Sunday, April 25, 2010

Aircraft DSW

Adapted from a true story by an SR-71 pilot:

Our SR-71 was on a routine training flight over California, listening to ATC chatter. Most of it was general aviation checking in, things along the lines of "Tower, Cessna Tango 195, what's my altitude and ground speed?" "Tango 195, tower. I have you at 105 knots at flight level 100.". For the uninitiated, that's 105 nautical miles per hour (about 121 mph) at 10,000 feet altitude.

Then over the radio came "Tower, this is Dusty Five Two, requesting an altitude and ground speed check. Over.". Dusty 52 was the lead element in an F/A-18 flight. We knew they were just trying to impress the civilians, F-18s have a ground speed indicator and don't need the tower to tell them that. "Dusty 52, tower. We show you at 575 knots at flight level 450." came the reply.

Just as I was about to make a remark, I heard the click of a mike being keyed and the laconic drawl of my back-seater. "Tower, this is Aspen Two Zero, requesting altitude and ground speed check please. Over.". There was a pause, and then came back "Aspen 20, tower. We have you at 1982 knots at flight level 800.". "Thank you, tower. Aspen 20 out.".

There was no more traffic from the F/A-18s.

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