Thursday, January 17, 2008

Do you fly airplanes?

If so you should enjoy this exchange be a pilot and a rookie air traffic controller.
From Dennis Rainwater, October 2007 - I have a (well, almost) personal ATC/Pilot conversation I thought I'd share with you. I was a weather guy in the USAF during the late 80s-early 90s, and while I was stationed at RAF Woodbridge in England I often hung out with a controller in the tower cab just above our office. This fellow shared a story with me that he claimed happened to him personally. I can't vouch 100% for the authenticity of this tale, but the guy was generally believable... Also, a detail or two might be blurred by my own faulty memory over the past 15-20 years, but here it goes: My friend says he was training an ATC rookie - I think he said it was out at Nellis AFB. Anyway, one day this kid takes a call from an aircraft requesting clearance to FL 800 (80,000 feet)...

Rookie (dripping with sarcasm): "Okay, hotshot -- if you think you can take her that high, GO FOR IT!!"
Pilot of the SR-71 on the other end of the radio: "Roger Control; now DESCENDING from 100,000 feet to FL 800...."

Via Business Balls.

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