Some well known aviation humor…

The following are accounts of exchanges between airline pilots and control
towers from around the world.


While taxiing the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made
a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. The irate female
ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming:
“US Air 2771, where 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’s and D’s, but get it

Continuing her tirade to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting
hysterically: “God, 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 frequency went terribly silent after the verbal
bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to engage the irate ground controller
in her current state. Tension in every cockpit at LGA was running high.
Then an unknown pilot broke the silence and asked “Wasn’t I married to you


The controller working a busy pattern told the 727 on downwind to make a
three-sixty–do a complete circle, a move normally used to provide spacing
between aircraft.

The pilot of the 727 complained, “Don’t you know it costs us two thousand
dollars to make even a one-eighty in this airplane?”

Without missing a beat the controller replied, “Roger, give me four thousand
dollars’ worth.”


A DC-10 had an exceedingly long rollout after landing with his approach
speed a little high. San Jose Tower: “American 751 heavy, turn right at the
end of the runway, if able. If not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway
101 and make a right at the light to return to the airport


It was a really nice day, right about dusk, and a Piper Malibu was being
vectored into a long line of airliners in order to land at Kansas
City. KC Approach: “Malibu three-two Charlie, you’re following a 727, one
o’clock and three miles.” Three-two Charlie: “We’ve got him. We’ll follow

KC Approach: “Delta 105, your traffic to follow is a Malibu, eleven o’clock
and three miles. Do you have that traffic?”

Delta 105 (in a thick southern drawl, after a long pause): “Well…I’ve got
something down there. Can’t quite tell if it’s a Malibu or a Chevelle.”


Unknown aircraft: “I’m f…ing bored!”

Air Traffic Control: “Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!”

Unknown aircraft: “I said I was f…ing bored, not f…ing stupid!”

Tower: “Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on 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, contact Departure on 124.7.
Did you copy that report from Eastern?”

Continental 635: “Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we
copied Eastern and we’ve already notified our caterers.”


The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are 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: “Top of the morning, Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of the
active runway.”

Ground: “Guten Morgen. You vill taxi to your gate.”

The big British Airways 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 a moment, Ground, I’m looking up our gate location now.”
Ground (with arrogant impatience): “Speedbird 206, have you never
Flown to Frankfurt before?”
Speedbird 206 (coolly): Yes, I have, actually,in 1944. In another type of
Boeing, but just to drop something off. I didn’t stop.”


O’Hare Approach Control: “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 that Fokker
in sight.”

A Pan Am 727 flight engineer 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 English.”

Lufthansa (in English): “I am a German, flying a German airplane, in
Germany. Why must I speak English?”

Unknown voice (in a beautiful British accent): “Because you lost the bloody


Not radio chatter, but these squawks were pretty good too:

After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a “gripe
sheet,” which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The
mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and
then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.
Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are
some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas pilots and the
solutions recorded by maintenance engineers.

(P= The problem logged by the pilot.)
(S= The solution and action taken by mechanics.)

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what they’re for.

P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget
pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.