ATC Humour - Melbourne AACC Quote Book - 1977-81

The CAHS holds a transcript of the Quote Book used between 1977 and 1981 in the Melbourne Area Approach Control Centre (ML AACC). In it was recorded for their own amusement quotes and anecdotes that struck a humourous chord among the controllers. Humour has always been a part of the ATC world, often serving as a stress-reliever. Sometimes you had to have been there, or know the individuals or situation concerned to appreciate the humour. Many of the stories, however, have a wider appeal and a selection of these are reproduced below.


Sec 5: "HJE report position."
HJE: "HJE, blah, blah, blah..."
Sec5: "HJE identified - for positive identification turn...." !


APP [Approach]: Alitalia 168, descend to five thousand."
AZ168: "Alitalia 168, confirm one, two, three, four thousand?"
APP: "Alitalia 168 - negative. One, two, three, five thousand."


ARR [Arrivals] to FNT [an F-27]: "Turn right heading 350 - and reduce to 180 knots on descent."
FNT: "Roger, and can I go back to company frequency - we'll need a wheelchair."
ARR: "For the FLOW controller???"
FNT: "No.... one of the passengers."

15 Aug 1977

FS [Flight Service] to ARR: "Standby"
ARR: "I am too busy for standby, but go ahead!"

16 Aug 1977

After the "Next" call from the Tower. DEP [Departures]: "Qantas 1 - unrestricted. Where's he going?"


Heard on the grapevine from MB [Moorabbin]
Trainee in MB TWR on SMC [Surface Movement Control], Car 1 unreadable ("Car 1 off the air for 5 min).
Trainee: "Last station, say again."
Car 1: "Bravo Oscar Golf"
Trainee: "Bravo Oscar Golf, advise intentions!!!"

13 Oct 1977

Wombat 2 [an Electra freighter] en-route Launy [Launceston]
OPS [Operational Control] asked for endurance ex ML
Sec 3: "RMB request endurance ex ML"
RMB: "RMB, was that for us?"
Sec 3: "RMB affirmative. Request endurance ex ML."
RMB: "RMB, 162 Bob."
Sec 3: "Roger, and it's not Bob."
RMB: "RMB,'s not 162 either. It's 192."
Sec 3: "Roger."
RMB: "It's not Roger either...better make it 162 after all."

19 Nov 1977

Alitalia 406 MI [Mildura] - GTH [Griffith] FL370
Speedbird 889 GTH-MI FL390
BA is asking AI re the weather at FL370 (in particular, any turbulence)
After several attempts, AI replies: "We are on top of 8/8 at 370" and gives this exact reply three more times.
Speedbird gives up and says: "Is there any turbulence?" - no answer
BA889: "It it bumpy? Is it bumpy?"
AI406: "Yes, it is a lovely country" !!!
(Sec 4 controller falls off chair laughing)

31 Jan 1978

Approach controller at the Ron King Memorial Window, watching an F-27 on downwind for [Runway] 27: "He has a long way to go downwind. He's with me and I'm over here."

2 Feb 1978

STAC [Senior Terminal Area Controller] to APP(R) [Approach Radar]:
"Do you want a hole cut in that newspaper so you can see the radar?!"

Feb 1978

"Melbourne Departures, TJB."
"TJB descend to 5000, QNH..."
"Aaaah,...Departures TJB, would you like to have another guess, we just got airborne!"

3 March 1978

Student pilot in ROG operating in the BCS [Bacchus Marsh] training area was suspected of penetrating R362D. Asked to turn on to a heading of 360 for identification, ROG complied.
ROG: "ROG heading 370."
Sec 5: "There's no such heading as 370!"
ROG: "Affirmative, I'm on it."
Sec 5: "Could that be heading 270?"
ROG: "Negative. Definitely 370."

11 March 1978

A tethered balloon has escaped from Westfield [Shopping Centre].
APP: "TQR, you won't get anywhere near the balloon on that heading...turn left heading 230." !

18 Oct 1978

Wombat 2 - 22 nm NE inbound, advised - "It's like home up here - I'm not getting Plenty [locator]."
Little did he know that listening in at 15 nm outbound on the 028R was a lady pilot flying EGU who immediately advised that she was receiving Plenty quite OK.

30 Oct 1978

SY [Sydney] is without radar due industrial dispute. ML CTL to northbound DC-9: "It's all done by mirrors."
Disgruntled reply: "Yeah, broken mirrors."

15 Dec 1978

FS to ARR: "Did you know AST landed at BDG [Bendigo]?"
ARR: "I do now."
FS: "Who told you?"
ARR: "You just did."
FS: "No I didn't!"

10 Sep 1979

APP(R): "What have you done, Kingy?"
APP(R): "I think he's flowed the tolerance markers!"

6 Jan 1980

BP on the gentle art of Flow control to trainee "Obviously TJM is going to be,...whatever he is."

15 Feb 1980

Controller 1 to STAC: "What did my wife say when you told her I'd be late?"
STAC: "Nothing."
Controller 2: "She probably told the boyfriend he could hang around for a bit longer."
Controller 1: "Good, takes the pressure off me doesn't it." !?

1 March 1980

TBM [a B727] inbound for RWY 34. TWR advises that the sea-breeze has arrived and there is downwind on both RWY 16 and RWY 34: "TBM, we'll take whichever is the longest." !!!

25 March 1980

(RSR [Route Surveillance Radar] off for the day)
STAC to MB BO [Briefing Office]: "No ILS's for aircraft without transponders due radar off."

29 April 1980

Approach controller - after being told to show visitors around, leaps to his feet and shouts: "I suppose they are all bloody nymphomaniacs like the last time!" - just as three women pilots enter the room.

6 July 1980

MMS from the west for PILS [Practice ILS] RWY 27: "MMS request miles to run."
APP: "MMS, 60 miles."
MMS: "MMS, we'd like to reduce speed."
APP: "MMS, no restrictions."
MMS: "MMS, if we reduce speed will that decrease our miles to run?" Er?!

9 July 1980

OPS to Sec 2: "Could you tell aircraft as far back as Singapore (SQ) that the CRG [Corryong] VOR is returned to service."
Sec 2: "I'm sorry, we don't have a line to Singapore." !!!!!

3 Sep 1980

ML TWR: "New ATI [Automatic Terminal Information] - OSCAR....(pause)....hang on, L...M...N...O...yep, that's it, OSCAR."

1 Oct 1980

DEP(N) co-ordinating with DEP(S) and APP: "If I break him east of the field he's mine. If I go right unrestricted he's everybody's. Have you got any restrictions?"
APP: "No."
"Have you got any restrictions?"
DEP(S): "No."
"Alright, I'll go right unrestricted. Now...WHERE IS HE?!!!"

12 April 1981

Controller A trying to descibe Controller B: "The fellow with dark hair, a moustache, and flies."

15 Sep 1981

"BMG, for orbiting make one right hand sequence."


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