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Subject: Air traffic control
From: Lin, Charlotte
The following are accounts of actual exchanges between airline and control towers from around the world:
The controller was working a busy pattern told the 727 on downwind to make a three-sixty (do a complete circle, usually to provide spacing between aircraft). The pilot of the 727 complained, "Do you know it costs us two thousand dollars to make a three-sixty in this airplane? Without missing a beat the controller replied, "Roger, give me four thousand dollars worth!"
PSA was following United, taxiing out for departure. PSA called the tower and said "Tower, this is United 586. We've got a little problem so go ahead and let PSA go first". The tower promptly cleared PSA for takeoff before United had a chance to object to the impersonation.
A DC-10 had an exceedingly long roll out after landing with his approach speed just a little too high. San Jose Tower: "American 751 heavy, turn right at the end if able. If not able, take the Guadeloupe exit off of Highway 101 and make a right at the light to return to the airport.
Western Airlines had a term for its second officers. The term was "GIB," which stood for, "Guy In Back." The term was strictly unofficial and was actually frowned upon by the management at Western. It seems that some wise-guy pilot had been browsing through a dictionary and had made the discovery that a "gib" is a castrated tomcat.
It was a really nice day, right about dusk, and a Piper Malibu was being vectored into a long line of airliners in order to land at Kansas City. KC Approach: "Malibu three-two -Charlie, you're following a 727, one o'clock and three miles." Three-two-Charlie: "We've got him. We'll follow him." KC Approach: "Delta 105, your traffic to follow is a Malibu, eleven o'clock and three miles. Do you have that traffic?" Delta 105 (long pause and then in a thick southern drawl): "Well...I've got something down there. Can't quite tell if it's a Malibu or a Chevelle, though."
Unknown Aircraft: "I'm f***ing bored!".
Air Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!!"
Unknown Aircraft: "I said I was f***ing bored, not f***ing stupid!"
Tower: "TWA 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on 124.7."
TWA 702: "Tower, TWA 702 switching to Departure ... by the way, after we lifted off, we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway."
Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on 124.7; did you copy the report from TWA?"
Continental 635: Continental 635, cleared for takeoff roger; and yes,we copied TWA and we've already notified their caterers."
O'Hare Approach Control: "United 329 Heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, 3 miles, eastbound."
O'Hare Approach Control: "United 329 Heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one
o'clock, 3 miles, eastbound."
United 329: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this ...I've got that Fokker in sight.
This is a real oldie which has got to be my favorite...
The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a PanAm 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747 (call sign "Speedbird 206") after landing:
Speedbird 206: "Top of the morning Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of the active runway."
Ground: "Guten morgen! You vill taxi to your gate!" The big British Airways 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know vare you are going?"
Speedbird 206: "Stand by a moment ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."
Ground (with some arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, haff you never flown to Frankfurt before?!?"
Speedbird 206(cooly): "Yes I have, in 1944. In another type of Boeing. I didn't stop."
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