I’ve found a number of airplane jokes recently … here’s a list of what I’ve accumulated so far …
Tower: “Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o’clock, 6 miles.”
Delta 351: “Give us another hint. We have digital watches.”
“TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees.”
“Center, we’re at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?”
“Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?”
From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: “I’m f ing bored.”
Ground Traffic Control: “Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!”
Unknown aircraft: “I said I was f ing bored, not f ing stupid.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
There’s a story about the military pilot calling for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running “a bit peaked.”
Air Traffic Control told the fighter jock that he was number two, behind a B-52 that had one engine shut down.
“Ah,” the fighter pilot remarked, “the dreaded seven-engine approach.”
Taxiing down the tarmac, a DC-10 abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an hour-long wait, it finally took off.
A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, “What, exactly, was the problem?”
“The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine,” explained the flight attendant. “It took us a while to find a new pilot.”
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.”
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?”
Continental 635: “Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern we’ve already notified our caterers.”
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.”
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 Airways 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.”
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 hell 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?”
In his book, Sled Driver, SR-71 Blackbird pilot Brian Shul writes:
“I’ll always remember a certain radio exchange that occurred one day as Walt (my back-seater) and I were screaming across Southern California 13 miles high. We were monitoring various radio transmissions from other aircraft as we entered Los Angeles airspace. Though they didn’t really control us, they did monitor our movement across their scope. I heard a Cessna ask for a readout of its ground speed.”
“90 knots,” Center replied.
Moments later, a Twin Beech required the same.
“120 knots,” Center answered.
We weren’t the only ones proud of our ground speed that day as almost instantly an F-18 smugly transmitted, “Ah, Center, Dusty 52 requests ground speed readout.”
There was a slight pause, then the response, “525 knots on the ground, Dusty.”
Another silent pause. As I was thinking to myself how ripe a situation this was, I heard a familiar click of a radio transmission coming from my back-seater. It was at that precise moment I realized Walt and I had become a real crew, for we were both thinking in unison.
“Center, Aspen 20, you got a ground speed readout for us?”
There was a longer than normal pause.
“Aspen, I show 1,742 knots.”
No further inquiries were heard on that frequency.
In another famous SR-71 story, Los Angeles Center reported receiving a request for clearance to FL 600 (60,000 ft). The incredulous controller, with some disdain in his voice, asked, “How do you plan to get up to 60,000 feet?
The pilot (obviously a sled driver), responded, “We don’t plan to go up to it, we plan to go down to it.”
He was cleared.
The pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver. He placed it on top of the instrument panel, and then asked the navigator, “Do you know what I use this for?”
The navigator replied timidly, “No, what’s it for?”
The pilot responded, “I use this on navigators who get me lost!”
The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and place it on his chart table.
The pilot asked, “What’s that for?”
“To be honest sir,” the navigator replied, “I’ll know we’re lost before you will.”
Overheard at Paine Field, Everett, Washington (site of the Boeing 747 and 777 plant). Taylor Air is a flight service at Paine Field. United Airlines was just taking delivery of a brand new 747.
Taylor Air: “Tower, there is a turtle crossing runway 18.”
Tower: “Roger Taylor 250. United 35 Heavy, you are cleared for take-off on Runway 18. Caution wake turbulence behind departing turtle.”
Here are some actual maintenance complaints/problems, generally known as “squawks,” submitted by pilots to maintenance engineers. After attending to the squawks, maintenance crews are required to log details of the solution.
Problem: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
Solution: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
Problem: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
Solution: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
Problem: No. 2 propeller seeping prop fluid.
Solution: No. 2 propeller seepage normal. Nos. 1, 3, and 4 propellers lack normal seepage.
Problem: Something loose in cockpit.
Solution: Something tightened in cockpit.
Problem: Dead bugs on windshield.
Solution: Live bugs on backorder.
Problem: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-fpm descent.
Solution: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
Problem: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
Solution: Evidence removed.
Problem: DME volume unbelievably loud.
Solution: Volume set to more believable level.
Problem: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
Solution: That’s what they’re there for!
Problem: IFF inoperative.
Solution: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
Problem: Suspected crack in windscreen.
Solution: Suspect you’re right.
Problem: No. 3 engine missing.
Solution: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
Problem: Aircraft handles funny.
Solution: Aircraft warned to “Straighten up, Fly Right, and Be Serious.”
Problem: Target radar hums.
Solution: Reprogrammed target radar with words.
Problem: Mouse in cockpit.
Solution: Cat installed.
Problem: The autopilot doesn’t.
Solution: It does now.
Problem: Seat cushion in 13F smells rotten.
Solution: Fresh seat cushion on order.
Problem: Turn & slip indicator ball stuck in center during turns.
Solution: Congratulations. You just made your first coordinated turn!
Problem: Whining sound heard on engine shutdown.
Solution: Pilot removed from aircraft.
Problem: Pilot’s clock inoperative.
Solution: Wound clock.
Problem: Autopilot tends to drop a wing when fuel imbalance reaches 500 pounds.
Solution: Flight manual limits maximum fuel imbalance to 300 pounds.
Problem: No. 2 ADF needle runs wild.
Solution: Caught and tamed No. 2 ADF needle.
Problem: Unfamiliar noise coming from No. 2 engine.
Solution: Engine run for four hours. Noise now familiar.
Problem: Noise coming from No. 2 engine. Sounds like man with little hammer.
Solution: Took little hammer away from man in No. 2 engine.
Problem: Whining noise coming from No. 2 engine compartment.
Solution: Returned little hammer to man in No. 2 engine.
Problem: Flight attendant cold at altitude.
Solution: Ground checks OK.
Problem: 3 roaches in cabin.
Solution: 1 roach killed, 1 wounded, 1 got away.
Problem: Weather radar went ape!
Solution: Opened radar, let out ape, cleaned up mess!