Short Final

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The pre-private, 16-year-old, 12-hour total time solo glider student called the TFR-fire base temporary tower staff ...Glider Student: "Santa Ynez Tower, Glider 28 Tango, 45 entry to right traffic, Runway 26, Santa Ynez." ... This was followed by a deep baritone, "Santa Ynez, Skycrane 2C, inbound three miles from the southeast.” ... Tower: "Glider 28 Tango , please hold for the inbound helicopter traffic." ... Huh? Even though we love the fire suppressors, this defies all logic. Rotary at distance gets right-of-way? What will my student do? ... Glider Student: "Santa Ynez Tower, 28 Tango, I'll do the best that I can." ... He made normal traffic landing an easy two minutes before the inbound helo, doing nothing out of the norm. Judgment and savvy, no promises he can't keep. He passed his check ride three days later. More

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I am an instructor in Germany and was with a student flying to his first towered airport. The aircraft has no GPS installed and visibility was around 4-5 km in mist. We were given the entry into the control zone via VFR reporting point “November." ... Tower (in a kind, investigative voice): "D-HR you are a training flight?" ... Student Pilot (a little diffident): "Ahem ... yes?" ... Tower: "Okay, do you want to try to find November on your own for a little while, or do you want a vector?" ... My student looked at me briefly and since I did not protest he just said a heading would be very nice. He found the reporting point with a little help from ATC and the rest went like he never did anything else. More

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Family and friends were watching the first takeoff of an experimental home built. As he came down the runway he over pitched then pushed the nose down hitting the runway causing a ground loop off the runway with dirt flying. He then taxied back on the runway ... Tower: "What are your intentions?" ... He said there was no damage and would like to go again ... Tower: “We will have to check the runway to be sure its clean first." ... Pilot in pattern: “And he'd better check his pants to make sure they are clean." More

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Tri City Departure: Cessna 12345, squawk 4305 ... Cessna 12345: Tri City, um, we just noticed we are missing the knob for the last dial on the transponder ... Tri City Departure: What number is it on? ... Cessna 12345: Zero ... Tri City Departure: Standby, let me see if I can get you a code that ends in zero. More

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Climbing out of my home airport with our friendly (and funny) tower controllers, I heard ... Tower: Cardinal XYZ, check transponder ... XYZ: Turning it on, sorry, guys, XYZ ... Tower: Cardinal XYZ, never admit your mistakes on frequency, just say it was warming up ... XYZ: All warmed up! XYZ ... Tower: That's the spirit ... Daniel Rasin More

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Walla Walla Regional Airport (KALW) tower provided instructions to an incoming flight.... "Cessna XXXXXX, incoming Alaska Q400 number two behind you. Make your best speed."... Response: "Walla Walla Tower, Cessna XXXXXX is a 152 and I'm pedaling as fast as I can!"...Mark Carlile More

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During a formation flying clinic near Redmond, OR (KRDM) one fine spring day ... Lead: "Alex, never tell anyone I said this, but you look very pretty right there." ... Redmond Tower: "Good thing you said that for the whole world to know." More

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The following was heard as my wife and I were flying our Mooney over the northern tip of the Great Salt Lake a few days ago and communicating with Salt Lake Center ... Transient aircraft: "Center, do you have time for a question?" ... SL Center: ”Sure, go ahead." ... Transient aircraft: ”OK, this is the $65 question. Looking below, we can see a train track, shoreline and a reddish area with what look like waves. What is that all about?" ... Silence for a short while, then a response from an airliner: "My daughter is a PhD biologist and explained to me that the red color comes from Halobacteria growing in the salt water." ... Transient aircraft: "Thank you very much! You win the $65 prize and we greatly appreciate the explanation!" ... SL Center: "That's a whole lot better than any explanation we could come up with here at Center." ... Another short pause ... Airliner: ”That PhD cost a lot more than $65." ... The exchange is somewhat paraphrased, other than the punchline. We were laughing too hard by the end for me to copy the exact dialogue. Dan Robertson More

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Heard on a recent flight ... ATC: Skymaster 12345 clear to land ... 12345: I don't know about a "Master" but my instructor thinks Im a pretty good pilot. Clear to land thanks ... Greg Mills Greg Mills More

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I was flying an A-36 Bonanza through the SFO Class Bravo a few years ago and there was quite a bit of airline traffic departing at the time. ATC advised me of a Southwest 737 climbing out at my 1 o'clock and I let them know I had it in sight...They then spoke to the Southwest Flight "Southwest 9999 traffic 3 o'clock 2 miles, a Bonanza level 4 thousand" ... Southwest: "Southwest 9999, we're looking" A few seconds later, "Southwest 9999, Tally-ho, we've got the doctor in sight" .... I guess nowadays the "doctor" would be in a Cirrus - Colin Smith More