On the Air: December 2016


I periodically fly down to Wings Field in eastern Pennsylvania from my home base in Concord, NH. The direct route takes me through the western portion of New York’s Class B airspace. I always use flight following for these VFR flights. One time when I was handed off to the controller handling the Newark arrivals this conversation transpired:

Me: “New York Approach, November 862 Alpha Charlie checking in at 4500.”

Approach: “Roger. Say destination and aircraft type.”

Me: “Wings, Lima-Oscar-Mike. And, aircraft type is a Bravo Lima 8.”

Approach: “That would be a Bellanca?”

Me: “Not exactly. It is an American Champion Decathlon. Actually, a Super Decathlon.” I said, with obvious pride in my airplane coming through.

Approach: “Isn’t that aircraft aerobatic?”

Me: “Yes Sir. Fully aerobatic.”

Approach: “You wouldn’t happen to be flying inverted right now, would you?”

Me: “No sir. Not in Class Bravo airspace, I wouldn’t.”

Approach: (Laughing) “Good answer.”

Paul Russo
Concord, NH

Overheard on Roswell Approach frequency while flying approaches one morning:

SW 1345: “Checking in at 280 looking for lower.”

Roswell Approach: “Descend and maintain FL180. Expect the visual 21.”

SW 1345: “We were expecting 26.”

Roswell Approach: “Sir, we don’t have a 26. We have 3-21 and 17- 35.”

SW 1345: “Is this Albuquerque?”

Roswell Approach: “No sir. This is Roswell.”

SW 1345: “But we’re going to Albuquerque.”

Roswell Approach: “Standby one.”

Roswell Approach: “Suggest you contact Albuquerque Center 132.65. Have a good day.”

SW1345: “132.65. Thanks.”

Alvin Jones
Roswell, NM

This wasn’t on the air but in the cabin. My friend was traveling from Phoenix to Camdenton, Missouri years ago in his Bonanza. After a day of flying, he needed to fly an approach to an airport that was near minimums. It was cold outside and he was concerned about ice. His wife was with him and he told her to be sure to watch the leading edge for ice. As he was about to his decision altitude, his wife cried out in desperation, “What the f… is a leading edge?”

John Fletcher
Marshall, MO

On a recent flight through New York airspace, I was given a heading and altitude change to which I responded. The controller didn’t hear my transmission and became louder and more forceful in each of three exchanges where he didn’t hear my response. I switched radios and that time he heard me, and told me to pay attention.

A few moments later the same thing happened with a regional jet going into White Plains—I heard the pilot respond to each heading change, but the controller didn’t. His next comment quieted the frequency down for a few minutes when he said, “If I wanted to be ignored today, I would have stayed home. I want all you guys to pay attention.”

Obviously he was the one with problems receiving transmissions.

Jim LaBagnara
Caldwell, NJ

With regard to Mr. Kevin Duggan’s OTA submission, in your September issue, I have a better ending (in my opinion).


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?”

Here’s my ending:

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

Me: “She’s got left seat. I’m just working the radios.”

Crista Worthy
Hidden Springs, ID


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