Short Final: Show Me The Way


I was preparing for some instrument and maneuvering practice with my instructor, Andy. Sitting in the apron area in a Cessna 172 with the engine running, I made my initial call to Texarkana Ground as follows:

Me: “Texarkana Ground, Skyhawk 62689, Texarkana Flying Club; ready for departure with information Delta.”

Texarkana Ground (in a completely serious voice): “Would you like to depart from where you are or would you prefer to taxi to a runway?”

I don’t know who laughed harder, Andy or me. Regaining my composure, I assured the controller that I would certainly like to taxi to a runway prior to departure.

From IFR Magazine

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Is it possible that Ground thought you were a SEAhawk? 😉

    That’s a good example of a controller gently reminding a pilot that one should not ask for a takeoff clearance unless one is in a position to be “… cleared for immediate takeoff”.

  2. Years ago I had a friend who did just what this pilot asked for. He was at Gate 5 of the terminal ramp, which is the center area closest to the main runway of Allegheny County Airport, Pittsburgh. The tower cleared him for takeoff from Runway 27. He took off right from his position northbound using the WIDTH of the runway. The well-known Clark “Woody” Woodard, a 40,000 hr pilot who appeared in Gulf Oil ads in aviation magazines back then.