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On New Year's Day 2014, my friends and I were flying to the CA-AZ RV fly-in at Lake Havasu. While crossing a "cold" MOA that was normally used for air refueling tracks, my RV-10 encountered a RV-6 that continued in the 8 o'clock low position; it was obviously going to the fly-in, but I felt it too close to continuously ignore. ... I was talking to ABQ center on the higher altitude frequency; he was talking on the lower ABQ frequency. After several minutes of this, I called ABQ and said, "Please advise the RV-6 at our 8 o'clock that we are unable to refuel him at this time." ... After a short chuckle by ABQ center, the RV-6 altered track and moved away. -- David McNeill More

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Back in the 1970s, when transponders were just starting to be used, a pilot contacted Tucson Approach Control. Approach asked him if he "had a transponder on board." ... To which the pilot responded: "No. Just the wife and I, headed to Phoenix." -- Burke McClure More

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Several years ago, I was flying from John Wayne (KSNA) to Big Bear (L35) on a route that crossed that of arriving traffic into Ontario (KONT). It was the anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight, well into the holiday gift-buying season. ... East of Ontario, SoCal instructed me to alter course 20 degrees to the right to avoid traffic at my 10 o'clock, a southwest-bound 757 descending out of 8,000 feet. My traffic was a UPS cargo flight headed into Ontario, no doubt laden with gifts from the North Pole. ... After we passed, SoCal instructed me to resume my own nav. I replied, "Never let it be said that this Piper driver doesn't give way to Santa Claus." Chuckles ensued on 134.0! -- Tom Corbett More

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It was the wee hours of the morning, and the center's frequency had been dead silent for quite a while. Finally, a pilot just had to check. ... Pilot: "Uh, Albuquerque anybody home?" ... Controller: "Nope. We're all at work." -- Art Friedman More

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One clear Christmas night, my wife and I were returning to San Diego after visiting our son in central California. There was little radio traffic, but check-ins with controllers were invariably prefaced with "Merry Christmas." ... So, as we proceeded into Bakersfield's air space, I cheerfully said, "Good evening, Bakersfield. Merry Christmas." ... Bakersfield Tower: "Humbug." ... Me: "Why 'humbug'?" ... Bakersfield Tower: "Have you ever been in Bakersfield?" -- Jerry Hansen More

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We did not have digital radar in the TRACON 25 years ago when I was an air traffic controller. With our analog radar, spring and fall waterfowl migrations of ducks, geese, and cranes always created a cluster of raw radar returns on the scope. It was one of those days when the scope was almost white with more raw radar returns coming from flocks of birds than from transponder-equipped or non-transponder-equipped aircraft returns (of which there were and still are MANY in Alaska!). It is always a long flight to Alaska, and the captain was chatty, with a sense of humor. Delta checks on with the standard information arriving the airport. ... DAL 123: "XXX approach, this is DAL 123 descending out of 8,000 with information Bravo. Direct the VOR." ... Approach (me): "DAL123, XXX approach. Traffic 12 o'clock, five miles opposite direction, altitude unknown. Multiple targets, most likely waterfowl." ... DAL: "Approach, how do you know that? Do they have a transponder?" ... Approach: "DAL 123, no sir, but they are squawking!" -- Dan Brady More

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After a VFR departure from a satellite airport, I called TYS approach. ... Me: "Knoxville, Cheyenne 1234 is off Morristown for a clearance to Nashville." ... Approach: "Squawk 2345." ... Me: "O.K., squawking 2345." ... [A bit of a pause.] ... Approach: "Cheyenne 1234, squawk Oscar November." ... I fixed the problem right away. -- Billy Chandler More

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I was on my way back to Chicago Midway after delivering some freight out east. "It was a dark and stormy night" with scattered thunderstorms and few airplanes. I was with Cleveland approach when this call came through. ... Something Something Yankee: "Cleveland, this is Something Something Yankee. How do you hear?" ... Cleveland: "Loud and clear. How me?" ... Something Something Yankee: "Loud and clear, sir." ... After a bit of time, this communication was repeated. There seemed to be no other traffic in the area, and certainly radio chatter was absent. ... After Something Something Yankee had made his fourth request, this came over the frequency from an unknown transmitter: "Something Something Yankee, too loud and too often." ... There was quiet at that point. -- Linda D. Pendleton More

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Overheard this exchange in Houston Center the week before Halloween 2014: ... Aircraft N1Q: "Houston, N1Q. 390. Good evening." ... Houston Center: "Good evening, N1Q. That sure is a long N-number you got there." ... Aircraft N1Q: "Yes. And it's hard to remember, too." -- Doug Fields More

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Heard on Columbus Approach Control on Sunday, October 19. This approach controller maintained standard phraseology -- twice -- then decided to just try plain English, which worked perfectly! ... Approach: "N1234, Say on-course heading." ... Pilot: "N1234. Stay on course heading." ... Approach: "N1234, SAY on-course heading." ... Pilot: "N1234. Stay on course heading." ... Approach: "N1234, what is your current heading?" ... Pilot: "N1234. Heading: 050." -- Tim Brooks More