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Short Final

Short Final…

Having just rolled out and made my way to the taxiway, I contacted ground control. The taxiways were very lengthy and one way. This would have added nearly a mile to my travel to the gas pumps which were only several hundred yards away. "Ground control, Cessna ***** at Alpha 6, can I "fudge" a bit and turn left to the pumps?" After a short pause, "Cessna *****, fudging approved."

Short Final…

We often have strong winds in Texas. But they usually pick a direction and stay put. This particular night while returning to home base at ADS, the ATIS said the winds were 150 at 15 (right down the runway). Since I was getting a real workout on the controls, I called for a wind check. Tower: "Variable, 120 to 180, 22 gusting to 32." Me: (With sarcasm) "Oh, that sounds like fun." Tower: "We've got the cameras rolling."

Short Final…

While flying between Ft Worth TX and Baton Rouge, LA I had to make a fuel stop as the Yak has only a 31 gallon tank to keep wayward Russian trainees close to home. I chose Many,La for a quick turn around and then on to BTR. After landing in Many, I taxied up to the pump, jumped out and streched my legs. While enjoying the small airport environment on this beautiful day, the silence was broken by the sound of 3 turbine Air Tractors coming in at low level and landing. They taxied smartly up to the parking area close to the fuel pumps and spun around into their parking spots and shut down their engines. All three pilots jumped down from their Air Tractors and started walking toward me.One of the pilots yelled out "Do you speak English?" in his thick Texas accent. All could think to say was "Nhyet".

Short Final…

After arriving in SLC we checked in with the ground controller. His radio wasn't the clearest. As we were taxiing to the ramp another aircraft asked the controller, "Has anyone else told you your communications are garbled?" Ground replied, "My Wife!"

Short Final…

A friend of mine was cruising along in his turbo arrow at 18,000 feet one day when a 737 was called out to him at his 1 o'clock and 15 miles passing to his left. The 737 crew was similarly advised. When they passed, the 737 Capt remarked "What are you doing up here?" My friend replied, "About a 178 knots."

Short Final…

Seen on a Yahoo Message Board regarding a story about a pilot who Sunday made a successful emergency landing on a freeway in Anaheim, Calif.:"THIS JUST IN - Chicago Mayor Richard Daley plans to carve giant "X"es into the Riverside Freeway at midnight tonight."

Short Final…

More from our "It's all about priorities" file ...

Saturday a.m. -- during Round 2 March Madness in Illinois. After too much coffee and two hours of touch & goes I was on base after an extended downwind. Two regional jets were waiting for IFR clearance and for me to get out of their way.

Cessna 12345: Tower, Cessna 345 on two-mile final for Runway 29.

Tower: Will that be touch and go?

Cessna: No, the Illinois game is about to start soon. This will be full stop.

Regional Jet: Nice Priorities. Go Illini!

Cessna: Well, that and I really have to pee.

Tower: Roger 345. Clear to land on 29. Best of luck with both.

Short Final…

Frustrated Controller at LaGuardia on a busy day: "Skyhawk 735 do a one minute 360 for spacing on the final".

Veteran, cool, knowledgeable pilot "A standard rate-turn 360 degrees takes two minutes"

Controller: "Do a 180 and back 'er in".

Short Final…

More from our If Only file...

The comm radio failed again while practicing instrument approaches. After restoring communications...

Cessna 12345: "Approach, Cessna 12345 is going to break of the approach, procede VFR to (uncontrolled home field), and kick this radio down the stairwell."

Controller, "Cessna 12345, approved, squawk VFR. After a short pause, "Will that work with my teenager?"

Short Final…

Early in my tailwheel instruction, my instructor was trying to teach me wheel landings in a Citabria during a Southern California full-blown Santa Ana. Winds were approximately 45 degrees to the runway, blowing 20 knots, gusting to 35+ knots. After about 20 attempts, with about 20 saves from my instructor (lots of crow-hopping, bounces, you name it, using all of a 150-foot-wide runway), I decided I was done:

Citabria 123: Tower, we've had enough. Citabria 123 requests northbound departure.

Tower: Citabria 123, northbound departure approved. Sorry to see you boys leave -- sure has been entertaining!

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