseeing?”

It was a dilemma. Our Cherokee 6 drops like a rock in the event of an engine failure so the prospect of choosing between buildings or Lake Michigan wasn’t appealing. The excitement of being given an unexpectedly cool opportunity like flying the city shoreline at 2000 feet made me lose all connection between brain and mic.

My response? “Aw geeze, that’s great! Wow! Thank you so much but I think we’ll stay at 8000. That’s so nice of you though.”

Brenda Long
Burlington, WI

It was early in the afternoon eight years ago but still very fresh in my mind.

Me: “Cleveland approach, Cherokee 432 request.”

Approach: “Cherokee 432, go ahead.”

Me: “I just proposed to Laurel and she said yes! Sorry but I just wanted to tell the world!”

Four different voices came back with attaboy, congratulations etc. Cleveland Approach, always super nice and helpful did not request a phone call.

Howard Rowen
Cleveland, OH

Ground delays were in effect for many of the NY area departure gates this spring, and a lot of corporate jets were suffering extended delays. We little guys weren’t affected, and we were being launched with no delay into the TEC structure.

Shortly before being cleared to line up and wait, a corporate 737 crew, probably exasperated watching Cessnas and Bonanzas take off one after another, asked the tower when they would be released. The young voice from the tower responded that it would be a while longer before release.

The 737 replied, “You know, we’re burning 15 gallons a minute just sitting here.”

The tower responded, “Are you stating that you have a fuel emergency? If so, state your intentions and whether you need to taxi back for more fuel.”

The 737 crew dejectedly said, “No, it’s OK.”

Another lesson learned.

Scott Dyer
Pleasantville, NY

Flying from Cape Cod to Linden, New Jersey on an early Sunday evening at 6500 feet in a Piper Lance, I was on flight following with Providence Approach. The frequency was quiet for several minutes, so I contacted Approach for a radio check.

Me: “Providence, Lance 42C. Radio check.”

Approach: “Loud and clear 42C.”

Me: “Yeah, thanks. Pretty quiet on the air.”

Approach: “It gets slow this time of day.”

Me: “Good for you.”

Approach: “I actually like it when it’s busy. The time passes quicker.”

Me: “Oh, then I’m sorry. I could make some requests if you’d like.”

Approach: “Give it a try.”

Me: “Give me 20 knots.”

After a few minutes, Approach: “You could try 8500 feet and pick up 15 knots.”

Four minutes later, after climbing to 8500 feet, sure enough I saw 15 more knots of ground speed. At that point, I turned to my wife and said “I should have asked for 50.”

Joe Sandberg
Mount Laurel, NJ

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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