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On the air.

Last week, while making a practice ILS at Abilene, Texas, (KABI), the Tower advised an airplane on the runway as follows:

Abilene Tower: "Cessna Two Two Victor cleared for takeoff Runway 17R. Maintain runway heading."

Cessna 22V: "What heading do I maintain?"

Tower: "Cessna Two Two Victor, maintain runway heading."

Cessna 22V: "What is the heading?"

Tower (After a loud laugh on the air and a pause to regain composure): Cessna Two Two Victor maintain heading 170."

Bob Miller

Big Spring, Texas

On my climb-out from Fort Smith, Ark., (KFSM):

Razorback Departure: "Bonanza Seven One Quebec, be advised we have primary targets, probably a flock of birds, twelve o'clock, 10 miles, south bound."

Me: "What altitude are they squawking?"

Departure: "Funny, very funny."

Me: "Thought you'd like that."

Stephen D. Ducoff

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Soon after departing Palo Alto, Calif., (KPAO), we checked on and heard the end of a conversation between a pilot with a serious New York accent and NORCAL Approach.

NORCAL Approach: "The weather is prettier here."

Pilot: "Everything is prettier here: the weather, the girls, the controllers."

Guess he was priming the pump to ask for direct later on.

Marc Merlin

Sunnyvale, Calif.

My "First Pilot" checkride years ago on an Air Force C-141 Starlifter was a flight from McChord AFB in Washington State (KTCM) to March ARB in Southern California (KRIV).

As a First Pilot, I would fly the airplane, make all radio calls, and perform all checklists from the right seat, while my Flight Examiner sat and observed from the left seat. My examiner had a reputation for eating co-pilots for breakfast and tolerating no mistakes or deviations from First Pilots.

Everything was going fine until briefing our approach and descent into March on intercom, I missed a descent clearance to 10,000 feet from Los Angeles Center. Center called again:

Los Angeles Center: "Mac One Four Three, did you copy descend and maintain one zero thousand?"

Me: "Los Angeles Center, was that for Mac One Four Three to one zero thousand?"

Center: "That's affirmative, Mac One Four Three, descend and maintain one zero thousand, that's 10 thousand, as in all the fingers of both hands."

Examiner (drolly): "It'll be just a minute, Center, he's getting a count on that now."

Although red-faced and flustered for the rest of the flight, I passed the checkride.

Randy Bailey

San Rafael, Calif.

We were on the way to Montpelier, Vt., (KMPV), when we heard the following exchange between the crew of a USAir regional jet and Boston Center:

USAir 2137 (irritated): "Boston Center how do you hear USAir Twenty-One Thirty-Seven?"

Boston Center: "About as well as you could have heard my 'stand by.'"

Amazingly, they had the chutzpah to then ask:

USAir 2137: "Boston Center, USAir Twenty-One Thirty-Seven. Can we go direct VALRET' Center: "No."

Emery Stephans

Stamford, Ct.

Near the end of the day as things were quieting down at Waukegan Regional (KUGN) near Chicago, Ill.:

Waukegan Tower: "Cessna Four Zero Eight Echo Sierra, cleared to land Runway 5. Break. Wind ... calm."

The pause before "calm" was long enough for us to think that was the end of the sentence and wonder exactly what we had just been cleared to do.

Lyle Clapper

Park Ridge, Ill.
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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