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Jacksonville Center asked a military flight over norther Florida a question: Jacksonville Center: "Dixie 22, confirm you are a flight of two." Dixie 22: "Dixie22. That is correct. We are a flight of two." Jacksonville Center: "Well, sir, I show you 17 miles in trail. That is a pretty loose formation, don't you think?" Dixie 22: "Dixie 22. Roger." Hans Intgroen via e-mail More

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Overflying KLAL en route to KBOW, we overheard a conversation between KLAL tower and a flight of two military pilots flying training approaches. As they declared "going missed," the tower issued missed approach clearances and then asked, "So you are Navy?" One pilot responded (with obvious pride), "He is Navy, but I am United States Marine Corps." My co-pilot, who is a retired Navy Commander, couldn't resist entering the conversation and keyed the mike, stating, "If you check that Globe and Anchor, you'll find it says Department of the Navy." Without a second of hesistation, the military pilot came back with, "Yeah but it's the men's department." Nothing else needed to be said, and the tower controller was very quiet for several seconds laughing, I assume. Gerry McCarley via e-mail More

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My neighbor spent most of his career as an airline pilot, but he also did one stint during a furlough in the early 1980s as a controller at Van Nuys. He swears the following is true. One day, my friend, who we'll call Bob (since that's his name), was reading a clearance to an an aircraft as an MU-2 (high-wing twin) was landing. The other controller prodded Bob and said, "Look at this." The MU-2 had landed but was having trouble taxiing, despite applying plenty of power. "I think our brakes have locked up," radioed one of the crew. "Can you look us over and tell us if you see anything?" "Do you want to tell them or should I?" asked the other controller. "You tell them," replied Bob, grabbing a pair of binoculars. "I want to see their faces when you tell them that the gear is up." Art Friedman via e-mail More

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Navy basic training: A normally outstanding student was having a bad day. Keying the intercom by mistake, he said, "Sorry, sir, I am all #$@*^! up." An immediate reply came back: "Station using profanity, please identify yourself!" The instructor instantaneously answered, "He may be #$@*^! up, but not that #$@*^! up!" Charles Thom via e-mail More

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While listening to the approach frequency to LAX (Runway 25L), I heard an airliner report a party balloon at 600 feet during his approach on the ILS. The tower proceeded to report the balloon to the aircraft following. While doing so (and clearing another airliner to land), this communication took place: Airliner: "Los Angeles Tower, Airliner 123 at LIMMA for 25L." Tower: "Airliner 123, Los Angeles Tower. Caution: wake turbulence; following a heavy 757 on short final. Aircraft reported a party balloon at 600 feet." Airliner "A what at 600 feet?" Tower: "A party balloon." Airliner: "O.K. W'ell be ready to party at 600 feet. Airliner 123." Efrain Gonzalez via e-mail More

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Due to firefighting activity, our small airport became a heli-base, and we had a temporary FAA tower. I briefed a recently soloed student who had never been out of the area or to a towered airport on procedures. Of course, one point was quickly forgotten and/or possibly overlooked. Cessna 123: "Scott Valley Tower, 123 requesting back taxi to runway 16 run-up area." Tower: "123, you are cleared as requested." As he was doing his run-up ... Tower: "Cessna 123, hold short for landing traffic and read back 'hold short' instructions." Cessna 123: [Of course he didn't read back.] Tower: "123, hold short landing traffic." Cessna 123: [Again, no reply.] Tower: "123, acknowledge and read back 'hold short' instructions." Cessna 123: [Still no reply.] Tower: "Cessna 123, do you read Scott Valley Tower?" Cessna 123: "Yes, sir, and I'm holding for you to read back instructions!" Kevin Martin via e-mail More

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On some air bases, the military uses one side of the field and civilian aircraft use the other side, with the tower in the middle serving both. One day, at one of these fields, a call from an aircraft called in asking, "Hey, Tower, what time is it?" The tower answered, "Who is calling?" The aircraft answered, "What difference does it make?" The tower responded with, "It makes a lot of difference. If you are a civilian aircraft, it's three o'clock; if you're an Army aircraft, it's 1500 hours; if you're a Navy aircraft, it's 3 bells; if you're an Air Force aircraft, the big hand is on 12 and the little hand is on 3; and if you're a Marine aircraft, it's Thursday afternoon and 120 minutes 'til Happy Hour." John Yates via e-mail More

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This happened some years ago when I was wrenching as an A&P tech at the old TallMantz aviation hangar at John Wayne Orange County Airport in Southern California. The airport is a very busy airport with a tight mix of air carrier and recreational aircraft, causing occasional high stress moments for all. Radio traffic can be fun to listen to when it gets busy and tight. An American 757 was on short final to 19R when sequencing got a little crossed up, and a light twin pulled out on the runway to begin its take-off roll. The female tower controller issued a go-around command, and assertive she was. Tower (very clearly) : "American XXX, go around, go around." American XXX (clearly irritated) : "We seem to run into this at this airport often. Do you realize this costs over 3,000 dollars every time it happens?" Tower (without emotion or hesitation) : "Roger, American XXX, that will be a 3,000-dollar go-around, sir." American XXX: "..." [silence] A ramp up of turbofan power could be heard in the distance as the aircraft began to climb. I thought, "Wow, she's awesome!" with a chuckle. Robert Reed via e-mail More

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Many years ago, as a USAF C-141A/B flight engineer, I was a crew member on a routine supply mission from McGuire Air Force Base (New Jersey) to Thule, Greenland. Oh-dark-thirty take-off. The AC (aircraft commander), Capt. Julie Sangiorgio -- great pilot. We had just been handed off to Moncton Center, from Boston Center, I believe. Julie was the PNF (pilot not flying) and was working all the radio calls. She reported in to Moncton. The controller said there was confusion on our next waypoint. She replied, "Mount Jolly next" in plain English. The controller rogered that but said the correct pronunciation was "Mon Jolie." Capt. Sangiorgio, who spoke four languages, came back in her best French and said something that I didn't undertand. The Moncton Controller replied, "That's great, MAC XXX, but no one on this shift speaks French. To that, Capt Sangiorgio replied, "Moncton, in that case, I guess it's Mount Jolly." Chuck Holzer via e-mail More

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Between Houston and Austin on December 18, 2012, I overheard the following breif conversation between Houston Center and another aircraft: Aircraft: "Houston Center, can you give me a current altimeter setting?" Center: "At your altitude, it is 29.92." Aircraft: "Uhhhh -- yeah." [A brief pause.] Aircraft: "Guess I will see that one in the back of IFR magazine next month." Larry Frasier via e-mail More