January 2016


On a musical note and for enjoyment of all the Parrotheads, Palm Beach International Airport (KPBI) recognizes avid pilot and aircraft owner Jimmy Buffett in the BUFIT ONE RNAV DEPARTURE which has waypoints JIMEY and BUFIT.

Luca F Bencini-Tibo
Weston, FL

Flying IFR southbound from a private airstrip near Sudbury, Ontario, I had the following exchange with Center:

Centre: “GGVB, Toronto Centre, what is an M7? I’m not familiar.”

Me: “It’s a Maule, M-A-U-L-E.”

Centre: “Ahh, yes, that I know.”

Me: “Not many of us around.”

Centre: “No, but I knew a guy near Shelburn who flew a Maule. A potato farmer. Every time he needed a part he flew his Maule to go and get it.”

Me: “That would make for an expensive part.”

Centre: “Yes, but he just loved to fly.”

Perry Hartwick
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

I was returning from Oshkosh to my home airport in Maryland, when I overheard the following

A United flight checked in with, “Potomac, United XXXX is 6000 descending to 4000. Unable RNAV.”

The controller came right back and said, “Roger XXXX, are you equipped for radar vectors?”

Lots of chuckles on the frequency. I had to key the mic and compliment the controller.

Vince Massimini
Kentmorr Airpark, MD

This does not meet the criteria of being “on the air” but it was “in the air” and (I thought) it was funny.

Before my airline clamped down on it, a lot of flight attendants had name tags with pseudonyms that they wore on the ‘toppers’ used during the meal service.

Partly it was to keep obnoxious passengers from knowing their real names, and partly it was just for fun.

The tags included such names as Perri O’Donald and Ginger Vitas. My, then a flight attendant, wife had a name tag that said Grinnen Barret.

However my personal favorite was one used by a well-endowed young lady whose ample chest gave her name as Emmasum Bigguns.

George Shanks
Waxahachie, TX

I fly in Class B Honolulu airspace where sometimes the controllers don’t have the best annunciation, which is made worse by the constant background noise of the airplane. One day while flying a new Cessna 177 with an IFR student for some practice approaches, I heard the controller say, “Kano 225 pay attention turn right to 220.”

No answer. He then said, “Kano 225 I say again, turn right 220.”

It was a busy day and I said to the student don’t be this guy who misses his calls on a busy day. The controller called out several more times for Kano 225 but no answer. We hadn’t received a call in a few minutes so I began to wonder if we were Kano 225.

Then it hit me that our tail number was 225 so maybe he thought we were a Kano whatever that is. So I keyed the mic and said, “Departure this is Cessna 225. Are you calling us because I’ve heard you say Kano 225 several times but, sir, we are a Cessna.”

The controller angrily came back, “225. I have been trying to reach you for a very long time. How do you hear?”

I replied in a very calm voice, “I’ve heard you all along, but sir we are a Cessna. You have been saying Kano and I am not a Kano I am a Cessna.”

There was a pause and then the controller came back and annunciated very clearly, “Car-din-al 225. Turn right, heading 220.”

I responded, “Cessna 225 turning right to 220 and please call me a Cessna there’s less confusion with that call sign.”

No name please(it’s a small island)
Honolulu, HI

Near Wendover, Utah Center frequency was extremely quiet for a long period of time. Someone came on frequency asking if center was still there. Center came back with, “Barely.”

The original voice said, “Me, too.”

Center said, “One year and 26 days and I’m outa here.”

“Congrats,” said the first voice.

“But who’s counting?” says I.

Drew Chitiea
Black Hawk, CO

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here