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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

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