Aviation Humour

Capt. Aspeland: “How low do you want me? A thousand feet? Five hundred?”
Winsted Tower: “You’re the captain.”
You're the Captain


The following turned up in an email recently. Many are fairly hoary, and a couple may give offence where none is intended. Read at your own risk!

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” taxiway; 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 of 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.

Unknown Aircraft: “I’m f…ing bored!”.
Air Traffic Control: “Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!!”
Unknown Aircraft: “I said I was bored, not stupid!”

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 (coolly): “Yes, I have, in 1944.  In another type of Boeing. I didn’t stop.”

I was a Pan Am 727 Flight Engineer waiting for start clearance in Munich, Germany. I was listening to the radio since I was the junior crew member.
This was the conversation I overheard: (I don’t recall call signs any longer)

Lufthansa: (In German) “Ground, what is our start clearance time?”
Ground: (In English) “If you want an answer you must speak English.”
Luft: (In English) “I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany.  Why must I speak English?”
Beautiful English Accent: (before ground could answer) “Because you lost the bloody war!”

Original source unknown.

A decade ago or so I was in the back of a motor glider being flown to a local airport for some repair work on a noisy muffler.

Control: You’re unreadable, say again.
Us: I’ve turned off the engine, is that better?
Control: L..o..n..g pause

(Thanks to Nigel Baker who found it at OziPilotsOnline)

Blue water Navy truism; There are more planes in the ocean than there are submarines in the sky.

If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it’s probably a helicopter — and therefore, unsafe.

Navy carrier pilots to Air Force pilots: Flaring is like squatting to pee.

When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.

Without ammunition the USAF would be just another expensive flying club.

What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, the pilot dies.

Never trade luck for skill.

The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are: “Why is it doing that?”, “Where are we?” and ” Oh Shit!”

Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers.

Progress in airline flying; now a flight attendant can get a pilot pregnant.

Airspeed, altitude or brains.  Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight.

A smooth landing is mostly luck; two in a row is all luck; three in a row is prevarication.

I remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous.

Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!

Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries.

Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding it or doing anything about it.

When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten.

Just remember, if you crash because of weather, your funeral will be held on a sunny day.

Advice given to RAF pilots during W.W.II.  When a prang seems inevitable, endeavor to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity as slowly and gently as possible.

The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you.  (Attributed to Max Stanley, Northrop test pilot)

A pilot who doesn’t have any fear probably isn’t flying his plane to its maximum.
(Jon McBride, astronaut)

If you’re faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible.  (Bob Hoover – renowned aerobatic and test pilot)

If an airplane is still in one piece, don’t cheat on it; ride the bastard down.
(Ernest K. Gann, author & aviator)

Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing. (sign over the entrance to the SR-71 operating location Kadena, Japan).

You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3. (Paul F. Crickmore – test pilot)

Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you.

There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime. (Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970).

The three best things in life are a good landing, a good orgasm, and a good bowel movement. The night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities in life where you get to experience all three at the same time.  (Author unknown, but someone who’s been there)

“Now I know what a dog feels like watching TV.” (A DC-9 captain trainee attempting to check out on the ‘glass cockpit’ of an A-320).

If something hasn’t broken on your helicopter, it’s about to.

Basic Flying Rules:
1.  Try to stay in the middle of the air.
2.  Do not go near the edges of it.
3.  The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space.  It is much more difficult to fly there.

You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal.

3 thoughts on “Aviation Humour”

  1. I could not find the version of this as I remember it – I think it was in a book by Anne Welch which was lost in the Keepit fire.

    I include it here as I used the punchline as the last but one entry in a series of initially quite sane exchanges on the club’s mailing list about transponders which degenerated into some quite entertaining nonsense not really appreciated by our CFI who told us, in no uncertain terms, to cease and desist. His actual words were:



    During WWII on a B-24 bombing mission, flying out of Cerignola, Italy toward our target for the day in Austria, during which radio silence was never violated, even though the Germans knew we were on the way, a lone voice suddenly broke that silence. “Who dat?”, the voice asked.

    Silence, then, “Who dat who say Who dat?’ “.

    Silence, then, “Who dat who say who dat, who say who dat?.

    Then, “Who dat who say who dat who say who dat?”

    Then a highly irritated, “SHUT UP!!!”, obviously from our full Colonel Group Commander who was leading a bunch of young, fun loving lieutenant pilots.

    A few minutes later a faint voice from way down the back of the formation. “Who dat?”

  2. 50 Bucks is 50 Bucks

    There was an elderly couple that went to an air show. There at the air show was a plane with a sign.

    Aerobatic flights, $50.

    The husband turned to his wife and said “That’s fantastic for 50 bucks, we should do that!” But the wife turned to him and said “No no darl, we mustn’t forget, 50 bucks is 50 bucks!”

    The couple returned to the show the following year and again saw the same plane with the same sign. But once again the old man heard the same response from his wife….”50 bucks is 50 bucks!”

    This went on for several years, every year “50 bucks is 50 bucks” until one year, while the old man was looking at the aircraft the pilot came up to him, and said “Sir, every year I set up here and every year you come and look at my aeroplane clearly wanting to go for a ride but you have never once taken up the opportunity? Why not?” At this point the wife stepped in and said “Well good fellow, we mustn’t forget that 50 bucks is 50 bucks!”. The pilot shook his head, thought for a moment, and then said to the couple, “How about I make you a deal. I’ll take you for a ride, and so long as you don’t make a sound! the ride is free?”

    With some negotiation the wife finally agreed to the pilot’s deal and they went for their aerobatic ride. The pilot, determined to get his fifty dollars, really put the aeroplane through its paces. He flew as hard as he could throwing the aeroplane through the sky adamant to get a sound from the couple, but the entire time the old man just smiled clearly just having a great old time. When they returned to ground, the pilot watched the old man get out of the aircraft smiling from ear to ear and said to him “Sir, I have never flown harder in my life, I was determined to get my 50 bucks out of you, but you didn’t make a peep!”

    The old man simply looked him back in the eye and said “Well mate, I almost said something when the wife fell out, but hey……..50 bucks is 50 bucks!”

  3. Skywriting

    Look at this carefully…it is a brilliant example of British Humour!
    The British government has scrapped the Harrier fleet and on their farewell formation flypast over the Houses of Parliament they gave the government a message.

    Lean back a bit from your computer monitor and squint. Seriously…push your chair back a couple of feet..

    My hat is off to the man that was leading this Squadron.

    Courtesy McPhee

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