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Overheard during a very, very rough ride out of Newark last week: Center: "Airliner 123, how is your ride?" Airliner 123: "The rides are crap." [momentary pause] Airliner 123: "I'm sorry. That was unprofessional of me. The rides are unsatisfactory." Center: "Your first description was acceptable." Rob Nabieszko via e-mail More

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Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK, elevation 303 feet) with a long-standing glider club on the field, recently began tower operations. After the tower had been operating for about one week, on a relatively busy Saturday afternoon I heard this exchange: Glider: "Frederick Tower, Glider XXX at 1,600 feet inbound for a right downwind for landing runway 12, with information Sierra ... ." Tower: "Glider XXX, Frederick Tower. Hold your altitude. I have a few ahead of you." Glider: "Frederick Tower, I'm a glider." Tower: "Glider XXX, cleared to land, runway 12." Lance Nuckolls via e-mail More

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This was my experience, airborne near Hollister (CA) inbound to Salinas (CA) airport, SNS: Me: "Oakland Flight Watch, Aircoupe 1234, ten east of Hollister. Please give me current Salinas weather." OAK: "Aircoupe 1234, Oakland Flight Watch. What's the identifier?" Me: "Salinas identifier is SNS." OAK: "I know what the identifier for Salinas is. I need the identifier for your location near Hollister." Me: "I don't know the identifier for Hollister. Just please give me the weather at Salinas." OAK: "The computer won't let me give you the Salinas weather unless I tell it where you are with an identifier." Me: "Disregard my request. I'll call on my cell phone. It doesn't care where I'm at!" Bill via e-mail More

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We had lost our autopilot and advised the local ATC controller in the Kyrgyz Republic that we were not RVSM-compliant. This prompted the following exchange: Aircraft 1234 (us) : "Aircraft 1234, Osh control. State nature of the problem?" Osh Control: "Osh Control, Aircraft 1234. We have lost our autopilot." [long pause] Osh Control: "Aircraft 1234, which pilot doesn't work?" Karl Vogelheim via e-mail More

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This happened just three days ago, during instrument training, while copying and reading back a clearance for only the second time ever. Clearance Delivery (after I'd read back my clearance correctly) : "Readback correct. What runway, and how long?" Me: "Runway 03, and it's 4,200 feet long." I can only imagine what the controller said at that time. My instructor keyed in immediately to clear things up. Brian Smith via e-mail More

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Back in the 1970s, while flying an MU-2 into El Paso, Texas, I heard the following exchange between approach and an airline crew after repeated attempts to get the crew to reduce speed: Approach: "Flight 123, I must have you at 120 knots right now." Captain of Flight 123: "Son, do you have any idea of the stalling speed of this thing?" Approach: "No sir, but I bet if you ask your co-pilot he can tell you." Larry Bartlett via e-mail More

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When an air traffic controller asked an aircraft to reduce speed even more than he already had: Aircraft 1234: "If I reduce any further, I'll fall out of the sky!" Controller: "Roger. Report leaving altitudes on descent." Ed LeSage via e-mail More

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One day I took a friend's son up for a flight in my Cessna 150. As we flew around the area, I explained, "One of the things we have to do is look out for other airplanes." As I was scanning the skies, I found a plane off in the distance and pointed it out to the young boy. "Do you see the plane over there?" I asked. "Yes," he replied. "Is it one of ours?" Ron Hogle via e-mail More

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In view of all the recent hurricane news coverage, I recalled a pertinent exchange from the the Port Columbus, Ohio (CMH) tower. I worked at the "Lane Gate" vehicle check point for several years, regularly monitoring the tower frequency to get a "play by play" description of what was going on around me. I overheard the following exchange the day after the remnants of hurricane Ike came through, causing a lot of downed trees and subsequent power outages. A recently landed ERJ was taxiing to the ramp and called the tower: ERJ: "CMH Tower, American Eagle 1234. I hear you guys got a lot of wind yesterday. How much did you get?" Tower: "American Eagle 1234, Tower. The highest gust I saw was 68mph, and then the wind thingee blew away." (78mph gusts were reported by the news media.) Edwin Esson via e-mail More

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Royal Flying Doctor Service was flying a B200 IFR out of Broken Hill, Australia and had a young student doctor in the right seat, who was unfamiliar with flying and for whom English was a second language. As the flight progressed, the pilot noticed the student becoming more and more uncomfortable and, after a normal landing, noted an undue amount of relief on the student's face. Pilot: "Why are you so relieved?" Student Doctor: "Because we survived the emergency." Pilot: "Err, what emergency?" Student Doctor: "You know. I heard you on the radio talking about 'my big dilemma.'" (She had misheard the call sign "Mike Victor Lima" ... . Duane Stace via e-mail More