Airline Pilot Central central forum highlights some of the most hilarious interactions overheard by other pilots on the frequency. They asked the question, “What’s the funniest thing you have ever heard over the radio?” The thread highlights miscommunications and jokes between pilots and air traffic control that might leave you wondering how safe you really are in the air.
One flight instructor shared the story of a student who was on his first solo cross-country trip. Air traffic control asked, “Piper XXX, say altitude,” and instead of replying with his elevation, the young simply replied, “Altitude.”
One pilot shared a story of a conversation he had with an air traffic controller. After taking a while to respond to his request, the controller replied that “his tongue stopped working because he drank too much coffee.” Probably not the most comforting thing to hear an air traffic controller say.
Some of the exchanges sound like an Abbot and Costello skit with like the one below posted by user USMCFLYR:
N234: “Affirmative. I am a flight of two.”
TMB ATC: “N234, I only see one of you.”
N234: “Of course you only see one. My cabin windows are tinted. There are two of us in here.”
TMB ATC: “N234, ‘a flight of two’ means there are two aircraft.”
N234: “How could I fly two planes?”
TMB ATC: “N234, ‘a flight of two’ means there are two aircraft and one pilot is talking for both aircraft.”
N234: “No. There is just my plane, with two people inside.”
Ultimately, the controller was able to explain what a ‘flight of two” meant, and adjusted the pilot’s flight plan.
The good old penis joke is highlighted in the next conversation. User Phteven posted this exchange:
Seattle Approach: Kenmore 3303 cleared visual 13R, you’re following a G200. I’d say “caution, wake turbulence,” but G200’s are pretty small.
Execjet 703: It’s not the size that counts!
And finally, this post by fireman0174 shares the humorous exchange between a female controller and a male pilot. After calling the pilot three or four times without a response, air traffic control gets a little agitated.
ATC: “Delta 324, are you listening to me?”
Pilot: “Yes ma’am, we hear you.”
ATC: (Sarcastically) I called you 3-4 times and you didn’t respond. Listen up!”
Pilot: “I’m sorry, ma’am — you sounded so much like my wife I was just naturally ignoring you.”
After a 15-second pause, a male controller comes on and says, “Roger Delta 324, I understand.”