Something feels off

Did you ever have the tower say “give me a landline when you land”? It’s a sinking feeling. One time in Burbank (Class C Airspace) we were doing traffic patterns with “full down” autorotations (it’s an autorotation you take all the way to the ground usually resulting in a little bit of a slide down the runway on the helicopter the skids, some airport frown upon it because they claim it messes up the runway surface) and the routed us around all kinds of commercial airline traffic but we thought we did really well when we heard those dreaded words as we were leaving. Both of us were wondering what it might have been we did wrong.

I landed and made the phone call. As it turns out, they were actually all excited about us coming over. He said “That was great, we love having you guys over. Tell all your friends about it.” “There is no conflict with the airlines?” I asked. He said “No, we can work around them.” They actually appreciated the additional take-off and landings which helps their funding.

So … as it turns out, calling the tower is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get 😉

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9 comments on “Something feels off
  1. L says:

    Hah, sounds about right (for Chuck).
    I once was given taxi instructions while still 5ft over the rwy. Tower apologized “sorry, I’d swear I saw that you’ve landed already”. – “Oh, we have, we just caught a gust and got airborne again, let me land one more time and then we can taxi” – “Roger, whenever you’re done landing, make a 180, then exit Charlie to the FBO”. 🙂

  2. Tampa says:

    I don’t get the lending part, some form of word joke?

  3. Edwin Quantrall says:

    @ Tampa: Most likely a mis-spelling. I think that he meant “landing”.

  4. Baradium says:

    Tampa, if you’re asking about “landline” it means a phone number. Comes back from when all phones were wired so there was literally a telephone line laid on the ground. ATC and pilots will use the term “landline” to differentiate between radio communications and a phone call.

  5. mike says:

    You caught us! It’s a misspelling! We were both in a rush, me between fire assignments and Stef getting ready for a family trip and we totally read over it (probably 5 times and still didn’t catch it)

    @Baradium: Thanks for the great landline explanation. Never occurred to me that this might be an aviation specific term…

  6. Joshua says:

    There are too many fires right now. Fly safe, not like Chuck.

  7. Baradium says:

    @mike We use it in the municipal fire service as well, but I could see someone who doesn’t use radio communications all the time being caught off guard by it. That said, I completely missed that “landing” was spelled “lending” in the strip! My mind just automatically corrected it.

  8. stef says:

    Finally been able to fix the “lending” mistake. Sorry about that, of course Chuck was not suddenly going into finance … 🙂

  9. pc6porterpilot says:

    To this day the controllers at Burbank are some of the very best I’ve ever worked with. About 8 years ago I flew for a survey company and spent nearly 6 months based out of Burbank covering LA county with 10 aircraft. If the clouds ever kept us from our flight plans the company wanted us to take the planes around the pattern to identify issues before they kept us from flying on good days. The controllers at Burbank were fantastic, we would have 6 or more aircraft in the traffic pattern using both runways in a figure 8, all the while they slipped the commercial flights in between us. While I have found good controllers all over, that team seemed to all be on their A game every time they plugged in, hope we helped keep their operations numbers up enough.

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