Humor for Everyone
Return to Wing It
This is not a joke: it happened to me on Feb. 14th, 1997, when I was
flying from LEE (Florida) to TIX (Titusville, Florida) in a C172, aircraft
number N 5456D:
ATC (Air Traffic Control): Piper N 4444D, traffic at your 2 o'clock, 500
feet below you.
Piper N4444D: Well, we see a light coming towards us ...
ATC: Look again - there's probably a plane behind that light.
--Karl Heinz Schmid
A local fellow working his way up had padded his logbook with extra twin
engine airplane time. For a couple of these "flights" he'd used the
airplane number of a twin engine airplane he'd seen passing through his
airport -- it looked like it was from far away, and was headed back there.
The checkride was at a bigger airport nearby. After the ride the examiner
was looking at the logbook and checking the totals.
"Nice plane, that N12345" says the examiner.
"Sure is," says the candidate.
"I don't suppose you know that I own that plane?" asked the examiner as
he motioned out the window to where it was parked, just down the line.
A true story (from the Australian Aviation magazine):
After a particularly lousy landing by the co-pilot of an Australian
commercial airline, that co-pilot heard the Captain announce "Ladies
and Gentlemen, XXX airlines wishes to apologize for that rough landing
provided today by our first officer".
Some months later the same crew were together and, you guessed it, the
Captain did an even worse one. The First Officer immediately jumped on the
intercom announcing "Ladies and Gentlemen, XXX airlines wishes to apologize
for that rough landing provided today by our Captain".
The Captain immediately responded angrily, "What did you say that for?".
The First Officer
replied "Remember a couple of months back? I owed it to you!". "But I
never turned on the
microphone!" responded the Captain.
This one comes from outback Queensland, Australia where there is much
rivalry between "real men" who fly helicopters and "sissy men" who are
fixed wing pilots.
A Cessna 402 airplane was having problems with his landing gear not
indicating 3 green (all gear down and locked), and was in a holding pattern
at a fairly remote town. The 402 pilot was getting agitated and everyone
was trying to be helpful.
Chopper pilot: "Errr...I'm 20 minutes away, but if you hold I can come by
and look at your airplane."
Pilot: "Look man, I'm not waiting 20 minutes for you to come and
look at my airplane."
Chopper pilot: "I don't want to look at it. I just want to see you land it!!"
The Top 15 Advertising Slogans for Delta Air Lines:
Delta: We're Amtrak with wings.
Join our frequent near-miss program.
Ask about our out-of-court settlements.
Noisy engines? We'll turn 'em off!
Complimentary champagne in free-fall.
Enjoy the in-flight movie in the plane next to you.
The kids will love our inflatable slides.
You think it's so easy, get your own damm plane!
Delta: Our pilots are terminally ill and have nothing to lose.
Delta: We might be landing on your street!
Delta: Terrorists are afraid to fly with us.
Bring a bathing suit.
So that's what these buttons do!
Delta: A real man lands where he wants to.
Delta: We never make the same mistake three times.
A twin-engined turbo-prop airplane, operated by a major commuter airline,
was making an instrument approach to land at Elko, NV, in a blinding snow
storm. The aircraft's left wingtip contacted the Elko VOR (radio navigation
beacon) which is located on a hilltop about 4 miles south of the airport.
The aircraft bellied into the ground and skidded down the front of the
Fortunately, although both crew members and several passengers received
serious injuries, there were no fatalities. A few weeks later, I was
climbing the airstair to board a commuter flight out of Elko, on the same
airline. An old gentleman who was at the top of the stair just ahead of me
leaned into the cockpit where the captain and first officer were preparing
for departure. The man said to the Captain (a young fellow): "Son, do you
see that hill over there?"
(pointing to the VOR hill).
The captain replied, somewhat hesitantly, "Yes Sir?" To which the old man
replied simply "GOOD".
While flying in Atlanta's airspace late one evening I heard the following
conversation on Atlanta Air Traffic Control Center frequency:
Cessna 1234: Atlanta center, do you have time to talk?
Center: Cessna 1234 go ahead.
Cessna 1234: I'm a student pilot on my first long solo cross country.
This is the most fun I have ever had.
Unidentified: Sounds like he needs a girlfriend.
Center: He is probably married with two kids.
Cessna 1234: You are both right!
A student pilot had an engine failure one day. He successfully force
landed, and found his way to aphone to call the club house. He gave his
position to his instructor, who said he would pop straight out in one of
the club's aircraft to pick him up. The instructor found the downed
student - parked in a rather small looking field. "Hmmm, if he can get in
there, so can I!". He
performed a text book short field landing, and parked extremely neatly in
the hedge at the far end of the field. On extricating himself from the
brambles, he asked the student how on earth he had managed to land in such
a confined space. "Oh, I didn't - I landed in that big field over there and
pushed the plane in here to give you more room!"
A helicopter was flying around above Seattle yesterday when an electrical
all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communications equipment.
Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter's
position and course to steer to the airport.
The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a hand-written
sign, and held it in the helicopter's window. The pilot's sign read: "WHERE
AM I?" in large letters. People in the tall
building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it
in a building window. Their sign read "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER." The pilot
smiled, waved, looked at his map,
determined the course to steer to the Seattle airport, and landed safely.
After they were on the
ground, the copilot asked the pilot how the "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER" sign
their position. The pilot responded: "I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT
similar to their help-lines, they gave me a technically correct but
completely useless answer."
-- Andrew Poth
Heard on an airport tower frequency "Tower, what time is it?" The tower
responds, "Who is this?" The answer comes back, "It doesn't make any
difference who this is, what time is it?" "Well", says the tower, "if you
are Cessna 1234A, it is 2 in the afternoon, if you are the Army helicopter,
it is 1400, and if you are the Marine helicopter, Mickey's big hand is on
the twelve and his little
hand is on the two and if you area Delta airplane, it is still Tuesday."
Heard in a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 cockpit:
Have you heard about the birdstrike of the airbus 340? It happened
over the north-atlantic. It was hit by the bird
-- Guido Frey
I'm a commercial pilot, and a couple of years ago I was listening to the
scanner late at night near Dallas-Forth Worth airport. I heard the
following true to life exchange (the names have been changed to protect the
innocent, but it was DFW tower).
DFW Tower: "Lonestar 189, clear to land (runway)18R, wind calm."
Lonestar: "Roger, cleared to land 18R."
Lonestar: "Tower, we hit something."
DFW Tower: YOU DID WHAT???
Lonestar: "We hit a small animal or something on the runway. Ya know, some
sort of road kill or something."
DFW Tower: "UPS 31 HEAVY, be advised company that just landed ahead of you
on runway 18R
reports hitting some sort of roadkill."
UPS 31: "That's all right, we'll flatten it out a little bit for ya!"
There's a story about a C-124 cargo plane and an F-4 jet fighter on
intersecting taxiways at Rhein-Main Air Force Base long ago. The F-4 driver
asked Ground what the Globemaster's intentions were. It is said that the
C-124 pilot opened the clamshell doors in the nose and
announced, "I'm going to eat you."
The photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a
great forest fire. Smoke at the scene was too thick to get any good shots,
so he frantically called his home office
to hire a plane. "It will be waiting for you at the airport!" he was
assured by his editor. As soon as he got to the small, rural airport, sure
enough, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his
equipment and yelled, "Let's go! Let's go!" The pilot swung the plane into
the wind and soon they were in the air. "Fly over the north side of the
fire," said the photographer,
"and make three or four low level passes." "Why?" asked the pilot. "Because
I'm going to take
pictures! I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures!" said the
photographer with great
exasperation. After a long pause the pilot said, "You mean you're not the
-- Tom Albertz
(airplane)S19: Tower, this is Speedbird One-Niner, request clearance.
(control)Twr: Well, hello,there. We're so glad to hear from you. Would you
believe you're the first aircraft we've had in or out since Monday?
S19: That's very nice, Tower, S19 requests the information.
Twr: Well, there's an overcast at 1000 feet, but there's not a breath of
wind. You can't believe
how boring it's been lately, we haven't had any aircraft in or out
S19: Tower, S19 requests landing instructions, and which runway is active?
Twr: You can have any runway you like, we're just so happy to see you, we
haven't had any
aircraft in or out since Monday.
S19: Roger, S19 will be doing an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach
on runway 27.
Twr: You're cleared for the ILS approach on 27, report when you have the
runway in sight.
(A little later)
S19: Tower, S19 has the runway in sight, 1 mile final for 27 - Tower, for
God's sake, there's
another airliner taking off on 09 directly towards us!
Twr: Oh, my Gosh, don't tell me it's going to be another day like Monday.
Inertial Guidance System Simplified
We are not sure who the author of the following article is, however we feel
that the article is one of the best, clearly defined descriptions of the
magic that resides with in the aircraft's black boxes.
The aircraft knows where it is at all times. It knows this because it
knows where it isn't. By
subtracting where it is from where it isn't, or where it isn't from where
it is (whichever is the greater), it obtains a difference, or deviation.
The Inertial Guidance System uses deviations to generate error signal
commands which instruct the aircraft to move from a position where it
is to a position where it isn't, arriving at a position where it wasn't, or
now is. Consequently, the position where it is, is now the position where
it wasn't; thus, it follows logically that the position where it was is the
position where it isn't. In the event that the position where the
aircraft position where it wasn't, the Inertial Guidance System has
acquired a variation. Variations are caused by external factors, the
discussions of which are beyond the scope of this
report. A variation is the difference between where the aircraft is and
where the aircraft wasn't. If the variation is considered to be a factor of
significant magnitude, a correction may be applied by the use of the
autopilot system. However, use of this correction requires that the
aircraft now knows where it was because the variation has modified some of
which the aircraft has, so it is sure where it isn't. Nevertheless, the
aircraft is sure where it isn't (within reason) and it knows where it was.
It now subtracts where it should be from where
it isn't, where it ought to be from where it wasn't (or vice versa) and
integrates the difference with the product of where it shouldn't be and
where it was; thus obtaining the difference between its deviation and its
variation, which is variable constant called "error".
The preceding article is from the Canadian "Airspace Newsletter", issue
1/94 printed by the Transport Canada. I hope this article will be able to
help you as much as it helped me to understand IGS!!!
The Parachute Paradigm
You are one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane with only one
Pessimist: you refuse the parachute because you might die in the jump anyway.
Optimist: you refuse the parachute because people have survived jumps just
like this before.
Procrastinator: you play a game of Monopoly for the parachute.
Bureaucrat: you order them to conduct a feasibility study on parachute use
aircraft under code red conditions.
Lawyer: you charge one parachute for helping them sue the airline.
Doctor: you tell them you need to run more tests, then take the parachute
in order to make your next appointment.
Sales executive: you sell them the parachute at top retail rates and get
the names of their
friends and relatives who might like one too.
Internal Revenue Service: you confiscate the parachute along with their
luggage, wallet, and gold
Engineer: you make them another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental
Scientist: you give them the parachute and ask them to send you a report on
how well it worked.
Mathematician: you refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it
will work in all cases.
Philosophy: you ask how they know the parachute actually exists.
English: you explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.
Comparative Literature: you read the parachute instructions in all four
Computer Science: you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as
well as a human
Economics: you plot a demand curve by asking them, at regular intervals,
how much they would
pay for a parachute.
Psychoanalysis: you ask them what the shape of a parachute reminds them of.
Drama: you tie them down so they can watch you develop the character of a
person stuck on a
falling plane without a parachute.
Art: you hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.
Republican: as you jump out with the parachute, you tell them to work hard
and not expect
Democrat: you ask them for a dollar to buy scissors so you can cut the
parachute into two equal
Libertarian: after reminding them of their constitutional right to have a
parachute, you take it and jump out.
Ross Perot: you tell them not to worry, since it won't take you long to
learn how to fix a plane.
Surgeon General: you issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to
Association of Tobacco Growers: you explain very patiently that despite a
number of remarkable
coincidences, studies have shown no link whatsoever between
airplane crashes and
National Rifle Association: you shoot them and take the parachute.
Environmentalist: you refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.
Objectivist: your only rational and moral choice is to take the parachute,
as the free market will take care of the other person.
Sports Fan: you start betting on how long it will take to crash.
Auto Mechanic: as long as you are looking at the plane engine, it works fine.
-- Darrin McGraw
Sue and Bob, a pair of tightwads, lived in the midwest, and had been
married for years. Bob had
always wanted to go flying. The desire deepened each time a barnstormer
flew into town to offer rides. Bob would ask, and Sue would say, "No way,
ten dollars is ten dollars."
The years went by, and Bob figured he didn't have much longer, so he got
Sue out to the show,
explaining, it's free to watch, let's at least watch. And once he got there
the feeling become real strong. Sue and Bob started an argument. The Pilot,
between flights, who overheard, listened to
their problem, and said, "I'll tell you what, I'll take you guys up flying,
and if you don't say a word the ride is on me, but if one of you makes one
sound, you pay ten dollars." So off they flew. The Pilot doing as many
rolls and dives as he could. Heading to the ground as fast as the plane
could go, and pulling out of the dive at just the very last second. Not a
word. Finally he admitted defeat and went back the field. "I'm surprised,
why didn't you say anything?" "Well I almost said something when Sue fell
out, but ten dollars is ten dollars!"
This is an apocryphal story that allegedly happened late one night during
bad weather, as heard
over the tower radio:
Helicopter Pilot: "Roger, I'm holding at 3000 feet over (such-and-such)
Secon voice: "NO! You can't be doing that! I'm holding at 3000 feet over
(brief pause, then first voice again): "You idiot, you're my co-pilot."
Did you hear about the duck who flew upside down? He quacked up.
(Transmission as a DC-10 rolls out long after a fast landing...)
San Jose Tower: American 751 heavy, turn right at the end if able. If not
able, take the Guadalupe exit off of Highway 101 back to the
What's the purpose of the propeller?
To keep the pilot cool. If you don't think so, just stop it and watch him
Cessna: "Jones tower, Cessna 12345, student pilot, I am out of fuel."
Tower: "Roger Cessna 12345, reduce airspeed to best glide!! Do you have
the airfield in sight?!?!!"
Cessna: "Uh...tower, I am on the south ramp; I just want to know where the
fuel truck is."
(This one really happened - the Flight Engineer was suspended:)
On some air carrier operations, a video camera was installed in the cockpit
so that passengers
could watch the pilot land the plane. On one flight, the Flight Engineer
decided to have some fun
with the passengers and purchased part of a gorilla costume; more
specifically, just the left arm. When the plane came in to land, the camera
was turned on, and the FE had his gorilla arm on. Since from the position
of the camera all you could see of the FE was his left arm, whenever he
went to reach up and flip (a) switch(es), all the video showed was a hairy
arm! So the passengers were given the illusion that a monkey (or whatever
their imagination wished to conjure) was operating some of the controls!!!
This T-38 jet pilot pilot ran out of fuel and decided to put it down on a
road. He managed to coast into a gas station and said to the attendant,
"Fill 'er up!" The attendant just looked at the pilot.
"Bet you don't get too many airplanes asking for a fuel," said the pilot.
The attendant replied,
"True, most pilots use the airport over there."
Tower: "12345, are you a Cessna?"
12345: "No....I am a male hispanic."
One of my instructors in Flight Engineer school told me about this.
Apparently the loadmaster on a USAF C-130 cargo plane was invited to take
the engineer's seat for awhile. He started jabbering away, not realizing
that he was transmitting on radio instead of over the intercom:
Loadmaster: "Hey, this is great! I see why you engineers like this seat so
much -- you can see
everything from here! This is just like the starship Enterprise!
All ahead, Mr. Sulu,
warp factor ten!
Followed shortly afterward by:
ATC: "You wanna get back on intercom, Captain Kirk? You're transmitting on
Heard at the Oakland, Ca airport:
Pilot: Oakland Ground, Cessna 1234 at Sierra Academy, Taxi, Destination
Ground: Cessna 1234, Taxi Approved, report leaving the airport.
When the military got dragged into the War-On-Drugs, it came under
from Washington to find a reliable method to determine which aircraft are
carrying drugs. As a
result, all of the human radar operators have been replaced by
dogs. Whenever the dog sees a new blip on the radar screen, he sniffs at
it, and drugs, he barks, which alerts the supervisor (a human), who sounds
A conversation involving a motor-glider was being flown to a local airport
for some repair work on a noisy muffler.
Control tower: You're unreadable, say again.
Glider: I've turned off the engine, is that better?
Control Tower: L..o..n..g pause.
Dead reckoning (a means of navigation) still has its place. We once had a
pilot call in and say "Help, I'm hopelessly lost over Gravette, Ark.". We
all looked at each other, and after a chuckle, the controller for that area
asked the pilot "If you are hopelessly lost, how do you know you are over
Gravette, Ark.?" The pilot said "Because I'm circling the water tank and it
says Gravette, Ark."!! (The town was too small to be on his map.)
A pilot called in and said he was unsure of his position but he had a town
in sight. Since he wasn't on radar, the controller told him to descend and
look for the town's water tower, see what it said on the side, climb back
up and tell him. Sure enough in about 3 minutes the pilot called back and
said, "Approach, I found the water tower". The controller, looking rather
pleased, asked "And what did it say on the side?" The pilot replied,
"It said Seniors, 1978". Truly happened.
Tower: "Aircraft on final approach, go around, aircraft on runway."
Solo Student Pilot: "Roger" (Continues descent)
Tower: "Aircraft, GO AROUND"
Student: "Roger" (Continues descent.)
Tower: (Screaming) "AIRCRAFT, GO AROUND!!"
Student: "Roger" (Continues descent.)
So, the student pilot plunks his airplane down on the numbers, taxies up to
where the airplane is sitting in the middle of the runway, GOES AROUND it,
and continues on to the taxiway.
This is from a student pilot returning to airport from the practice area:
Airplane: Cessna 187MA is 5 miles northeast, landing, with the numbers.
Tower: Roger 7MA, make straight-in runway 22. Say type landing.
7MA: We're a Cessna 182.
Tower: Negative, say *type* landing.
7MA: Uh, 7MA is a Cessna 182 slant Uniform.
Tower: 7MA, I say again, say **type** landing.
7MA: (Silence) A good one I hope.
People unclear on the concept dept.
On the 10 o'clock channel 9 news in LA, a single engine airplane
(identified as Aero Commander) went down short of Burbank airport, both
people on board survived. The Pilot was lucid as he was being cut out of
the wreckage & said he ran out of fuel over Eagle Rock & was trying to make
Burbank airport. Remarking about the lack of fire, the Fire Marshall in
charge of the rescue said, "They are just lucky there was no fuel on
This story is TRUE: told by the pilot and confirmed by ATC. Southend
ATC: National 676 - Cleared for takeoff; report passing 2000 feet.
NAA676: Cleared for takeoff; call you passing 2000.
NAA676: Southend, 676 is passing 2000, climbing
Southend: 676 call London 128.6 (change radio frequencies)
NAA676: To London 128.6 - see you on the way home.
(in the process of changing frequencies, 676 loses the door
- yes the DOOR on a BE 90)
NAA676: Mayday, Mayday, Mayday London Control this is National 676, 4
miles west of Southend,
2500 feet - I've lost the door and am returning. Climbing to 4000
feet and returning to
London ATC: NAA 676, roger. Are you in control of the Aircraft?
NAA676: No more than usual !!!!
Overheard on night on Kansas City Control Frequency:
KC Appch: "Malibu (a Piper airplane) 229, you're following a 727, one
o'clock and three miles."
Malibu: "We've got him. We'll follow him."
KC Appch: "Delta 105, your traffic to follow is a Malibu, eleven o'clock
and three miles. Do you
have that traffic?"
Delta 105: (long pause, and in a thick southern drawl) "Wwweelllll, I've
got something down there.
Can't quite tell if it's a Malibu or a Chevelle,though."
A favorite ATC story involves an old-timer who would get rather excited
when it got busy. It seemed as if he would think up zingers at home and use
them at some convenient moment. Anyway, he's working USA 553 westbound and
is about to turn him over to Cleveland...
Controller: USA 353 contact Cleveland Center 135.6.
Controller: USA 353 contact Cleveland Center 135.6!
Controller: USA 353 you're just like my wife -- you never listen!
Pilot: Center, this is USA 553, maybe if you called her by the right name
you'd get a better response!
Overheard on Las Vegas Control Frequency:
(Scene 1: It's night over Las Vegas, airport information H (Hotel) is
current and Mooney (airplane)
33W is unfamiliar and talking to approach control)
Approach: 33W confirm you have hotel.
33W: Uhhhmm, we're flying into McCarren International. Uhhhmm, we don't
have a hotel room yet.
Approach control was laughing too hard to respond. The next several calls
went like this:
Approach: United 5, descend to FL (flight level) 220.
United 5: United 5 down to FL220; we don't have a hotel room either.
Q: How many Northwest pilots does it take to fly a DC-9?
A: Two, and a fifth
Northwest is working with Boeing to develop an aircraft specific to their
needs. Their first one will be the 7&7......
Leaving Palo Alto on Friday. A Citabria (airplane) had just landed:
PAO: 85 Uniform (another plane) Taxi to position and hold.
85U: Position and hold, 85 Uniform.
Citabria: Umm, Tower, there's a dead seagull on the right side of the
runway near the windsock.
PAO: Roger. 85 Uniform, cleared for takeoff. Watch for a dead seagull on
the right side of the
85U: 85 Uniform, Dead seagull traffic in sight.
A little later, the Citabria was in the air traffic pattern when I heard:
PAO: Citabria 123, cleared to land (runway) 30. Caution - there's a buzzard
trying to eat the
seagull on the runway.
Pilot: "Golf Juliet Whiskey, request instructions for takeoff"
Persons unknown: "Open the throttle smoothly, check temperatures and
pressures rising, keep the
aircraft straight using ....."
Lost student pilot: "Unknown airport with Cessna 150 circling overhead,
The Cat & Duck Method of IFR Flying:
Today's flight age is an era highlighted with increasing emphasis on
safety. Instrumentation in the cockpit and in the traffic control tower has
reached new peaks of electronic perfection to assist the pilot during
take-offs , flight , and landings. For whimsical contrast to these and
other marvels of scientific flight engineering , it is perhaps opportune to
remind pilots of the basic rules concerning the so-called Cat-and-Duck
Method of Flight , just in case something goes wrong with any of these
new-fangled flying instruments you find in today's aircraft.
Place a live cat on the cockpit floor. Because a cat always remains upright
, he or she can be used in lieu of a needle and ball. Merely watch to see
which way the cat leans to determine if a wing is low and , if so , which
The duck is used for the instrument approach and landing. Because any
sensible duck will refuse to fly under instrument conditions, it is only
necessary to hurl your duck out of the plane and follow her to the ground.
There are some limitations to the Cat-and-Duck Method, but by rigidly
adhering to the following check list , a degree of success will be
achieved. Get a wide-awake cat. Most cats do not want to stand up at all,
at any time. It may be necessary to get a large fierce dog in the cockpit
to keep the cat at attention. Make sure your cat is clean. Dirty cats will
spend all their time washing. Trying to follow a cat licking itself usually
results in a tight snap roll, followed by an inverted (or flat) spin. You
can see this is very unsanitary. Old cats are best. Young cats have nine
lives, but an old used-up cat with only one life left has just as much to
lose an you do and will therefore be more dependable. Beware of cowardly
ducks. If the duck discovers that you are using the cat to stay upright -
or straight and level- she will refuse to leave without the cat. Ducks are
no better on instruments than you are. Be sure the duck has good eyesight.
Nearsighted ducks sometimes will go flogging off into the nearest hill.
Very short-sighted ducks will not realize they have been thrown out and
will descend to the ground in a sitting position. This maneuver is quite
difficult to follow in an airplane. Use land-loving ducks. It is very
discouraging to break out and find yourself on final approach for some farm
pound in Iowa. Also, the farmers there suffer from temporary insanity when
chasing crows off their corn fields and will shoot anything that flies.
An award should go to the United Airlines gate agent in Denver for being
smart and funny, and making her point, when confronted with a passenger who
probably deserved to fly as cargo.
A crowded United Airlines flight was canceled due to a mechanical problem.
As would have it, the airline left a single customer service agent with the
monumental task of rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.
Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way past everyone else in line to
the front of the counter. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and
said: "I HAVE TO BE ON THIS FLIGHT AND IT HAS TO BE FIRST CLASS!!" The
agent replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to help you but I've got to
help these folks first, then I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."
The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the other
passengers behind him could hear, "Do you have any idea who I am...??"
Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address
microphone and made the following announcement: "May I have your attention
please..." she began, her voice echoing throughout the terminal. "We have a
passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help
him find his identity, please come to Gate 17." With the folks behind him
in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United agent, gritted
his teeth and swore. "(Expletive) YOU..!!!" Without flinching, she smiled
and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to stand in line for that too."
The man retreated as the people in the terminal applauded loudly. Although
the flight was canceled and people were late, they were no longer angry at
--George L. Pharmer
A preacher dies and goes to heaven, where he's greeted at the gate by St.
Peter. "Who are you?" St. Peter asks. "I'm Joe Brown. I'm a preacher. I've
been preaching the Word of God for 50 years!"
"Hmmm..." Peter says. "Let me go check and see if you can come inside."
Peter wanders off into Heaven. While he's gone, someone else comes to the
gate and knocks. Peter promptly returns to the gate and asks the new
arrival: "Who are you?" "I'm Stan Smith," the guy replies. "Stan Smith?
Stan Smith *the pilot*???" Peter exclaims. "Why, that's right," the guy
replies. Peter throws open the gate and ushers the new arrival inside with
an enthusiastic "Come in! Come in!"
"What about me?" asks Preacher Brown. "Give it a few more minutes - we're
still checking," Peter replies, and shuts the gate again. After what
seems like hours, Peter comes back to the gate and opens it. "We've
checked, and it's been decided you can come in," he tells the preacher. The
preacher walks in, and while Peter is escorting him to his eternal reward,
he asks, "You know, I don't want to seem jealous or resentful, but I've
been preaching the Word of God for 50 years, and it took you forever to
decide if I could come in. But you practically pulled that pilot out of his
shoes getting him inside Heaven's gate. What gives?" "Well," Peter replies,
"for 50 years while you preached, people slept in the pews. But every time
someone got aboard an airplane with Stan, they were praying their hearts
* What is the ideal cockpit crew? A pilot and a dog. The pilot is there to
feed the dog, and the dog is there to bite the pilot in case he tries to
* What's the difference between God and fighter pilots?
God doesn't think he's a fighter pilot...
* What is the difference between a fighter pilot and a pig?
The pig doesn't turn into a fighter pilot when it's drunk.
* What is the difference between a fighter pilot and a jet engine? A jet
engine stops whining when it pulls in to the parking spot.
A few years ago while sitting in a local FBO (a service center at an
airport) office and watching a lone student doing touch and go's. It was a
real quite Sunday afternoon and there was no other airplane traffic. The
student would call on downwind: Bowman tower, Piper 1234 downwind on 14 for
touch and go. Then call the same thing on base for touch and go, then final
1234 on final for touch and go. But when he touched he would bounce three
or four times before he applied power to go around (take off again). After
about five or six times of this the tower finally said: Piper 1234 cleared
for a touch and touch and touch and a go...
During night ops training the instructor wanted to simulate a landing
Tower: Cessna 1234, cleared to land runway 31.
Pilot: Cleared to land, Cessna 1234. We'll switch off the landing light for
Tower: Roger. Do you want us to switch off the runway lights as well?
True story, I was on the second aircraft.
I was on a commuter flight in Australia holding for a 747 on takeoff inbad
weather. 747 starts takeoff roll and aborts just before the point of no
return. Working for the airline that owned the 747 at the time I checked
the incident report. The aircraft lost power in one engine and the
bottom line? The 747 was full of people taking their first flight after a
course to overcome their fear of flying.
Airline passengers can be very demanding and hard to please...hence the
following true story. Miami to New York is always a tough audience.
Everyone who boards the plane wants cards, kiddie books, and anything that
is "free". One passenger asked for everything that wasn't nailed down, and
just couldn't be placated, so when the meals were served, it wasn't a
surprise that he tugged on the flight attendant's apron while she was
serving coffee with the following complaint.
Passenger: "Oh, miss, miss...this steak...it's such a bad steak...I can't
eat this steak...I've never had such a bad steak." Flight Attendant: "I'm
sorry sir, let me see if I can take care of that steak for you." The Flight
Attendant put her coffee pot and tray on the floor, picked up the steak
from the passenger's plate and proceeded to spank it while saying, "Bad
steak, bad steak!" She put the steak back on the stunned passenger's plate
and said, "I'm sure it will behave now, sir." Picked up her coffee pot and
went on through the cabin. The bewildered passenger never said another word
for the rest of the flight!
After one rather long day of flying our companies Gulfstream III from DAB
(Daytona Beach) to ATL (Atlanta) to CRP (Corpus Christy) with a return
flight to DAB I had given the last leg to my First Officer (co-pilot). She
was from France, and a very likable character who still had a little
problem with the english language, mainly the way we phrased things. The
conversation between ATC and our plane went like this:
ATC: 400LH reduce speed to 220 knots and decend to 2,000 feet. Contact
Daytona Approach on
125.7 good day.
US: Daytona Approach125.7, out of 10 for 2
US: Daytona Approach, 400LH with you out of 10 for 2
DAB App: Roger 400LH fly 050 degrees, decend and maintain 2,000 expect ILS
navagation) (for runway) 7L.
US: Roger DAB. (at this time we both had the airport insight and with very
good VFR (no
navagation instruments needed) weather prevailing decided to cancel
instruments needed) and take the visual approach and air traffic
US: DAB App. 400LH would like to cancel IFR at this time and take the visual.
DAB APP: Roger 400LH IFR canceled, Squawk VFR, fly 065 degrees for straight
runway 7L, contact tower on 120.7
(My Flight Officer changes frequencies and calls DAB TWR)
US: Daytona tower Gulfstream 400LH with you on the visual straight in for 7L.
DAB TWR: Roger 400LH cleared to land runway 7L. Say your intentions?
(Puzzled she looked at me for just a few seconds and was just about
to respond when
the controller came back with the same request.)
DAB TWR: 400LH please say your intentions ma'am?
(Still puzzled, she replied confidently to the controllers query)
US. Daytona tower, I would like to be an airline pilot.
It had indeed been a long day...
--James W. Sandiford
After a hard landing, the Captain and first Officer were standing in the
door way to apologize for the landing. When this old Lady walked by, she
said to the Captain: "Please tell me young man, did you really land this
airplane, or did we get shot down?"
Two members of the Lothian and Borders traffic police were out on the
Berwickshire moors with a radar gun recently, happily engaged in
apprehending speeding motorists, when their equipment suddenly locked-up
completely with an unexpected reading of well over 300 mph. The mystery was
explained seconds later as a low flying Harrier hurtled over their heads.
The boys in blue, upset at the damage to their radar gun, put in a
complaint to the RAF, but were somewhat chastened when the RAF pointed out
that the damage might well have been more severe. The
Harrier's target-seeker had locked on to the `enemy' radar and triggered an
automatic retaliatory air-to-surface missile attack. Luckily(?), the
Harrier was operating unarmed.
The German controllers at Frankfurt Airport were a short tempered lot, they
not only expected you to know your parking location but how to get there
without any assistance from them, so it was with some amusement that the
following exchange between Frankfurt ground controller and a British
Airways 747 (Speedbird)
Speedbird: "Good morning Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of the active.
Ground: "Guten morgan, taxi to your gate.
The BA 747 pulls onto the main taxiway and stops.
Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?!"
Speedbird: "Standby ground, I'm looking up the gate location now."
Ground (with typical German patience): "Speedbird, have you never been to
Speedbird (coolly): "Yes, 1944, but I didn't stop."
In aviation, relative information about an airport, such as runways,
weather and other special notices, are recorded so that incoming aircraft
can be situationally aware. Since these are recorded every hour, each new
recording is identified with a letter of the alphabet and a word is used
for clarification purposes. For example Alpha is for a, Bravo is for b and
Tower: 257, Do you have Charlie?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, we left him back at the hanger!
Tower: 257, Do you have Echo?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, receiving you loud and clear!
Tower: 257, Do you have Hotel?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, We are staying with friends!
Tower: 257, Do you have Juliet?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, and please don't say anything to my wife!
Tower: 257, Do you have Kilo?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, but I think there a couple roaches in the
Tower: 257, Do you have Mike?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, I have a push-to-talk button and a headset!
Tower: 257, Do you have Oscar?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, but I'm expecting a nomination this year!
Tower: 257, Do you have Popa?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, but I wrote him a letter last week!
Tower: 257, Do you have Romeo?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, Negative! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Tower: 257, Do you have Uniform?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, just jeans and sweatshirt!
Tower: 257, Do you have Victor?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, Who is Victor?
Tower: 257, Do you have Xray?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, my doctor wants a CAT Scan!
Tower: 257, Do you have Whiskey?
257: Tower, 257, Negative, not in last 8 hours, Am I not on assigned
-- Bill Turcotte
A British Airways mechanic passes away... Upon being met at the Pearly
Gates, he is asked by
St. Peter what is his most heartfelt desire. "To NEVER be around any BA
captains!" was his emphatic response. A few weeks later, while relaxing in
the Angel's lounge who should walk in but a British Airways captain in all
his regalia. Furious, the mechanic marches off to find St. Peter to
complain. St. Peter calms the man by saying, "There are no BA captains in
Heaven. That was God... he just likes to pretend that he's one."
On a flight to New York the flight attendant said to a lady sitting in
first class, "Ma'me, I'm afraid you'll have to sit in the back since you
have a coach ticket." The lady responded, "Listen, I'm a beautiful blonde,
I'm going to NY, and I'm sitting in first class." The two argued for a
while but finally the flight attendant went and got the first officer - who
came and said, "Ma'me, I'm afraid you'll have to move into the coach
section since you have a coach ticket". To which she replied, "Listen,
sir, I'm a beautiful blonde, I'm going to NY, and I'm sitting in first
class." After they argued for a while the first officer gave up and went to
get the Captain who said, "I'll handle this. I'm married to a beautiful
blonde." So - the Captain went right up to her, whispered in her ear, after
which she got right up and moved into the coach section. Both the flight
attendant and first officer were shocked and asked the Captain - "I don't
get it sir. What did you say to make her move back to coach." To which the
Captain said, "Oh that was easy, I just told her first class wasn't going
A true story. This happened late one evening and this was obviously the
crew's first time at Raleigh-Durham Airport. The controller had already
given the numbers along with the gate assignment to the crew. The
conversation went as follows.
Crew: Raleigh-Durham this is five-seven-five coming at ya. Confirm gate
Twr: Five-seven-five gate assignment is ten that's one-zero.
Crew: Raleigh-Durham copy ten one-zero
Twr: Affirmative five-seven-five.
Crew: Raleigh-Durham we're on the ground.
Twr: Five-seven-five copy on the ground.
Crew: Uhhh Raleigh-Durham where is our ground crew?
Twr: Ground crew on the ground at gate 10 that's one-zero sir.
Crew: Raleigh-Durham, I thought you had jetways at this airport.
Twr: Affirmative on the jetways five-seven-five.
Crew: Raleigh-Durham WHERE IS THE GROUND CREW????
Twr: Five-seven-five..the ground crew saw you land, but where are you?
Crew: Raleigh-Durham, we are parked by a DC-9, tail number niner-two-five
and there is a UPS
stretch 727 on the other end of the terminal.
Self: Copy that sir. Sir, I strongly suggest you announce a gate change.
You have parked yourself at
the Air Freight terminal.
Crew: Ugh oh! Copy gate change.
Crew announced a gate change and arrived several minutes later.
For those of you who have never filed a military flight plan, they don't
require all the same information as a civilian flight plan, but for this
story the only important block we don't have is the one asking for aircraft
color. We were a flight of 6 Army helicopters on a cross country flight in
California. Along the route the weather changed and we were forced to amend
our flight plan with the Flight Service Station. The lead aircraft was
manned by an instructor and a new pilot (lieutenant, not that it matters).
The instructor decided that it would be good practice for the new pilot to
talk to the FSS and do a change to the flight plan. The lieutenant
contacted the FSS and confidently passed all the information required on a
military flight plan.
Then the following was heard:
FSS: "R12345 good copy. State number on board and color.
R12345: "Roger Ma'am, two people on the first aircraft, one black and one
white, the rest each
have two people, all white."
We are still trying to figure out who was laughing the hardest, those of us
in the flight or the lady at the FSS.
Heard in an Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 cockpit:
How does the Airbus A340 manage to climb?
By the bend of the earth!
Seen in FLIEGERMAGAZIN, Germany:
Controller: Citation 1234, if you stop calling me Center, I'll stop calling
-- Guido Frey
Overheard at Orlando International Airport.
A student pilot had just received clearance for departure from Orlando. The
controller told him to make an immediate right turn after departure for
noise abatement. The student was flying a Cessna 172 and was confused by
the request for noise abatement. So he called the tower:
Airplane: "Orlando tower, Cessna 6 Hotel Victor, please verify how a 172
can be involved in noise
Tower: "Cessna 6 Hotel Victor, because if you don't turn right now, it's
gonna make a heck of a
noise when that 747 on final hits you!"
Landing Rating Scale:
5. Marvelous, ace. Couldn't do better
4. I've seen better; just can't
3. Average. I could do better with my
2. You going to log all of those?
1. That wasn't a landing; that was an
0. Go get the trailer, boys.
-- George Patterson
Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by US Air Force
pilots and the replies from the maintenance crews. "Squawks" are problem
listings that pilots generally leave for maintenance crews.
Problem: Noise behind left panels. Sounds like a little man with
Solution: Took hammer from little man.
Problem: "Left inside main tire almost needs replacement."
Solution: "Almost replaced left inside main tire."
Problem: "Test flight OK, except autoland very rough."
Solution: "Autoland not installed on this aircraft."
Problem: "#2 Propeller seeping prop fluid."
Solution: "#2 Propeller seepage normal."
Problem: "The autopilot doesn't."
Signed off: "IT DOES NOW."
Problem: "Something loose in cockpit."
Solution: "Something tightened in cockpit."
Problem: "Evidence of hydraulic leak on right main landing gear."
Solution: "Evidence removed."
Problem: "Distance Measuring Equipment volume unbelievably loud."
Solution: "Volume set to more believable level."
Problem: "Dead bugs on windshield."
Solution: "Live bugs on order."
Problem: "Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent."
Solution: "Cannot reproduce problem on ground."
Problem: "IFF (Identify Friend of Foe transmitter) inoperative."
Solution: "IFF inoperative in OFF mode."
Problem: "Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick."
Solution: "That's what they're there for."
Problem: "Number three engine missing."
Solution: "Engine found on right wing after brief search."
Another true story which took place in the baggage claim office. A
passenger arriving on an early morning flight from New York for meeting had
checked his briefcase AND as you can imagine, it did not arrive on the
Passenger: (literally pounding his fist on the counter) I want to know who
is in charge here!!!!!
Agent: Looks like you are sir.
Passenger: Young man, that is not funny! I want to speak to someone with a
Agent: I've got about as little as anybody, maybe I can help you!
At this point the passenger stormed out of the office to find a manager.
-- Brenda Moss-Clifton
Three airline pilots arrived at the Golden Gate for their eternal
assignments. The guide greeted them and they got on an elevator. The first
stop was at the top of heaven - a great view, private bath, library, the
works. Turning to the United pilot, he said, "here you are," and left with
the other two. The elevator descended to a lower level, and the Trans
World pilot was assigned to a typical motel room - bath, closet,
comfortable but nothing exceptional. The guide then took the remaining
pilot to the lower levels, where he was assigned to a sparse room - bunk,
table, chair, clothes rack - nothing else. The pilot, an American type,
said "I don't like to complain, at least I'm here, but why do I get such a
plain place when the United bum got such a cozy suite?" "Simple," said the
guide, "we've never had anybody from United here before."
A new mother boarded the aircraft with her little infant. Very proudly
gracing her way to her seat...and settling in.. she uncovers the infant's
head. The passenger seated next to her said, 'Lady, that is the ugliest
baby I've ever seen, IT LOOKS JUST LIKE A MONKEY!' The new mother became
extremely upset and started crying. The flight attendant heard the lady
crying and walked over to console her. " Ma'am may I get something for you?
Coffee, tea, milk, or a banana for your monkey?"
-- Brenda Moss-Clifton
What's the difference between God and pilots?
God doesn't think he's a pilot.
Then there's the pilot who dies and goes to heaven; while waiting to check
in he notices a large twin engine airplane coming in high-and-hot to a
nearby landing strip. The twin pilot blows the landing--collapses the nose
gear and strikes the props; he gets out of the plane and walks away.
Fifteen minutes later, same scene: another twin, another blown
landing--same guy gets out of the wrecked plane. The fellow waiting to
check in to heaven is amazed, he turns to St. Peter and says "What's the
story with the twin pilot over there?" "Oh, that's just God" says St.
Peter, "he thinks he's a surgeon."
A student was having difficulty with his landings. Seems like he would
bounce it in every time. However, on the first night lesson, the student
greased in all of his landings. Puzzled, the instructor asked, "How are you
doing that? You have so much trouble during the day?" The student replied,
"It's easy, I continue the approach until you stiffen up, then I just pull
One day at a busy airport, the passengers on a commercial airliner are
seated, waiting for the cockpit crew to show up so they can get underway.
The pilot and the co-pilot finally appear and begin walking up the center
aisle to the cockpit.
Both appear to be blind. The pilot is using a white cane, bumping
into passengers left and right as he stumbles down the aisle, and the
co-pilot is using a guide dog. Both have their eyes covered with huge sun
glasses. At first, the passengers do not react, think that it must be some
sort of joke. However, after a few minutes the engines start revving up and
the airplane starts moving down the runway.
The passengers look at each other with some uneasiness, whispering
among themselves and looking desperately to the stewardesses for
reassurance. Then the airplane starts accelerating rapidly and people begin
to panic. Some passengers are praying, and as the plane gets closer and
closer to the end of the runway, the voices are becoming more and more
hysterical. Finally, when the airplane has less than 20 feet of runway
left, there is a sudden change in the pitch of the shouts as everyone
screams at once, and at the very last moment the airplane lifts off and is
Up in the cockpit, the co-pilot breathes a sigh of relief and turns
to the captain: " You know, one of these days the passengers aren't going
to scream and we're gonna get killed!"
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