Actual exchanges between pilots and control towers...
Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!"
Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches!"
Tower: "TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees."
2341: "Center, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up
Tower: "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it
hits a 727?"
From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm
Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting,
identify yourself immediately!"
Unknown aircraft: "I said I was
f...ing bored, not f...ing stupid!"
O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic
is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound."
"Approach, I've always wanted to say this... I've got the little
Fokker in sight."
A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While
attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked, "What was your
last known position?"
Student: "When I was number one for takeoff."
A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long
roll out after touching down. San Jose Tower Noted: "American 751,
make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able. If
you are not able, take the Guadeloupe exit off Highway 101, make a
right at the lights and return to the airport."
A Pan Am 727 flight, waiting for start clearance in Munich, overheard
Lufthansa (in German): "Ground, what is our start
Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must
speak in English."
Lufthansa (in English): "I am a German, flying a
German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"
from another plane (in a beautiful British accent): "Because you lost
the bloody war!"
Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on
Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 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 behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on
frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?"
Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and
yes, we copied Eastern... we've already notified our caterers."
One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold
short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed,
rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee. Some
quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said,
"What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?"
Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a
real zinger: "I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like yours
and I'll have enough parts for another one."
The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as 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 Pan Am 747) listened
to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a
British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.
"Frankfurt, Speedbird 206! clear of active runway."
"Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."
The BA 747 pulled onto
the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: "Speedbird, do you not
know where you are going?"
Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm
looking up our gate location now."
Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not
been to Frankfurt before?"
Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in
1944, but it was dark, -- And I didn't land."
While taxiing at London's Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air
flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose
to nose with a United 727. An irate female ground controller lashed
out at the US Air crew, screaming: "US Air 2771, where the hell are
you going? I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned
right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to
tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!" Continuing
her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically:
"God! Now you've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort
this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You
can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour, and I
want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I
tell you! You got that, US Air 2771?"
"Yes, ma'am," the humbled crew responded.
Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly
silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to
chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of
mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely
running high. Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed
his microphone, asking: "Wasn't I married to you once?"
This page was last updated April 1, 2007.