I was reviewing articles about change management this morning and came across a set of funny stories.
Here are some excerpts from the set that I find really funny.
From Jim (Aug 2010):
In 1978 I was a trainee Air Traffic Controller under supervision at Collage Station Texas, Easterwood Tower. This is a true story of a radio discussion one afternoon:
Unknown Aircraft: “Hello?..”
Easterwood Tower (me): “Please say again.”
ET: “Who is this?”
UA: “This is Joe”
ET: “This is Easterwood Tower, where are you?”
UA: “I’m in the plane!”
(I looked down the flight line, checking if someone was sitting in a parked plane playing with the radio. I didn’t see anything, and the senior controller was becoming more interested in my handling of the situation.)
ET: “Joe, where is the pilot?”
UA: “He got out when the engine quit..”
(I could only imagine a bizarre scenario in which the pilot had jumped from the plane.)
ET: “Joe, what does your airspeed indicator read?”
UA: (Long pause) “Zero?”
(So the plane was now in a stall I thought.)
ET: “Joe, whatever you have in front of you – a stick or a steering wheel – push it forward – you need to get airspeed over your wings!”
UA: “Are you sure?”
ET: “Yes Joe you need to push it forward… (pause)… What does your airspeed indicator read now?”
UA: “It’s still zero.”
(I thought, oh my god, Joe’s plane was in a falling leaf spin. I couldn’t help him. Joe was going to die. I did not know what to do. I looked to the senior controller. He said, “Ask him where his plane is.”)
ET: “Joe, where is your plane?”
UA: “We are parked down at the end of the runway, the pilot got out when the engine quit and walked back to the hanger..”
ET: “Joe, get off the radio.”
I overheard this over the radio while on my cross-country flight today. I’m not giving the aircraft call-sign because the trainee is in enough trouble already..
Controller: I’ve got you on radar, state your intentions.
Pilot: Can I fly around in circles Sir?
Controller: Negative, you are in a busy airspace right now.
Pilot: Ok then, I’ll fly around in straight lines.
This occurred while I was serving in Vietnam. As our unit had particularly strong radio equipment we were often tasked to listen in on different networks in order to back up the ground or air crews experiencing communications difficulties due to any number of reasons. One particular conversation had me in stitches for hours afterwards. I can’t recall the callsigns so I’ll just call them A and B.
Callsign A (ground crew): “Callsign B. What is your location? Over.”
Callsign B (Birddog aircraft): “I am in the Hat Dich area. Over.”
Callsign A: “Say again your location. Over.”
Callsign B: “I am in the Hat Dich area, I say again, Hat Dich area. Over.”
Callsign A: “Sorry. Say again location. Over”
Callsign B: “I am in the Hat – as in head – Dich – as in head, area. Over.”
Callsign A: “Roger out.”