Short Final: Number One For Takeoff

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A long time ago, I taxied my Cessna 182RG to St. Louis Lambert Field Runway 12L. I was first to the runway. There were about 18 Teenie Weenie Airlines (TWA) planes lined up on the taxiway for Runway 12R.

An F‑18 appeared from the McDonnell Douglas facility on the north side of the field. Controllers directed him to 12L at an intersection ahead of me and gave the F‑18 “position and hold.”

One of the TWA pilots keyed up and said, “How’s come he gets to go first?”

The F‑18 was cleared to take off. He rolled about 500 feet and took off, rotating to a straight up position and quickly disappeared out of sight.

The tower then responded to the TWA pilot, “Tee Dub, when you can do that, you can go first.”

Jack Ham
Bradenton, FL

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