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.
Middle of the night in a room at the top of an Army Barracks building in Germany that the fledgling Brit Army Air Corps called "The Tower" when the radio squawks and a thick American voice announces -
"Mornin xxxx tower this is xxxx xxx on 121.5"
"Good morning xxxx xxx are you aware that 121.5 is an emergency frequency ?"
"Sure do xxxx tower and as I am ferrying the biggest load of crap you have ever seen all the way back to the States I'm stayin on there"
transmission was a bit broken: ac: rhein...airforce...15...maintaining 370 atc: airforce calling rhein radar, this is munich south, please go back to previous channel and check the correct one. ac: wilco
2 min later ac: hallo again, we now realised that our callsign might be missleading. we are RYR(ryanair)4715 at 370, but if you like call us ryanairforce 15 and we`ll feel honored and be happy about any priority handling. atc: roger, ryanairforce 15 identified,direct XXX ac: never thought that this will work.
From a controller at Queenstown NZ (Queenstown has an 1800m RWY 23/05 and an 800m crossing Grass RWY 14/32):
An ATR72 is taxiing out for departure
QN TWR: Mount CookXXX short delay at the holding point a couple of light aircraft to land runway 23 ahead. Mount CookXXX(sounding rather pissed at having to wait for a few 207s): What about the Grass Rwy!!?? QN TWR: Sorry didn't realise you would accept that... Grass 14 cleared for takeoff
Best one I have heard so far was about 4 weeks ago in the morning. Adelaide approach has an American working for them that always seems to be quite funny. He has to be the most casual and relaxed ATC'r that I have ever heard.
ADLAPP: "Singapore XXX, cleared ILS 23 approach, contact tower at 5 miles" Two seconds pass with him still transmitting (can hear him moving around)
ADLAPP: "Virgin XXX, decend to 3000, track direct to Modbury" Another 5 seconds pass, he hasnt realised that he's still transmitting
ADLAPP: "Singapore XXX, did you recieve my last transmission?" Then you hear him go "hang on" and some russling around before a panic'd "oh shi*" and finally the transmission cuts.
SING: "Cleared ILS approach, tower at 5 miles, Singapore XXX" VIRGIN: "Decent to 3000, track to Modbury and thanks for the entertainment, Virgin XXX".
After taxiing clear of the active at the far end of the airfield at oh-dark 30, there appeared to be an animal trotting along the taxiway, right on the centerline, like it was a path. I said to my Captain: "Careful Pat, it looks as if there is a dog on the centerline up ahead." It was comical. We watched him trot along for a while, watching him on the screens we use to taxi with, seemingly oblivious to the huge jet behind him. Captain Pat:"That's not a dog, it's a goat!" I advised ATC: "Mumbai ground it's ABCXXX on taxiway bravo proceeding to our gate. We are behind a -uh- goat that is walking on the taxiway... also heading for the terminal..." Without any hesitation the Mumbai ground controller stated: "Very well, follow the goat!" Unbeleiveable- but true. Some airports have official looking "Follow Me" cars or trucks. Mumbai has a follow me GOAT!
That throwaway reply from the Mumbai controller reminds me of something that happened long ago at Edinburgh. A BEA Vanguard had just arrived and the crew had been made aware that they were the subject of a telephoned bomb threat.
"Tower, Speedbird XX where would you like me to park?" ATC: "As far away from the tower as possible!"
These things were not taken so seriously in those days but there was a complaint and the culprit was admonished by the boss.
I struggled to get my radio technique up to scratch while doing my PPL. I was flying with my instructor and he was tuning me into various ATC establishments and making me practice pasing messages to 'real people' - not busy stations however. Anyway I heard one aircraft and station have a pefect exchange of information - the exchange was crisp, the information flowed at a good rate, in the right order and was completed efficiently and very little 'er, erring' in the messages. After they'd finished I turned to my instructor and said, slightly patronisingly, "ooo didn't he do that well" - with my thumb on the PPT. Change frequencey, move on...
Im currently working as a CFI in california and get to hear a whole bunch of funny things from both students and ATC.
A couple of weeks ago after landing on Victorvilles 15000ft of runway with our C172 my student contacted ground once of the runway.
"Victorville ground Cessna xx at E3 request taxi to the active"
"Cessna XX Victorville ground ehhhhh okey so do you need the taxi back for the full 15000 ft or is an intersection takeoff okey?"
My student started looking around and after a short pause "Well sir we wont need the full distance, could we depart from where we came instead?"
Ended up with a nice 270 departure over the boneyard of old airplanes
Another one was when I was heading back home with a student that had some troubles with the radio. At this point we were cruising along with our BE76 at 6000 ft at approximately 120kts direct to Mission Bay VOR when an Alaskan 737 checks in with similiar numbers on their callsign.
ATC: Alaskan 509 maintain 16000 ft, 180kts until mission bay expect the visual 27.
Radio scrambles a bit but before I hear a response from the Alaskan I hear a familiar voice reading back the clearence. I turn around and see my student looking at me with a confused face just as he finished replying to the clearence.
"He said mission bay but... now what?"
Haha I laughed, the controller laughed and the alaskan laughed. Made my day anyways.