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What Don't You Want To Hear From ATC?  
User currently offlineATCisgreat From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 6078 times:

Continuing on discussions like "what you don't want to hear from the cockpit" my question now is:

What do you not want to hear air traffic control say to you?

Which combination of words make you slightly panic, which intonation tells you that there is an absolute beginner trainee working the traffic or letting the traffic work him? (and once you've realised, do you still feel comfy?)
I didn't like the Air France I had this week :"Eh, Maastricht, we 'ave an emergency, eh, ---, beacon on 121.5."
- Slight panic for me. Now your side!


Next: 26.05. DUS-LHR BA939, LHR-HKG BA25; 01.06 HKG-LHR BA32; 02.06. LHR-DUS BA938
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineN6376m From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 6010 times:

- Ground hold

- Expect further clearance at ......

- Caution wake turbulence from helicopter departing immediately to the right of runway [actually heard this as I was on very short final maybe 200 feet above the ground in a C152 while a sheriff dept helicopter was practicing tactical landings and departures right next to the threshold. The chopter took off 90 degrees to the runway and flew directly over the threshold. Had to be the hardest landing of my life].

User currently offlineFlyingbronco05 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3841 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5971 times:

Was taking a short flight from PWK-UGN in a 172 and i called 10 out to the south, in bound for landing......

The wind was favorable for 32 at UGN, but what he said surprised me.

He said something like:

Uh, cessna xxxx, waukegan tower, uhhhhhhhhh left traffic straight in no. affirmative, straight in 23.

So i called back with something like: The wind favors 32, can i fly straight in to 32?

He responded "uhhhhh. left traffic for 23. straight in."

I looked at my instructor and he got on the radio and said "Waukegan tower, cessna xxxx, 5 to the south, coming straight into 32, advise other traffic."

The tower came back on and said "Cessna, straight in 32 approved."

WTF was so hard with my request?!?!

Basically, he was very new!

My instructor said I did everything correct. I voiced my concern with the choice of runway and wanted to make sure he knew what I was saying and I made sure I knew what he was saying.

Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
User currently offlineB757capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1570 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5863 times:

ATC- "Got a pen and paper?"

Pilot "Yes sir"

ATC "Good copy this number and call the tower when you land"

The views written by this user are in no manner the views of my employer and should not be thought as such.
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5836 times:

This was heard by our pax on NW1905, a 757, on April 2 while boarding at FLL about 12 15pm...
" There has been a computer glitch at the Jacksonville Air Traffic control center and all planes in south Florida that is going north through the Jacksonville center area are on a ground stop until further notice. We will give you more information as it comes available". It lasted one hour.

If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 6065 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5820 times:

"Attention all aircraft, wind is now two four zero, tewnty five gusting thirty seven knots."

When the ATIS was 210 at 9 five minutes earlier.

And I am landing two zero.

Happened to me at SAF last Christmas, landing was a sort of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, but turned out fine (love the Bonanza for landing). Almost fell off the wing when I got out, wind was so strong.

"One Six Whiskey, you're number two, cleared to land. Traffic is the twin Cessna emerging from the dust cloud off the approach end of two zero."


Other least favorite is, when I am 100' from touching down, "Go around, traffic on the runway."

...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineHannigan From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 327 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5791 times:

"Blue Ridge 888, Savannah Clearance. Looks like we are going to have to keep you on the ground for a while. We just had an accident to the southeast of 36 and are closing the airport until furthur notice."

Actually happened last Saturday. Try explaining that to a plane full of pax waiting to push.

We got planes! We got gates! What the hell!
User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5721 times:

"Uh Eastern XXX we're going to give you vectors... through the safest part of the storm..."

Apparently something like that was said to the pilot of the Dash-8 I was on in 1987.

Up, up and away!
User currently offlineHomeroid From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5639 times:

Two for ya:

I was training a student at the time. FXE was VERY busy and we were number 1 to go with a line of 15 behind us and probably 10 inbounds.

ATC: Cessna XXX taxi into position and hold

My student: Roger - without looking to his left, he started taxiing past the hold short lines when I noticed a Cessna on VERY short final. I stomped the brakes and told FXE tower, "negative, Cessna XXX holding short, there is a Cessna on a quarter mile final and we are now past the hold short lines!"

Rather than have the other Cessna go around, he said "That wasn't for you Cessna XXX (my callsign), that was for Cessna XXX (my callsign again)....Cessna XXX (my callsign) CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF!"

I held the brakes and said "Tower, didn't you just hear me, there is an aircraft now landing right in front of me! I am holding short!"

About this time he got the idea and I actually got a "Good eyes" remark from a Gulfstream behind me.

------The other one was while practicing multiple intrument approaches in southern Florida as well. I contacted a very busy approach controller after departing and asked for the multiple approach option.

ME: Ft. Lauderdale Approach, Cessna XXX with you off FXE for practice approachs back at FXE."

ATC: Roger, Cessna XXX radar contact, what approach would you like?

ME: "What ever is easier for you"

ATC: "OK, then squawk 1200, radar services terminated"

User currently offlineCFIcraigAPA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 223 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5607 times:

B757capt - ATC- "Got a pen and paper?"

Pilot "Yes sir"

ATC "Good copy this number and call the tower when you land"

My thoughts exactly. It's a learning experience, but man does your stomach fall out from under you when you hear that.

[Edited 2004-04-07 04:59:59]

Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance
User currently offlineRefueler1974 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 235 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5552 times:

The thing that caught my attention the most was when a new controller cleared one aircraft to land on runway 14, then proceeded to clear another one for landing on runway 32. The problem was solved when the pilot of the 2nd acft radioed " I don't mind sharing the runway with another plane......just not at the same time!!!"

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.
User currently offlineLnglive1011yyz From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 1627 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5532 times:

One thing I don't like hearing (may be a bit off topic) is, as a spotter, hearing ATC call out to a plane repeatedly, and they don't get a response.

"Air Canada 232, turn right heading 030 climb and maintain 1-5 thousand"
long silence...
"Air Canada 232, are you monitoring tower?"
more silence...
"Air Canada 232, again, are you monitoring tower?"

Sends a chill up my spine...

Thankfully, they have always raised them on another channel...


Pack your bags, we're going on a sympathy trip!
User currently offlineGoboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2829 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5492 times:

About a month ago at BDR, the tower said, "Uh, we just gave your flight plan for Providence to the last departing aircraft that went there about 10 minutes ago. You'll have to call up flight service and file a new one and THEN call me back." Great!


User currently offlineKempa From Brazil, joined Aug 2003, 374 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5361 times:

Airshow day at FDK (Frederick, MD), I was practicing out of GAI (Montgomery County Airpark), overheard on the FDK frequency (FDK is a short hop north of GAI, and our practice area is somewhere in between so we always monitored both frequencies):

"FDK tower, please advise active runway"

"Cessna XXX, airport is closed"

"FDK tower, doesn't it close at ten for the airshow?"

"Cessna XXX, no, it closed at nine"

"FDK tower, can i still land?"

"No, and please clear the area."

User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5309 times:

Reminds me of the old joke about a light aircraft calling ATC during a night-time approach and stating: "Guess who?"

To which ATC responds by switching the runway lights off and replying: "Guess where?"

User currently offlineSA006 From South Africa, joined Sep 2003, 1885 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5280 times:

heard this on my introductory flight at Lanseria, South Africa. Went something like this:

ATC:" Cessna ZS-***....traffic alert Microlight XXX is at ur 2o'clock and closing in..turn left heading 240 climb to 7 thousand"

We never saw that Microlight.

Rgds and safe flying

Proudly South African
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5287 times:

The all-time worst was to hear ATC say "[my callsign] say intentions"

Now how do you respond to that? You check your heading. You check your altitude. You try to remember what the last clearance was. What is he getting at? You don't want to start confessing but . . .

* * *

Just switched to tower once and heard them say to someone: "Acknowledge with your callsign - 'click click' doesn't tell me a thing sir!"

* * *

I once got to deliver the tower phone number to a student pilot - who turned out to be Claudine Longet. Was she adorable! It was just a couple of months before she killed Vladimir "Spider" Sabich.

* * *

Lighter moment at LAX: Cleared for a visual on 24R in a Cessna 404. Air France 747 was on the visual for 24L. I was told I could pull up alongside but do not pass the 747. As I was coming down final still clean and on a slow overtake I noticed the AF was drifting to the right and between me and my runway. I told tower that it appeared that Air France was lining up on my runway.

They said: "Yeah, it looks like that to us too. Tell you what [my callsign] we're not talking to him, so whichever runway he lands on you're cleared to land on the other."

I ended up hopping over his wake and landing on the left. Beat him to the gate by a good five minutes.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineTjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2626 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5151 times:

"Jetlink xxx, cleared to land runway 26 left. Winds 310 at 25, gusts to 37. Last arrival, a DC-9, reported +/- 15 knots on short final with moderate turbulence below 1000'. Braking action last reported as fair to poor. Runway 26 left RVR is 3500' and falling....."

Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
User currently offlineGoAllegheny From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5094 times:

This is a related question with an implied answer to the thread-starter - what does "traffic is 30 miles and trails" mean? I heard this on my UA flight to Chicago last weekend. I took it to mean long wind-related delays, but even if it means 30-mile separation (which seems huge), what does "trails" mean? Anyway, I think that it contributed to our lengthy ground stop in Fort Meyers.

User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 19, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5006 times:


ATC probably said "traffic is 30 miles in trail" meaning that same separation you were talking about. 30 miles is quite significant spacing, but if there's bad weather, it's not unheard of. Perhaps that traffic was coming in at an angle for the same "in trail" destination as yours? Also, since you were on the ground, they might have meant that your traffic would close that gap to an unsafe distance by the time you taxied out and departed the airport.

Just my 0.02 worth of thoughts,

Up, up and away!
User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4873 times:

After departing the runway at about 1.6 for 3000 feet MSL, my instructor flipped a switch on the panel as I was doing a visual sweep, left to right. The instructor was talking about things like keeping runway heading and when we were about 2300 MSL and he said on the intercom, "why aren't we talking to Departure yet?" I remember the tower freq was as being strangely quiet. The instructor noticed the radio was suddenly on "intercom" and not one of the radios.  Embarrassment The instructor flipped the radio back on and asked the tower if they wanted us to switch to departure. The less than pleased tower controller  Angry stated that "Now that you are talking again, you can switch to departure and we can let the three planes that are waiting in line to now depart.

I was NOT a good student!

Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently offlineBMAbound From Sweden, joined Nov 2003, 660 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4838 times:

During my first solo hours (and dual for that matter...) at an uncontrolled airport, I often heard (while in the pattern) : "XXX traffic, Cessna 1234 has jumpers away at 10,000, use caution" Not that serious, but breaking away from downwind as a nervous 15 hr pilot was scary at times.


Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
User currently offlineSDFOH From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4756 times:

In Louisville we have an interesting situation. We have SDF with an 8,000' and 10,000' rnwys, five miles away we have LOU (Bowman Field) with 4,000' rnwys, and next to the 8000', we have Interstate 65 that is straight and parallel with 17L/35R.
I have heard over the scanner from twr, "Are you sure that you are lined up for rnwy 17L? Because by radar it looks like you are lined up with the interstate."

Also as a sidebar DL had an DC-9 land at Bowman field about 15yrs ago. I am not sure how the pilot got SDF mixed up with LOU, or how he got the a/c stopped in time but he did. Unfortunately the plane was to heavy to take off from there. DL ended up stripping the a/c of everything including the seats, gave it just enough fuel for the quick hop to SDF where they could refuel and reseat and fly it back to ATL.

User currently offlineNWA ARJ From United States of America, joined May 2001, 547 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4742 times:

ATC-Warrior 369ND when you park call this number.

Warrior 369ND-O Shit, We must have done something wrong.

Nightmare 68, Fargo Tower, Runway 36, Fly Runway Heading, Mantain 10,000, Cleared For Takeoff, Change To Departure
User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4705 times:

when 2 feet above the runway:

ATC: cessna six eight foxtrot, go around.

"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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