Short Final

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The following takes place at a high-altitude sector with multiple air carrier aircraft: ... Pilot 1, apparently meaning to talk to the passengers: "This is the flight deck. Air traffic control has uhh " [unkeys] ... ATC: "Darn. I wanted to hear that." ... Pilot 2, cheerfully: "Yeah. He was gonna blame you!" -- Cheryl Bavister, via e-mail More

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Somewhere over Nevada, returning to Utah from San Jose: ... All the airliners where working hard to find their customers smooth air. There were sigmets for turbulence up to 14,000 feet and above 18,000. A UPS flight checked in on-level at 35,000 feet and asked: "What altitudes are working for smooth rides?" ... Controller: "There does not seem to be much smooth air, but it seems a little better above 38,000 and below 31,000. What would you like to do?" ... UPS Flight: "At our altitude, how long will we be in this light chop?" ... Controller: "Maybe ten minutes." ... UPS Flight: "I guess we will ride it out and see what happens. Controller, let me know." ... Then, from one to the other planes saying what most of us had been thinking: "What? Are those boxes complaining?" ... UPS came back and said simply: "No." -- Brad Brown, via e-mail More

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On Wednesday, September 11, 2013, while taxiing to show parking for this years Reno Air Races, we overheard another aircraft's communication with Reno Ground that went something like this: ... Learjet: "Reno Ground, Lear 12345. Request taxi to Atlantic's main office ramp." ... Ground: "Lear 12345, are you here for the races?" ... Learjet: "Affirmative." ... Ground: "Then you will have to go to show parking." ... Learjet: "I have specific instructions to go to the main ramp at Atlantic." ... Ground: "I'm sorry, sir, but you have to go to show parking." ... Learjet: "I have a VIP on board, and I need to go to Atlantic's ramp." ... Ground: "You cannot go to Atlantic's ramp. You have to go to air show parking." ... Learjet: "I have Bob Hoover on board, and I am instructed to deliver him to Atlantic's main office on their ramp." ... Ground: "You cannot go to Atlantic's ramp. You have to go to air show parking." ... Learjet: "Do you know who Bob Hoover is?" ... Ground: "No, I don't." ... Learjet: "Then get me somebody that does." ... At this point, we needed to shut down our aircraft, so we did not hear the remainder of the communication. But, rest assured, Bob Hoover was in fact at the Reno Air Races. -- Mike Hanson (via e-mail) More

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Back in the early '80s, I was making a living flying night-time aerial advertising with a "Skycaster" electronic moving-message sign that spanned the wings under the belly of my Cessna 172. Flying out of CMH, I would circle local communities with ads. My "low and slow," combined with horizontal distance, gave the appearance that the moving lights were traveling in an oval pattern. This would invariably produce calls to the airport that a "UFO" was circling overhead. One night I left the sign running when approaching to land. I called, "N123 short final." The tower replied, "UFO N123 cleared to land. Please don't cut any crop circles in our runway." -- Bob Maroldy, via e-mail More

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While flying IFR with a student in the Connecticut air space, we overheard a pilot with a Deep Southern accent ask the Bradley controller, "Will you let us go direct to 'HEY DO' today?" ... The controller replied, "We call that 'HADUX' up here." ... The pilot then answered, "We thought it sounded Cajun." ... Multiple laughter was heard on controller's mic as he announced, "Cleared direct, 'HEY DO.'" -- Rich Bertoli, via e-mail More

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Mother overheard scolding her son at AirVenture: "So help me God, if you don't straighten out, I am going to send you home on a COMMERCIAL airliner!" Only at Oshkosh! -- David Peters, via e-mail More

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Your recent "Short Final" reminded me of a funny story I got to participate in about two and a half years ago: ... XXX GND: "Delta 1234, cleared to Yadda via depart heading 320, radar vectors YADDA, then as filed. Maintain 5,000; expect FL260 ten minutes after departure. Departure 123.45; squawk 2108." ... DAL1234: "Roger. Cleared to Yadda via heading 320 on departure, radar vectors YADDA, then as filed. Maintain 5,000; expect FL260 ten minutes after departure. Departure 123.45; squawk 2108." ... XXX GND: "Delta 1234, readback correct. Call when ready to taxi, with Echo." ... I sat and waited. And waited. And waited, figuring at least one of them would figure it out, and then I finally couldn't help myself. ... Me: "Ground, you sure you want to give him that squawk code?" ... XXX GND: "I'm not sure what you're talking about, but his code is fine." ... So I waited about another ten seconds to see if either the controller or the pilot would figure it out. Nope. ... Me: "O.K., sorry about that. I must have some old equipment in this old bird and not one of them newfangled transponders. The digits in my old transponder only go up to 7." ... After about a six-second pause: ... XXX GND [laughing]: "Oh, boy. It's been a long night! DAL1234, how about a squawk of something a little different, like how about maybe 2110?" -- Don Desfosse, via e-mail More

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Whilst flying back from Belfast to Blackpool in the U.K. several years ago, I heard a GA pilot behind me cleared for take-off by the tower. The tower then reminded him of the local noise regulations. The pilot replied that he understood and added helpfully that he would only be using one engine in this instance. More

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It has happened about 50 years ago at the old Munich airport in Germany. The date was August 15, a Catholic holiday called Maria Ascension Day. In those days, there were often quiet moments over the radio. In one of these silent moments, a booming voice came over the R/T: ... Unidentified Pilot: "This is Maria, still climbing." ... Radar: "No restrictions on your climb." -- Hans Koeners, via e-mail More

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Overheard one evening as a Fayetteville, North Carolina controller was working with a Cessna that was requesting flight following. The Cessna had problems with a fussy transponder and the controller was attempting to help. After several exchanges: ... Tower: "N1234, I'm still getting an inconsistent transponder return. Confirm squawking 4567." ... Cessna: "N1234 squawking 4567." ... Tower: "N1234, transponder return is still inconsistent. Try squawking 5678." ... Cessna: "N1234 squawking 5678." ... Tower: "N1234, I have a good return now. Could you say the type?" ... Cessna: "N1234. It's a piece-of-crap [redacted] transponder. Don't ever buy one." ... long pause ... Cessna: "Oh, you meant the aircraft. Skyhawk." ... Tower keyed the microphone, but only laughter came through. -- Glenn Holden, via e-mail More