Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Let Me Know When You're Sure

When I look at those websites that compile silly pilot jokes, most of the time I think they make up the jokes, but I swear I heard these calls myself, and scribbled them on my OFP while giggling. I have changed only the call signs.

Centre: N123, I'm sure you have the airport in sight.
Pilot: I think I do.
Centre: You let me know when you're sure.

It was a clear day, and I suppose pilots familiar with the airport had been reporting the airport in sight further out, but I sympathize with the visitor. You can get embarrassingly close to an unfamiliar airport before you're SURE it's not an agricultural field or a straight spot on the freeway.

ATC: ABC are you on frequency?
Pilot: Turning back to practice area now, sorry 'bout that.
ATC: Proceed to the practice area and stay in there.

The pilot had just transited controlled airspace associated with a major airport in order to reach an uncontrolled training area, and the controller correctly guessed that he might still be on frequency.

"We haaaaave, well whatever's current at Edmonton" - major airline pilot

The pilot was attempting to say the identifying letter of the recorded airport information he had received, but realized after starting the sentence that he's forgotten it or couldn't find or read where he'd written it down. The elongated word while trying to think of the right information is so pilot-like, because we are trained not to say extra words. In ordinary conversation you might extend the sentence while looking for the information, "We have the current ATIS information here, it's ..." but that would sound ridiculous on the radio.


majroj said...

"I'm sure you have the airport in sight".

That's right, I'm just doing this to %$^! with you, that's my priority while landing an aircraft.

Nothing moves me closer to homicide than someone telling me they are sure I know/see/think something...and they are wrong.
Especially when they insist on it.

D.B. said...

This is my favorite (heard at McKinney airport in N. TX):

Tower: Cessna 4GM (an old, slow Cessna 120), cleared to land #2 following a Learjet on a right base, caution wake turbulence.

A minute of two later:
4GM: Is that the Lear on short final?
Tower: Affirmative.
4GM: I'm asking because he looks slow for a Lear
Tower: Well, see if you can catch him.

Anonymous said...

Years ago I heard this conversation at an uncontroled airport: An instructor taxing out with a student in a light trainer asks the FSS for the direction of the wind.
FSS: The wind is calm.
Pilot: I didn't ask for its speed, I want the direction!
FSS: Well, it's not blowing from any direction!
Pilot: Well, if it was going to blow, what direction would it come from?
FSS: OOOKay, If I had some scotch, I'd have me a scotch and water,...if I had some water!

majroj said...

AH! Made my morning! Thanks y'all.

Rob from PEI said...

Something that my Flight instructor told me on our first flight...

"My most important job right now is to keep you from killing us, after that it's to keep you from killing yourself, then after that it's to keep you from killing yourself and your passengers"

Aluwings said...

Heard this exchange while transiting the airspace north of Toronto one morning. Flights were seeking a smooth altitude and reporting significant turbulence at most flight levels. Then a military pilot chimes in, with a hint of smugness in his voice:

"It's nice and smooth at flight level 470." (knowing that none of us can reach that altitude.)

A short pause... then a gnarly old captain's voice:
"How's the pay at flight level 470?"