Air Traffic Controllers


Supporting Member
Love numbers 4 and 5

The following are accounts of actual exchanges between airliners and control towers from around the world:

1) The controller, working a busy pattern told the 727 on downwind to make a three-sixty (do a complete circle, usually to provide spacing between aircraft). The pilot of the 727 complained, "Do you know it costs us two thousand dollars to make a three-sixty in this airplane? Without missing a beat the controller replied, "Roger, give me four thousand dollars worth!"

2) A DC-10 had an exceedingly long roll out after landing with his approach speed just a little too high.
San Jose Tower: "American 751 heavy, turn right at the end if able. If not able, take the Guadeloupe exit off of Highway 101 and make a right at the light to return to the airport.

3) Unknown Aircraft: "I'm *beep* bored!".
Air Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!!"
Unknown Aircraft: "I said I was *beep* bored, not *beep* stupid!"

4) O'Hare Approach Control: "United 329 Heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, 3 miles, eastbound."
United 329: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this...I've got that Fokker in my sights.

5) 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 PanAm 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747 (call sign "Speedbird 206") after landing:

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 vare you are going?"
Speedbird 206: "Stand by a moment Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."
Ground (with some arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, haff you never flown to Frankfurt before?!?"
Speedbird 206 (cooly): "Yes I have, Ground - in 1944. In another type of Boeing. I didn't stop."


On the subject of aeroplanes have a listen to this:


Active Member
Particularly liked the last one :) I used to write air traffic control simulation software and spoke to a lot of controllers and pilots - there are thousands of stories like these out there - all true, many very scary :D Since I'm off to Oz again next week (with my girlfriend this time - woo hoo!) I think I'll just keep these to myself for now ;)

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