On The Air: August 2018


At my home field in Farmindale, NY, (KFRG), one Sunday I was entering the pattern after a long trip. A student soloing in a Cessna 172 was in the pattern doing touch-and-goes. I heard the following exchange.

Republic Tower: “Cessna Two Six Seven Three Bravo, cleared for touch and go. Make right traffic and report the downwind.”

Cessna 2673B (nervous): “Republic Tower, Cessna Seven Three Bravo … err … entering right downwind. Tower, there is … there’s a gaggle of geese in front of me in the pattern.”

Tower (without missing a beat): “Cessna Seven Three Bravo, Republic Tower. What altitude are they squawking.”

Cessna 73B: “Republic Tower, Cessna Seven Three Bravo, they, uh, seem to … they appear to be right about 1100 feet.”

Tower: “Roger that. Mode C for the geese is 1100. Cessna Seven Three Bravo, cleared for touch and go. Caution, preceding geese.”

L. Michael Graver
Manhasset, NY

My student and I were nearing the Class C airspace at Palm Beach International airport (KPBI). We asked for clearance.

Palm Beach Approach: “Cessna Five Tango Papa, squawk 1454.”

This was odd since local squawks always start with 02. But we set what we were given.

Approach (about 30 seconds later): “Cessna Five Tango Pop, verify squawking 0227.”

Us: “Approach, we were given 1454 on the squawk.”

Approach: “Uh, Cessna Five Tango Pop, squawk 0227. 0227.”

Us: “0227, Cessna Five Tango Papa.”

Approach: “I must have given you the time.”

Sure enough, my watch showed 1454Z.

Us: “Well, now we have the right squawk and the right time!”

Fred Simonds

West Palm Beach, FL

Overheard on the Tower frequency at Little Rock, AR (KLIT):

Tower: “Debonair Three Golf Sierra, cleared for takeoff on Runway 36.”

Debonair 3GS: “Debonair Three Golf Sierra cleared for takeoff, Runway 36.”

Tower: “Piper Three Four Seven, taxi into position and hold, Runway 36, behind the departing Beech.”

Piper 347 (a fixed-gear Cherokee Six): “Cleared into position and hold behind the Beech whatever it is.”

Debonair 3GS (now about 200 feet in the air): “Hey Piper whatever it is, watch this.”

The Beech Debonair’s landing gear then started to retract.

George Shanks
Waxahachie, TX

I heard the following exchange driving home from work the other day, and listening to Fort Worth Approach on my handheld. The controller had a little fun with this Bonanza pilot’s unusual transmission terminations, said with a lilt in his voice.

Fort Worth Approach: “Bonanza Three Victor Victor, climb and maintain 4000.”

Bonanza 3VV: “Three Victor Victor, leaving 3000, climbing 4000 … here we go!”

Approach: “Bonanza Three Victor Victor, turn right heading 250, intercept the Maverick 274, resume own navigation.”

Bonanza 3VV: “Okay, turn right to 250 to intercept the Maverick 274, own nav for Three Victor Victor … here we go!”

Approach: “Three Victor Victor, contact Fort Worth Approach now on 131.95. There you go!”

Troy Whistman
Fort Worth, TX

The Naval Air Station at Belle Chase regularly uses New Iberia, LA (KARA) as a refueling stop. I was flying my Piper PA-32 into KARA to get fuel for myself and contacted the Tower.

Tower: “Piper Three Five Eight One Whiskey, enter a left base for Runway 34. You are following two F-18s on a 15-mile final.”

I saw the jets and could tell that if I kept my current speed I would be close to their jet wash.

Me: “Eight One Whiskey, left base for 34, slowing down for the F-18s.”

F-18 pilot: “In your dreams.”

Rick Cloud
Monroe, LA


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