Short Final: Keep You Guessing


I have a Cirrus SR20—early vintage but it’s a great airplane. I base it at KSUA, Witham Field Airport, Stuart, Florida. KOBE, Okeechobee, is a quick hop west with self‑serve gas and a great little restaurant. One day I flew over for lunch and fuel and on my return I was monitoring Stuart tower. The radio was quiet for a couple of minutes which was odd, so I kept verifying that I was listening to the correct frequency.

Then I heard the local flight school call at 10 miles west for landing. The tower gave him a straight‑in for Runway 12. As I was still far enough from the airport, I turned slightly north to line up better with final and keep the Cessna off to my right. At 10 miles from the airport, I called:

987CD: “Stuart Tower, Cirrus 987CD is 10 out with Whiskey.”

Stuart Tower: “Cirrus 987CD Stuart Tower. Fill it with high‑test.”

987CD: ”Say again, please, 987CD.”

Stuart Tower: “Keep your speed up and I can get you in before the Cessna.”

987CD: “Keeping my speed up, straight in to Runway 12, 987CD.”

After landing:

Stuart Tower: “Cirrus 987CD thanks for your help, turn right when able, contact Ground.”

987CD: “No, thank you. I was expecting just the opposite.”

Stuart Tower: “We like to keep you guessing.”

Gregory Hoffman

Hobe Sound, Florida

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