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Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots Conversations....

Fay A.

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The following are accounts of actual exchanges between airline

pilots and control towers from around the world.

1. While taxiing at London Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air flight

departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose

with a United 727. An irate female ground controller lashed out at the

US Air crew, screaming: "US Air 2771, where the hell are you going? I

told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta!

Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference

between C and D, but get it right!" Continuing her rage to the

embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically: "God! Now you've

screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay

right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect

progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour and I want you to go

exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got

that, US Air 2771?"

"Yes ma'am," the humbled crew responded.

Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly

silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance

engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind.

Tension in every cockpit out in Gatwick was definitely running high.

Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone,


"Wasn't I married to you once?"


2. A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll

out after touching down. San Jose Tower Noted: "American 751, make a

hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able. If you are

not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the

lights and return to the airport."


3. From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm

f...ing bored!"

Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself


Unknown aircraft: "I said I was f... ing bored, not f... ing stupid!"


4. Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency


Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way,

after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of

the runway."

Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern

702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from

Eastern 702?"

Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes,

we copied Eastern... we've already notified our caterers"


5. The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a

short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking

location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it

was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following

exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747,

call sign "Speedbird 206".

Speedbird 206: "Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway."

Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."

The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.

Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"

Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."

Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not

been to Frankfurt before?"

Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944 -- but I didn't land."


6. O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a

Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound."

United 329: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this... I've got the

little Fokker in sight."


7. A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the


Lufthansa (in German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"

Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English."

Lufthansa (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in

Germany. Why must I speak English?"

Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent):

"Because you lost the bloody war."

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