Short Final: The Briefest Readback


Some years back at Bradley International Airport, there was a local air taxi company that did a lot of their new pilot training on the mid shift. They would go round and round the same ILS pattern for hours apparently swapping seats as the flight went on.

Often, as the controller on duty, I would issue the same clearance over and over: “Trainer 23, turn left heading 270. Maintain 2500 until established. Cleared ILS 24 approach.”

The equally bored instructor got the prize for the briefest readback on record: “27, 25, 24, 23.”

John Krug

East Falmouth, MA

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  1. The shortest “readback” I ever heard was a Trans Texas DC-3 pilot named Pappy Kern. Two shakes of a cowbell was a “roger”.

  2. Yup. Been there, done that.

    The best example I can think of was the Stearman that had so much wind noise in his terrible radio that he simply keyed the mic for a few seconds to acknowledge all transmissions from the tower and the controllers knew who it was right away…