ATC IssuesA place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.
Some years ago I aquired a copy of "Not Airway XMAS 1988". Enjoy the following extract....
------ Quips of the year A selection of R/T phrases you have loved. Section one : THEM
"Was that for us, London?" OR "Say Again, London" OR Deafening Silence followed by either of the previous. This is an ever-popular entry, which shows no sign of ever falling into disuse. Usually heard at peak traffic periods, or whenever repetition of a message would be least convenient.
"That was a bit close, London" This well-worn favourite is usually delivered by the Captain, in a clear, well-controlled monotone, betraying no hint of vexaction. However, careful listeners will be able to detect background details, such as the First Officer screaming "F**king Hell", fainting hostesses and passengers complaining about the noise made by the passing aircraft.
"Bit bumpy at (insert your choice of flight level here) London, any chance of
(ditto)." Another tried and tested chestnut, usually employed by crews on fuel-bonus payments. It isn't bumpy at all, and they all know they've got more chance of seeing tits on a billiard ball than their requested level, but still they try. Don'tcha just love 'em?
"Bit of a build-up ahead, London. Direct destination would take us nicely around it". This one is almost beneath contempt. The meteorological phenomenon which dictates that thunderheads always occur on the "standard" route and never on
"direct" routeings is a constant source of amazement to ordinary mortals.
"Can we keep the speed up, London?" Usually heard from the last in a stream of eitht aircraft which you have just cleared to Eastwood to hold. The temptation to make a witty rejoinder such as
"Don't be such a f**kwit" should be resisted.
"Any delays likely, London?" See above
"Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. This is Captain Twatt welcoming you aboard Dangerous Airways flight number sixty nine (followed by fourteen minutes discourse on the weather at destination, the meal in first-class and the sexual preferences of the galley hostesses)". Every controller's dream, this one. The incorrect selection of cabin address on an airways frequency is one of the few things that make this job worthwhile, simply because you do not have to say anything at all to point out the error of the offending captain's ways. The other aircraft on frequency will gleefully sieze on his mistake and leave him in no doubt as to their opinions. And if you are fortunate enough to have one of the less-inhibited American airlines with you, you may hear the immortal phrase "Captain Twatt, you are a **nt".
"Err, London, can you just confirm our routeing after Brookhams Park?" This one always occurs just after you have given the aircraft (always American, usually military) an enormous five-minute spiel, and he has managed to read back a complete anagram of airways, fixes and co-ordinates, bearing no resemblance to reality. The approved response is that, due to exhaustion on your part, confirmation of said routeing will be available next frequency.
"This heading would put us nicely onto the localiser for two-six left, London". A thinly-disguised threat to carry out an unauthorized straight-in approach. Easily discouraged by imparting the information that Gatwick have just changed to zero-eight right.
"Hello London, any chance of three-three-zero direct Deauville?"
(Britannia Airways catchphrase). No, f**k off.
Section two : US
"Air Algerie Two Zero Five Four, where the f**k are you going?" Self-explanatory.
"Aeroflot One Six Five None, do you have a mouth full of gravel?" An honest attempt to discover why the captain sounds as if his mouth is full of gravel.
"Varig Seven Five Nine, are you aware of the Ockham hold?" A little bit ambiguous - it could be taken to mean "Are you aware that there IS an Ockhmam hold?" or "Do you know what the pattern is?" or even "I am pleased to inform you that, due to your inability to understand my instructions, you have just had seven airmisses. Congratulations." Under normal circumstances, however, all three of the above will apply.
"Speedbird Seven Six One, can you give me a good rate of climb through flight level one five zero?" I have made a horrible balls-up of the whole thing and unless you go ballistic for the next ninety seconds, you will crash into a lot of other aeroplanes.
"Speedbird Seven Six One, increase rate of climb" You lied to me, you bastard.
"Speedbird Seven Six One, confirm your type IS a seven five seven" The only way out of this unholy ****-up is to blame it on incorrect flight plan information.
Late evening ABZ, shortly before airfield closed for the day:- "F***ing DanAir 123 fully established R/W 18" Tower: "Say again callsign"
"F****ing Dan Air 123"
"Phone ATC please after arrival"
" OK. Please listen to your ATIS before I call"
Loud and clear in background of ATIS recording "When's that f****ing Dan Air 123 going to arrive so we can all go home"