On The Air: June 2017


The other day the Washington, DC area was getting hammered with a series of strong, fast-moving thunderstorms. Reagan National (DCA) had just shut down when I heard the following on the ground frequency at Dulles:

Delta 123: “Dulles Ground, Delta 123 clear of Runway 19 Center.”

Dulles Ground: “Delta 123, are you one of our visitors from DCA?”

Delta 123: “Yes we are.”

Ground: “Welcome to Dulles. We’re glad to have you. Taxi to the ramp via Yankee.”

Delta 123: “Ramp via Yankee, and, uh, thanks for the warm welcome.”

Ground: “You’re welcome. I’m pretty sure that’s the most pleasant thing that’s going to happen to you here today.”

Delta123: (laughter)

Lisa Pierson
Wilson, WY

Flying into Georgetown, Texas (KGTU) the other day, I had a little fun.

Me: “Tower, Skyhawk 87G, five north.”

Tower: “Skyhawk 87G, cleared to land, straight in, Runway 18.”

I acknowledged and there was some chatter between the tower controller and another pilot about them being ex-Navy.

Me: “Did you say you guys were Navy?”

Tower: “That’s right!”

Me: “I guess that’s okay. Nobody’s perfect.”

Without missing a beat, tower replied: “Skyhawk 87G, make a right 360 for spacing.”

James Fitzer
Roanoke, TX

I flew into Boston Logan airport on an Angel Flight a few months ago and as I was taxiing out for takeoff I heard:

Commercial Pilot (female): “Say, what’s that Piper single doing in front of us?”

Controller (male): “Six Charlie Papa, you’re a Malibu correct?”

Me: “Six Charlie Papa is a Meridian.”

Controller: “Meridian, there you go.”

Pilot: “What was it?”

Controller: “It’s a Meridian.”

Pilot: “Oh, OK. It is cute.”

Controller: “You should buy two.”

Pilot: “Well, maybe.”

Charlie Tillett
Wayland, MA

After enjoying dinner by the Monterey Bay, we were ready to go home. While taxiing to the runway, we heard a Gulfstream call for taxi. His position on the ramp would have let him easily turn out ahead of us without causing us any delay.

Surprisingly, Ground told the Gulfstream to taxi to the runway behind us. The Gulfstream pilot read back his taxi instructions in a chipper voice ending with “… behind the magnificent Mooney.”

I said, “Your plane isn’t so bad either,” while admiring the jet towering over us.

The Gulfstream pilot replied, “I got my commercial ticket in one of those a very looooong time ago.”

Phil Verghese
Santa Clara, CA

I overheard this one while jump seating a little while ago.

Atlanta Center: “Bigwings 835, traffic passing off your right, 1000 feet above.”

Bigwings 835: “Looking for traffic.”

Atlanta Center: “Bigwings 835, actually that’s going to be your other right—your left. Traffic will be passing off your left.”

Bigwings 835: “Roger, off the left side, Bigwings 835. You know, 3 out of every 2 controllers are dyslexic.”

Atlanta Center: “Uh, roger.”

Bigwings 835: “Atlanta Center, Bigwings 835. I was just joking there.”

Atlanta Center: “Oh, I know—that’s the joke I usually make.”

Robert Schapiro
Clearwater, FL

Flying into Spokane one evening, I heard:

Cessna 123: “Hey tower, we just got hit by multiple laser strikes.”

Spokane Tower: “Roger Cessna 123. Can you tell the location of the laser?”

Cessna 123: “It’s coming from the neighborhood just south of Felts Field.”

Spokane Tower: “Roger Cessna 123. That’s on my way home. I’ll take care of him.”

Rick Sanders
San Francisco, CA

Don’t want reruns? 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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