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This happened some years ago when I was wrenching as an A&P tech at the old TallMantz aviation hangar at John Wayne Orange County Airport in Southern California. The airport is a very busy airport with a tight mix of air carrier and recreational aircraft, causing occasional high stress moments for all. Radio traffic can be fun to listen to when it gets busy and tight.

An American 757 was on short final to 19R when sequencing got a little crossed up, and a light twin pulled out on the runway to begin its take-off roll. The female tower controller issued a go-around command, and assertive she was.

Tower (very clearly) :
"American XXX, go around, go around."

American XXX (clearly irritated) :
"We seem to run into this at this airport often. Do you realize this costs over 3,000 dollars every time it happens?"

Tower (without emotion or hesitation) :
"Roger, American XXX, that will be a 3,000-dollar go-around, sir."

American XXX:
"..." [silence]

A ramp up of turbofan power could be heard in the distance as the aircraft began to climb. I thought, "Wow, she's awesome!" with a chuckle.


Robert Reed
via e-mail


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