On The Air: September 2018


Towards the end of my flight, I had the following exchange with air traffic control:

Approach Control: “N1234, expect visual approach Runway 32.”

Me: “Any chance we can get the ILS 32?”

Approach Control: “Well, there’s always a chance…”

Me: “Well, capitalizing on that chance, we’d like to request the ILS 32.”

Approach Control: “What a capital idea! You can expect that.”

Andrew Laudato
Nashville, TN

I had dinner recently with my 98 year-old friend, a former Mooney pilot and a commercial photographer. He had some old photos of our local airport and this cartoon. He said that particular cartoon was in pilot lounges all over the country 50 years ago.

Lynn Frame
Tulsa, OK


While jump seating on a Southwest flight recently, I overheard the following with JAX Center:

JetBlue 1209: “JAX Center, JetBlue 1209; any chance we can go direct Savannah?”

JAX Center: “No, there is some military airspace in use between you and Savannah.”

JetBlue 1209: “OK. Thanks anyway, JetBlue 1209.”

JAX Center: “You could squawk emergency, and then I can let you do whatever you want.”

JetBlue 1209: “No, I don’t think we’ll do that. Thanks, JetBlue 1209.”

Rob “Bootcamp” Schapiro
Tampa, FL

We were heading back from Ocean City Municipal Airport in New Jersey through the Philadelphia Class Bravo and heard the following exchange:

BizJet 765: “BizJet 765, are we cleared for the visual approach?”

Approach: “Well do you have the airport in sight?”

BizJet 765: (sounding chagrined) “No, not yet.”

Approach: “Okay take your time and when you find it let me know.”

BizJet 765: (meek voice) “Roger.”

Joe Shandlay
Doylestown, PA

This happened 17 or 18 years ago, when almost everyone had some sort of GPS navigator “for advisory purposes only,” but few could legally file /G. I was departing the Los Angeles Basin for Reid-Hillview airport. Ahead of me was another aircraft headed in the same direction. I overheard this exchange:

Approach: “Bugsmasher 123, cleared direct Palo Alto.”

Bugsmasher: [pause] “I’m afraid I can’t accept that clearance.”

Approach: “Look, just fly heading 310; we’ll keep giving you vectors all the way.”

Bugsmasher: [another pause] “OK, I guess I can do that.”

Soon it was my turn:

Approach: “Mooney 53K, cleared direct Reid-Hillview.”

Me: “Direct Reid-Hillview, 53K.”

Approach: “Thank you for not arguing.”

Donald E. Grimes
Los Gatos, CA

I had this exchange on a flight back to a rural Arkansas airport from Florida. I usually fly IFR even in VFR conditions. I was at 6000 feet, with a broken layer below me. I usually cancel about 20 miles in advance, as Memphis Center cannot see me on radar, or communicate with me once I descend below 3000 feet.

Me: “Memphis Center, Cherokee 1234. If you can clear me to 4000 feet, below this broken layer, I will cancel with you, and get out of your hair today.”

Memphis Center: “Cherokee 1234, descend at pilot’s discretion 4000 feet. And what makes you think I have any hair?”

Me: “Cherokee 1234 leaving 6000 for 4000. Good one!”

Steve P. Schoettle
Heber Springs, AR

Send us your cleverest or most embarrassing moment on the radio—or your favorite fix names or airport names—with a subject of “OTA,” toIFR@BelvoirPubs.com. Be sure to include your full name and location.


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