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On the air.

I caught this exchange a few nights ago while doing some approaches. The controller was vectoring a plane to a fix by a neighboring, uncontrolled airport.

Columbia Approach: "Citation Two Tango Charlie, over ummm, darn, over the fix, cleared for the localizer approach to Owens Downtown, cancel with me or on the ground on 124.4. Change to advisory approved."

Approach (after a short pause and before the Citation could answer): "HIDEE, the name of the fix is HIDEE. I forgot the girl's name."

Citation 2TC: "Roger. We'll cancel IFR now. Switching to advisory, thanks."

Other aircraft: "It's been my experience that forgetting the girl's name is usually bad for future flights."

Chris Matras

Columbia, S.C.

The ATIS at Spirit of St Louis Airport in Missouri had an odd tidbit that morning: "The first 1000 feet of Runway 26 Right closed for maintenance." But when I contacted Ground I got this clearance:

Spirit Ground: "Seneca Three Three Five Three Quebec, taxi to Runway 26 Right."

Me: "Spirit Ground, Seneca Five Three Quebec, do I need to make an intersection takeoff since the first 1000 feet is closed?"

Ground: "Negative, taxi to the end of 26 Right and, when ready, call Tower."

When I was ready, I called the Tower and asked again, still a bit concerned: "Spirit Tower, Seneca Three Three Five Three Quebec, Ready at Runway 26 Right. Do I need to taxi to the 1000-foot line before I start my take-off roll?"

Spirit Tower: "Seneca Three Three Five Three Quebec, you can taxi to the line, but if you happen to be traveling at a high rate of speed when you reach it, that's OK too. Cleared for takeoff."

Ron Rogers

St Louis, Mo.

At Santa Monica, a Warrior had just popped out of some 1800-foot bases, reported the field in sight and been cleared to land. He was also informed that a Gulfstream would depart before his arrival. Then the student in a local flight-school airplane on downwind brought everything to a screeching halt:

Warrior 2AF (in a halting, student's voice): "Santa Monica Tower, Two Alfa Fox, request short approach. Disabled."

Santa Monica Tower (immediately and with urgency): "Gulfstream One Sierra Whiskey, cancel take-off clearance and hold short of 21. Warrior Two Alpha Bravo make a right 360. Two Alfa Fox, say nature of your emergency."

Warrior 2AF (embarrassed CFI voice): "Tower, Two Alpha Fox, I am very sorry sir. The student meant to say, 'if able.'"

Tower: "Well, I got everyone else out of your way so I guess yon might as well go ahead and make a short approach."

Art Friedman

Santa Monica, Calif.

Cruising near Sacramento one night, I heard the following:

Oakland Center: "Jet Blue Two Thirty-One, verify you are descending."

Jet Blue 231: "Affirmative, descending out of FL280 for FL220."

Center: "Roger, my computer seems to be lagging a bit."

Jet Blue 231: "Don't worry, as soon as you guys get those new Pentium One chips, you should be all set."

Center: "I can't respond to that. I might get fired."

Pierre Redmond

Henderson, Nev.

Maybe you had to be there to appreciate this one ...

It was a beautiful spring day: calm winds and deep blue sky in North Texas. I was inbound to Addison and had just tuned in to Regional Approach when I caught the end of this conversation:

Aircraft: "This is a most perfect day for flying."

Regional Approach (sounding envious): "There's nothing like flying on a clear day and in perfect weather. That's as good as it gets"

Aircraft (in a perfect '60s hippie voice): "I love you, man."

Approach (after a long pause): "Uh ... Roger that."

Bill Colton

Dallas, Texas
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Title Annotation:aircraft piloting
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2009
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