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.
An Aussie version of the same story posted by Captainsmiffy-
About 20 something years ago a sector north of Melbourne was being worked at night by a Flight Service Officer (a sort of poor man's air traffic controller using procedural separation before there was decent radar coverage)
Unidentified aircraft: "Jeez I'm f***ing bored!"
The FSO operating the sector, who was probaby a bit bored himself, nevertheless felt it was his duty to protect the airways so he called up individually each of the aircraft known to be in the sector:
Melbourne: "ABC, did you make an obsene transmission?"
Melbourne: "DEF, did you make an obsene transmission?"
And so on until all aircraft had responded.
Silence on the frequency until a few minutes later comes a transmission:
"Jeez I wan't that f***ing bored"
We were on a radar heading from the north after asking for visual appproach into NZWN, waiting to sight a 737 joining a long final from the south and going slow. The 73 is going very slowly as ATC keeps asking me can I see it yet to which I finally reply "ah......think so got some lights about 1 oclock but seems a long way off" to which the controller replies with tone in voice "yes thats him if I'd known he was going to join finals via the sub-antarctic I'd have made you no.1". Ouch.
Evening approach into Milan-MXP last week; ATC clears us for the approach while still way out and descending through FL130... The CPT (I was PF) then radios: "xxxxx 8SA, fully established ILS 35R at 37 miles" Without missing a beat, our friendly ATCO answers "roger, keep the speed!" First time I've ever been on the glide at 240 kts
To set the scene this was at Heathrow and where the British Airways Flying Club used to get their planes repainted in the same BA livery as the big jets. Waiting to take off was a British Airways 747, then a BritishAirwaysFlyingClub Piper Warrior and following that an American Airlines Jet.
American Airlines pilot watching whats ahead of him and in a very thick American accent:
"Hey Speedybird, looks like you've given birth!"
This is another great story I was told by a BA Captain.
Unknown aircraft: "SHIT!"
ATC: "Who was that?? Identify yourself"
American Airlines pilot: "We didn't say shit"
BA Pilot: "We didn't say shit"
Air Canada Pilot: "We didn't say shit"
Followed by just about every other pilot on frequency!
I hope that not too much will be lost in translation. Story told by one colleague about another one.
Training IFR inbound EPWA: ATC: Do you have Raszyn in sight?
(short explanation: Raszyn (sounds like "Russian") place near EPWA with some radio masts) xxx: No, I don't.
some time later: ATC: Do you have Raszyn in sight? xxx: Negative. Now the guy tries to ensure himself, that no one, especially any Russian is on board but he and his instructor. again: ATCo you have Raszyn in sight? Now our hero is imaging not very well shaved man, with fur hat, smelling vodka, with big bag on his laps - just Russian from far Siberia inside his plane. xxx: Negative.
ATC: Dou you have Raszyn in sight... oh disregard, you have just passed it.
after landing: Why they were asked us if we have Russian inside?
Story which always make me laughing. Hope you too.
This happened a few years ago at Maastricht UAC shortly after CPDLC (Controller-Pilot Data Link Connection) had been introduced. Not many airlines were Data Link equipped so we reckoned this new cockpit feature would be tempting to play with. A United Airlines flight from Frankfurt to the States entered our airspace, still climbing to FL320. Suddenly this particular flight requests FL380 via Data Link, much to our surprise as it is quite a high cruising level to start with for a long haul flight. So the radar controller asks him via voice transmission:
Maastricht: "UAL123, we've just received your request via CPDLC... uhm... confirm you are actually looking for FL380? Or are you just trying out the Data Link system?"
UAL123 (without missing a beat): "Sir if I'd be testing the Data Link system I would ask for a tall Scandinavian blonde, don't you think?"
Maastricht (with an amused voice and laughter in the background): "Haha, I guess!"
After a brief pauze a deep male Scandinavian voice came on: "What can I do for you?"
UAL123: "Uhm... uhm... well, it's not for me - it's for the co-pilot..."
A classic one perhaps... A KLM flight bound for Amsterdam was descending abeam Eelde (EEL) in the Dutch FIR, coming from somewhere up North. Our radar showed the aircraft had initiated a significant turn hence the radar controller investigated...
Maastricht: "KLM1234, confirm you are making a right turn?"
KLM1234: "Affirm! Turning back shortly!"
Maastricht: "KLM1234, what is the reason for the turn?"
KLM1234: "Oh uhm, it's a very clear day today, and banking the aircraft allowed me to see my house from up here..."
Maastricht: "Roger... next time please report before turning"
This is when another pilot stepped in and said: "Hey KLM, can you also see the car on the driveway?"
By now this story has become a classic anecdote at Maastricht UAC. Imagine the scene in the Ops Room... Traffic was fairly busy with a lot of chatting on the frequency. Earlier a US-bound Lufthansa had asked for a better direct routing, which had to be co-ordinated with the colleagues at Copenhagen ACC first. Right after the Lufthansa's request the radar controller got too busy for him to ask his planning controller what direct routing had been offered by Copenhagen (as this is not a priority in busy times). Nevertheless the Lufthansa pilot reminded us about his request. Fair enough. The radar controller - still busy - quickly turns to his planner and asks: "What direct routing did Copenhagen give us for the Lufthansa?"
At the same time another colleague was standing right behind these two controllers, getting the coffee and tea orders for everyone. It so happened he posed his coffee question at the same time the radar was shouting for the direct routing. Lazy as controllers tend to be, the planner only picked up the drink request and answered: "Mint tea!"
The coffee guy wrote it down, but our meanwhile hectic radar controller had also taken this for an answer and asked, slightly confused: "MINTI??". The planner - now looking at his tube again - took it for granted the coffee guy just asked him for confirmation (and obviously did not realise that the radar had been asking him something as well) so he simply replied: "Yes, yes! Mint tea!". The phone rings, the planner picks it up and misses that the radar clears the Lufthansa as follows:
Maastricht: "DLH123, proceed direct to MINTI"
DLH123: "Uhrrrr... roger... direct to MINTI, confirm?"
Maastricht: "Affirm, sir. MINTI"
2 minutes pass, and finally the Lufthansa comes back...
DLH123: "Maastricht, I'm sorry but can you spell MINTI for me please? I cannot seem to find it"
The radar turns to his planner and asks: "How do you spell MINTI? Is it mike india november tango india??"
Planner: "Huh? What?"
Radar: "Well, you gave me MINTI for that Lufthansa before, right? How do you spell it??"
At this point the planner realised what had happened and bursted out in manic laughter: "No! I ordered a MINT TEA!!". The radar immediately caught up with the silly situation and could not stop himself from laughing. He was unable to say anything for at least half a minute or so. Situations like this one just get so much more momentum when they are preceded by tense moments. And that is when I like to job the most!