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Thread: Dumbest thing you have blurted out to App Control or Tower ?

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Dumbest thing you have blurted out to App Control or Tower ?

    The other day I had a guy doing a BFR in a well known local plane and he kept calling out the tail numbers of every plane he had ever flown and had to be corrected by flight service. Embarrassing....

    Then I started to think about the dumbest or weirdest call I had ever radioed....

    It had to be the time I reported I was under missile attack...in a Cessna 172

    I was on a ferry job from up here to Arizona. I was really tired and cruising north, north-west of Spokane's C airspace en-route to Cour-D-Alene Idaho. The sun was setting and I was at about 9,000 ft.
    Suddenly I thought I saw a missile whip past the starboard side window leaving a smoke trail.
    I had been on the Radio with Spokane Approach, so I mashed down the radio button and yelled that I was taking missile fire (not too long after 9-11) and that was taking evasive action.
    Apparently I never let go of the radio button as I killed the power to reduce my heat signature and rolled over into a dive. Then I saw a second object heading up towards me streaming a smoke trail.
    I aimed straight for it as it climbed my way and then I half barrel rolled off to one side as it passed me. I was later told that I was describing my maneuvers over the radio,,, which made the folks in App Control freak out.

    I recovered from VNE speed down low and was zipping along through Spokane Class C airspace when the guy at App Control asked me to explain again what I saw.

    After a minute or two he asked about the area I was over and finally said that there was a very large model rocket club in that area and they were supposed to call in for a TFR because they shot large model rockets that could go past 10,000ft. It later turned out that they decided to shoot a couple while I was directly over-head,,, probably so they could scare the crap out of me.

    A few days later I had to transit back through that airspace and the folks at Spokane App Control asked if I was missile evasion dude? Rather embarrassing...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  2. #2

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    Control towers are exhausting and there is one guy at the merril tower that is a real piece of work, he said some things that made me come close to reporting hime for gross unprofessionalism. There was one guy that he almost kicked out of his pattern which made sense but he got short with some others that had only minor errors in their lingo and it wasent dangerous or unprofessional but his reponses sure were. Unnessicarily agitating the pilot is a saftey issue, im glad that I dont have to fly out of merril again that place is a zoo.

    I do have to say it was good experience and I am glad I had it but I could have done without that one controler.

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    Member IndyCzar's Avatar
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    Hey Float,
    did you get tone?...nothing like a split s for evasive manuvers and a hard break to get the adrenaline going...great story...glad it was not a heat seeker...LOL...how high were you when you saw it...

  4. #4

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    Float, I'm sure people have said dumber things to tower, but not funnier. I'd like to think they've saved that tape and pull it out at the office X-Mas party. If it's been erased it's a **** tragedy.

  5. #5

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    Float Pilot.... Reading that was one of those times when I actually laughed out loud!

  6. #6

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    FP, after reading yours it is hard to imagine coming up with anything worth mentioning. Had to dry my eyes and hold my sides.
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    The folks in Spokane Approach certainly got a good laugh out of it..... After we figured out what it was... they sounded just as shook up as me for the first minute or two.

    I am super glad that it was not my call letters.....

    Indy Czar: I was at 9,000 ft.

    I later managed to get one of the club members on e-mail and she said that the part that flew past me was probably the last stage and was maybe about the size of a large wrapping paper cardboard tube,, & 3 to 4 feet long. I thought it was further away and larger of course...Some of their rockets go past 14,000ft...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Quote Originally Posted by rppearso View Post
    Control towers are exhausting and there is one guy at the merril tower that is a real piece of work, he said some things that made me come close to reporting hime for gross unprofessionalism. There was one guy that he almost kicked out of his pattern which made sense but he got short with some others that had only minor errors in their lingo and it wasent dangerous or unprofessional but his reponses sure were. Unnessicarily agitating the pilot is a saftey issue, im glad that I dont have to fly out of merril again that place is a zoo.

    I do have to say it was good experience and I am glad I had it but I could have done without that one controler.
    Radio use and phraseology: sounds like another "standard" that you don't agree with . . . . .

  9. #9

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    More like dealing with controlers that sound like they hate their job and hate the world. Anyone that has flown out of merril for any length of time knows who im talking about.

  10. #10
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    And yet another seemingly lighthearted thread gets hijacked and turned into a trip to the mental health clinic.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    And yet another seemingly lighthearted thread gets hijacked and turned into a trip to the mental health clinic.
    Sorry . . . !!!

  12. #12

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    Got this from a AVweb e-mail-

    SHORT FINAL
    En route over central Florida, we heard the following exchange between Jacksonville Center or Approach (can't remember which) and a Cessna approaching its destination:
    Jax Center:
    "1234AB, do you have information 'Hotel'?"
    1234AB:
    "Uh, nah, sir, we don't need it. Thanks, but we're stayin' with some friends down in New Smyrna."
    Jax Center:
    "1234AB, negative. Advise if you have ATIS information 'Hotel,' please."
    1234AB (after a pause) :
    "Uh, Jax Center, like I say, we don't need any hotel information. We've already got a place to stay down in New Smyrna."
    Jax Center:
    "4AB, I'm not giving you hotel information. I need you to advise that you have ATIS information 'Hotel' at [landing airport]."
    [Several moments of silence.]
    Jax Center:
    "Cessna 1234AB, Jacksonville Center."
    1234AB:
    "4AB. Go ahead."
    Jax Center:
    "Did you copy the request for ATIS information 'Hotel'?"
    1234AB:
    "No, sir, I did not -- 'cause I don't need it. Like I already told you, we got a place to stay already down in New Smyrna!"
    Jax Center:
    "1234AB, go to 123.45, listen to the recording you will hear, and return to this frequency to advise you've heard what is on that frequency."
    1234AB:
    "4AB: 123.45 -- roger. So long, sir."
    A frequeny change of our own prevented us from learning if 4AB ever did receive Hotel, but we trust their stay in New Smyrna was a pleasant one.

    A. Tipps
    via e-mail

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Sorry . . . !!!
    I was not referring to you brother, I had the Bedlam escapee in mind.

    Jim....... That is a good one.....!!!
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Quote Originally Posted by rppearso View Post
    More like dealing with controlers that sound like they hate their job and hate the world. Anyone that has flown out of merril for any length of time knows who im talking about.
    I'm with you. After flying out of Merrill for more than thirty years, I have noticed that some controllers seem to lose their patience after prolonged dealings with pilots who don't seem to understand . . . . .

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    Ahh, the OGRE. That is what we call him. As a student last year, I would not fly at Merrill if he was working. Pretty sad, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by rppearso View Post
    Control towers are exhausting and there is one guy at the merril tower that is a real piece of work, he said some things that made me come close to reporting hime for gross unprofessionalism. There was one guy that he almost kicked out of his pattern which made sense but he got short with some others that had only minor errors in their lingo and it wasent dangerous or unprofessional but his reponses sure were. Unnessicarily agitating the pilot is a saftey issue, im glad that I dont have to fly out of merril again that place is a zoo.

    I do have to say it was good experience and I am glad I had it but I could have done without that one controler.

  16. #16

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    Myself and two co-workers (all pilots) were telling stories the other night, and one of them told us how when he was doing his first X-C solo, he planned to go around a class B, ATC told him to squawk. He had never heard of that term before, so he did the first thing that came to mind, and began squawking over the radio like a bird. A phone call to his CFI shortly followed.

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    Some funny posts! The worse I have done so far is clam up and forget what to say. I'm personnaly embarresed but approach or departure has always been good with me and helped me through it. It sure does raise the stress level!
    On a side note, I have heard many stories about the oger at Merril. Enough that I have no desire to fly to Merril but my desire seems to be different than my CFI's

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabliss View Post
    Some funny posts! The worse I have done so far is clam up and forget what to say. I'm personnaly embarresed but approach or departure has always been good with me and helped me through it. It sure does raise the stress level!
    On a side note, I have heard many stories about the oger at Merril. Enough that I have no desire to fly to Merril but my desire seems to be different than my CFI's
    Got my license at Merrill in 2005 and never had a problem with ATC there. Except being called #5 on downwind for 24. Look I don't have radar like you do-just call my base. And they would.

  19. #19
    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    I remember one time I was monitoring approach and heard the LifeFlight Leer jet coming in and approach said something about wondering if it was going to be a boy or girl. The pilot replied that he didn't want to have to find out.

    I hear your frustrations with the controllers at MRI. I think they get a little sick of dealing with student pilots, but that doesn't mean they should be jerks on the air. I was in there twice this weekend, and the level of professional service has become very poor compared to when I was doing my flight training there. Sloppy and grumpy. I was asked to "line up and wait" which I did, then when I should have been cleared for TO, the controller told me to hold short.

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    I was 20 years old on active duty in the Navy stationed at the Oakland Naval Air Station. The Navy base shared the airport with the Oakland Metropolitan Airport . I was a student pilot with less than 10 hours of flight time but had soloed. Another enlisted man on the base owned a Piper PA-12 and had permission from the base commander to park his Super Cruiser on the Navy line amidst the P2Vs and S2Fs. I had been checked out in his plane only once. All my previous hours had been flown in an Aeronca 7-AC. As an operational flight simulators and link trainers operator for the Navy, my radio voice procedure was very professional, most of the time.


    I had bought a block of time from the owner of the PA-12. It was my day off so I decided to take the plane out for my first PA-12 solo flight. I gave it a thorough preflight, hopped in, fired it up and called Oakland ground control for a taxi clearance. The civilian controller cleared me to taxi to runway 9 left where I ran up, checked the mags, carb heat, controls, and called the tower for takeoff and a straight out departure. The tower came back, "Piper four niner three eight seven cleared for takeoff, straight out departure approved." I taxied into position, poured the coals to it and was soon airborne and climbing above the runway. At about 150 feet AGL the engine quit. I throttled back and the engine started up again, so in my student pilot mentality I gave it full throttle again with the intention of going around the pattern and landing to see what the problem was. Within seconds at about 200 feet the engine quit again. This airplane was equipped with a microphone thumb switch on the top of the stick and a head set with a boom mike. When the engine quit for the second time, there wasn't a whole lot of runway left ahead of me and beyond that were the approach light stanchions set in the immense, gummy, surrounding mud flats. I was scared. I glommed onto the mike button and called, "Piper 387 aborting takeoff."


    Some kind of survival instinct kicked in and I pulled the nose up into a gentle power off stall, let the nose fall through, picked up a little speed, flared and landed on the last 150 feet of the runway. The very first words out of my mouth after announcing the I was aborting take off were, " get this effing son of a b---ching airplane on the ground. That was followed by a continuous stream of every foul word and phrase I knew. When I braked to a stop about 20 feet from the end of the runway, I suddenly realized that my thumb was still clamped down hard on the mike button. I released it like it was a hot potato and just sat there. Oddly enough, the engine was running at idle. Then the tower operator came on. In a slow laconic voice with a hint of bemusement he said, "Piper...four niner...three eight seven............what seems to be the trouble?" I think he was having a hard time trying to keep from laughing. I don't remember what I said in response, but was cleared to return to the Navy line. The owner of the plane was waiting there, had seen the whole ordeal, and had been convinced that his plane was upside down in the mud flats.


    As it turned out, I had not been told in the checkout that when you turn the fuel valve lever to the "on" postion it reduces the fuel flow to a trickle. I was supposed to have turned it only half way to the on position for full fuel flow.


    I wish I had thought to visit the tower later just to hear the recording of my utterances.

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