Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Flyers

The mix of traffic on the weekend is noticeably different than during the week. There are far more single-engine airplanes on short hops or "in the pattern" (doing circuits) and fewer jets on long flights. Some of the Sunday pilots aren't as fluent in ATC speak as their weekday counterparts.

A controller wanted to know one pilot's clearance valid time or when he had filed his flight plan or something. I wasn't listening closely until the conversation got odd. The pilot knew the answer, but was having trouble finding the words. The controller suggested zero zulu, but that wasn't quite right, for some reason.

Still struggling, with the words, you could almost see him wrestling with the trim, the mixture, the yoke, and the power setting in low level turbulence, the pilot managed "It was ... one minute before. Uh before ...that."

"Twenty-three fifty-nine?" suggested the air traffic controller.

"Yeah! That's it!"

I think maybe you had to be there, but it took us a while to stop laughing after that.

Oh and for those of you who don't read the comments, you're missing more than usual from my intelligent and witty readers on the In a Flap posting from two days ago. I've got two turboprop experts expounding on exactly what it means to be in beta. I think if I had them in my living room we might need some more beer and yummy chicken things by now.


nec Timide said...

Ah yes, talking about flying. Almost as much fun as committing aviation, but can be done in conditions when the latter can't. Beer for example :)

Dagny said...

LOL, beta....

I'll have to go and check that out.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we PPs are a hoot & a half on the radio, eh? I'm off to build some more x/c on a nice Sunday afternoon...

From the AOPA forum dumbest thing you've ever said on the radio

Aircraft 1: XXX traffic, N12345 is halfway to the airport, at 3,000, XXX

....momentary silence

ATC: XXX, halfway from where?

Anonymous said...

No argument here!

Asquared is flying a fire-breathing beast of a machine. It is not unusual at all to be the last flight into my domicile (about midnight, TWR closed), turn on the PCL 20 miles away and hear: "Uh, inbound traffic to XXX, this is -cool callsign-31 doing NVG work, inbound over *LOM*... say position?" Ooops. I blinded a C130 crew more than once. Too low for ZDC to see on radar...

"XXX traffic, -airline callsign- XXXX 20 north for a viz 23. We'll drop the anchor and kill the lights, just advise on the go so we can, uh, land and stuff."


Major cool to watch them do a tactical approach, stop, BACK UP, and do their nifty military thing.

Makes me feel like a hack.