Short Final: Descending Down


Passing through New York’s airspace this summer, we heard the following:

New York Approach: “Airliner 123 descend maintain 5000.”

Airliner 123: “Descend 5000.”

New York Approach two minutes later: “Airliner 123 descend maintain 5000, you appear to be climbing.”

Airliner 123: “We are descending.”

New York Approach: “Well you appear to be descending up, I need you to descend down. You were at 5200 now you are at 5600. Check your instruments and descend the other way.”

Airliner 123 (meekly): “Descending 5000.”

Joe Shandlay
Doylestown, Pennsylvania

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  1. OK, I have to say, about 50% of the time, the “Short Finals” aren’t very funny. Sometimes not even a little bit.

    But this one is funny. I can even hear the controller’s accent in my head. Those NY controllers are great.