Short Final

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It was the late 1980s, and a Pan Am 727 was holding at Berlin Tegel. Another Pan Am 727 made a less than graceful arrival, clouds of smoke from the tires, clouds of smoke from the reversers, horizontal stab shaking alarmingly, and the whole thing bouncing around until it safely vacated the runway. ... The Holding Pan Am Aircraft, Over the Radio: "Is that you, Hank?" ... The New Arrival: "Yup." ... Holding Pan Am: "Anyone hurt?" ... New Arrival: "Nope." -- Pete Wild, via e-mail More

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Center asked an aircraft flying IFR: "Say altitude." ... and the pilot came back with: "Altitude." ... The controller at center did not miss a beat and came right back with: "Say 'cancel IFR.'" ... to which the pilot of the aircraft said correct altitude and "sorry" -- nothing more. ... Had to be some "got ya" laughs in aircraft on the same frequency. (By the way, it was MPLS Center.) -- Steve, 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 its five Ws! -- Arthur L. Hewitt, via e-mail More

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While on a trip Christmas Eve in Atlanta Approach air space: ... Me: "Atlanta Approach, radio check." ... ATL: "Loud and clear." ... Me: "Got quiet out there. Just checking." ... ATL: "I like it that way." -- Jim Fortune, via e-mail More

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One day when I was working the south arrival sector at Denver TRACON, traffic was getting backed up, and I had to start issuing speed reductions to the arrivals on initial contact. ... One United pilot took exception to being slowed so far from the airport and asked, "Approach, just how far out do you show us, anyway?" ... I responded that he was 45 miles out on my radar. Then to lighten the tension, I said, "I show you right over my house." ... After a few seconds, he keyed up and said, "Approach, there's a strange car in your driveway." -- Randy Owen, via e-mail More

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This afternoon, my six-year-old son and I went out to the airport to check on things at the hangar. The weather was rainy and IMC. We watched a Cherokee land after shooting an instrument approach. I made some comment about being able to fly instruments soon, when I finish my instrument rating. My son turned to me with this puzzled and concerned look. "Dad, how do you turn the airplane when you are playing an instrument?" -- Patrick G. Bramlett, via e-mail More

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First night XC with instructor. The route was going to take us over my home at 11:00pm, so I turned on my aviation scanner in my home for my wife so I could tell her goodnight. As we passed over my home at 6,500', I had failed to push the flip-flop to the air-to-air frequency and was still on approach. ... Me: "Goodnight, Susan. I hope you sleep well." ... What I can only envision as a large, hairy-armed controller: "The name is Bart, and they like it a lot better if we stay awake." ... I apologized and changed to the air-to-air freq with my CFI laughing. -- Ed Bandy, via e-mail More

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San Marcos, Texas (KHYI) was busier than normal this recent November weekend due to Formula 1 racing in Austin when the following exchange was overheard: ... KHYI Tower: "Mooney 1234N, cleared for take-off, Runway 13." ... Mooney 1234N: "Tower, Mooney 1234N. Can I land first?" ... KHYI Tower: "Mooney 1234N, cleared to land." -- Robert Elliott, via e-mail More

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While on a local flight close to my base airport (KLWB), a landing Gulfstream contacted the tower. The controller in the cab gave the Gulfstream clearance to land, along with a warning that buzzards were circling near the approach end of the runway. "O.K.," replied the Gulfsteam. "We've got the BB gun loaded." -- Kyle Jones, via e-mail More

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Choppy conditions prevailed one recent evening along the Florida coast as we progressed toward Miami. We were behind several aircraft headed in the same direction when Miami Center told a Delta flight to slow to 260 knots in the descent. The exchange went something like this: ... Delta: "260 knots?" ... Miami Center: "Yes. The regional jet ahead of you has slowed." ... Delta: "Is he towing a banner?" -- Todd Mitton, via e-mail More