Rookie Pilot's Lounge

pilot's lounge

Aviation jokes, quotes, photos, and staggering tales of not-so-supreme pilotage!
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Air Traffic Control Jokes

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!"



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."



A military 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.



One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee.
Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said, "What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?"
The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: "I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one."



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



O'Hare Approach Control 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."



There's a story about the military pilot calling for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running "a bit peaked." Air Traffic Control told the fighter jock that he was number two, behind an eight-engined B-52 that had one engine shut down.
"Ah," the fighter pilot remarked, "the dreaded seven-engine approach."



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."



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



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



A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich over heard 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."




The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as 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."



Cessna 152: "Flight Level Three Thousand, Seven Hundred"
Controller: "Roger, contact Houston Space Center"



Pilot: "Approach, Acme Flt 202, with you at 12,000' and 40 DME."
Approach: "Acme 202, cross 30 DME at and maintain 8000'."
Pilot: "Approach, 202's unable to make that descent rate."
Approach: "What's the matter 202? Don't you have speed brakes?"
Pilot: "Yup. But they're for my mistakes. Not yours."



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



ATC: "N123YZ, say altitude."
N123YZ: "ALTITUDE!"
ATC: "N123YZ, say airspeed."
N123YZ: "AIRSPEED!"
ATC: "N123YZ, say cancel IFR."
N123YZ: "Eight thousand feet, one hundred fifty knots indicated."



Pilot: "Oakland Ground, Cessna 1234 at Sierra Academy. Taxi, Destination Stockton."
Ground: "Cessna 1234, Taxi Approved, report leaving the airport."



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



Tower: "Aircraft on final, go around, there's an aircraft on the runway!"
Pilot Trainee: "Roger" (pilot continues approach)
Tower: "Aircraft, I said GO AROUND!!!"!
Pilot Trainee: "Roger"
The trainee doesn't react, lands the aircraft on the numbers, rolls to a twin standing in the middle of the runway, goes around the twin and continues to the taxiway.



While taxiing at London's 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 ATC 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 raging 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 around 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?"



Infamous Aviation Quotes

Flying a plane is no different from riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.
- Captain Rex Kramer, in the movie 'Airplane.'



The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee.
- Gunter's Second Law of Air Travel



There is an art . . . to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
- Douglas Adams, 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.'

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- ad found in 'Pacific Flyer' magazine, shortly after the F-20 program was cancelled.
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Landing on the ship during the daytime is like sex, it's either good or it's great. Landing on the ship at night is like a trip to the dentist, you may get away with no pain, but you just don't feel comfortable.
- LCDR Thomas Quinn, USN.



The bulk of mankind is as well equipped for flying as thinking.
- Jonathon Swift



The three worst things to hear in the cockpit:
The second officer says, "Oh shit!"
The first officer says, "I have an idea!"
The captain say, "Hey, watch this!"
- anon.



Instrument flying is an unnatural act probably punishable by God.
- Gordon Baxter



Nothing said I had to crash.
- R.A. Bob Hoover, after hitting a telephone wire and losing two feet of wing in his P-51.



In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
- Kurt Wien



I know, but this guy doing the flying has no airline experience at all. He's a menace to himself and everything else in the air. ... Yes, birds too.
- Air Traffic Controller in the 1980 movie 'Airplane.'



Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.
- George Bernard Shaw



The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.
- Mark Russell



When asked why he was referred to as 'Ace':
Because during World War Two I was responsible for the destruction of six aircraft, fortunately three were enemy.
- Captain Ray Lancaster, USAAF.




The light at the end of the tunnel is another airplanes landing light coming down head-on to the runway you are taking off from.
- Robert Livingston, 'Flying The Aeronca.'



If helicopters are so safe, how come there are no vintage/classic helicopter fly-ins?
- anon



Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that?
- Captain Picard, from 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' episode 'Booby Trap.'



I don't like flying because I'm afraid of crashing into a large mountain. I don't think Dramamine is going to help.
- Kaffie, in the 1992 movie 'A Few Good Men.'



You know the part in 'High Flight where it talks about putting out your hand to touch the face of God? Well, when we're at speed and altitude in the SR, we have to slow down and descend in order to do that.
- USAF Lt. Col. Gil Bertelson, SR-71 pilot, in 'SR-71 Blackbird: Stories, Tales and Legends,' 2002.



I never liked riding in helicopters because there's a fair probability that the bottom part will get going around as fast as the top part.
- Lt. Col. John Wittenborn, USAFR.



Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into jet air intakes.
- anon.



I used to dream about being an astronaut. I just never had the grades. Or the physical endurance. Plus I threw up a lot and nobody liked spending a week with me.
- Philip J. Fry, 'Futurama' TV show 'The Series Has Landed.'



Muhammad Ali: Superman don't need no seat belt.
Flight Attendant: Superman don't need no airplane, either.
- quoted by Clifton Fadiman, 'The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes,' 1985.



If God had meant man to fly, He would never have given us the steam railway locomotive.
- A Great Aviation Quotes reader's late great aunt.



If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets.
- Mel Brooks



If God had really intended men to fly, He'd make it easier to get to the airport.
- George Winters



Hey, everybody - watch this!
- every redneck cropduster's last words



In the space age, man will be able to go around the world in two hours - one hour for flying and one hour to get to the airport.
- Neil McElroy, 'Look,' 1958.



Now I know what a dog feels like watching TV.
- A DC-9 captain trainee attempting to check out on the 'glass cockpit' A-320.



And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the very first Fokker airplane built in the world. The Dutch call it the mother Fokker.
- Custodian at the Aviodome aviation museum, Schiphol airport Amsterdam.



I wanted to go back for another 50 missions, but they ruled it out because I had a case of malaria that kept recurring. So I had to stay in the States and teach combat flying. I was shot down by a mosquito!
- Frank Hurlbut, P-38 pilot.



If black boxes survive air crashes - why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?
- George Carlin



When asked by someone how much money flying takes: Why, all of it!
- Gordon Baxter



For years politicians have promised the Moon. I'm the first one to be able to deliver it.
- Richard Nixon, 1969.



What is that mountain goat doing way up here in the clouds?
- Gary Larson, in a well-known 'Farside' cartoon.



Death is just nature's way of telling you to watch your airspeed.
- anon.



Buttons . . . check. Dials . . . check. Switches . . . check. Little colored lights . . . check.
- The Bill Waterson comic character Calvin, of 'Cavin and Hobbes.' fame.



Aviation Stories & Other Fun Stuff

High Flight, with FAA Supplement:

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth(1),
  And danced(2) the skies on laughter silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed(3) and joined the tumbling mirth(4)
  Of sun-split clouds(5) and done a hundred things(6)
You have not dreamed of - Wheeled and soared and swung(7)
  High in the sunlit silence(8). Hov'ring there(9)
I've chased the shouting wind(10) along and flung(11)
  My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious(12), burning blue
  I've topped the wind-swept heights(13) with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle(14) flew;
  And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space(15),
  Put out my hand(16), and touched the face of God.

NOTES:
1. Pilots must insure that all surly bonds have been slipped entirely before aircraft taxi or flight is attempted.
2. During periods of severe sky dancing, crew and passengers must keep seatbelts fastened. Crew should wear shoulderbelts as provided.
3. Sunward climbs must not exceed the maximum permitted aircraft ceiling.
4. Passenger aircraft are prohibited from joining the tumbling mirth.
5. Pilots flying through sun-split clouds under VFR conditions must comply with all applicable minimum clearances.
6. Do not perform these hundred things in front of Federal Aviation Administration inspectors.
7. Wheeling, soaring, and swinging will not be attempted except in aircraft rated for such activities and within utility class weight limits.
8. Be advised that sunlit silence will occur only when a major engine malfunction has occurred.
9. "Hov'ring there" will constitute a highly reliable signal that a flight emergency is imminent.
10. Forecasts of shouting winds are available from the local FSS. Encounters with unexpected shouting winds should be reported by pilots.
11. Pilots flinging eager craft through footless halls of air are reminded that they alone are responsible for maintaining separation from other eager craft.
12. Should any crewmember or passenger experience delirium while in the burning blue, submit an irregularity report upon flight termination.
13. Windswept heights will be topped by a minimum of 1,000 feet to maintain VFR minimum separations.
14. Aircraft engine ingestion of, or impact with, larks or eagles should be reported to the FAA and the appropriate aircraft maintenance facility.
15. Aircraft operating in the high untresspassed sanctity of space must remain in IFR flight regardless of meteorological conditions and visibility.
16. Pilots and passengers are reminded that opening doors or windows in order to touch the face of God may result in loss of cabin pressure.




BAREBONES AVIATION DICTIONARY

Airspeed: Speed of an airplane. Deduct 25% when listening to a Navy pilot.
Bank: The folks who hold the lien on most pilots' cars.
Cone of Confusion: An area about the size of New Jersey, located near the final approach beacon at an airport.
Crab: The squadron Ops Officer.
Dead Reckoning: You reckon correctly, or you are.
Engine Failure: A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.
Firewall: Section of the aircraft specially designed to let heat and smoke enter the cockpit.
Glide Distance: Half the distance from the airplane to the nearest emergency landing field.
Hydroplane: An airplane designed to land on a 20,000 foot long wet runway.
IFR: A method of flying by needle and ripcord.
Lean Mixture: Nonalcoholic beer.
Nanosecond: Time delay built into the stall warning system.
Parasitic Drag: A pilot who bums a ride and complains about the service.
Range: Usually about 30 miles beyond the point where all fuel tanks fill with air.
Rich Mixture: What you order at the other guy's promotion party.
Roger: Used when you're not sure what else to say.
Service Ceiling: Altitude at which cabin crews can serve drinks.
Spoilers: The Federal Aviation Administration.
Stall: - Technique used to explain to the bank why you car payment is late.



In his book, Sled Driver, SR-71 Blackbird pilot Brian Shul writes:

"I'll always remember a certain radio exchange that occurred one day as Walt (my back-seater) and I were screaming across Southern California 13 miles high. We were monitoring various radio transmissions from other aircraft as we entered Los Angeles airspace. Although they didn't really control us, they did monitor our movement across their scope. I heard a Cessna ask for a readout of its ground speed."90 knots" Center replied. Moments later, a Twin Beech required the same. "120 knots," Center answered. We weren't the only ones proud of our ground speed that day as almost instantly an F-18 smugly transmitted, "Ah, Center, Dusty 52 requests ground speed readout." There was a slight pause, then the response, "525 knots on the ground, Dusty." Another silent pause.

As I was thinking to myself how ripe a situation this was, I heard a familiar click of a radio transmission coming from my back-seater. It was at that precise moment I realized Walt and I had become a real crew, for we were both thinking in unison. "Center, Aspen 20, you got a ground speed readout for us?" There was a longer than normal pause....

"Aspen, I show 1,742 knots." (That's about 2005 mph)

No further inquiries were heard on that frequency.



In another famous SR-71 story, Los Angeles Center reported receiving a request for clearance to FL 600 (60,000ft). The incredulous controller, with some disdain in his voice, asked, "How do you plan to get up to 60,000 feet? The pilot (obviously a sled driver), "We don't plan to go up to it; we plan to go down to it." He was cleared.



A pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver. He placed it on top of the instrument panel, and then asked the navigator, "Do you know what I use this for?" The navigator replied timidly, "No, what's it for?"

The pilot responded, "I use this on navigators who get me lost!"

The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and place it on his chart table. The pilot asked, "What's that for?"

"To be honest sir," the navigator replied, "I'll know we're lost before you will."