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Background:

In the C-141 at the time, there was a three-position switch on the right side of the yoke. Up was interphone, neutral was off, and down was transmit on the active radio.

And in a USAF "crew-served" aircraft, you identify yourself by position when responding to a question or checklist item. (I.e., "Ready for take-off?" "Pilot ready." "Co-pilot ready." Etc. In order of precedence: pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer, load master.)

So:

Many years ago, a new co-pilot (me) on his first operational MAC trip to Hawaii out of McChord Air Force Base had just finished the after-take-off-climb checklist, and ... .

Loadmaster:
"Who wants coffee?"

Pilot:
"Pilot will take Black"

Co-Pilot:
"Co-pilot will take cream and sugar."

ATC:
"Seattle Center will take two black and one with sugar."

Oops!


James Partridge
via e-mail


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