Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 8:04 am

Here are a few bits of ATC humor I got via e-mail. Some of these are *really* good!  Big grin

Pleas excuse the funny spacing- this came via e-mail, and while I got rid of all the funny > and < marks, I'm not going to re-space the whole thing.

> >Who says pilots and controllers have no sense of humor?

(January 29, 2001)

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

During taxi, the crew of a US Air departure flight to Ft. Lauderdale,
made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. The irate
ground controller (a female) lashed out at the US Air crew screaming,
"US Air 2771, where are you going? I told you to turn right on "Charlie"
taxi way; you turned right on "Delta". Stop right there. I know it's
difficult to tell the
difference between C's and D's but get it right."

Continuing her lashing 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 until I tell you to.
You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about a half 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??"

The humbled crew responded: "Yes Ma'am". Naturally, the "ground control"
frequency went terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air Flight
2771. No one wanted to engage the irate ground controller in her current
state. Tension in every cockpit at LGA was running high. Shortly after
the controller finished her admonishment of the U.S. Air crew, an
unknown male
pilot broke the silence and asked, "Wasn't I married to you once?"


The controller who was 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!"


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.


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 him."

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

Delta 105 (long pause and then in a thick southern drawl): "Well... I've
got something down there. Can't quite tell if it's a Malibu or a
Chevelle, though."


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 the report from Eastern?"

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


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 sight."


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 will taxi to your gate!"

The big British Airways 747 pulled onto the main taxi way 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 some arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you never
flown to Frankfurt before?!?"

Speedbird 206 (cooly): "Yes, I have, in 1944. In another type of Boeing.
I didn't stop."<<

Posts: 2076
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2001 2:59 pm

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 8:16 am

This is pricless!!!
Drive it like you stole it!

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 8:52 am

When I took my 172 into LAX, there was an unkown voice the ground frequency that came accross and said 'I would not be caught ded in that thing here' needless to say we found this very funny, and another time tower was taking the mikey and told us to make a right turn on 25R taxi back full length.

Also at LGW a while ago:
Tower 'Speedbird 183 hold current position the Virgin has a tight slot and will be going infront of you'.

Also another good one.
On a particularly windy day at SNA, a Cessna was on short final and the tower advised the winds, and the Cessna said 'Thanks for passing wind'

Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2000 6:48 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 9:25 am

As a 727 was handed off from approach to tower, the tower controller advised,

"United 214 you're #2 behind a Shorts 2 miles and 1 o'clock. Advise traffic in sight."

the 727 replies,

"Roger, traffic in sight. Wait, he just flew over the trailer park and I lost him."

Posts: 2882
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 1999 5:47 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 10:25 am

Wow this is hillarious.

I have one to add.

I was flyign ORD-EWR, EWR being very busy arun d7:30 while we were on approach, and we were behind a Air Jamaica A310 and a United 767, ourselves being in a United 757. I heard

"Air Jamaica XXXX slow to 140 knots"
followed by
"United 656 slow to 140 knots" (our plane)
then i heard some other stuff, i remember the Air Jamaica A310 being passed to arrival and already landed, so we were now first in line for landing. Later i heard
"United XXXX slow to 150 knots"
and a couple seconds later
"United 656 speed up! theres a 767 on your ass!"
Our aircrafts engines speeded up and in about 40 seconds we were on teh ground, the 767 landing shortly behind us. The controller yelled in a high voice since he realized the 767 was gaining on us. XXXX is for teh flight number, i do not know which one.

This was in 1999

Chicago Illinois
life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 12:17 pm

Back in 1972, I was listening to Miami Center on my scanner and heard this exchange with an Eastern Pilot. They were talking like the old Amos n Andy characters (ask your parents if you don't know who they are):

EAL: Say Amos, Why do the 7-4-7 have a bubble on da top?

Miami: I dunno Andy...Why DO the 7-4-7 have a bubble on da top

EAL: So da pilot can sit on his wallet
Posts: 600
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 1999 1:03 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 4:03 pm

Heard an exchange between an ATC (male) and United pilot (female). Rough air at whatever altitude, something similar to:

ATC: " Delta (or whoever) cleared FL330"
United : " Center, United XXX, do u have someplace nice for me to go"
ATC: " United cleared direct to my house"

i don;t remember the exact conversation, but the crew and i laughed about this most the way home.

Visualize Whirled Peas

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 4:14 pm

Recently heard listening to LA center

ATC: Alaska XXX traffic one o clock, 40 miles opposite direction at 310.

AS XXX: uh, yeah we got him in sight, is he an F-16?

Atc: negative that would be a UA 737.

ASXX: oh

Atc: yeah, I hope you can tell the difference. They do happen to be slightly different .-----------------------------------------------

UAXXXX: Center, is ANGIE(a fix btw) available tonight?

ATC: negative, she just left the building

UAXXXX: well say hello to her for me.

ATC:Will do, actually talk to her directly, you are cleared direct ANGIE.
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 4:24 pm

These are ones i have heard..some arent that great..but hey..its late and i am bored.

two king air 200's were coming into tallahassee at the same time. The pilots knew each other too.

Tower: ok, whoever can get to the outer marker first gets cleared to land first.

King Air 1: Ill race ya king air 2

King Air 2: bring it.

King air 1 gets to the outer marker first...

Tower: King Air 1, what kind of carrots are you feeding that thing?


Macon Approach: Cessna N8383M (me at 12,000 feet IFR to Atlanta), right 15 degrees for departing F-15's off of Robins AFB.

Cessna 83M: Right 15, No Joy on traffic

Macon: They are still on the runway, in 5 seconds they will be at 25,000 feet.

(two F-15's shoot out of the low clouds and continue straight up well above me...something ill never forget)

Cessna 83M: dang....i can do that. i promise.


I was doing touch and gos with a friend one day at TLH in Archer N70FG and was terminating with a short field landing

Tallahassee Tower: Cherokee 70FG, what kind of landing will this be?

70FG- Short field..i can come in slower for spacing for the departing CRJ if need be...

TLH Tower- Negative, but now everyone around knows so lets see you nail it.

.... hehe talk about putting me on the spot..there was an MD-80 waiting at the hold short line and a Dash 8 behind me... not to mention at rought x-wind...I hit it though... amusing for the tower to have a random request like that.


Thats all i can think of now...i know there are some better ones... but its late.
Chicks dig winglets.
Posts: 1325
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2000 7:56 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 5:18 pm

I remember the first time I soloed, who doesn't? Anyway of course I went up and did some touch and go's. On my final trip around the airport (INT) Winston Salem, NC I advised the tower that I was downwind of the runway and will be landing. All went well until I hear the control tower start talking the a Gulf Stream V parked on the tarmac. Lets call it GS5...

Tower: "Say GS5, is that Oprah's jet?" (Oprah Whinfrey)
GS5: Why yes it is. Were expecting her any minute now
Tower: Great, she has a nice plane
GS5: I think so too.

Meanwhile here I come
N94549 ready to Turn base
Tower: Do you think its possible she can sign an autograph?
GS5: I am sure we can work something out for you.
N94549: Ready to turn down wind???
Tower; Oh turn down wind N94549
Tower: Do you think she would be so kind to sign an autograph for my daughter?
GS5: Sure whats her name?
N94549 Ready to turn final
Tower: Yeah, turn your final, your clear

So I am on my final approach and all I hear the whole time is...

Tower: Her name is Andrea.
Tower: A as in Alpha, N as in....all the way through.
GS5: Okay got it.
Tower: Thanks GS5, now if she would like to mail a picture here is an address.
Tower 1...3...4 Riverwood Drive (One word)

Meanwhile I am thinking SHUT UP!!!! But I made it fine and as I taxied off the runway I said

Tower could you relay a message to GS5?
Tower: sure
Tell him Tom Cruise just landed and he said to say hi to Oprah.
Tower: LOL, okay Tom, by the way nice C-150 you got there.
N94549; Thanks, Paramount cut its budget for Top Gun 2.

P.S. I made just in time to meet Oprah also. Nice lady, she even congratulated me on my first solo flight. I don't think its anything to make the show though.  Sad
Posts: 1325
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2000 7:56 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Fri Feb 02, 2001 5:24 pm

sorry I meant to say turn base instead of downwind up there a couple of times... man I guess it is getting late.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
lmml 14/32
Posts: 2358
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 2:27 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Sat Feb 03, 2001 3:44 am

A 747 was lined up and ready, when tower cleared an RJ85 Jumbolino to line up and take off from an intersection ahead of the Jumbo. When the latter complained, the RJ, with his back to the 747, opened his speed brakes (on the tail cone), and farted on the mike !!!

If this is funny, it is also said to be true !!

lmml 14/32
Posts: 2358
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 2:27 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Sat Feb 03, 2001 3:48 am

A 747 was lined up and ready, when tower cleared an RJ85 Jumbolino to line up and take off from an intersection ahead of the Jumbo. When the latter complained, the RJ, with his back to the 747, opened his speed brakes (on the tail cone), and farted on the mike !!!

I heard this is true.

Posts: 3686
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:51 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Sat Feb 03, 2001 4:46 am

This was reported a few years ago in Amsterdam;
There was restructuring going on at the right side of the runway. To inform the pilots, the ATC advised every leaving flight "Please note the construction workers on the right".
Right after take off, an Aeroflot Tu-154 replied in heavy accent "Yezz, we havve czecked zem, dey are all working"
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Sat Feb 03, 2001 10:45 am

Last Saturday I woke up listening to Seattle Center (135.52) as I always do. United XXX was inbound for YVR and was just advised that he was about to enter some turbulence by the controller. As soon as United thanked the controller and clicked off, he came back on and gave his PA announcement on ATC on accident.
"I'm going to ask you all to return to your seats as we will be entering some moderate turbulence here in a moment..." and he decided to keep going... "Weather in Vancouver is partly cloudy and two degrees celcius, thats...uh...... about 35F. We should be arriving in about 15 minutes..." and kept going... "Thanks for flying United, we hope you will choose us in the future." So after he finished his two minute PA announcement over ATC, the controller came on and asked "So, uh, United XXX- whats for lunch?" It took United a bit to catch on.  Smile
So when it came time for United to be handed off, the controller said, "United XXX, you and your passengers can contact Seattle Center on 128.45..." And, of course, next to come on was Alaska XXX: "Good evening Seattle, Alaska XXX and its passengers are with you out of 14.5 for 15000..."
Posts: 1410
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 1999 3:51 am


Sat Feb 03, 2001 2:10 pm

Mit, that's one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time.

Almost tops: "BAe-146: The only commercial jet in danger of a bird stike from behind".
Posts: 1761
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2000 12:33 pm

Student Pilot Humor...

Sat Feb 03, 2001 2:56 pm

A long time ago a student pilot on final to Meacham Field in Ft. Worth was asked his location. In a heavy accent, the pilot said, "I am in the cockpit".

The REALLY interesting stuff gets said off-mike...
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2000 10:44 am

RE: Freight Dog

Sat Feb 03, 2001 3:41 pm

Courtesy of Glen Wattman

You, too, might be a freight dog-

1. If you believe that a pilot's lounge containing more than three vending machines is really a "Food Court";

2. If you have lost 45% of your hearing because the company removed your airplane's soundproofing to save weight.

3. If you are always the last one to be cleared for takeoff, no matter how soon you arrive at the runway;

4. If real captians look at your airplane in awe and say something like, "I flew this once when I was young",and

5. If you have to wash your hands BEFORE using the lav.
 Big thumbs up
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Who Says ATC Has No Humor?

Sat Feb 03, 2001 8:13 pm

I have to set this one up....Traffic in Anchorage usually arrives on either runway 14 or runways 6L/R because of noise restrictions at night. The parking lot for hanger I work at is all but 1/4 mile under the arrival end of runway 32, however you prefer to think. The parking lot becomes important to this story.

Anyway...On a very cold winters night.

They controlers call up to the aircraft and ask if they want 6R for the landing. This would put the aircraft in the right place turn directly on their company ramp.

Anyway the pilot request runway 32 instead, and explains to the controlers that his electric car start remote doesn't have the range to reach from the approach to 6R but the approach to 32 allows him to start his car on final and have it heated by the time he taxi's back and does the post flight.

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos