Here is a text message exchange between a pilot and his wife on Facebook. It’s always better at home when your flying spouse knows proper ATC phraseology.
Husband: “On the train. Arrive 16:51.”
Wife: “Rog. Report Sevenoaks.”
Heading north from Santa Monica to Oakland and approaching San Jose, I heard the following:
Approach: “N1234, remain east and north of highway 101.”
N1234: “Ah, 1234, roger.”
Approach: “N1234, please remain east and north of the freeway.”
N1234: “Ah OK, 101, 1234.”
Approach: “N1234, do you see that long thing on your right with the cars going up and down it? Stay north and east of that.”
About 30 years ago I had a business trip to London and took the BOAC Concorde from Washington Dulles International Airport to London Heathrow Airport.
Captain McMahon had a very pleasant voice and I sent him a note requesting the jump-seat if it was available for the approach and landing. I promised “not to touch anything or to criticize.”
His note back to me was classic British: “We’re still learning about this thing and it works best when we don’t touch anything either. You’re welcome to join us as we begin our descent and, as to criticism, I doubt you could say anything we haven’t already heard.”
It was, of course, a perfect landing.
A few days ago, departing Minot North Dakota for Duluth in a Skylane, I asked ATC if the NOTAM for military training at Duluth had the airport closed, or whether it was open to GA traffic. He asked me to stand by for a minute, and then said, “It’s closed at the moment, but will reopen in 30 minutes, so unless you are doing Mach 3, you should have no problem.”
Eastbound through Chicago O’Hare’s Class Bravo, we were on frequency with a controller rattling off instructions to several airplanes in rapid fire. We heard him say in mid-stream, “But wait, that can’t be right! No it is … Sometimes I amaze myself.”
He then continued with his rapid fire instructions.
Santa Fe, NM
I was excited by the compliment I received from the examiner following my multi-engine checkride, “You handle an aircraft as smoothly as anyone I’ve flown with.”
I’d flown to Oklahoma City from Stinson Airport in San Antonio and returned home feeling a satisfaction that was almost euphoric. My friend was the tower controller on that day.
Tower: “Welcome back, Pat. Good flight?”
Comanche 39P: “Thanks Ben, I now have my multi ticket.”
Tower: “Congratulations. Cleared to land Runway 14.”
My landing was pretty rough, but it did not require maintenance. I said to the tower as I taxied:
Comanche 39P: “No one hurt in here.”