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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

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Heard on KBIS tower frequency years ago: Tower: "NorthWest XYZ, cleared to land, 31. Be advised of model rocketry testing from the United Tribes Educational Center just west of the airport." Northwest XYZ (with a Texas drawl) : "Ah liked it bettah when they only used bows and arrows." Rob Scarlett via e-mail More

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Overheard on the radio a few years ago: N1234: "Kalamazoo approach, student pilot N1234 five miles west." Approach: "Are you the red and blue Cessna 172?" N1234: "Yes. How did you knnow?" Approach: "I have color radar. N1234, go to tower 123.45." Me: "Kalamazoo approach, white Bonanza with black and red stripes checking in." Approach (laughing) : "I used to fly that 172!" Robert Brown via e-mail More

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Departing north from Moorabbin (YMMB) on a warm summer's day, in a very tired rental Arrow, I was cleared to climb in class C over the busy approach to Melbourne. Centre: "ABC, cleared to Eildon Weir; climb 7,500." [shortly thereafter ...] Centre: "ABC, maintain best rate of climb." Me: "Best rate? I'm pedaling as fast as I can." Andrew Fry via e-mail More