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Radio
Pilot-Tower


Here are some conversations that airline passengers normally will never hear.
Some of this 54 following are accounts of actual exchanges between airline pilots and control towers from around the world.

We expressly point out that we assume no responsibility for certain expressions and some of this are jokes.




Bored

From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm fucking bored!" Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!" Unknown aircraft: "I said I was fucking bored, not fucking stupid!"




Exit

A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long rollout 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 Guadelupe exit of Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."




Press

"Tower, this is Delta 288." "Thank you for calling air traffic control. Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line and we will get to you as soon as we can. If you are calling about a landing clearance, please press 1. If you are short on fuel and require immediate assistance, please press 2. For all other inquiries, please stay on the line."




Left of the centerline

Tower to pilot after landing: "Just to let you know, on the approach you were a little bit left of the centerline." Pilot: "That is correct, Sir. And my first officer was slightly to the right."




Identify yourself

Unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm f...ing bored!" Tower: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!" Pilot: "I said I was f...ing bored, not f...ing stupid!"




Our Father

"Pilot to tower, pilot to tower. I am 300 miles from land. 600 feet over water and running out of fuel, please instruct!" "Tower to pilot, tower to pilot, repeat after me: Our Father, which art in heaven."




Affirmative

Pilot: "Tower, request permission to enter your control zone." Tower: "Negative." Pilot: "Tower, did you say negative?" Tower: "Affirmative." Pilot: "Understood affirmative. Will call when leaving zone."




Always wanted to say

Chicago O'Hare Approach Tower to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, eastbound." United 239: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this. I've got the little Fokker in sight."




Noise reduction

Tower: "Flight 1234, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees." Pilot: "But 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 737?"




Where is the fuel truck

Pilot: "Tower Cessna N2349 student pilot out of fuel!" Tower: "Roger Cessna N2349, reduce airspeed to best glide! Do you have the airfield in sight?" Pilot: "Uh tower, I am on the south ramp. I just want to know where the fuel truck is."




Turbulence

Tower: "Cessna N1234, be advised wake turbulence 737. Pilot Cessna: "San Jose tower be advised the Cessna is ahead of the 737." Tower: "United 1201, be advised wake turbulence Cessna 172." Pilot United: "Uh, roger", (giggling and laughter in the background).




Landing strip

Tower: "You fly on for the 26 on approach, landing number 2 behind one DC-9 in the short." Pilot: "Understood, I fly for the 29, follows the DC-6". Tower: "Not quite right. The landing strip was 26 and your traffic is a DC-9." Pilot: "Okay, I follow the DC-26. What was the landing strip again?"




Collision report form

A beautiful summer day with good thermals, near Billund airport, Denmark: Billund Tower: "Gliders 82 and D5, state position and altitude?" Pilot 82: "Overhead Coal Lake, 6400 feet." Pilot D5: "Same position, same altitude." Tower with a cool, dry voice: "So should I go get my collision report form?"




Call by the right name

Tower: "USA353 (sic) contact Cleveland Center 135.60." - pause - Tower: "USA353 contact Cleveland Center 135.60!" - pause - Tower: "USA353 you're just like my wife you never listen!" - Pilot: "Cleveland Center, this is USA553, maybe if you called her by the right name you'd get a better response!"




Climb to

Tower: "Hotel Papa Oscar climb four thousand to six thousand and maintain." Pilot: "Hotel Papa Oscar, climbing to flight level 100." Tower: "Hotel Papa Oscar, climb to flight level 60 and maintain." Pilot: "But four plus six equals ten?" Tower: "Hotel Papa Oscar increase to six thousand, no math required."




Hang glider

Pilot: "Bangor departure, this is Cessna Four Seven Six Bravo." Tower: "Cessna Four Seven Six Bravo, Bangor go ahead." Pilot: "Bangor, I don't seem to be making much progress here. How is my ground speed?" Tower: "Cessna Four Seven Six Bravo, it all depends. If you're a hang glider, you're doing pretty well."




Why must I speak English

A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the following: Lufthansa (in German): "Tower, what is our start clearance time?" Tower (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!"




Holding clearance

On a Ted flight in approach to Tampa. Tower: "Advise when ready to copy holding instructions." Pilot: "Uh negative we are not holding we want our approach clearance." Tower: "Sorry but we are backed up with traffic you'll have to hold." Pilot: "Fine then we are declearing minimal fuel." Tower: "Ok understand you are declaring an emergency?" Pilot: "No, we are declaring minimal fuel, it means we dont have time to deal with your bullshit holding clearance."




Switching to departure

Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact departure on frequency 1247" 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 1247. 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."




Twice

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."




Military control tower

On some air bases the Air Force is on one side of the field and civilian aircraft use the other side of the field, with the control tower in the middle. One day the tower received a call from an aircraft asking, "What time is it?" The tower responded, "Who is calling?" The aircraft replied, "What difference does it make?" The tower replied, "It makes a lot of difference. If it is an American Airlines flight, it is 3 o’clock. If it is an Air Force plane, it is 1500 hours. If it is a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells. If it is an Army aircraft, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3. If it is a Marine Corps aircraft, it’s Thursday afternoon."




Need another pencil

Tower: "GAF 269 you are cleared to destination Indian Springs via after take off radar vectors to 4000 feet thereafter present position direct BOM do not pass BOM at 6000 feet or below after passing 15'000 feet turn right on heading 280 to intercept J156 direct ZZT thereafter intercept J158 own navigation, read back." Pilot: "Roger, GAF 269 is cleared to Destination Indian Springs via after take off radar vectors to 4000 feet thereafter present position direct BOM do not pass BOM at 6000 feet or below after passing 15’000 feet turn right on heading 280 to intercept J156 direct ZZT thereafter intercept J158 own navigation and ... annnndd I need another pencil!"




While taxiing

While taxiing at London Gatwick, 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, asking: "Wasn't I married to you once?"




Again

Tower: "Can not read you, say again!" Pilot: "Again!"




Fuel

Tower: "Give me your fuel." Pilot: "Sorry, need it myself."




Follow Me

Pilot: "Tower, pleas send me a follow me." Tower: "OK, follow me."




Fuel Truck

Pilot: "Tower, please call me a fuel truck." Tower: "Roger. You are a fuel truck."




Sir

Pilot: "Good morning, Sir." Tower: "Don"t call me "Sir", I have to work for my money."




Familiar

Tower: "Are you familiar with Nordholz (=Naval Airstation)?" Pilot: "No, my family lives in Kiel."




Clock

Tower: "You have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!" Pilot: "Give us another hint, we have digital watches!"




Confirm

Tower: "Delta Romeo Zulu, confirm you are inbound to Sulz NDB?" Pilot: "Affirm, but we don"t receive it."




Marshall

Tower: "Delta Fox Alpha, hold position, Marshall will park you." Pilot: "Roger. Looking out for John Wayne."




Report Heading

Tower: "Delta Zulu Romeo, turn right now and report your heading." Pilot: "Wilco. 341, 342, 343, 344, 345..."




Yes Sir

Pilot: "Does the enemy F-16 come from east or west?" Tower: "Yes." Pilot: "Yes, what?" Tower: "Yes, SIR!"




Timecheck

Pilot: "Tower, give me a rough timecheck." Tower: "It´s tuesday." Pilot: "What?" Tower: "Tuesday afternoon."




Check Car

Tower: "Lufthansa 893, number one, check car on the runway." Pilot: "Roger we'll check the car on the runway."




Aircraft Declaring Emergency

Tower: "Hawk 20, is this the same aircraft declaring emergency about two hours ago ?" Pilot: "Negativ, Sir. It"s only the same pilot."




Fuelstate

Tower: "Say fuelstate." Pilot: "Fuelstate." Tower: "Say again." Pilot: "Again." Tower: "Argh! Give me your fuel!" Pilot: "Sorry, need it by myself."




Workers

Tower: "Lufthansa 893, number one, check for workers on the taxiway." Pilot: "Roger, we've checked the workers, they are all working."




Position and High

Tower: "D-EXXX for Tower. What is your position and whats your high?" Pilot: "Tower for D-EXXX. I"m six foot 4 inch an I sit in the front, right seat."




Flight Declaration

Tower: "Delta Oscar Mike, Squawk 0476." Pilot : "Say again." Tower: "Squawk 0476." Pilot : "Four, zero...? " Tower: "Would you like an easier one?"




Problems

Tower: "Flight 123, do you have problems?" Pilot: "I think, I have lost my compass." Tower: "Judging the way you are flying, you lost the whole instrument panel!"




Springbock

Tower: "Flamingo 019, do you have a "Springbock" in sight, twelve o"clock five miles crossing from left to right ?" Pilot: "If you mean a 737...?" Tower: "Yeah, you got it, you got it !"




Gear Problems

A aircraft had gear problems on landing, and as the plane was skidding down the tarmac the tower controller asked if they needed assistance. From the plane came a laconic southern voice: "Dunno - we ain't done crashin' yet."




Good Morning

Pilot: "Good morning, Frankfurt ground, KLM 242 request start up and push back, please." Tower: "KLM 242 expect start up in two hours." Pilot: "Please confirm: Two hours delay?" Tower: "Affirmative." Pilot: "In that case, cancel the good morning!"




Climb

Tower: "Hotel Papa Oscar climb four thousand to six thousand and maintain." Pilot: "Hotel Papa Oscar, climbing flight level 100." Tower: "Hotel Papa Oscar, climb to flight level 60 and maintain." Pilot: "But 4 plus 6 is the result 10?" Tower: "You have to go up and not to calculate."




Long Roll-Out

A DC-10 had come in a little fast 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."




Airport Name

America Pilot: "This is Delta-Bravo-one-ou-one. Requesting landing permission for Oberpfa......, sorry, Overpupp.......click." Tower: "....." Pilot: "This is Delta-Bravo-one-ou-one, requesting landing permission for Over.......Oberpuff"n hopp.... Overplaffing.....click." Tower: "....." Pilot: "This is Delta-Bravo-one-ou-one! Last try to get landing permission for Oubrpfafen-o.....FUCK IT, I fly to Firstie!"




Guess Who I Am

It"s a tuesday, 2:00 in the morning. Tower: "Unknown flight approaching from south-east, please identify." Pilot: "Guess who I am?" Tower: "I repeat, unknown flight approaching from south-east, please identify." Pilot: "Guess who I am?" Tower: "Last chance, unknown fligth approaching from south-east, identify!" Pilot: "Guess who I am?" The air traffic controller switched off the landing lights. Tower: "Guess where I am?"




Cleared for Take-Off

Tower: "Alitalia 194 - taxi to rwy 28, hold short." Pilot "Alitalia "Ahhh, yes, taxi to rwy 28." Tower: "AZ194, cleared for take-off." Pilot "Alitalia "Ahhh, two minutes, need preflight (checks) 30 Sekunden." Tower: "Alitalia 194, you are cleared for take off now." Pilot "Alitalia "Ehmmm, yes, yes, take off in two minutes." Tower: "Alitalia 194, expedite take-off, we have Delta 767 final on 28 2 miles." Pilot "Alitalia "Ahhh, we need 30 more seconds." Pilot Delta "Hey Spaghetti, take-off or I"ll fuck you from behind.




Holding

Pilot: "Frankfurt Control, this is Lufthansa 747 inbound." Tower: "LH 747, maintain altitude, proceed to holding position sierra." Pilot: "Wilco, 747." Pilot: "Frankfurt Control, LH 747, entering holding sierra." Tower: "Descend to 2500, maintain holding pattern." Pilot: "Wilco, 747." Pilot: "Frankfurt Control, LH 747, this is our fourth turn around." Tower: "LH 747, sorry, heavy traffic today." Pilot: "Roger... äh - can you tell me, is Mr Schmidke working?" Tower: "No, he has the afternoon shift, would you like to wait for him?"




Airport Vienna

Pilot: "Bratislava Tower, this is Oscar, Oscar, Kilo established ILS 16." Tower: "Oscar, Oscar, Kilo, good morning, cleared to land 16, wind calm - and by the way, this is Vienna Tower." Pilot: "Bratsilava Tower, Oscar Oscar Kilo passed the outer marker." Tower: "Oscar, Oscar, Kilo, roger, and once more, you are approaching Vienna!" Pilot: "Confirm, this is NOT Bratislava?" Tower: "You can believe me, this is Vienna!" Pilot: "But why? We want to go to Bratislava, not to Vienna!" Tower: "Oscar Oscar Kilo, roger. Discontinue approach, turn left 030 and climb to 5000 feet, vectors to Bratislava."




Cleared to Destination

Washington D.C., Clearance Delivery: "German Air Force 269, you are cleared to destination Indian Springs via after take off radar vectors to 4000 feet thereafter present position direct BOM do not pass BOM at 6000 feet or below after passing 15'000 feet turn right on heading 280 to intercept J156 direct ZZT thereafter intercept J158 own navigation read back." GAF 269: "Roger, German Air Force 269 is cleared to destination Indian Springs via after take off radar vectors to 4000 feet thereafter present position direct BOM do not pass BOM at 6000 feet or below after passing 15'000 feet turn right on heading 280 to intercept J156 direct ZZT thereafter intercept J158 own navigation and I need another pencil."




Holding

Pilot: "Frankfurt Control, this is Lufthansa 747 inbound." Tower: "LH 747, maintain altitude, proceed to holding position sierra." Pilot: "Wilco, 747." Pilot: "Frankfurt Control, LH 747, entering holding sierra." Tower: "Descend to 2500, maintain holding pattern." Pilot: "Wilco, 747." Pilot: "Frankfurt Control, LH 747, this is our fourth turn around." Tower: "LH 747, sorry, heavy traffic today." Pilot: "Roger... äh - can you tell me, is Mr Schmidke working?" Tower: "No, he has the afternoon shift, would you like to wait for him?"




Airport Vienna

Pilot: "Bratislava Tower, this is Oscar, Oscar, Kilo established ILS 16." Tower: "Oscar, Oscar, Kilo, good morning, cleared to land 16, wind calm - and by the way, this is Vienna Tower." Pilot: "Bratsilava Tower, Oscar Oscar Kilo passed the outer marker." Tower: "Oscar, Oscar, Kilo, roger, and once more, you are approaching Vienna!" Pilot: "Confirm, this is NOT Bratislava?" Tower: "You can believe me, this is Vienna!" Pilot: "But why? We want to go to Bratislava, not to Vienna!" Tower: "Oscar Oscar Kilo, roger. Discontinue approach, turn left 030 and climb to 5000 feet, vectors to Bratislava."




Cleared to Destination

Washington D.C., Clearance Delivery: "German Air Force 269, you are cleared to destination Indian Springs via after take off radar vectors to 4000 feet thereafter present position direct BOM do not pass BOM at 6000 feet or below after passing 15'000 feet turn right on heading 280 to intercept J156 direct ZZT thereafter intercept J158 own navigation read back." GAF 269: "Roger, German Air Force 269 is cleared to destination Indian Springs via after take off radar vectors to 4000 feet thereafter present position direct BOM do not pass BOM at 6000 feet or below after passing 15'000 feet turn right on heading 280 to intercept J156 direct ZZT thereafter intercept J158 own navigation and I need another pencil."




First day as a pilot

Tower: "Can you give me your position?" Pilot: "I'm next to a cloud that looks like a lion." Tower: "Can you be more specific?" Pilot: "Looks like Simba!"


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