Control Tower to Pilot

Received in an email, author unknown.

As you've probably already guessed, I get a big kick out of airline/air traffic control stories, and love to receive them in emails (hint, hint). Here are a number of alleged communications between control towers and pilots that I'm sure you'll enjoy, too.

Tower: "TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees."
TWA 2341: "Center, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?"
Tower: "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"

Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!"
Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches!"

A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked: "What was your last known position?"
Student: "When I was number one for takeoff."

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 Guadeloupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."

A Pan Am 727 flight, waiting for start clearance in Munich, overheard the following:
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!"

Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7"
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."

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 it was dark—and I didn't land."



Watchman said...

Cute quips! I'm still waiting to hear the funny story about the plane flying 150 miles off course. I'm sure that'll be a funny one.

Watchman said...

We had a problem with a landing at our airport where the crew reported that their landing gear light was on. They flew by the tower to get a visual to ensure that the front gear was in fact down. The chatter probably went something like this,
Yes, flight 666, it appears your gear is down but we cannot determine if it is locked. We'll let you know for sure when you've reached your gate.

Melanie said...

Caterers! haha I've had airplane food. Thanks for the smiles today.

Triple Nickel said...

This was great! I laughed and laughed. Watchman-you were on a flight numbered 666???? You are a brave soul!

Dave Beck said...

Funny but a little unnerving since I'm planning a vacation with a long plane flight! Hopefully the pilots don't use digital watches or use code phrases like "there may be noise abatement"! Thanks for the laughs.

Slamdunk said...

Ha, I'll keep an eye out for any other funny airline things that I see.

I can envision the German pilot parking his plane and wanting a boxing match with the tower operator after that exchange.

Cindy (C.L.) Beck said...

Watchman, Mel and Triple Nickel: Thanks for the comments. Loved Watchman's comment about flight 666. :)

Cindy (C.L.) Beck said...

Dave: Ooo, so sorry I posted this before you're going on a flight. My bad! (I'm not a fan of flying either. It tires my arms out so.)

Cindy (C.L.) Beck said...

SlamDunk: Ooo, please do send me any that you find.

And thanks to EVERYONE for commenting. :)

Karlene said...

Funny! :)

C. K. Bryant said...

ROFL! I love these. SO FUNNY! And scary, actually.

I'm quoting this post tomorrow on my blog for Tagalong Tuesday. Come take a look when you get a chance.

L.T. Elliot said...

Ha ha ha! Thanks for the great laughs!

Once in a while said...

Noted your liking for control tower quips and read them sitting in the study. My wife called from the bathroom ' What are you laughing about'. She joined me as I continued reading. We both agree, extremely funny. Definitely recommended reading Kind regards Patrick

Once in a while said...

Best flight we experienced was leaving Nairobi for Mombassa. Sitting in the lounge looking at the plane we were due to depart on when the tannoy announced our flight was delayed for a technical fault. Naturally you look at your plane - we watched an engineer carrying step ladders walk to the plane, and then produced some masking tape from his pocket which he proceeded to stick over a small circular cover and then returned whence he came! So much for maintenance.