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Short Final

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In the late 80's, I attended Daniel Webster College for my Aviation Management/Flight Operations Degree. At the time there were several AF ROTC candidates on campus and the usual amount of paraphernalia that accompanies their recruitment.

While visiting a friend, an ROTC candidate, in his on-campus townhouse, I had to use his "facilities." To my surprise, I noticed a pencil on top of the commode that inappropriately advertised, "Air Force -- Aim High!"

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Sometimes when we are stressed we forget to think before we key the mike. This actually happened after the oil line blew.

88U : Manchester (NH) tower Cherokee 5988U is five miles NW with a total engine failure.

MHT: (Using that standard FAA terminology) What are your intentions?

88U: I intend to land!

MHT : (that standard terminology again) Roger, how many souls on board?

88U: no souls, four heathens.

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More from our How big is it? file...

On a pleasant spring morning at the Ohio State University's Don Scott airport, with many students doing the required bounce-and-goes on 27L and 27R, I was cleared to taxi to the less active 32:

C-172: Holding short 32 awaiting release.

Twr: Student C-150 departing 27L. Position and hold 32.

C-172: Position and hold 32, caution for wake turbulance

Twr: [chuckle]

After departing on 32 I heard the student setting up for another touch and go:

C-150: Cessna 150 heavy, cleared touch and go.

Twr: [bigger chuckle]

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More from our "Flying IS fun" file...

I took my cousin for a plane ride a few years ago. After an hour, we headed back to DuPage airport. The last 10 minutes of the flight were quiet, with almost no conversation. About six miles out, I keyed the mic and opened my mouth to contact the tower, when all of a sudden my cousin shouts loudly, "HEY, LOOK, THERE'S A NAKED LADY DOWN THERE BY THE SWIMMING POOL!" My mouth was still open and the mic button was still pushed.

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More from our "How they handle the stress" file...

Part of the passenger arrival briefing from the lone flight attendant on a United Express O'Hare-to-Memphis flight.

"Please remove all personal items from the aircraft. Any items left on board can be found at my yard sale next Sunday."

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More from our "Employee Relations" file...

(Two company DH8's on final into Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.)

Controller: CO1234, your traffic is company DH8, at your 11 o'clock, 3,000.

CO1234: Roger Saskatoon, have company DH8 in sight, too close for missiles, going to guns.

Controller: Roger ... please avoid hitting tower.

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From our "It all depends on how you look at it" file...

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In a holding pattern behind several aircraft...

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A sailplane turned final too low to make the desired runway. Equipped with a hand-held microphone, the pilot radioed his intention to change runways ...

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Heard at Republic Airport, Long Island.

Confessions Of A Bumbling Airshow Announcer

If the wind scatters your script notes like confetti, you can just revert to Klingon and the crowd won't notice a thing.

Featured Video

Why This Landing Went Bad

St. Barts, in the eastern Caribbean, is famous for having a short, narrow runway with a tall hill off one end. It's tricky to get into and more than one pilot has come to grief in trying. In this video, AVweb's Paul Bertorelli reviews a landing that went wrong and why.