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I don't remember the exact date, but I overheard this conversation with ATC about 35 years ago. Those were the days when we had the old surplus DGs and transponders were not required near busy terminals. Weather was clear, but a cloud layer had formed over the airport and trapped some students on top.

Lost Pilot:
"Tower, this is Cessna 123, and I am lost."

ATC:
"Roger. Can you tell me your last known position?"

Lost Pilot:
"Yes. I was just west of Ft. Lauderdale, but I can longer see the ground."

ATC:
"Do you have a transponder?"

Lost Pilot:
"No."

ATC:
"O.K. Turn to a heading of 360."

Lost Pilot:
"I don't have that number!"

ATC:
"What does your heading indicator say?"

Lost Pilot:
"It says E."

ATC:
"O.K. Turn to N."

Lost Pilot:
"O.K."

ATC:
"Roger. Now turn to W."

Lost Pilot:
"O.K."

ATC:
"Roger. Radar-identified, and now we will steer you to a VFR airport so you can land."

Lost Pilot:
"Thank you!"


Cal W. Tax
via e-mail


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