Short Final

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I fly from a small air field outside Johannesburg, South Africa. When I had less than ten hours experience, I thought it would be a great idea to fly to one of the larger (controlled) air fields closer to Johannesburg to refuel. ... I requested joining and landing instructions from the tower. Very nervously. Tower requested that I report on final approach next. ... In South Africa, the broadcasting language is English, and I speak an indigenous language, Afrikaans. I wanted the aircraft on the apron to expedite because my approach was slow in the light sport aircraft I was flying. ... My language failed me at that moment, and this is what I said: "Tower, ZU-ABC. The aircraft on the apron is welcome to EXCAVATE." -- Eben van Niekerk More

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My son an I were departing SNS one evening in a Cessna 182 with my son at the controls and his two-year-old daughter in the back seat. We were cleared for take-off, climbing out, passing through about 1,000 feet when my granddaughter announced she needed to go to the bathroom. My son gave me that look, keyed the mic, and told the controller he needed to return to the airport. ... Tower: "5VX, do you need assistance?" ... My son: "Only if you would like to take my two-year-old to the bathroom." ... The controller declined! -- Robert McGregor More

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Heard on climb-out shortly after taking off behind a Bonanza A36: ... Bonanza: "Departure, this is Bonanza 12A. Ahh, we just got started here but need to come back." ... Departure Control: "Bonanza 12A, understand you want to return to the field." ... Bonanza: "Affirmative. 12A." ... Departure Control: "Bonanza 12A, do you need any assistance?" ... Bonanza: "No. We just left the dog in the car." ... Departure Control: "Roger. Bonanza A12, turn right to 350 for sequencing. Expect runway 8L." -- Rick Harris More

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The Swiss Air Force PC-7 aerobatic team was returning in nine-ship Formation to Locarno Magadino Air Field (LSZL) some years ago. ... Team Leader: "Locarno Tower, Turbo 947 nine-ship inbound to split overhead." ... TWR Operator: [Gives clearance to enter and split and to report on downwind individually.] ... Then: ... Pilot 1: "Number One downwind." ... TWR: "Number One, report final -- 26R." ... Pilot 2: "Number Two downwind." ... TWR: "Number Two, report final -- 26R." ... And so on. For all nine aircraft. ... Then it gets better, as they mix downwind and final: ... Pilot 1: "Number One. Final, 26R." ... TWR: "Number One, cleared to land -- 26R." ... Pilot 7: "Number Seven downwind." ... TWR: "Number Seven, report final -- 26R." ... Pilot 2: "Number Two. Final, 26R." ... TWR: "Number Two, cleared to land -- 26R." ... Until I hear the following: ... Pilot 5: "Number Five. Final, 26R." ... TWR: "Number Five, you're becoming Number Two. Do you have Number One in sight?" ... There was some clicking of mic buttons, and a voice asked: ... "Did someone check that?!" -- Alex Husy More

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This was one of those days when everyone was getting a bad ride and trying to find a smooth altitude. Everyone was bugging ATC about the ride. As we were coming north off the coast of Florida on our way back to JFK from Montego Bay, a Cactus flight came on and, after complaining about the ride, asked, "Do you know when it will smooth out?" The controller responded, "I just talked to the next sector. He says when your wheels are on the ground." There was a short pause, then Catcus said in a confused voice, "Our destination is Cancun." To which the controller responded, "Yup! I know that." -- Cory Wolf, via e-mail More

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A commercial 747 was taxiing for take-off when a deer darted in front of the plane and was hit. The captain immediately called his wife to explain he would be arriving late as the plane had hit a deer. His wife asked, "What altitude was that deer at?" -- Nick Goodrich, via e-mail More

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I heard this exchange between Boston approach and someone doing an approach into Nashua, New Hampshire. It seems the ground speed of the aircraft was less than Boston expected, and someone at Boston finally said: "62B, are you a helicopter?" ... 62B: "Errrr, no but I'm flying one." -- Larry Levin, via e-mail More

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I was holding short of runway 9L waiting for an arriving jet to clear the runway. As he was clearing, he asked, "What's ground control?" ... The tower answered, "They are the people you talk to when you want to drive around on the airport. [slight pause] I always wanted to say that!" ... The jet pilot replied, "You just made my day!" -- Jim Speidel, via e-mail More

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Recently, an airliner checked in with Boston Center at FL340. ... Pilot: "Boston Center, good morning. Airliner 123 at FL340. Light chop." ... ATC: "Airliner 123, good morning. That light chop has been there for the last 29 years." -- Luigie Martinez, via e-mail More

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I was picking up my Cherokee 160 at the Charlotte County (Florida) airport after IFR/weight-and-balance certifications. As I was preparing to taxi out, I heard another pilot report there was a turtle that was "taxiing" toward runway 22. Not too long after this report, I heard yet another taxiing pilot ask the question, "What type of airplane is he in?" I never did hear the turtle report any of it's five Ws! -- Arthur L. Hewitt, via e-mail More