Aviation Humor

Apr 23, 2003
Nowhere NM

Actual exchanges between pilots and control towers

Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o’clock, 6 miles!"
Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches!"

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Tower: "TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees."
TWA 2341: "Center, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?"
Tower: "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"

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From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue:

"I'm bored!"
Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!"
Unknown aircraft: "I said I was bored, not stupid!"

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O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o’clock, three miles, Eastbound."
United 329: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this...

I've got the little Fokker in sight."

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A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked:

"What was your last known position?"
Student: "When I was number one for takeoff."

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A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down.
San Jose Tower Noted: "American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able. If you are not able, take the Guadeloupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."

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A Pan Am 727 flight, waiting for start clearance in Munich, overheard the following:
Lufthansa (in German):”Ground, what is our start clearance time?"
Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English."
Lufthansa (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"
Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent):

"Because you lost the bloody war!"

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Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 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 behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?"
BR Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern... we've already notified our caterers."

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One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee. Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said:

"What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?"

The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger:

"I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one."

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The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as 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 Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airway 747, call sign Speedbird 206.

Speedbird 206:”Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway."
Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."
The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"

Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now.”!
Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"
Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, -- And I didn't land."

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While taxiing at London 's Gatwick Airport , the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming:

"US Air 2771, where the [censored] are you going? I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!"

Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically:

"God! Now you've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an 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?"

"Yes, ma'am," the humbled crew responded.

Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely running high. Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking:

"Wasn't I married to you once?"
One of my faves:

Log Note from Pilot to Mechanic: Autopilot acting funny.
Log Note from Mechanic to Pilot: Autopilot instructed to straighten up and fly right.
Most of these are not true. They're technically inaccurate, like the noise abatement one. Simply not realistic. Wrong sectors, wrong freqs, no chance it happened.

But I appreciate the laugh all the same.
Originally Posted By: Fleetmon
Do you know the difference between a jet engine and a pilot?

The jet engine stops whining at the gate.

Nope. Not true. You're thinking of flight attendants.

Pilot whining continues long after the gate...
Astro14 said:
Most of these are not true. They're technically inaccurate, like the noise abatement one. Simply not realistic. Wrong sectors, wrong freqs, no chance it happened.

The point of this old joke is that aircraft are about to hit each other, thus the turn. No mid-air, no noise.
Variations of all of these jokes have been around for years if not decades.

I agree that now is an especially good time for humor in the aviation world.
I know it's not as funny, but I had some fun on the radio a while back.

Flying the 1 hour flight from St Aug, FL to Jupiter, FL, I took off first in my mighty thunder Cardinal. Bill in his MX-2 stunt plane took off a few minutes afterwards.

Of course he passed by me sometime in the flight. Looking for me on his ADSB TCAS (traffic display) so, when he was near, I turned off the transponder... I watched him go by 4000 feet above me, he never saw me.

Then I hear him calling short final for 8 right at North County. I'm still 41 miles away. So, I call a 41 mile final for runway 13. Just to let Bill know how much faster he was.

Well, that started a firestorm on the radio. As runway 13 was closed for re-work. The maintenance workers were all on their radio's yelling at me, transmitting over each other and telling me to "go around" and use runway 8R. Not understanding that I was still over 40 miles away. Bill was laughing like crazy!

Funny, but I won't do that again.
I got the noise abatement joke, midair makes a noise....

But the setting makes zero sense. Funny only if you don't know anything about airplanes and how ATC frequencies and altitudes/vectors are assigned.

Like telling a joke about a surgeon in an operating room, and the conversation between his OR nurse assisting him and the receptionist in his office....uh, how would they be talking while they're in two very different places ...and why would they be?

Tower talks to airplanes near the airport (up to about 3,000 feet and 5 miles, depending...). So, why would tower talk to an airplane at 35,000 feet? They would never, under any circumstances, be on the same frequency. That would be "Center" - the ATC sector that owns that space...and the clearance would be, "for traffic, turn .... " So the whole phrase is simply not realistic...

Humor has to have roots in real situations, or it's just odd. It might be real to the uninitiated, but it's too preposterous to be funny for me...
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No, no, I am not offended...I just don't think it's funny, because I know the set up (real tower communication) can't possibly be true...

I am sorry for being a wet blanket...
How do you know if a fighter pilot is in the room?

He'll tell you!

A fighter was escorting a transport with some banter back and forth.
Fighter pilot: I can do anything you can and more!
Transport pilot: ooh yeah show me.
Fighter pilot does a roll and a loop.
Transport pilot: you've got me beat on those but try this!
The fighter pilot watches as aparently nothing happens.
Five minutes go by and the transport pilot transmits "I dare you to try that"
Fighter pilot: try what? You flight was level and true, I can certainly do that, what am I supposed to try?
Transport pilot: get up, have a cup of coffee while sitting on the toilet and read the newspaper.

The fighter pilots think that's funny too!

"By the ring around his eyeball, you can tell a bombardier!
You can tell a bomber pilot by the spreading of his rear.
You can tell a navigator by his sextants, charts and such,
You can tell a fighter pilot, but you cannot tell him much!"

WW 2 vintage song...
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Wow. You've got the OP apologizing to you AND you brought what could be a nice thread to a crashing halt. Wet blanket indeed.
Originally Posted By: Astro14
Funny only if you don't know anything about airplanes and how ATC frequencies and altitudes/vectors are assigned.

That is why I found it hilarious.

You were kind of a downer though.