On the Air: September 2016


I was landing an Eclipse Jet at Fulton County Airport, Atlanta, Georgia:

Tower: “Eclipse Jet taxi to parking via Juliet Tango. Stay with me.”

Tower: “And Eclipse Jet that is a fine jet. How did you talk your wife into letting you get that jet?”

Me: “That’s the secret. No wife…”

Another Pilot: “How do I trade my wife in for an Eclipse Jet?”

Kevin Duggan
North Kingstown, RI

On a flight to St. Augustine, FL we were taking to Jacksonville Approach, and I mistakenly said:

Me: “Jax Center, Twin Cessna 787G level at 17,000.”

ATC: “Mooney 787G, Jax Approach. Jax altimeter 3008.”

Me: “3008 and we are a Twin Cessna 787G.”

ATC: “If you call me Center I call you Mooney.”

Me: “Got it.”

I thought about how to get even with him and my chance came during the descent.

ATC: “Twin Cessna 787G, descend and maintain 10,000.”

Me: “Leaving 17,000. Descending 10,000, Twin Cessna 787G.”

As we pitched down for the descent a storm cell popped up on radar.

Me: “Jax, Twin Cessna 787G requests 15 right for weather.”

ATC: “Thats approved, but I only see a very small cell.”

Me: “We only see a small cell too, but I just don’t want to fly through it, because, you know, Mooneys are rather delicate.”

He took it with a chuckle.

Gerd (surname withheld by request)
Vero Beach, FL

I heard the following exchange flying through New York’s Class Bravo:

Shore Air 30 (seaplane): “LaGuardia Tower, Shore Air 30, George Washington Bridge southbound at 1100.”

LGA Tower: “Shore Air 30, squawk 0213. There is a helicopter, 12 o’clock, northbound, 1 mile, at fifteen hundred.”

Shore Air 30: “There are helicopters everywhere.”

LGA Tower: “Tell me about it! Cleared into Class Bravo, fifteen hundred over Central Park, maintain visual separation with all those helicopters.”

Robert “Bootcamp” Schapiro
New York, NY

There are a number of smaller airports in the USA that are in close proximity to major airports and their data from the A/FD is often found under the major city name versus the smaller city/airport name.

One recent flight to Santa Barbara, I was in Albuquerque Center’s airspace and heard the following exchange.

N987: “Albuquerque Center, this is N987 on 128.2 requesting radar services.”

ABQ Center: (with the most refreshing, happy female controller I have ever heard) “Go ahead, N987.”

N987: “I would like flight following to Thermal, California.”

ABQ Center: “What is the identifier for Thermal?”

N987: “TRM, Tango Romeo Mike.”

ABQ Center: (Long Pause)

Me: “Located under Palm Springs, Papa Sierra Papa.”

ABQ Center: “Ah ha! Thanks guys. I am a blond so I need all of the help I can get.”

Me: “N567ET. You can thank me by giving me present position direct to Palm Springs with pilot’s discretion from FL180 to 10,000. I need to escape these 45 knot headwinds. They’re absolutely killin’ me.”

ABQ Center: “Working on it.”

Ronald Hays
Santa Barbara, CA

As I was progressing down the GPS 9 approach into Ramona Airport last February I heard the following:

Cessna Training Flight: “Ramona Tower, ah, on this time around could you, ah flash us?”

Female Tower Controller with hooting laughter in the background: “You want me to do what?”

Cessna Training Flight: “Oh gosh, sorry, no I mean with the light gun. Yes, sorry with light gun signals for landing.”

Tower still with laughing in the back ground: “OK then. That’s a bit better.”

My first reaction was to come on the radio and say, “Wait, I want to see this and I am almost there.” Then I thought better of it.

Martin Wood
Ramona, CA

With barely enough for each month, we still need more. Please 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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