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Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

We've heard different variations on this tale through the years, but here's one that can't be beat, if only for sheer enthusiasm:

I tried to pass on this little tale many years ago without success, and since I never saw a response, I will try one more time, just for my old Yankee mate, Ken Sunderland:

An Aussie grazier flew his antique Auster aircraft to Mascot airport, Sydney, some time back to enact some business at the offices of business acquaintances. Not being familiar with controlled airspace procedures (although making it safely to the airport), he required and requested guidance to the GA parking area. Much later, after the completion of his business and returning to the airport, he eventually taxied out to the major runway 16, again guided by ATC to take his place in the queue for take-off clearance.

When finally cleared to line up and subsequently cleared for take-off, his instructions were to call "123 airborne" (the departure frequency). Applying maximum power and concentrating on keeping his aircraft on the centerline on the roll, the tail rose, and soon after that, the aircraft became airborne — whereupon the pilot pressed his transmit button and called:

"1! 2! 3! ... Airborne!"

Geoff Litchfield
via e-mail

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