Pilot Calls Tower and Receives Instructions That Are All Greek to Him


Again true pilots stories from the world of generally in this this episode a one seventy two pilot calls tower and receives an instruction. That's completely Greek to him. Of course he is flying in in Greece. This could be interesting. Bring Your Greek dictionary and ride along in say again by Carl Doorman as I entered the down wind leg of the Corfu Greece airport I contacted tower and I did not understand understand a word they said now what to do. It was nineteen eighty four and I was flying from Rhode Island to Israel in one thousand nine hundred sixty exte- Cessna one seventy two with my flight student Aria Rona the trip recently brought us through the beautiful Rhone Valley in France over the Mediterranean NC for three hundred and twenty five nautical miles in instrument conditions and route to Ciampino International Rome's secondary airport as we checked in with Roma approach at nine thousand feet requesting vectors to final at Ciampino. We could hear that the controllers were quite busy we we were assigned to holding pattern at nine thousand feet northeast over the Roma. VR which is adjacent to the Ciampino airport we were preparing to land on runway one four as advised by the Avis. So who do you think were the best air traffic controllers on the entire trip. I can tell you without hesitation. It was the Italians the controllers stepped us down a thousand feet at a time from holding pattern to holding pattern I two eight thousand feet then to seven thousand feet all the way down to one thousand feet and then vectored us to the final approach to runway one four for these controllers were so smooth and so professional as the handled us with kid gloves we switched over to one to zero point five Ciampino Tower and we're cleared to land and then guided to the runway exit where we switched to ground control and taxi to the F. B. over parking we stayed in Rome for two days to see some of the famous historical sites now it was Sunday we were ready to continue our trip the next destination Brindisi on the east coast of Italy just two hundred sixty nautical miles to the southeast we noticed that there was very little air air traffic along the way and at the airport after landing we'd taxi to the FBI to get fuel and we're surprised to find everything was closed at the Brindisi airport. We had forgotten it was Sunday. It did not occur to us that some places at the airport might be closed. We were lucky enough to meet some pilots from the local Brindisi Flying Club. WHO said they could help us? After we told them our plight their club did not usually sell fuel to pilots not members of the club but they graciously made an exception. Thank you Brindisi Flying Club. We then departed from Brindisi to the east one hundred ten nautical miles across another part of the Mediterranean Sea to Corfu an island in Greece also known as Kirk era after listening to the Kirk Avis and contacting Kirk your approach. We were advised to change to frequency one to zero point eight five and contact. Kirk here a tower. We checked in with tower on the downwind leg of runway three five asking for permission to land. I heard a clear response. That sounded to me. Something like Gorky. Mom Bit Blit Loiter. I asked the controller say again his reply. I again sounded similar to Gorky Moment Lipton. Loiter had absolutely no idea what this controller was saying to me. I thought it would be best just to broadcast my intentions and slow and clear English and proceed to runway three five which was a comforting seven thousand seven hundred hundred ninety two feet long as I continue down wind opposite might touchdown point. I again broadcast my intentions receiving again a similar undecipherable reply from the tower. I still understood nothing. I repeated my intentions again. Dan as I turned final received the same response and I landed after taxiing departing. I decided it would be a good idea to visit the tower her see the controller and find out what he said upon entering the tower as the controller began speaking to me here was the same sounding founding voice but now that I could see his lips moving. I had no problem understanding him. I discovered he understood me just fine and that he was telling telling me proceed as requested so much for English being the International Universal Aviation Language Eleven learned not understanding the tower controller is just as bad as lost come stay focused become all fly the airplane and continue your approach broadcasting your intention slowly in clear English look for any light signals from the tower our if no signals land and clear the runway as soon as possible

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